January 02, 2017

Copperhead Road

I've loved listening to music since I was a youngster. Rocking out has always been a part of my life. I especially enjoy songs that tell stories. Therefore, "Copperhead Road" is one of my all–time favorite songs. The whole journey is outlined in the first part of the song:

"Well my name's John Lee Pettimore Same as my daddy and his daddy before You hardly ever saw Grandaddy down here He only came 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 It's before my time but I've been told He never came back from Copperhead Road"
 I've often been amazed at the story telling aspect of the lyrics. You could sum up the first few lines as, "My name is John Lee Pettimore III and my family has a history of making moonshine. The IRS was after my grandfather, but that was way before I was born. My grandfather died in a tragic accident up at the cabin, located down Copperhead Road." The way Steve Earle wrote the lyrics, managed the words, and set the scene is pure wordsmithing. I mean we come to like the downtrodden, white trash protagonist of the song. We even root for him when he decides to try something a little different up in the holler.

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