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Rye Whiskey Joe

This song is by Bill Staines and appears on the album Just Play One Tune More (1998).

He hopped off a freight train eleven months back
With a sort of a look in his eye
With a smile on his face and an old canvas pack,
That was half full of Table Talk pies,
And he asked us if he could just stay for a time,
To rest before he traveled on,
But, he brought us much more than expected,
And that's why we're singing this song.

Oh, Rye Whiskey Joe, there's happiness somewhere for you
Oh, Rye Whiskey Joe, somewhere out there in the blue.

After eating in the evening we all settled down
And listened while he sang his songs
With a bottle of whiskey there close by his side
That he shared when the time came around,
And the light in his eyes was as warm as the fire
His hair was black as the coal
We listened while he told his lonely old tales
And we all called him Rye Whiskey Joe.

He closed his eyes early one morning
And they never would open again
We buried his gear along with him
Said a prayer, filled the grave in, and then
I found a letter in the tall grass nearby
From a camp where he'd been long ago
Saying, "Thank you Mr. Joseph, for all that you've done"
And "Good luck to you Rye Whiskey Joe."

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