Get Ye Up

by The Mispronouncer

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about

This album is about the American West.

credits

released February 24, 2014

Jans Pasma did the cover art.
Other people helped with the music and are named in the individual song credits, but Casey Bye helped the most.
Thanks for listening.
You can also listen to my stories and audio sketches at www.hugepop.com or on iTunes if you search "Bedtime Stories" or "One Man's World" under "podcasts."

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The Mispronouncer Redlands, California

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Track Name: Overlook
1. A lot of places in the West named after the Devil.
The firstborn of a minister but I visited several.
Giant bears clawed Devil’s Tower, permanent scars,
But the Lakota girls escaped, became stars.
Devil’s Playground: fantastic geo-graphics.
Ethan on a rock formation in mid-back-flip.
If that’s really the Devil’s Backbone, then I guess
The Prince of the Power of the Air is spineless.
But all’s not devilish, the West has sacred parts.
Zion overseen by the three ancient Patriarchs.
Up Angel’s Landing, not touching the chain.
One false step, I wouldn’t be much of a stain.
Any long, steep trail, I’m bringing up the rear.
It isn’t true that you’ve got to be fit to persevere.
Ethan keeps trying to joke with other hikers, it’s futile.
Keeps mildly offending them, frowns of disapproval.
Lost in Bryce Canyon, the Saint tried to follow me.
Everyone mad so I bought ‘em pizza as an apology.
In the Subway, in the frigid pools, semi-nude,
Under waterfalls, failed at keeping the shrieking subdued.
Something coming prowling ‘round the tent? We’re ready.
Ethan’s a light sleeper, got his hatchet and machete.
Might’ve taken terrifying local lore talk too far.
“Skinwalker, skinwalker, skinwalker, you are.”
Homemade roadside signs warn that meth
Will summon the poorly-painted specter of Death.
Go West before it all belongs to Chom:
Every restaurant playing nothing but The Greatest Hits of Elton John.
Certain members of our group are wholly unsuited
For seeing a bear and keeping their obscenity muted.
Watching amateur photographers creeping closer to a mother grizzly is enthralling,
Wouldn’t mind seeing a light mauling.

Chorus: It’s a basic human tendency
To mix myth and legend in with memory.
My West only exists for me.
In the passing of time clarity decreases.
Frequent retelling helps me cling to pieces.
My West only exists for me.

2. Out to where the people know Hardee’s as Carl’s Jr.
Where a cattle decapitation’s a little less peculiar.
Where the work of Ben Goode’s somehow found amusing.
His whole catalogue’s at the convenience store of your choosing.
On the van’s back window wrote “Eastward Bound!”
No good Samaritan tried to turn us around.
Switched to “Honk if you hate honking” and caused a sensation.
Especially among the native peoples on the reservation.
Tell Dave we haven’t yet been to the visitors’ center,
That was a filthy, fly-filled latrine, remember?
This windbreak might appear quite sound,
But one earthquake and it’d come right down.
Rialto Beach on the Northwest coast:
If it wasn’t my best ever sleep, it was close.
Tug-o-war pantomime, navigating menus on the camera,
The Saint can’t stand “panorama.”
Trash bag ponchos, downpour torrential.
Pass around the Mountain House, share one utensil.
Steve declared our Beartooth campsite “No bueno.”
I was snoring well before the tents were even staked though.
Sleeping bag rated down to twenty, still I shiver.
Wonder if I got giardia from drinking from the river.
On his back, through deep mud, Dutch ferried us across.
Only dropped Dave, but that was pre-weight-loss.
At Craters of the Moon, learning types of lava:
The differences between pahoehoe and a’a.
In Monument Valley, the cold rain seeped
Inside the tarp under which we tried to sleep.
Deep Hink Pink session in the Hoh Rainforest.
Reynolds Mountain: spontaneous hymn chorus.
Personal encounters with the West I sift through.
Sunsets perfect for riding off into.

Chorus (x2): It’s a basic human tendency
To mix myth and legend in with memory.
My West only exists for me.
In the passing of time clarity decreases.
Frequent retelling helps me cling to pieces.
My West only exists for me.
Track Name: Dime Novel Legend
1. Youngest of nine, Nell’s mother wanted another son.
From day one, raised shooting her brothers’ guns.
A born natural, a bonafide crack shot.
The only true talent in a family of have-nots.
Coyotes on the run, birds on the fly.
Rifle, shotgun, pistol, either hand, bulls eye.
Accounted for distance and conditions without thinking.
Local boys learned she was taking aim, not winking.
Took her skill on the road in a traveling Wild West show.
Many men challenged, Nell was always the best, though.
Her signature trick: a friend threw a deck of cards,
Nell shot the Queen of Hearts from twenty-five yards.
But at age 23, she was forced to retire
When her rifle exploded, the result of a misfire.
Blinded, she still enjoyed slipping out for a spell,
To shoot into the air just for the kick, bang, and powder smell.

Chorus: Headed to the five-and-ten clutching ten cents.
Mom says, “None of those books, they’re too intense.”
Dime Novel Legends don’t fear dime novels,
And that’s who you aspire to be like, am I right?
While mom’s not looking, grab one from the rack,
Buy it and hide it before she says to put it back.
Dime Novel Legends don’t surrender dime novels,
And that’s who you aspire to be like, am I right?

2. Clifford was the honky-tonk piano player in a border town.
One night in the saloon a local music hater gunned him down.
Slumped on the piano, the holes in Clifford’s skull bled.
He somehow survived with two bullets in his head.
Back on the piano the very next day
With a white bandage wrapped around his head as he played.
Fingers flying, almost had the skeptical believing
The superstitious people who maintained he was a demon.
Playing at a breakneck pace in a minor key.
Never speaking, never resting, hammering the ivory.
Started playing right at noon, twelve hours later
Into the saloon stepped the local music hater.
Saw Clifford, heard the music, as the song reached its climax,
The music hater’s eyes rolled back and he collapsed.
Then the song stopped dead and everything went calm
And Clifford spat two bullets from his mouth into his palm.

Chorus: Smuggled the book home tucked in your coat.
Not out of the woods yet, no time to gloat.
Dime Novel Legends don’t endanger dime novels,
And that’s who you aspire to be like, am I right?
Take it to your secret hideout and start reading.
Captivated, you barely remember to keep breathing.
Dime Novel Legends don’t conserve dime novels,
And that’s who you aspire to be like, am I right?

Bridge: A gambler with a mangled face from a Kodiak attack.
Half-Apache scouts guaranteed to get you there and back.
Grizzled bounty-hunters tracking army deserters.
Gun-fighters so quick their duels are just murders.
Crooked sheriffs taking bribes from stagecoach robbers.
Hookers breaking bottles on the heads of barroom brawlers.
Broncos bucking everyone who tries to ride ‘em, breaking necks.
Gorgeous desert flowers at the funerals to pay respects.

3. Clyde ran away from home deep into the mountains.
He would’ve died for sure if the old trapper hadn’t found him
And nursed him back to health. He told Clyde he could stay.
He taught him everything he knew about the trapper/tracker/guide way.
Clyde absorbed it all and eventually he matched
The old trapper’s skill, maybe even surpassed.
But when Clyde was eighteen, he and the trapper had a falling out.
They parted ways and Clyde forgot what it was all about.
Years later, someone hired Clyde to track a fugitive
Up into the mountains in the area he used to live.
A trail so faint he wondered if it was really there,
But his mentor had taught him to follow his gut anywhere.
Used every trick he knew, arrived at a place he didn’t know,
And there he found an old man’s corpse in the snow.
Withered, frozen solid, at least a year since he’d died.
The note stuck to his chest read, “Bury me, Clyde.”

Chorus: Up all night, mind spinning, young heart racing.
Mom says boys should avoid excessive stimulation.
Dime Novel Legends never disregard dime novels,
And that’s who you aspire to be like, am I right?
You grow up to be an average man parked behind a desk.
Far from the rough and tumble of the Wild West.
Dime Novel Legends don’t forget Dime Novel Legends don’t forget…
Dime Novel Legends.
Track Name: Peek-A-Boo Gulch
1. There are no answers in Peek-A-Boo Gulch.
Full of intel that it won’t divulge.
A lizard on a rock wouldn’t budge ‘til we nudged it,
Left a blood-smear, we shouldn’t’ve touched it.
Back when a wandering shaman was common,
This had to be the kind of place they came often.
You feel followed while you’re moving through.
Peek-A-Boo’s a little Spooky too.
Cool sand moves you to remove your shoes.
You feel compelled to loosen a few screws.
The heat presses its eye to the breach,
Tries to lick us but its tongue can’t reach.
Great spot for an ambush, keep your eyes peeled
For a sheltering nook or a shield to wield.
If you encounter other visitors you can’t be sure
If they’re from the present or the past or the future.

Chorus: The name’s no good, but the name can’t touch the place.
The place transcends the name.
The name’s no good but the name can’t harm the place.
The place transcends the name.
The name’s no good, but the name can’t be the place.
The place transcends the name.
Ancient names lost to the years.
Speak just one and the young gulch reappears.

2. Hard to be a star, nothing you can do to compensate
When the setting’s better, when the background dominates.
Your voice strains through the bottleneck, trimmed down.
Your brash barks bounce back as thin sounds.
Who can say which end is the entrance?
Who’s brazen enough to punctuate the sentence?
Red Navajo sandstone, ethereal.
We real human beings feeling almost immaterial.
Time flows past overhead across the gap.
Loose bits sprinkle down and land in my lap.
If I knew how to find a plant to make a dye I’d scrawl
Something really raw and primitive up on the wall.
A great place for a phantom to relax.
For restless spirits of the West to take naps.
Education, logic, etcetera notwithstanding,
I rule nothing out when I’m in a slot canyon.

Chorus: The name’s no good, but the name can’t touch the place.
The place transcends the name.
The name’s no good but the name can’t harm the place.
The place transcends the name.
The name’s no good, but the name can’t be the place.
The place transcends the name.
Ancient names lost to the years.
Speak just one and the young gulch reappears.

Bridge: Broad daylight can’t normalize it.
A juvenile name can’t trivialize it.
A map and a sign and a path can’t disguise it.
No straight lines. No straight lines.
It lets you in, but remains aloof.
Flatly refuses the burden of proof.
No surface is truly smooth.
No straight lines. No straight lines.

3. Drawn on through the rift torn between
Reality and outright fantasy. Convene
At the shallow pool of water at the South end, stagnant.
Peek-A-Boo speaks in fragments of fragments.
Are we beneath its notice or beyond?
Clamoring for its attention but it doesn’t respond.
It’s not amused, but it’s not not amused.
There’s no such thing as “a lot to lose.”
Geology everywhere, getting my nose
Rubbed in my own ignorance. Exposed
As something more akin to a neophyte mystic,
Half-recalled science facts come out cryptic.
Even the steps in the stone
Seem as if one day someone just found they’d grown.
The scalpel is gone, the incision is left.
Not surprised when I find something vital in the cleft.

Chorus: The name’s no good, but the name can’t touch the place.
The place transcends the name.
The name’s no good but the name can’t harm the place.
The place transcends the name.
The name’s no good, but the name can’t be the place.
The place transcends the name.
Ancient names lost to the years.
Speak just one and the young gulch reappears. (x2)
Track Name: The Devil You Don't
1. Marked route out, same route coming back.
Sure thing, sure, but where’s the fun in that?
You see the same sights as before from the other way.
It’s no wonder you want to run astray.
Maybe save a little energy, effort, and time:
Bushwhack over the terrain in a straight line.
Cut through here, dip down and around.
You can see on the map that the strategy’s sound.
Listen, remember, before we vote,
On the way up, the boulder field and scree slope?
It’s worse going down but we can bypass all of it
If we just forego the main route for the alternate.
This shortcut’s so obvious we’ve got to
Break from the trail now, we’d be stupid not to.
Forget what we’ve got, let’s just blunder through
Whatever’s waiting for us behind Door Number 2.

Chorus: Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.
Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.
Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.
(Resist!) The devil you don’t.
(Resist!) The devil you don’t. (x2)

Where some see folly, we see temptation.
Get thee, get thee behind me, Satan.
Where some see error, we see temptation.
Get thee, get thee behind me, Satan.
Where some see madness, we see temptation.
Get thee, get thee behind me, Satan.
Get thee, get thee behind me, Satan.
Get thee, get thee behind me, Satan.

2. For a little while, feels like the right option.
Chewing up ground unhindered by caution.
But the path’s trickier each step we travel.
The course that we charted starts to unravel.
It’s always like this, the idea seems good
‘Til our packs are getting tangled in the branches in the woods,
Or the Saint’s leg’s getting gashed in a rock slide.
Thinking how long would it take to find us if we all died?
Spreading out, everyone diverting from the new plan.
Getting pragmatic: get down as quick as you can.
But it won’t be quick enough to justify the misery.
In fact, are we taking even longer or is it me?
The shortcut’s adding time to the trip total.
Now the silent naysayers all get vocal.
Sticking to the trail that’s tried and true
Means they never have to send a helicopter to find you.

Chorus: Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.
Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.
Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.
(Resist!) The devil you don’t.
(Resist!) The devil you don’t. (x2)

Where some see folly, we see temptation.
Get thee, get thee behind me, Satan.
Where some see error, we see temptation.
Get thee, get thee behind me, Satan.
Where some see madness, we see temptation.
Get thee, get thee behind me, Satan.
Get thee, get thee behind me, Satan.
Get thee, get thee behind me, Satan.

Chorus: Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.
Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.
Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.
(Resist!) The devil you don’t.
(Resist!) The devil you don’t. (x2)

Where some see folly, we see temptation.
Get thee, get thee behind me, Satan.
Where some see error, we see temptation.
Get thee, get thee behind me, Satan.
Where some see madness, we see temptation.
Get thee, get thee behind me, Satan.
Get thee, get thee behind me, Satan.
Get thee, get thee behind me, Satan.
Track Name: Your Nothing
Intro: They’re just giving this land away.
They’re just giving this land away.
They’re just giving this land away.
Pack everything up, claim yours today.
A dream of the wind through golden grain
Is all you reap, you sow in vain.
You’ve got hope this soil won’t sustain.
It’s all closing in on the open plain.

1. Oh, Pioneers, naïve homesteaders.
City slickers, might’ve stayed put if they had known better.
Dirt roof, walls, floor, poor sodbusters
Reflecting on the frontier life’s lost luster.
An ocean of grass on a staggering flatness.
Daily practice denying invitations to madness.
Today could be the day the solitude becomes bearable,
And the openness is finally more beautiful than terrible.
And it isn’t possible to be more patient.
Arms crossed monitoring cloud formations.
Wispy and faint, they never cohere.
Jaw set, won’t go, won’t show fear.
Crops you can’t grow is kids you can’t feed.
Ears perking at the thunder, just a buffalo stampede.
But with just a couple days of rain,
The Dust Bowl could transform to the Great Plains.

Chorus: Crouched at the edge of a bone-dry field.
Don’t need an expert to predict the yield.
Why would anyone ever leave home for this?
It might be nothing, but it’s your nothing.
Plagues of jackrabbits, plagues of grasshoppers.
The first to give up is the last to prosper.
Why would anyone ever want to call this home?
It might be nothing, but it’s your nothing.

2. It’s not in the nature of Nature to do you any favors.
Empty miles between neighbors.
Been a few months since you were in town.
For all you know it burned to the ground.
There on the horizon on horseback: a figure.
Watch its slow progress, finger on the trigger
Of the first line and the last line of defense.
It’s tense living one’s whole life in suspense.
And the dust storm comes forth, it’s looming
In the distance, like a mountain range moving.
Swallowing the landscape, blotting out the sun.
The plains people seem to have forgotten how to run.
Breathe through a wet rag ‘til the storm passes.
Try to dig out while another amasses.
But with just a couple days of rain,
The Dust Bowl could transform to the Great Plains.

Chorus: Crouched at the edge of a bone-dry field.
Don’t need an expert to predict the yield.
Why would anyone ever leave home for this?
It might be nothing, but it’s your nothing.
Plagues of jackrabbits, plagues of grasshoppers.
The first to give up is the last to prosper.
Why would anyone ever want to call this home?
It might be nothing, but it’s your nothing.

Outro: They’re just giving this land away.
They’re just giving this land away.
They’re just giving this land away.
Pack everything up, claim yours today.
A dream of the wind through golden grain,
Is all you reap, you sow in vain.
You’ve got hope this soil won’t sustain.
It’s all closing in on the open plain.
Track Name: Dutch Can't Sleep
1. After either hiking or driving for an entire day
The last thing he wants to do is toss and turn the night away.
If there’s a rock or root, you can bet his tent’s on top of it.
It’s not about comfort but avoidance of the opposite.
Freezing cold in damp clothes, shifting all around.
He tries to find a suitable position on the hard ground.
That’s a fool’s errand, such a thing doesn’t exist,
But the rest of us are slumbering like nothing is amiss.
Which only serves to make the contrast more maddening.
Physical exhaustion and his conscious mind are battling.
Punching his travel pillow, it’s not clear who he’s cursing.
Is it us or himself or is it not even a person?
Twigs cracking outside, he’s the only one aware.
Is it a rodent, deer, wolf, man, ghost or a bear?
Insects on his flesh seeking blood to devour.
Summons all his power to resist checking the hour.

Chorus: Ohh-ohh. Dutch can’t sleep.
Eyes closed, not even a light doze.
Dutch can’t sleep. Ohh-ohh.
Tries to try to not try all night.
Ohh-ohh. Dutch can’t sleep.
Getting desperate for even a brief respite.
Dutch can’t sleep. Ohh-ohh.
Tries to try to not try all night.

2. Southern Utah, Panguitch made the Saint anxious.
Nagged by a sense of hostile strangeness.
A vague feeling of unease, neither common nor logical.
He insisted that we camp as far away from town as possible.
Stop 1: way off of the road in the pines,
We found a clearing that would’ve worked fine, except
We found a torn-up phone book and heard howling hounds,
So the Saint thought we needed to get further from town.
Stop 2: saw something in the tree. When we drew near,
Hanging from a branch was a field-dressed deer.
Heading back to the van, not feeling too brave,
Found a patch of fresh dirt about the size of a shallow grave.
Stop 3, according to the Saint’s lament,
Was “rockier than Jim Tressel,” whatever that meant.
We finally arrived at a tiny campground super late,
And except for Dutch, we slept great.

Chorus: Ohh-ohh. Dutch can’t sleep.
Eyes closed, not even a light doze.
Dutch can’t sleep. Ohh-ohh.
Tries to try to not try all night.
Ohh-ohh. Dutch can’t sleep.
Getting desperate for even a brief respite.
Dutch can’t sleep. Ohh-ohh.
Tries to try to not try all night.

Bridge: The Saint sleeps soundly (Dutch can’t sleep).
DeLange’s all conked out (Dutch can’t sleep).
Flowers is fast asleep (Dutch can’t sleep).
Brent’s definitely sleeping (Dutch can’t sleep).
Eric Meeder’s not awake at all (Dutch can’t sleep).
Steve’s sleeping like a log (Dutch can’t sleep).
Baby’s sleeping like his namesake (Dutch can’t sleep).
You know the Drent boys are asleep (Dutch can’t sleep).

3. When we can’t bear another night spent in the tent,
We look for the cheapest hotel room for rent.
Something with a door and a roof overhead.
Something with a shower and a couple of beds.
If we had known why we might’ve decided to camp,
But at the Lewis and Clark, the whole carpet was damp.
Steve slept on the floor anyway because
He kept thinking how filthy the bed sheet was.
At the Sun and Sand the showerhead pointed at the wall.
You had to duck to wet your head if you were five-plus feet tall.
A bar of soap fused to the towel, and the towel-rack
Completely disassembled when I put the towel back.
Indecipherable odors and spiders on the ceiling.
Lumps in the mattresses, wallpaper peeling.
And yet we all slept a sleep deep and wondrous.
Every single one of us except one of us.

Chorus: Ohh-ohh. Dutch can’t sleep.
Eyes closed, not even a light doze.
Dutch can’t sleep. Ohh-ohh.
Tries to try to not try all night.
Ohh-ohh. Dutch can’t sleep.
Getting desperate for even a brief respite.
Dutch can’t sleep. Ohh-ohh.
Tries to try to not try all night.
Track Name: Winter Ascent
1. Deep snow covering the peak season trail.
Just what the weak need, another reason to fail.
Of course, if we don’t make it it’s a valid excuse.
But if we do, it’s that much more impressive, we can’t lose.
Following the path somebody made yesterday.
Hoping its correct ‘cause we’ll never find a better way.
Sweating under layer upon layer upon layer.
Powder in my boots ‘cause I never got gaiters.
In the first few hours after we begin,
We’re below tree line, in the forest, out of the wind.
The path packed hard enough I won’t yet debut
My never used, brand new, cheap snowshoes.
Red blood splotch in the white snow, fur tufts.
Check the prints, the victim was a rabbit, sure enough.
Snow clumps piled up weighing down pine boughs.
Laboring to make good time while the light allows.

Chorus: I sort of cried at the top of Quandary.
We never found a route to the top of La Plata.
The false summit felt especially cruel on Mt. Yale.
Every peak a monument to Winter.

2. Break above tree line, great views surround us.
The wind howls happy to have finally found us.
It’s guaranteed that it will find any exposed skin.
It’ll find the cracks in your armor and flow in.
We’ve seen photographs of fingers frostbitten,
So we all left our gloves at home and bought mittens.
The temperature is plummeting, it wouldn’t surprise me
If the summit pop buried in my pack’s getting icy.
A smooth, white sheet, boulder field beneath,
Twists the crampons on my feet, bends the teeth.
Distant dynamite explosions, controlled avalanches
Echo through the Rocky Mountains’ vast expanses.
The home stretch to the peak is easily the coldest,
And the most treacherous and tiring, you’ve gotta focus.
Get to the top, summit pop, take a couple pictures, leave.
If and when you’re warm again consider what you just achieved.

Chorus: I sort of cried at the top of Quandary.
We never found a route to the top of La Plata.
The false summit felt especially cruel on Mt. Yale.
Every peak a monument to Winter.

3. On the way down, stricken with some altitude sickness,
Not to mention all the back and foot pain and joint stiffness.
It’s getting dark, a bad time to stray apart.
Now is when you really pay for the late start.
Stepping into deep drifts, sinking to mid-thigh.
Post-holing forward ‘til the powder rises hip-high.
Probably the least effective method of movement.
I keep eschewing snowshoes assuming imminent improvement.
I’ve got my brother’s other ice axe clutched tight,
Reason being it’s the only thing keeping me upright.
I keep pointing out the stars’ quantity and clarity.
I’m almost feeling incapable of insincerity.
Immersed in what feels like unnatural stillness,
But this is the natural state of winter wilderness.
Snow-muffled sounds, all frozen in silence.
We come and go and in the end the silence triumphs.

Chorus (x2): I sort of cried at the top of Quandary.
We never found a route to the top of La Plata.
The false summit felt especially cruel on Mt. Yale.
Every peak a monument to Winter.
Track Name: King Marmot
1. Way up in the mountain peaks and passes,
There’s a kingly beast you must seek for access.
A creature of the most regal bearing
Unfazed by the cheering and the people staring.
I speak not of the bighorn sheep,
Nor the mountain goat on the cliff face steep,
Nor the mountain lion, or as some say, cougar.
They all pay homage to the mountain’s true ruler.
Verily, I speak of King Marmot, arise,
Give tribute with a snack from your supplies.
A chunk of human food, chocolate or a Clif bar.
Without his blessing, you will not get far.
He resides among the boulders and scree on the talus.
Doesn’t need a scepter, a crown, or a chalice,
Or a huge jeweled sword to inspire your awe.
He rules with a firm but benevolent paw.

Chorus: Hail, King Marmot! Monarch of the Heights.
We humbly beseech thee in thy great might,
Grant us safe passage and we shall be ever in thy debt.
Hail, King Marmot, well met! (x2)

2. Though you don’t see him, King Marmot sees you
From behind cracks in the rocks that he peeks through,
Or indirectly through his subjects’ eyes,
Informed by the lowly pika’s shrill cries.
When the time’s right, he steps from his throne
And appears near the path to make himself known.
Robed in brown fur with a gaze sage and wise.
Exudes authority without authoritative size.
Though small in stature and kind of portly,
He projects a demeanor both refined and courtly.
Dines well on the alpine meadow’s bounty.
When winter comes howling, he’s sleeping soundly.
When spring returns, then he resumes his reign,
And we humans come trooping through his domain.
If you encounter King Marmot while traversing his lands,
A full-throated, hearty hail’s all he demands.

Chorus: Hail, King Marmot! Monarch of the Heights.
We humbly beseech thee in thy great might,
Grant us safe passage and we shall be ever in thy debt.
Hail, King Marmot, well met! (x2)

Bridge: In Siyeh Pass we made an embarrassing error:
We fled from King Marmot in abject terror.
We foolishly mistook him for a wolverine.
We scrambled and screamed, a disgraceful scene.
He paid us no heed, indeed, there was no need.
He walked to a precarious outcrop at a slow speed.
The valley below him, in a tone fierce and wistful,
Released a majestic and piercing whistle.

Chorus: Hail, King Marmot! Monarch of the Heights.
We humbly beseech thee in thy great might.
Grant us safe passage and we shall be ever in thy debt.
Hail, King Marmot, well met! (x2)
Track Name: Ranger Amanda
Ranger Amanda

1. First heard the name getting back country permits,
And further assurance that conditions would be perfect
For an overnight stay up on Sehale,
Right on the glacier, icy and rocky.
The Rangers said, “Amanda’s up there.” A tip
In case anything went wrong on the trip.
So we joked about her that day and the next,
Didn’t give much thought about what to expect.
I guess I would’ve guessed she was middle-aged, tough,
Rough, rugged, and coarse, and kind but gruff.
Weathered by life, time, and literal weather:
Sun, rain, wind, skin a bit like leather.
But almost to the campsite, we looked below
And saw a female ranger ascending the slope.
Friendly, young, and pretty, we learned she was Amanda because
We asked her if she was and she was.

Chorus: Ranger Amanda, she made a good first impression.
Realistically, she’ll never make a second.
To her, I’m sure, we were just another group of hikers,
But based on what little I know, I, I like her.

2. She hiked the final stretch to the glacier so fast in comparison
To us our pace was embarrassing.
She gave the credit to the lightness of her pack, too gracious.
She was just in better shape than us.
Five guys surprised, standing by the tent shivering.
This was not the Ranger Amanda that we were picturing.
Hard to be for sure with her hat and her black shades,
But she might’ve been the cutest in the North Cascades.
We offered to show the permit but she told us not to worry,
‘Cause she wasn’t suspicious and she wasn’t in a hurry.
She’d heard of class 4 route to the summit,
But she said she was a “scaredy-cat” and so she’d never done it.
And she told us not to urinate close to our tents,
‘Cause the mountain goats’d come and lick wherever we went.
And that was it, the complete interaction, the end.
She’ll never hear this, I’ll never see her again.

Chorus: Ranger Amanda, she made a good first impression,
Realistically, she’ll never make a second.
To her, I’m sure, we were just another group of hikers,
But based on what little I know, I, I like her.

3. I wasn’t smitten, it wasn’t love, just a mild crush,
That developed two miles up, and that’s enough
For me. Just a pleasant memory of a cool young lady
Who I couldn’t pick out of a crowd if you made me.
Tired, awe-inspired, feeling opener than usual,
So maybe it was just context that made her beautiful.
But I would rather not know if we were wrong,
So if you know her and she’s not that great, just play along.

Chorus: Ranger Amanda, she made a good first impression,
Realistically, she’ll never make a second.
To her, I’m sure, we were just another group of hikers,
But based on what little I know, I, I like her.
Track Name: DeLange in the West
1. Raised middle class in the middle of the Midwest.
First third of the Lord’s Prayer on his slim chest.
The flag and eagle on his arm might mean more
If migraines hadn’t kept him out of the Marine Corps.
Take him to the Westwest, watch him adapt
To conditions outside of his natural habitat.
Makes himself at home, no apprehension,
‘Cause he already conquered Red Dead Redemption.
Already in possession of the world’s worst farmer’s tan.
Already nodding off before we even start the van.
So intent on being able to recline
That when we piled all the filthy gear on him he said he didn’t mind.
Only wakes up now and then to identify
The road bikes of cyclists we drive by
Or to tell us all a story of a youthful indiscretion.
Doesn’t take the wheel, doesn’t give any directions.

Chorus: Delange in the West, for better or worse,
Might be in the West, but he’s still DeLange first.
DeLange in the West, far from home,
He’s in the West, but he’s still DeLange to the bone.

2. A blue bandana and a bared midriff,
Looking for a rock to roll over a cliff,
Or to two-hand spike into a pool of muck.
Chuckling, starts searching for another to chuck.
Stiff posture, weak smile, he knows how it goes,
He’s the all-time champ of the senior picture pose.
It’s no big deal for the former homecoming king
Just beneath the surface eager for another summoning.
Visiting the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame:
He got a discount from the girl but not a number or a name.
In Panguitch, Utah in the C-Stop window he was formally presented,
But the girls didn’t get it.
In a gas station parking lot in Big Springs,
We never could have guessed how tenaciously he’d cling
To the van seat so we couldn’t drag him back inside
To ask the girl working the counter to be his bride.

Chorus: DeLange in the West, look at him go.
In the West, but still the DeLange we all know.
DeLange in the West, DeLangein’ it up.
With a DeLangeness too robust to corrupt.

3. He’d be better off lying
About the a.m. event in the tent in Zion.
And just ‘cause there’s a place where angels land
Doesn’t mean that’s a place where DeLange’ll stand.
Only feats of athleticism merit high-fives from DeLange,
Otherwise, he’s gonna leave you to hang.
He might deign to grant you one of the reluctant sort
If he decides on a whim that your hike counts as sport.
Beartooth: cheap whiskey in a bottle of plastic.
Bad tactic, should’ve bought a better brand and flasked it.
That awful “many moons” joke still has him laughing.
Talking “transcendent beauty of redheads” with passion.
Insists “whodey” is a noun whatever you say.
In a new place, no use for a new way.
Nothing out of character, he is what he’s been.
Wherever he goes, you know he’s right there with him.

Chorus: Delange in the West, he’s not gonna change.
The West does its best and DeLange remains.
DeLange in the West, always the same.
The West is the West and DeLange’s DeLange.
Track Name: Coup Stick
1. Known in some circles as the Teton Sioux,
But they called themselves “Lakota” so I guess I will too.
Sioux is an Ojibwa word meaning “enemy” or “little snake,”
And I would hate to cause any offense by mistake.
“Lakota” means “ally,” the first letter is flexible,
Lakota , Dakota, Nakota: all acceptable.
Fierce warriors and buffalo hunters by all accounts.
Comprised of seven sub-tribes that I can’t pronounce.
I found the English translations online, listen,
I’m gonna abandon the rhyme scheme while I list them.
“Dust Scatterers,” “Burnt Thighs,” “Two Kettle,” “Black Feet,”
“Without Bows,” “End of the Circle,” “Planters Beside the Stream.”
Constant conflict with opposing forces
Drove the Lakota west on the backs of horses
Brought across the Atlantic by explorers from Spain.
Mounted up, the Lakota soon ruled the high plains.

Chorus: An eagle feather for the brave
Who touched a living enemy and returned unscathed.
The enemy lashed out but the brave was too quick.
Renown for his prowess and a notch for the coup stick.
Stole a horse and weapon, touched the first fallen foe.
Assiniboine, Chippewa, Kiowa, Crow:
Conquered and scattered to the wind by the hated Sioux.
Victorious Lakota warriors counting coup.

2. The Lakota took the Black Hills from the Cheyenne.
They weren’t about to turn around and give them up to the white man.
Not even Lewis and Clark got a free pass.
Almost had to fight but the Lakota let them creep past.
Harassing travelers out on the Oregon Trail.
When you oppose supposed destiny, you’re destined to fail.
“As long as the river flows and the eagle flies,”
The Fort Laramie Treaties were all bald-faced lies.
‘Cause it turned out Lakota land had gold under it.
War broke out with the United States government.
Clearly General Custer must’ve underestimated them.
Surely would’ve waited if he’d known what awaited him.
Less like a war and more alternating massacres.
They called the Lakota savages, but who was savager?
Probably a tie, but the Lakota had the better war cry:
“Today is a good day to die.”

Chorus: An eagle feather for the brave
Who touched a living enemy and returned unscathed.
The enemy lashed out but the brave was too quick.
Renown for his prowess and a notch for the coup stick.
Stole a horse and weapon, touched the first fallen foe.
Assiniboine, Chippewa, Kiowa, Crow:
Conquered and scattered to the wind by the hated Sioux.
Victorious Lakota warriors counting coup.

Bridge: Eddie Plenty Holes, Man Afraid of his Horses, Man That Walks Under the Ground, Bad Left Hand, Pretty Coon, Bear That Looks Behind, Cold Place, Ghost Heart, Whirlwind Dog, Big Mouth, The Elk that Bellows Walking, Rotten Stomach, Knock-knee, Black White, The One Who Remembers the Bear, Wolf Necklace, The Man who Bleeds from the Mouth, The One that Rattles as He Walks, The One who Took the Stick, The One that has Neither Horn.

Chorus: An eagle feather for the brave
Who touched a living enemy and returned unscathed.
The enemy lashed out but the brave was too quick.
Renown for his prowess and a notch for the coup stick.
Stole a horse and weapon, touched the first fallen foe.
Assiniboine, Chippewa, Kiowa, Crow:
Conquered and scattered to the wind by the hated Sioux.
Victorious Lakota warriors counting coup.
Track Name: Filthm'n
Chorus: One glance and you know my name’s “mud.”
It’s not gym sweat, yard dirt, or fake blood.
Each new day adds a layer of grime.
We wash the West off one day at a time. (x2)

1. (The Mispronouncer): I packed three shirts for 10 days in the wild,
Wore one, put it back, now they’re all defiled.
Like rot smell flowing out the mouth of a grave,
The odor rolls from my pack in palpable wave.
A stench and a cloud of fine filth precede us.
Red desert filth made a wreck of my red Adidas.
Nose burns, eyes water, stuck in the same van
With Baby and his inadvertent bear-mace sprayed hand.
Bug repellant, dirt, dried sweat, sunblock.
I’ll never get these poor pores unclogged.
There are days when I may display some bad taste,
But I swear this is filth, I would never wear black face.
Motel shower: scrubbing filth-caked skin.
You almost need sandpaper when the filth’s baked in.
Watching all that filth swirl down the drain
Makes me wonder if there’s anymore ground to gain.

Chorus: It’s the filth, dirt, dust, mud
That puts that lovely rush in my blood.
It’s the silt, sleaze, muck, grime
That lets me know I didn’t waste my time. (x2)

Chorus: One glance and you know my name’s “mud.”
It’s not gym sweat, yard dirt, or fake blood.
Each new day adds a layer of grime.
We wash the West off one day at a time. (x2)

2. (Dutch): We get filthy in the realest way possible.
Sweat filth outta every filthy follicle.
Filth from the inside, filth on the out.
Two paths diverge? I’ll take the filthier route.
Through Buckskin, tucked in the canyon, cleanly.
Quicksand sinks toes, feet, ankles gently.
Next thing we know we’re waist-deep in muck.
Getting going in the moment that we’re knowing that we’re stuck.
Day one: we smell like promise and hope.
Day two begins, any soap left? Nope!
Day three comes; we’re more stink than men.
Day four: wake up, start stinking again.
I’m primordial, Vine Man, troglodyte.
Still covered in glop, my smile shines bright
Like a swamp thing, a cesspool walking.
Emerge from the mire, filth as my attire.

Chorus: It’s the filth, dirt, dust, mud
That puts that lovely rush in my blood
It’s the silt, sleaze, muck, grime
That lets me know I didn’t waste my time. (x2)

Chorus: One glance and you know my name’s “mud.”
It’s not gym sweat, yard dirt, or fake blood.
Each new day adds a layer of grime.
We wash the West off one day at a time. (x2)

3. (Dutch): I’ll come clean: I love leaving dirty, a mess.
Undress, take a sink shower, redress
Rise up from the sludge as unwashed masses
Deformed lumps, the sludge can’t harass us.
Raise a glass to the past but don’t catch a whiff.
Good think memories ain’t scratch and sniff.
Living life to the filthiest, no regrets.
There is no blessing without the mess.

(The Mispronouncer): All around the campfire, dust and ash
Cling to my sparse beard and my pathetic mustache.
In the van: food wrappers, shoes propped up
On loose refuse and used huge pop cups.
Even when I feel clean and look clean in the mirror,
The filth’s still with me, my only souvenir.
Covered in filth I feel nearer the Divine.
The blessing and the mess are inextricably intertwined.

Chorus:
It’s the filth, dirt, dust, mud
That puts that lovely rush in my blood
It’s the silt, sleaze, muck, grime
That lets me know I didn’t waste my time. (x2)

One glance and you know my name’s “mud.”
It’s not gym sweat, yard dirt, or fake blood.
Each new day adds a layer of grime.
We wash the West off one day at a time. (x2)
Track Name: The Miswhelmed
1. You spent that money, drove all those miles.
Finally arrived, didn’t seem worthwhile.
You’ve read some nature poems dripping with ecstatic metaphor.
Maybe that’s why you say you just expected more.
You don’t hate it. You’re not saying it’s not pretty.
But it seems like everyone’s offended ‘cause you’re not giddy.
When you compare your mental image of the Grand Canyon
To the real one, the real one’s like a cheap stand-in.
You start thinking maybe it really is a tragedy
You’re not appropriately awed at purple mountains majesties.
Apologetic, frustrated, trying to explain.
Less concerned that you weren’t blown away by the fruited plains.
Gazing at the scenery with a pained expression,
Your mind keeps wandering in mundane directions.
You thought The West would sweep you up, gripping your imagination,
But it hasn’t happened yet and you’re getting impatient.

Chorus: You thought the mountains would be bigger, the canyons would be deeper.
Thought the entry fees, concessions, and the t-shirts would be cheaper.
How you supposed it would occur there’s no telling,
But you thought you’d find the essence of the West overwhelming.
But you didn’t. It just didn’t do it for you.
But you didn’t. It just didn’t do it for you.
But you didn’t. It just didn’t do it for you.
No one’s fault, just not that impressed with the West.

2. You think each new waterfall looks like the last one.
How do these people keep mustering the passion
To ooh and aah, exclaiming over every single view?
You nod your head acknowledging that yeah, you see it too.
You wonder how long you’ve got to look before you’ve seen it.
You could take another picture, sure, but you’re thinking, do you need it?
One more digital image of a distant dot.
Tell your friends you think there’s an elk in this shot.
No hiking, no climbing, barely leave the vehicle.
The view through the windshield is just as meaningful.
Meander through the visitors center reading the plaques:
Weather patterns, tundra types, species, and habitats.
If you’re not feeling it, you’re not gonna fake it.
You hate being a hater but figure Nature can take it.
It was here before you, it’ll persist long after,
So your miniscule opinion will forever not matter.

Chorus (x2): You thought the mountains would be bigger, the canyons would be deeper.
Thought the entry fees, concessions, and the t-shirts would be cheaper.
How you supposed it would occur there’s no telling,
But you thought you’d find the essence of the West overwhelming.
But you didn’t. It just didn’t do it for you.
But you didn’t. It just didn’t do it for you.
But you didn’t. It just didn’t do it for you.
No one’s fault, just not that impressed with the West.

3. You feel guilty because you feel bored
Standing with a group of gawkers watching eagles soar.
You can understand why some people like it,
But you thought that the West would be more enthralling.
The night time is quiet and dark: a true statement.
Not trying to be funny, but so is your basement.
You can understand why some people like it,
But you thought that the West would be more thrilling.
If the Land has something profound to impart,
Then it should do it already, you’ve waited days for it to start.
You can understand why some people like it,
But you thought that the West would be more inspiring.
The West doesn’t need you, doesn’t want your validation,
Never volunteered to be the site of your dream vacation.
You can understand why some people like it,
But you thought that the West would be overwhelming.
Track Name: The Tale of the Tale of Calvin the Calf
1. Outside of Buckskin Gulch, 2009.
Giant-sized tent, all six of us fit fine.
Just past sundown, getting up early.
Gotta sleep eventually but none of us are in a hurry.
So the stories start up, taking turns entertaining.
If it’s worth telling, it’s worth exaggerating.
All the old classics told in full detail.
Rapt, we laugh our satisfaction with each tale.
Then I say to the Saint, “I’ve got a request.
If we’re gonna tell stories, then we gotta hear the best.”
“Which one do you mean?” he asks, and I grin.
“I’ve gotta hear Calvin the Calf again.”
A pregnant pause while the Saint gets a feel
For his audience’s energy, mustering the necessary zeal.
He begins, none of us realize,
That what’s about to happen’s gonna change our lives.

Chorus: Calvin the Calf, Calvin the Calf.
Tell us the tale of Calvin the Calf.
Let’s shatter the calm of this cool desert night
And laugh like we’ve never laughed before.
Calvin the Calf, Calvin the Calf.
Tell us the tale of Calvin the Calf.
Let’s shatter the calm of this cool desert night
And laugh like we’re never gonna laugh again.

2. Within mere seconds, the Saint finds his stride.
In peak form, we are just along for the ride.
His personal slang, his primal style.
The tale is amazing, but the telling is vital.
Speaking in his cultivated trademark slur.
A blur of words obscure and absurd,
Barked and garbled. Debilitating laughter
That builds and builds and builds chapter by chapter.
Now we’re all losing it, shrieking, howling.
At the mercy of a long-dead calf named Calvin.
We’re laughing so hard we might puke or black out,
Gasping for air and thrashing about.
The laughter feeds on itself and becomes a mutant,
Not resembling anything human.
The Saint croaks two words, pandemonium reigns.
All is delirium, all is sweet pain.

Chorus: Calvin the Calf, Calvin the Calf.
Tell us the tale of Calvin the Calf.
Let’s shatter the calm of this cool desert night
And laugh like we’ve never laughed before.
Calvin the Calf, Calvin the Calf.
Tell us the tale of Calvin the Calf.
Let’s shatter the calm of this cool desert night
And laugh like we’re never gonna laugh again.

Bridge: When you already know that you’ve laughed
The hardest that you’re ever gonna laugh in your whole life,
How do you respond? How do you move on?
How do you respond? How do you move on?
When you know no other story will ever come close
‘cause you will never match the combination of conditions,
What do you do next? After all, what’s left?
What do you do next? After all, what’s left?

Chorus: Calvin the Calf, Calvin the Calf.
Tell us the tale of Calvin the Calf.
Let’s shatter the calm of this cool desert night
And laugh like we’ve never laughed before.
Calvin the Calf, Calvin the Calf.
Tell us the tale of Calvin the Calf.
Let’s shatter the calm of this cool desert night
And laugh like we’re never gonna laugh again.
Track Name: Long Arm
1. Lawman. Badge shaped like a star
Pinned to the breast of his blue flannel shirt.
He keeps meaning to polish it,
Like certain kinds of people’ll be more likely to acknowledge it.
He’s probably wrong, but there are some beliefs,
A man in his line of work needs to keep.
Like authority still holds some weight around
The blood-soaked streets and alleys of his town.
Smoking in his office,
Next door to a carpenter staying busy building coffins.
The lawman’s offended by the briskness of business,
By the fact that bullets fill them more than accidents and sickness.
Never wears a mask, mystique is for the prostitutes.
Law, man, horse, gun, no need to convolute.
Never hesitates to use force, no remorse.
The strength of the Law’s long arm is its length.

Chorus: The Long Arm of the Law doesn’t shake hands,
Doesn’t wanna shake hands, doesn’t shake hands.
Gropes in the dark. Fumbles in the unknown.
The Long Arm’s long but it’s blind and alone.
The Long Arm of the Law doesn’t shake hands,
Doesn’t wanna shake hands, doesn’t shake hands.
When the time comes it’ll curl to a fist
And strike. He prays it won’t miss.

Bridge: The Long Arm of the Law, rigid, inflexible.
Gawkers all flock to the Law for the spectacle.
It’s a pick-his-teeth-and-relax-on-the-porch night
‘Til the lynch mob heads for the jail by torchlight.
Ad in the paper: “Desperately seeking deputy.”
Never found one with a lick of integrity.
Deputized a few dogs as a joke that he didn’t share.
He’s finished looking for a reinforcement that isn’t there.

2. Lawman. Leather holster hanging
On his leather belt with a revolver inside.
He keeps meaning to oil it,
Worried that the constant wear and tear is gonna spoil it.
Nightmares about it jamming
Every morning takes it apart to examine.
Good thing he never took a wife, she would be a nervous wreck,
Gunplay seems to be the only way to earn respect.
Wanted posters posted in the post office, he’s replacing them
Whenever someone tears them down or defaces them.
Outlaws stroll into the old saloon, brazen.
Only pick a fight with him when they’re tired of evasion.
The length of the Law’s long arm has limits.
It can only reach to a finite distance.
It’ll grasp only the wind for forever
If the outlaws ever figure out how to measure.

Chorus: The Long Arm of the Law doesn’t shake hands,
Doesn’t wanna shake hands, doesn’t shake hands.
Gropes in the dark. Fumbles in the unknown.
The Long Arm’s long but it’s blind and alone.
The Long Arm of the Law doesn’t shake hands,
Doesn’t wanna shake hands, doesn’t shake hands.
When the time comes it’ll curl to a fist
And strike. He prays it won’t miss.

3. Lawman. A man of the Law
Chosen to be Its Long Arm made flesh.
He keeps meaning to retire,
But these trigger-happy dimwits won’t cease fire
Long enough for the Lawman to take two breaths.
Can’t recall not being used to death.
Long Arm of the Law, how long exactly?
“Long enough. Who’s asking?”
Track Name: I'm an Old Cowhand
1. I’m an old cowhand from the Rio Grande,
But my legs ain’t bowed and my cheeks ain’t tan.
I’m a cowboy who never saw a cow.
Never roped a steer ‘cause I don’t know how.
Sure ain’t a fixin’ to start in now.
Yippee yi yo ki-yay.
Yippee yi yo ki-yay.

2. I’m an old cowhand from the Rio Grande,
And I learned to ride, ‘fore I learned to stand.
I’m a riding fool who is up to date.
I know every trail in the Lone Star State
‘Cause I ride the range in a Ford V8.
Yippee yi yo ki-yay.
Yippee yi yo ki-yay.

3. I’m an old cowhand from the Rio Grande
And I come to town just to hear the band.
I know all the songs that the cowboys know
‘Bout the big corral where the dogies go.
I learned them all on the radio.
Yippee yi yo ki-yay.
Yippee yi yo ki-yay.

Bridge: More than a bit untrue to my roots.
Tender feet shod in shiny new boots.
Pearl-snap shirts, you can buy ‘em online
Or at thrift stores like where I got mine.
Look, a tumbleweed! That’s a photo op!
Through the saloon door, order soda pop.
And I’m all tangled in my own lasso.
Too afraid of cancer to chew tobacco.
Late for the gold rush, not even a penny in the pan.
Driving off road in a minivan.
On horseback on a guided tour,
I can’t get used to the volume of manure.
Poker game: apparel in peril,
I leave that table wearin’ a barrel.
More secure with a fence around me.
So fence me in, I could use the boundaries.
Smell of the branded flesh of cattle:
It makes me all woozy in the saddle.
The meaning of the smoke signal’s clear:
“We’ve got a fire going over here.”
No gun, it’d be me coming to harm
If I did anything anything but unarmed.
The West is rough on the dude, the greenhorn.
Those that I see, if any, I’ll warn.

4. I’m an old cowhand from the Rio Grande
Oh where the west is wild all around the borderland.
Where the buffalo roam around the zoo
And the injuns run up a rug or two
And the old Bar X is just a barbecue.
Yippee yi yo ki-yay.
Yippee yi yo ki-yay.


5. I’m a pioneer who began from scratch.
I don’t bat an eye in a shooting match.
They don’t call me “Elmer” they call me “Satch.”
Yippee yi yo ki-yay.
Yippee yi yo ki-yay.
Yippee yi yo ki-yay.
Yippee yi yo ki-yay.
Track Name: Crowbait
1. White-hot white sand sun-bleached cow skull.
Water: you’d commit manslaughter for a mouthful.
No sweat left, dizzy, dying of thirst.
The sun’ll suck you dry if it doesn’t fry you first.
Trudge, stumble, fall to your hands and knees, crawl.
No one knows you’re still alive but the vultures see it all.
If you stop to rest when you can’t move another inch,
Every so often just remember to twitch, twitch.
Skin scorched burnt to a crisp cracked crimson.
Black spots encroaching on the edges of your vision.
Try to stagger back to your feet and you swoon
And topple face first down the face of a steep dune.
Stung by a scorpion, venomous snakebite.
Hour after hour after of the merciless daylight.
Your desperate pursuit of relief is fruitless.
Not a cloud in the sky, just the blazing blueness.

Chorus: Greedy, black-eyed scavengers.
From far and wide they gather.
Each calling out to claim a piece
Of this impending feast.

2. Rode your horse ‘til it collapsed and with your last bullet shot it.
And then to keep from starving ate its flesh until it rotted.
Feels like years ago, you haven’t had a bite since.
The mere fact of your survival is an act of defiance.
Even if somebody’s looking for you, they will never find you.
The oven-blast wind blows your tracks away behind you.
Your clothes are shredded, tattered rags hanging from your gaunt frame.
Wild-eyed, trying in vain to recall your name.
But of course, all the things you want to forget stay.
Your long list of afflictions can’t drive them away.
The regrets, the mistakes that led you to this moment,
Grip your mind like a vice, is this your atonement?
Grit getting in your eyes, ears, mouth, nose, and open sores.
Trying to convince yourself there’s no rescue worth hoping for.
But for some reason, you keep yourself moving.
Death keeps offering his hand and you keep refusing.

Chorus: Greedy, black-eyed scavengers.
From far and wide they gather.
Each calling out to claim a piece
Of this impending feast.

3. Starting to hallucinate, you can’t trust your eyes.
Figures moving in the clouds of dust that you recognize.
Voices murmur, but what they are saying, you cannot hear.
Sparkling streams disappear when you draw near.
In a deep daze, fever-dreamlike, colors run.
With each breath, you wonder if you’ll muster another one.
You feel chills even though the heat doesn’t abate.
Your body’s shutting down, you’re surrendering to fate.
This is where it all ends, roll onto your side.
Dry-eyed, you lie waiting for the shaking to subside.
Eventually it does and then everything is calm.
A crow lands close by, pecks you in the palm.
Another follows suit, but this one is bolder.
It prods you in the neck while it perches on your shoulder.
The voices growing louder, you can almost comprehend.
The crows squawk and take off, the voices tell you, “This is not the end.”

Chorus: Greedy, black-eyed scavengers.
From far and wide they gather.
Each calling out to claim a piece
Of this impending feast.
Track Name: White Hat
1. Once Upon a Time in the West the Gunsmoke
Filled The Big Valley and choked the good folk
On the banks of Red River, and down in El Dorado,
Dodge City, Vera Cruz, and Rio Bravo.
If you were to Ride the High Country the bright moon
Made midnight look like High Noon.
And little boys prayed, “Lord, give me the talents
Of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.”
At the first glimpse of a headdress feather,
The Stagecoach drove Hell Bent for Leather.
And if The Searchers ever found The Desperados,
They’d Hang ‘Em High ‘til their eyes went hollow.
The Misfits came west looking for a new home.
Most of ‘em found one under a Tombstone.
Brave men too. At The Alamo they all died.
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, Rawhide!

Chorus: White hat, black hat, gray for revisionists.
White hat: Quick draw, capable of sentiments.
Black hat: Bad breath, toothless, ruthless.
Gray hat: Got no clue what The Truth is.
White hat: Good to the ladies, sober.
Black hat: Crass and crude, cheats at poker.
Gray hat: tangled in ethical predicaments.
White, black, gray hats, one for any temperament.

2. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: guns ready.
Three way standoff for a plate of spaghetti.
A Dead Man told the Pale Rider, “You need sun,”
A bunch more let The Wild Bunch near a machine gun.
If you were the kind to believe the propaganda,
You went to Paint Your Wagon and set out for the Bonanza
For A Fistful of Dollars or For a Few Dollars More,
Held up the 3:10 to Yuma, all aboard!
There were two kinds of Hombre: The Quick and the Dead
Except F Troop who were just lucky instead.
The Magnificent Seven chose to stand and defy.
They had True Grit just like Samurai.
We are all The Undefeated, while among the living,
But The Way West was littered with the bodies of the Unforgiven.
If you wanna know How the West was Won properly,
You gotta start with The Great Train Robbery.

Chorus: White hat, black hat, gray for revisionists.
White hat: Quick draw, capable of sentiments.
Black hat: Bad breath, toothless, ruthless.
Gray hat: Got no clue what The Truth is.
White hat: Good to the ladies, sober.
Black hat: Crass and crude, cheats at poker.
Gray hat: tangled in ethical predicaments.
White, black, gray hat, one for any temperament.

Bridge: Up stakes, wake snakes (x4).

3. Going out in a hail of bullets, Butch Cassidy
and The Sundance Kid doing it theatrically.
Jeremiah Johnson was the true Maverick.
The Lone Ranger was lonely but masked it.
Zorro did the same except he looked cooler.
Only fools called The Shootist a shooter.
McClintock!, Hondo, good names for males
Unlike The Outlaw Josey Wales.
The Wagon Train was too slow, Death Rides a Horse.
Meet him under The Big Sky, and die, of course.
One small spike in The Gunfighter’s morale,
You get The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
A harsh place for My Darling Clementine and her fellow women.
Nevertheless, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.
People ran to hide when The High Plains Drifter arrived,
No one knows if Shane survived.

Chorus: White hat, black hat, gray for revisionists.
White hat: Quick draw, capable of sentiments.
Black hat: Bad breath, toothless, ruthless.
Gray hat: Got no clue what The Truth is.
White hat: Good to the ladies, sober.
Black hat: Crass and crude, cheats at poker.
Gray hat: tangled in ethical predicaments.
White, black, gray hats, one for any temperament.
Track Name: Factory Butte
1. Southern Utah, 2006, Spring Break.
Dutch and I were 22 with some mistakes yet to make.
Running around in the desert, hiking and climbing.
Impulse doing the deciding.
Between Kanab and Caineville we took a detour.
Double-checked the map and both felt reassured
That the rough dirt road was a complete loop
All of the way around Factory Butte.
But the road was partially washed out, we didn’t know.
We took a wrong turn that seemed like the way to go.
Down a long slope, narrow, steep, wet mud slick.
Sliding, riding the brakes, fighting away from the cliff’s lip.
Safe at the bottom, elated ‘cause we did it.
But past the point of no return, now we were committed.
I kept jumping out to take pictures of the Jeep
As Dutch drove it over red rocks and through shallow creeks.
But the road kept splitting into tinier trails
That either petered out or just stopped without fail.
So we executed three-point turns and turned back
‘til we found a sound route that felt like the right track.
But we came across a boulder in our path and were forced
To swerve into a stream, a slight change of course.
The maneuver that proved to be the end of our pushed luck.
The wheels sunk deep into the soft sand and stuck.

Chorus: Factory Butte never gets any closer (x4).

2. A Sunday, 3pm, 50 degrees.
In the frigid flowing water falling to our knees
And digging with bare hands, the situation dire.
Trying to wedge flat rocks under the sunken tires.
Hopeless. We gave up and changed to dry clothes.
Food, water, extra layers (it gets cold when the light goes):
All into our packs, nothing left but to depart.
Sun already setting, too much of a head start.
We aimed for Caineville, spirits running high,
Energy and good humor both in ready supply.
But taking a direct route wasn’t possible.
Canyons, bluffs, and buttes: constant obstacles.
Kept doubling back , trying to get around
Until we realized we were just losing ground.
I remember standing broken on a canyon’s rim
In the day’s last light feeling deeply grim.
After full dark, hope all but lost,
Somehow Dutch managed to stumble across
His own footprints from earlier in the day
By a road we could follow all night to the highway.
No more wandering lost with no plan.
Just a heads down slog over gravel and sand.
Exhausted, we trudged on, dogged persistence
As Factory Butte loomed huge in the distance.

Chorus: Factory Butte never gets any closer (x4).

3. We stopped every half mile for a rest and a drink,
Which turned to what the Saint calls “fifteen minute blinks.”
Waking face down in the dirt road, torn from sleep
By the bitter wind goading us back onto our feet.
During one rest, collapsed on my back,
I looked up at the sky, propped up by my pack,
A granola bar in one hand, bland, half-eaten,
Chewing on the same bite well past reason.
There wasn’t much moon, if any, that I recall.
I watched the stars, waiting for one or more to fall.
That’s when I caught sight of a single point of light
Moving across the black sky from my left to my right.
At first I thought it was a plane. It was strange to imagine
People 30,000 feet above me in a pressurized cabin,
Reading magazines, reclining their seats
While I was sprawled out freezing in the desert beneath.
But it wasn’t a plane, it was moving too fast,
So I pointed it out to Dutch and I asked,
“Is that a satellite?” and when he looked the point of light
Started zipping around the sky like an insect in flight.
Tired as I was, I wasn’t sure it was true.
I asked, without looking away, if Dutch was seeing it too.
He said he was and we watched for a moment, both silent.
“We’re seeing a UFO,”I said. He didn’t deny it.

Bridge: I got to my feet and we stood side by side
Feeling what we saw went beyond “unidentified.”
It flew without a pattern or discernible intent,
We were too cold and tired to discuss what it meant.
So we just watched, it all felt dreamlike.
The Vast Unknown made the miles that we’d hiked seem slight.
How the UFO left, we still dispute.
We turned and walked on in the shadow of Factory Butte.

Chorus: Factory Butte never gets any closer (x8)
Track Name: Ill-Equipped
1. Those in the know list their credentials.
Burdened by their version of the bare essentials.
You can break the bank at outdoor outfitters
Or use what you’ve already got and not be a quitter.
If the going gets rough, I guess we’ll make do.
Somehow I doubt a third pair of socks’ll save you.
And if it rains, I guess I’ll get drenched,
And keep moving forward with my teeth clenched.
Not gonna waste time upset I forgot
A pile of supplies I might wish I’d brought.
I’d rather miss two things I lack,
Than can carry one thing I don’t need on my back.
I know what type of amateur I look like:
The type that woke up, got dressed, took a hike
In the wrong kind of shoes, wearing second-hand gear.
But even decked out experts must acknowledge that I’m here.
It just smacks of arrogance
When you conflate being well-equipped with preparedness.
Buying all the right gear way in advance
Like if you spend enough, you’re not taking a chance.
But the number of potential mishaps is infinite.
And what you can lug along is limited, isn’t it?
So the odds that what you’re carrying is gonna correspond
To whatever goes wrong have gotta be pretty long.
But if it makes you happier to dress the part,
Then I guess go for it, buddy, bless your heart.
Just don’t let it make you feel too secure.
Be resourceful. Learn to endure.
There’s always something coming you could never predict.
There’s always something coming for which you’re ill-equipped.
People on the trail are gonna look you up and down say, “Traveling light.”
Just smile and say, “That’s right.”

Outro: Happy trails to you until we meet again.
May whatever you don’t have not turn you back.
Happy trails to you until we meet again.
May whatever you do have come in handy (x4).