Five Precepts Blues; #2.6 – The Great Conch Train Robbery

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Shel Silverstein •THE GREAT CONCH TRAIN ROBBERY

“The conch train made its turn
Down the Smathers Pitch
When Shrimper Sam with a snorkle eye
Leaped naked from the sea.
His fillet knife was in his hand.
He jumped aboard the train.
“Give up your bucks, you tourist schmucks.
I’m Key West Jesse James.
I’m Key West Jesse James, boy…
Key West Jesse James…
Case you didn’t hear me the first three times…
I’m Key West Jesse James.”
.
Now unbeknownst to Shrimper Sam
In the third car from the rear,
Sat Kelso Bolls from Muscle Shoals,
An American Legioneer.
He was a redneck of respect
And a marksman of reknown.
From under his fat
He drew a Gat,
And shot the shrimper down.
.

Now the first time that he shot poor Sam,
Sam groaned and clutched his side.
The second time that he shot poor Sam,
Sam fell to his knees and cried.
And the third time that he shot poor Sam,
You could see in both their eyes
Lash LaRue and Randolph Scott
Beneath the Western skies.

.

We laid poor Sam upon the sand
And we lifted up his head.
We listened close to hear the words
The dying shrimper said.
He said, “Boys, you know I had my chance
But I went and botched the job,
But how can a boy named Jesse James
Without a train to rob?”
.
Then Kelso Bolls took off his hat
And the tears streamed down his face.
He said, “Son, I know just how you feel.
This world’s a changin’ place”.
When history is written,
Uh… they won’t recall our names,
But I only got to play Pat Garrett
Cuz you played Jesse James.”
.
Considering the precepts are the middle way, the moment we move away from the middle we invite an opposite force to balance things out. The further we go, the stronger our opposition will confront us.

2 responses »

  1. Shel Silverstein also wrote $100 000 in Pennies, from Monday’s post, as well as A Boy named Sue (Johnny Cash) and just about every Dr. Hook hit, including On The Cover Of the Rolling Stone.

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