Thomas Anderson

singer, songwriter, rock 'n' roller

Bad Storm in the Oil Basin

by Thomas Anderson

from the album Ladies and Germs

I ain't seen the stars and ain't seen the sun,

The air is so heavy it's collapsing my lungs;

My darling, my sweetheart, if I don't return,

Give Junior this letter and help him to learn.

The sky turned yellow and the clouds turned green,

Lit up with lightning like you've never seen;

The company pulled out with the last of their trucks,

They waved and Boys you're shit out of luck.

Well son lemme tell you, you feel mighty low

When even the coyotes pack up and go,

You can have your ambitions and dream all your dreams,

But they never turn out the way that they seem.

It wasn't too bad for a boomtown at least,

They laid out the Main Street from west to the east;

A flophouse or two and a couple of stores,

Forty-eight bars and three hundred whores.

The boss in his Packard and the town's clean shirt,

His Roosevelt accent choked up with dirt;

He smiled and he bought the whole town a beer,

And said to his driver Let's get out of here.

Junior, I tell you it was something to see,

We piled up that gyp rock 'til midnight at least;

They worked us like mules and you just kept mum

If you lost an eye or a finger or thumb.

Dinky McFarland, the clown of the bunch,

Pouring black powder in everyone's lunch;

He howled 'til he choked and collapsed in the mud,

He died with a good laugh and coughing up blood.

When they cut back our pay the boys all got riled,

Up on the rig the foreman just smiled;

He was wavin' Old Glory and talkin' 'bout God,

We swelled up with pride and went back to our jobs.

Well it's a full life I've led, I'm sure you'll agree --

The wildcats and roughnecks, the last of our breed;

I'd send you my knife but it's rusted and bent,

I'd send you some money but it's all been spent.

Well the hailstones are pounding in the wind and the rain,

The twister's a-coming' as loud as a train;

It can tear me to pieces but my pride won't be hurt,

'Cause I'll give my life for this pile of dirt.