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Burma Shave (Waits Tom)

A licorice tattoo turned a gun metal blue Scrawled across the shoulders of a dying town Took the one-eyed Jackson across the railroad tracks And the scar on its belly pulled a stranger passing through He's a juvenile delinquent, never learned how to behave But the cops would never think to look in Burma shave And the road was like a ribbon and the moon was like a bone He didn't seem to be like any guy she'd ever known He kinda looked like Farley Granger with his hair slicked back She says, "I'm a sucker for a fella in a cowboy hat" How far are you going, he said, "Depends on what you mean" He says, "I'm only stopping here to get some gasoline And I guess I'm going that way just as long as it's paved I guess you'd say, I'm on my way to Burma Shave" And with her knees upon the glove compartment She took out her barrettes and her hair spilled out like root beer And she popped her gum and arched her back Hell, Marysville ain't nothing but a wide spot in the road Some night my heart pounds just like thunder I don't know why it don't explode 'Cause everyone in this stinking town has got one foot in the grave And I'd rather take my chances out in Burma Shave Presley's what I go by, why don't you change the stations Count the grain elevators in the rear view mirror She said, "Mister anywhere you point this thing It got to beat the hell out of the sting of going to bed With every dream that dies here every mornin'" And so drill me a hole with a barber pole And I'm jumping my parole just like a fugitive tonight Why don't you have another swig and pass that car if you're so brave I wanna get there before the sun comes up in Burma Shave And the spider web crack and the mustang screamed The smoke from the tires and the twisted machine Just a nickel's worth of dreams and every wish bone that they saved Lie swindled from them on the way to Burma Shave And the sun hit the derrick and cast a bat wing shadow Up against the car door on the shot gun side And when they pulled her from the wreck You know she still had on her shades They say that dreams are growing wild just this side of Burma Shave