Look out, mama, there's a white boat comin' up the river With a big red beacon, and a flag, and a man on the rail I think you'd better call john, 'cause it don't look like they're here to deliver the mail And it's less than a mile away I hope they didn't come to stay It's got numbers on the side and a gun And it's makin' big waves.
Daddy's gone, my brother's out hunting in the mountains Big john's been drinking since the river took emmy-lou So the powers that be left me here to do the thinkin' And I just turned twenty-two I was wonderin' what to do And the closer they got, The more those feelings grew.
Daddy's rifle in my hand felt reassurin' He told me, red means run, son, numbers add up to nothin' But when the first shot hit the docks I saw it comin' Raised my rifle to my eye Never stopped to wonder why. Then I saw black, And my face splashed in the sky.
Shelter me from the powder and the finger Cover me with the thought that pulled the trigger Think of me as one you'd never figured Would fade away so young With so much left undone Remember me to my love, I know I'll miss her.