Thursday, June 18, 2009

Jason at Cigars Donuts and Coffee, this Bob's for you

Finally, I say finally, Bob Dylan has decided to immortalize Houston, Texas in song. And what better way to immortalize Houston than to show a little bit of respect to the boys (and girls) in blue?

I hit Starbucks this morning, as I occasionally do for a double tall latte, and lo and behold the CD at the checkout counter was Dylan's new one entitled "Together Through Life", which contains this most excellent new Dylan song:

If you ever go to Houston,
Submitted by sphinx

If you ever go to Houston, better walk right
Keep your hands in your pockets and your gun belt tight
You'll be asking for trouble if you’re looking for a fight
If you ever go to Houston, boy you better walk right

If you're ever down there on Bagby and Lamar
You better watch out for the man with the shining star
Better know where you're going or stay where you are
If you're ever down there on Bagby and Lamar

Well I know these streets, I’ve been here before
I nearly got killed here during the Mexican War
Something always keeps me coming back for more
I know these streets, I’ve been here before

If you ever go to Dallas, say hello to Mary Ann
Say I’m still pulling on the trigger, hanging on the best I can
If you see her sister Lucy, say I’m sorry I’m not there
Tell her other sister Betsy to pray the sinner's prayer

I got a restless fever burnin' in my brain
Got to keep right forward, can’t spoil the game
The same way I’ll leave here will be the way that I came
Got a restless fever burnin' in my brain

Mister policeman, can you help me find my gal?
Last time I saw her was at the Magnolia Motel
If you help me find her, you can be my pal
Mister policeman, can you help me find my gal?

If you ever go to Austin, Fort Worth or San Antone
Find the barrooms I got lost in and send my memories home
Put my tears in a bottle, screw the top on tight
If you ever go to Houston, boy you’d better walk right


This new Dylan Cd seems to evoke, for me at least, memories of playing the blues down in the Quarter in NOLA. Dylan has had so many stages that it would take months if not years of blogging to adequately cover them all. I like about 15% of the stuff Bob has done, but I'm liking the shit outta this new CD.

There's been other songs about Houston I liked, but I can only think of two right now. "Houston", by Dean Martin, of course, is the one everyone knows. But "HPD", by Rocky Hill, the less famous brother of Dusty Hill of ZZTOP, is one of my all time favorite Houston Poh-lice songs. I had shared some time and some music with Rocky in his later years, and despite some troubles in his life, I always liked him. Here's a short obit:

I can't seem to find the HPD lyrics online, so sometime later I'll dig out that CD from the eighties and post them
. I know that there have been other songs about Houston, including a recent one I have not heard (and am not likely to hear) by REM, and no offense to REM but I think it's gonna be hard to top these three songs about Houston.

When I was a kid growing up in Houston, sitting in Sharpstown watching Dean Martin sing "Houston" on TV, I was proud that there was a song about my city.


  1. I noticed that CD at starbucks and I took a look at it and saw the Houston song as well. I was wondering what it was like. Maybe I can write some songs about Houston;

    "My car broke down in the parking lot of gunspoint!
    Some bum walked up smoking a joint!
    Before I could turn around, nearby gunfire forced me to the ground!
    All around me, people running past!
    As I got up I felt the bullet go into my ass!"

  2. Your song is funnier than you know, Jason. I recently had a case, although not from Gunspoint, where the druggie got shot in the glut by his homies as they tried to rob him. Bullet richocheted off of his pelvis and went into the liver.

    As you know, if that had been a cop or an innocent civilian, they probably woulda died from a liver slug. Not a turd though, it seems like they have nine lives sometimes.

    In fact, I think almost every community has a crook with the a/k/a of Nine Lives.