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​Highway Patrolman

This song is by Dar Williams and appears on the compilation Badlands: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska (2000).

This song is a cover of "Highway Patrolman" by ​Bruce Springsteen.
Original video
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Highway Patrolman
My name is Joe Roberts, I work for the state
I'm a sergeant out of Perrineville, barracks number eight
I always done an honest job, as honest as I could
I got a brother named Franky, and Franky ain't no good

Now, ever since we was young kids, it's been the same come down
I get a call over the shortwave, Franky's in trouble downtown
Well, if it was any other man, I'd put him straight away
But when it's your brother, sometimes you look the other way

Me and Franky laughing and drinking, nothing feels better than blood on blood
Taking turns dancing with Maria as the band played Night of the Johnstown Flood
I catch him when he's straying, like any brother would
Man turns his back on his family, well, he just ain't no good

Well, Franky went in the army back in 1965
I got a farm deferment, settled down, took Maria for my wife
But them wheat prices kept on dropping 'til it was like we was gettin' robbed
Franky came home in '68, me, I took this job

Yeah, we're laughing and drinking, nothing feels better than blood on blood
Taking turns dancing with Maria as the band played Night of the Johnstown Flood
I catch him when he's straying, teach him how to walk that line
Man turns his back on his family, he ain't no friend of mine

The night was like any other, I got a call 'bout a quarter to nine
There was trouble in a roadhouse out on the Michigan line
There was a kid lying on the floor, looking bad, bleeding from his head
There was a girl crying at a table, it was Frank, they said

Well, I went out and I jumped in my car and I hit the lights
I must've done a hundred and ten through Michigan County that night
It was out at the crossroads, down 'round Willow Bank
Seen a Buick with Ohio plates, behind the wheel was Frank

Well, I chased him through them county roads
'Til a sign said Canadian border five miles from here
I pulled over to the side of the highway and watched his taillights disappear

Me and Franky laughing and drinking, nothing feels better than blood on blood
Taking turns dancing with Maria as the band played Night of the Johnstown Flood
I catch him when he's straying, like any brother would
Man turns his back on his family, well, he just ain't no good

Written by:

Bruce Springsteen