Secret to a Long Life

Billy Barlow was a poor boy
That’s (F) why he robbed the Union (C) Grove Bank (G)
He was a sweet talking ladies man
(F) That’s what he’d have ladies (C) all to think (G)

The (F) secret to a long life
Is knowing (C) when it’s time to go (G)
The secret to a long life
Is knowing when it’s time to go

So when the posse came riding
(F) Billy went (C) hiding down south (G)
Holed up in a shack with Maria
With the black (F) hair and the ruby (C) red mouth (G)

So when this news reached her lover
(F) Billy ran for cover (C), don’t you know (G)
And when the bullets started ringing
(F) Billy started singing (C) “Time to go….” (G)

Billy headed north where the
Sands (F) of the Badlands (C) blow (G)
But in his dreams he’s south
He’s still (F) kissing that ruby (C) red mouth (G)

Texas Campfire Tapes (Cooking Vinyl 1987) / Texas Campfire Takes (Mighty Sound 2003)
Arkansas Traveler (Mercury 1992) / Arkansas Traveler (Mighty Sound 2004)

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There was no place whatsoever for a woman in the life and the world that Jack Kerouac described. And women were not going to be invited into it. So it’s sort of like crashing the party. I know I’m here unwelcome and I’m going to rewrite this history so I can be a part of it.