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#SLS — Copperhead Road by Steve Earle

Jim Adams is the focused host of Song Lyric Sunday.  Jim says:
This week we have Birthday/Cake/Gift/Party/Surprise and I think that everyone should be able to find a song that uses one of these prompt words.
Here are the “rules”:

• Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not. If it does not fit, then please explain why you chose this song.
• Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
• Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
• Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
• Ping back to this post or place your link in the comments section below.
• Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
• Feel free to suggest future prompts.
• Have fun and enjoy the music.

steve_earle_young

Copperhead Road is the third studio album by Steve Earle, released in 1988. The album is often referred to as Earle’s first “rock record”; Earle himself calls it the world’s first blend of heavy metal and bluegrass, and the January 26, 1989 review of the album by Rolling Stone suggested that the style be called “power twang”.

The songs on side one of the album reflect Earle’s politics: the title track attacks the War on Drugs, and the song “Snake Oil” compares then president Ronald Reagan to a traveling con man and draws attention to his “legacy of creative deceit”. The title track and “Johnny Come Lately” (performed with The Pogues) both describe the experiences of returning veterans. The latter compares the experience of US servicemen fighting in World War II with those in the Vietnam War, and contrasts the differing receptions they received on returning home. “Back to the Wall” is about poverty, describing the life of the homeless in the US.

The title song “Copperhead Road” tells of a Vietnam War veteran, scion of a rural moonshine bootlegging clan, who returns home to Johnson County, Tennessee but decides instead to enter the marijuana business which is shown by the line, “I’ll take the seed from Colombia and Mexico”. Copperhead Road was an actual road near Mountain City, Tennessee although it has since been renamed as Copperhead Hollow Rd. due to theft of road signs bearing the song’s name. The song also inspired a popular line dance timed to the beat of the song and has been used as the theme music for the Discovery Channel reality series Moonshiners.

 

 

Well my name’s John Lee Pettimore
Same as my daddy and his daddy before
You hardly ever saw Grandaddy down here
He only come to town about twice a year

He’d buy a hundred pounds of yeast and some copper line
Everybody knew that he made moonshine
Now the revenue man wanted Grandaddy bad
He headed up the holler with everything he had
‘Fore my time but I’ve been told
He never come back from Copperhead Road

Now Daddy ran whiskey in a big block Dodge
Bought it at an auction at the Mason’s Lodge
Johnson County Sheriff painted on the side
Just shot a coat of primer then he looked inside

Well him and my uncle tore that engine down
I still remember that rumblin’ sound
When the Sheriff came around in the middle of the night
Heard mama cryin’, knew something wasn’t right
He was headed down to Knoxville with the weekly load
You could smell the whiskey burnin’ down Copperhead Road

I volunteered for the Army on my birthday
They draft the white trash first, ’round here anyway
I done two tours of duty in Vietnam
I came home with a brand new plan
I take the seed from Columbia and Mexico
I just plant it up the holler down Copperhead Road
And now the D.E.A.’s got a chopper in the air
I wake up screaming like I’m back over there
I learned a thing or two from Charlie don’t you know
You better stay away from Copperhead Road

Copperhead Road
Copperhead Road
Copperhead Road
Songwriters: Steve Earle

21 thoughts on “#SLS — Copperhead Road by Steve Earle

  1. Those pictures of a young Steve always gives me a giggle- doesn’t look a bit like the older Steve…. I haven’t been to a Steve concert where he hasn’t played “Copperhead Road” I don’t think the crowd would let that happen. Great song!

    Liked by 2 people

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