Bus to Shreveport

from by Kevin Gordon

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Bus to Shreveport
© Kevin Gordon(Little Rain Music/BMI)

I rode the bus to Shreveport
When I was 12 years old
My uncle Randy and his friend Hank
Were going to the ZZ Top show
Hirsch coliseum, man I couldn’t wait
The worst sounding arena
In the whole United States
I was riding in the backseat
We were in Randy’s Pinto
Goin down Hearne Avenue
We made a brief stop at a liquor store
They asked me what do you want—
Well, I’d never drunk before
So they brought me a bottle of yellow wine
I just stared at it on the floorboard

Parked at the fairgrounds
People were drinking, getting high
I lifted up that old blue nun
And tasted all she had to tell me
Ticket stub in my pocket
We got in before the lights went down
Already there were rednecks and hippies
Passed out on the ground
And the little band from Texas
Played it loud and like they should
Stranger sitting next to me
Smoking something smelling good
He held it out for me to take
Like a dare—I didn’t know
If I should, if I could, so I just said no

We stopped for a burger on the way back home
A McDonald’s packed with late night refugees
Drunk and stoned
Laughing over a big Mac
Everything was funny to me
Outside I saw them waiting
For Hank, Randy, and me

Latino boys in black leather
All just standing there
Said Hank had broke in line
In front of one of theirs
One guy punched him in the face
Two others tried to pin him down
Hank turned and ran back inside
They followed him right behind
Jumped the counter knocking trays
Of food on to the floor
The crewcut manager dude
Just yelled “take it back out the door”

Hank ran back toward the car
But they caught him and held him over the hood
Under an oblivious starry sky
They were beating that boy but good
Randy tried to talk to them
With reason and common sense
It was about like a de-clawed cat
Trying to climb a razor-wire fence
Blood sprayed over the white hood
Hank was passing out
Randy pushed me back in the car, said
Don’t look up, don’t get out
He reached down under the seat,
Pulled a black pistol out the dark
Said “don’t you tell nobody,
Don’t you ever say a word”

Randy laid that .38
Across the roof of the car
Said “everybody better get back,
and let my man go”
I was crouched down on the floorboard,
Low as I could pray
Seen a empty beer can under the seat
And a book on the KKK

Don’t tell--whatcha done
Don’t tell--anyone
Don’t tell--

Don’t tell--whatcha done
Don’t tell--about the gun
Don’t tell

Don’t tell
For the last time, don’t tell


from Gloryland, released February 14, 2012



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Kevin Gordon Nashville, Tennessee

Kevin Gordon is a Louisiana native whose latest releases, Long Gone Time, & 2012's Gloryland, earned raves from the NY Times, Rolling Stone, NPR, and others. His songs have been recorded by Keith Richards, Levon Helm, Irma Thomas, & most recently, Hard Working Americans. "Down to the Well", a duet w/Lucinda Williams, was featured on the Oxford American Southern Music Sampler. ... more

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