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The Grifter's Hymnal

Ask God

Written by Ray Wylie Hubbard
Snake Farm Publishing (SESAC)

When darkness swoop down on you, ask God for some light
When darkness swoop down on you, ask God for some light
When darkness swoop down on you, ask God for some light
Ask God for some light, when darkness swoop down on you

Ask God, ask God, ask God for some light
Ask God, ask God, ask God for some light
Ask God, ask God, ask God for some light
When darkness swoop down on you, ask God for some light

When some devil knock you down, ask God to pick you up
When some devil knock you down, ask God to pick you up
When some devil knock you down, ask God to pick you up
Ask God to pick you up, when some devil knock you down

Ask God, ask God, ask God to pick you up
Ask God, ask God, ask God to pick you up
Ask God, ask God, ask God to pick you up
When some devil knock you down, ask God to pick you up

When death comes a’ knocking, ask God to open the door
When death comes a’ knocking, ask God to open the door
When death comes a’ knocking, ask God to open the door
Ask god to open the door when death comes a’knocking

Ask God, ask God, as God to open the door
Ask God, ask God, as God to open the door
Ask God, ask God, as God to open the door
When death comes a knocking, ask God open the door
When death comes a knocking, ask God open the door
When death comes a knocking, ask God open the door

RWH: slide guitar
Audley Freed: mandolin, 12 string guitar
George Reiff: bass
Rick Richards: drums

Click here to listen to a sample and purchase a digital copy of Ask God

Click here to purchase the CD

Count My Blessings

Written by Ray Wylie Hubbard
Snake Farm Publishing (SESAC)

Mama gimme a nickel and a deck of cards
said  go on  and play in the back yard
walking down the alley come my uncle lonnie
said lemme teach ya about 3 card monty
take the ace of hearts and two black queens
flip’em over so they can’t be seen
spin’ em around four or five times
bet a nickel find the ace and win a dime
ten minutes later I had thirty five dollars
singing ain’t misbehavin’ by  the great Fats Waller

I believe I’m gonna count my blessings
I believe I’m gonna count my blessings

Now I saw a black crow on  a fence post
singing away like Sam Hopkins’ ghost
he sang when you see I ain’t breathin no more
nail my feathers to a old barn door
or drag my carcass out  behind the shed
just make sure  you’re  pretty sure I’m dead
ask a  Ouija board if  you can’t quite tell
or if I start  to stink like the floors in hell
go to Navasota after I’m done dying
it don’t do you no good sitting around crying

So I got me a pencil and a moleskin book
when I heard Bertha Franklin shot and killed Sam Cooke
wrote down December 11, 1964
ain’t gonna be twisting the night away no more
it took 15 minutes for the jury to decide
cause of death’s  justified homicide
Liza Boyer wasn’t called  by the prosecution
later on she’s arrested for prostitution
La hacienda motel had a busted down door
Sam’s wallet and his money was never accounted for

RWH: acoustic guitar
Audley Freed: electric guitar
Rick Richards: drums
George Reiff: bass

Click here to listen to a sample and purchase a digital copy of Count My Blessings

Click here to purchase the CD

Hen House

Written by Ray Wylie Hubbard-Snake Farm Publishing (SESAC) &
Matt King- KaDeLaNa Music (ASCAP/Eagle Land Publishing(ASCAP)

Tear a lying tongue out by its roots
feed it to the mice round the chicken coup
sister come a running to sound the alarm
there’s hell in the hen house and blood in the barn

Now a damn fox does what a damn fox does
sneaking and a stealing and looking for a buzz
and the rooster is a devil with talons and a comb
when the sun comes up he don’t crow, he moans

The fireworks stared on the fourth of July
place your bets on which one dies
the fox is killer, the fowl’s a maniac
they favor small faces to Fleetwood Mac

hey , hey
Mama better let that gravy simmer
Daddy gonna be a little late for dinner
feathers are flying all around the farm
there’s hell in the hen house and  blood in the barn

There’s a shed out back where grandpa’s been
he’s waitin for the south to rise again
don’t light a match if you go inside
smells like hadacol and formaldehyde

He’s been in this world for a pretty long time
says 2 nickels ain’t worth a dime
he’s slow as molasses, he’s wrinkled and mean
he don’t like Yankees or lima beans

Blackbird swiped him a pocket knife
he don’t care much for the neighbor’s wife
she called him a rube, a cracker and a menace
worst he ever was was a seventh day Adventist

He fell in cahoots with a rock and roll band
turned up drunk and tattooed in Japan
he couldn’t commit wholly to the devil’s side
his ink reads six six five point nine

Now back to the rooster and the damned old fox
one of em’s dead like a car on blocks
Grandpa’s a cussing and sister’s bout to cry
blackbird said he was baked in a pie

Yelling and a squawking and screaming and a bawling
the phone is ringing, preacher is a calling
can’t talk now there’s a ruckus at the gate
I guess salvation gonna have to wait

RWH: vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica
Billy Cassis: electric guitar
George Reiff: bass
Rick Richards: kick drum, snare, birdfeeder
Ian McLagen: piano

Click here to listen to a sample and purchase a digital copy of Hen House

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Mother Blues

Written by Ray Wylie Hubbard
Snake Farm Publishing (SESAC)
“Polk Salad Annie” reference used courtesy of Tony Joe White and EMI/Combine Music

 

When I was a young man about 21 years old y’all
All I wanted was a stripper girlfriend and a Gold Top Les Paul
Be careful of the things you wish for, you might get em

There was a night club in Dallas, called Mother Blues
It’s where Lightning Hopkins played and Freddy King even payed some dues
All the dealers, and gamblers and young white hipsters
They all made the scene
The girl at the door who checked ID’s was just 16

Aw, it was not a place for law biding citizens

Jackie Jones he had em a habit, he just couldn’t stop
Said give me 500 dollars and I’ll sell you my Les Paul God Top
I drove my daddy’s car down to Ross Avenue and I sold it
I guess I should have told him
He eluded to the police someone stole it

It was just the first of many bad decisions I was to make for the next 20 years
Oh but I had me a guitar

Everybody knows that the real nightlife begins after the clubs close
What they call after hours
It’s 2 am and everybody’s gone but the band, the dealers and Jack Jones
And then the girls from the landing strip club come over
After they put their clothes back on
So I’m at Ma Blues and I’m sitting on an amp, I’m playing Twist and Shout
And this tall drink of water walks in like she might have to shoot her way out
She come up to me and she said “You know anything good on that guitar?”
I didn’t say nothing, I just kept on playing
She said “Have you ever heard this song called  Polk Salad Annie?”
I just kept playing
She said “Every time I hear that song my insides feel like warm butter and I just wanna
take off my clothes and dance around in my underwear”
I said “Down in Louisiana, where the alligator grow so mean”
That’s all I knew of it and it was enough

So we hit it off me and this dancer
We hit it off like a metaphor
Like a metaphor for a hydrogen bomb
We was enriched uranium, super critical mass, we was a chain reaction
It was love and lust, aw mostly lust but a mutual attraction
So there I was boys at 21 years old, I had it all
I had a fine stripper girlfriend and a Gold Top Les Paul

Aw, the future, it looked promising
Oh but there were dark clouds on the horizon

She was a beautiful girl but she liked to drink Tequila and that ain’t all
I come home 4 or 5 times and she pawned my Les Paul
We broke up and she went to Hollywood, she married an actor
She got a job dancing on the Hudson Brothers T.V. show
And modern lipstick from Max Factor
I got over her, I’m glad she done alright, I’m glad she done alright
Oh ,yes I am

Well now me, I never busted through the gates into the big time
as a rock and roll star
For 40 years I just carried around an old Gold Top guitar
But love and fate are mysterious things in this funky old world
It was 20 years ago I ended up marrying that Mother Blues door girl
We had us a boy, he’s 18 years old now. He’s playing guitar
He ended up with that Les Paul Gold Top, yes he did
Now I don’t know if he’s gonna hang his life on it or not,
But I’m very grateful for the time I get to share the stage with him
I’m grateful for the time I get to play with musicians like
George Reiff and Rick Richards
I’m grateful that I get to write these old songs and travel around the world and play them for people
And they come out and hear me play
And the days that I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations
Well, I have really good days

RWH: vocals, acoustic guitar
Lucas Hubbard: lead guitar (Les Paul Gold Top)
George Reiff: bass
Rick Richards: kick drum, snare, tambourine, shakers

Click here to listen to a sample and purchase a digital copy of Mother Blues

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Coochy Coochy

Written by Richard Starkey
Startling Music, LTD (PRS)

aiting for you to come and see me
Waiting for you to come and see me
Where are you
My coochy, coochy, coochy, coochy, coo?

Come on to me and let me see you
Come on to me and let me see you
Where are you
My coochy, coochy, coochy, coochy, coo?

I’ve travelled all over
Seen ev’rything I wanted to see
Where are you,
My coochy, coochy, coochy, coochy, coo?

I’ve got ev’rything that I ever wanted
Done ev’rything I ever wanted to do
Where are you
My coochy, coochy, coochy, coochy, coo?

Oh, let me hear it!

RWH: vocals, national resonator, tambourine
Ringo Starr: vocals, guitar, shakers, cymbal, handclaps
Audley Freed: mandolin
Rick Richards: kick drum, tambourine, snare, handclaps
George Reiff: vocals, handclaps, bass

Click here to listen to a sample and purchase a digital copy of Coochy Coochy

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Train Yard

Written by Ray Wylie Hubbard- Snake Farm Publishing (SESAC) & Liz Foster-Dueling Poet’s Publishing (SESAC)

Kiss me on the mouth sweet gal
As if we was fixin’ to die
And I’ll follow you down
Till the Mississippi runs dry

There’s a room down at the train yard
The wall is gunmetal grey
The door ain’t never locked
Come sun down, let’s slip away

I’ll fetch us a blanket
You brink a box of crackerjacks
We’ll make a pallet on the floor
And lay a penny on the railroad tracks

When the train comes flyin’ past
The walls shake and the floorboard squeaks
You be sittin’on top of the world girl
Like the Mississippi Sheiks

Now if somebody ever asks you
If you got any
You just smile and lick your lips
And show em that old flat penny

RWH: electric slide guitar
Billy Cassis: electric rhythm guitar
George Reiff: bass
Rick Richards: drums

Click here to listen to a sample and purchase a digital copy of Train Yard

Click here to purchase the CD

Red Badge of Courage

Written by Ray Wylie Hubbard
Snake Farm Publishing (SESAC)

To err is human, to forgive is divine
To err is human, to forgive is divine
Ain’t either Marine Corps policy, neither’s crying

My hide’s been shot at under a middle eastern sun
My hide’s been shot at under a middle eastern sun
I got a red badge of courage, ain’t even 21

It’s my last tour of duty boys I’m going back to the USA
It’s my last tour of duty boys I’m going back to the USA
I’ll go down to VFW every Memorial day

What do I say to these ghosts that keep coming round again?
What do I say to these ghosts that keep coming round again?
We was just kids doing the dirty work for the failures of old men

RWH: vocals, slide guitar
Lucas Hubbard: electric lead
Rick Richards: kick drum, bandeer, wood bowl, shakers
George Reiff: bass

Click here to listen to a sample and puchase a digital copy of Red Badge of Courage

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Moss and Flowers

Written by Ray Wylie Hubbard -Snake Farm Publishing (SESAC)
& Charlie Shafter-Dog’s In Publishing (SESAC)

Daylight coming up so soon
mourn the loss of a quarter moon
blackbird bares his blood torn wings
no solace here for he will bring
a lonesome death on frost bit leaves
blessed moss and flowers for all who grieve

As winter pleads it’s fleeting end
at fall’s decay, returns again
the soul withdraws, the body stays
a stone shall lay upon the grave
a narrow cage without reprieve
blessed moss and flowers for all who grieve

Stand in good stead as grace receives
prayers for souls willing to believe
in thorns and nails between two thieves
blessed moss and flowers for all who grieve

Darkness burning up at last
redemption’s tears for misdeeds past
flesh betrayed anoint still eyes
no breath here for we will lie
in darken ground till heaven retrieves
blessed moss and flowers for all who grieve

RWH: vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica
Billy Cassis: acoustic guitar
George Reiff: bass, piano
Rick Richards: drums, tambourine, wood bow

Click here to listen to a sample and purchae a digital copy Moss and Flowers

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New Year’s Eve at the Gates of Hell

Written by Ray Wylie Hubbard
Snake Farm Publishing (SESAC)

It’s New Year’s Eve at the gates of hell
Give the Antichrist a cigarette and tell him
The boy’s here all the way from Oklahoma
Oh lord what the hell is that aroma?
It’s Jimmy Perkins and all the sonsabitches
Who ripped off musicians and stole their riches

They’re burning over yonder with the Fox News whores
Oh look is that the singer for The Doors
Nope, my mistake cause no matter what they did
Poets deserve to be in heaven and by the way, kid
Why am I here when I wasn’t that bad?
I just didn’t like churches but I never wore plaid

Now I know I’m funky and strip bar dirty
And I like a Les Paul through a Vox AC30
There’s something about a lipstick pickup
Plugged right into a Blond Tremolux
But I guess I deserve to be burned alive
Since I pawned by ’59 ES 335

And sure I drank a lot of gin and tonic
But I never threw away my Panasonic
I kept that turntable through my divorce
Playing Neil Young and Crazy Horse
Drunk out of my mind singing Tonight’s The Night
It was as lethal on vinyl as China White

Now maybe one time I used an Ouija board
And I never learned to make a B flat chord
So I got a double headed snake tattoo
I love Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu
And the action and the motion of a roulette wheel
And a woman walking away in a pair of high heels

Now once I drew an inside straight flush
And I wished I could sing like Otis Rush
The truth of the matter is I really can’t sing
But I can quote Martin Luther King
His words are stronger than angel dust is
“The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice”

Now back to New Year’s Eve at the Gates of Hell
It’s kind of like the Beverly Hills Hotel
Before you can get a table next to the fire
A sign says jacket and tie required
The devil is bad and God of course is good
But there’s one thing I never understood
God throws us down in hell for all our sins
Burning in a fire and it never ends
The decision is made at the highest level
Seems Got out sources his work to the devil
Like he’s an employee on the vice squad
Appears like the devil is working for God

I can’t believe I said that
I’m losing it
It’s New Year’s Eve at the gates of hell, Let’s party
Did I mention Jimmy Perkins was a lying son of a bitch?

RWH: vocals, slide guitar
Rick Richards: kick drum, bandeer
Audley Freed: electric guitar, acoustic 12 string
George Reiff: bass

Click here to listen to a sample andr purchase a digital copy of
New Years Eve at the Gates of Hell

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Lazarus

Written by Ray Wylie Hubbard
Snake Farm Publishing (SESAC)

So here we are now, guitars and drums
High and lowdown just some dharma bums
Gate mouth would tell you rehearsal’s overrated
Baptists will tell you it’s all predestinated

Between the devil and God
Between the first breath and last
Somewhere under heaven
With no future and a hell of a past
We in the mud and scum of things, moaning, crying, lying
At least we ain’t Lazarus and had to think twice about dying
At least we ain’t Lazarus and had to think twice about dying

So here we are now, still preceding grace
We ain’t easy to look at and keep a straight face
Inspired by Rimbaud, ain’t angelic
Influenced by the dead, just gets you psychedelic

So here we are now kinda like abandoned dogs
Wrapped up in Gunnysacks and singing cast iron songs
We’re weird old America
We’re grinning with sharp teeth
We’re beautiful on the surface and rotten underneath

RWH: vocals, acoustic guitar
Billy Cassis: acoustic slide guitar
Rick Richards: drums with bird feeder, hand clap

Click here to listen to a sample and purchase a digital copy of Lazarus

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South of the River

Written by Ray Wylie Hubbard
Snake Farm Publishing (SESAC)

Wake that thing up and put some clothes around it
You lost your prescription, I found it
You need some good rocking, nothing painful
Like my friends, The Heathens and Black Angels

It’s a good night for rocking, south of the river
It’s a good night for rocking with a band that delivers
It’s a good night for rocking, deep in the south
It s a good night for rocking, putting something in your mouth

Aw, child you shoulda heard the James Gang rides again
It was like shootin’ salvation and funk into your soul back then
There’s some homicidal bands that still rock like that
They’ll cut your throat with bass, drums, Les Pauls and Strats

Wake that thing up and make sure it’s bleeding
The tubes are warmed up and I got what you’re needing
Now there’s some risk seeing we dress like thieves
We are among the righteous, the ones who believe

RWH: vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica
Rick Richards: drums, tambourine
Brad Rice: electric guitar, bass
Ian McLagan: piano

Click here to listen to a sample and purchase a digital copy of South of the River

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Coricidin Bottle

Written by Ray Wylie Hubbard
Snake Farm Publishing (SESAC)

Said my prayers to the old black gods
Tied a string around some chicken bones
Set ‘em on fire and crossed my heart
Tuned up the Kay and the Silvertone
Rubbed my hands cross the Tolex scars
Took the laces out of my tennis shoes
Oh I can live with a 60 cycle hum
Is anybody here got a 50 watt fuse
Layed down a groove like a monkey gettin off
Stompin on the kick, pounding on the tom
If you ever get to heaven say whew thank you
If you ever get scared say the 23rd psalm
I got a coricidin bottle that I use as slide
And a woman sweet as a tootsie roll
When she kissing and licking and cussing and a grindin’
Shakes the mortal coil round my amaranthine soul

RWH: vocals, acoustic guitar
Lucas Hubbard: electric guitar
Rick Richards: kick drum, bandeer, shammy, floor tom
George Reiff: percussion

Click Here to listen to a sample and purchase a digital copy of Coricidin Bottle

Click here to purchase the CD

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