Cruel White Water

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Robert Hunter

Up near the border where the cruel white water
Drowns the vagabond who sleeps too low
Me and my companion, the famous Jack O'Lanterns
Tracked the misty mountains through the snow

I ran across the hidden chord, couldn't learn the changes
The blue Pacific called, I had to go
There was holly on the ivy in the apparition mountains
But the warmest bed I found was ten below

Courted lady Greensleeves, she threw me out the window
I landed like a feather in the trees
Took off across New Mexico and landed in the Bayou
The catfish was too lean, I had to blow

Don't lie for gold, no-no-no-no
Don't lie for love, that turns out cold
If life depends, just get out whole
Don't lie for less, no-no-no-no

Marie Marie, Marie Helena
You're my amour, you're my own heart
Marie, Marie Helena
Marie Marie, Marie Helena

Left the life of ease and caught the black iron steamer
Across the barren waste to your arcade
I sang take me to your leader in my strangest country tenor
But the bed I meant to lay was halfway made

Leftover pieces aren't exactly what I needed
They didn't have much meaning on their own
Was some talk of deviation, but from what was never mentioned
So I set out to find the wrong way home

Home inside the hour, tuning my guitar
I get that sudden urge I know so well
I finished my rendition of don't pity my condition
Then looked around to find what I could sell

Can't sell your soul, leave that alone
Can't change your role, Big Daddy Low
Don't break your back for less than love
Don't trade your love for stars above

No no no Marie, Marie Helena
You're my amour, you're my own heart
Marie, Marie Helena
Marie Marie, Marie Helena

Caught up with Jack O'Lanterns in a town called Make It Hurt
Preaching three card monte in the Live And Let It Church
The choir was down and dirty, drawin' bad and bettin' worse
We left at ten to six in a padded hearse

I might find companions in after-hour taverns
To tell a tale or two I've never heard
But the strangest song I know
Is what the thunder says to lightning
And I never could recall a single word
... except ...

Up near the border where the cruel white water
Drowns the vagabond who sleeps too low
Me and my companion, the famous Jack O'Lanterns
Tracked the misty mountains through the snow

Don't lie for gold, no-no-no-no
Don't lie for love, that turns out cold
If life depends, just get out whole
Don't lie for less, no-no-no-no

Marie Marie, Marie Helena
By firelight, you steal my heart
Oh Marie, Marie Helena
Marie Marie, Marie Helena

Marie, Marie Helena
Marie Marie, Marie Helena
Marie, Marie Helena
Marie Marie, Marie Helena
[etc]
Recordings
     Date Album
      1974 Tiger Rose Robert Hunter