"Desperados Waiting for a Train" as written by and Guy Clark....
I'd play the Red River Valley
And he'd sit out in the kitchen and cry
And run his fingers through seventy years of livin'
And wonder, "Lord, has ever' well I've drilled run dry?"

We were friends, me and this old man
Like desperados waitin' for a train
Like desperados waitin' for a train

He's a drifter and a driller of oil wells
And an old school man of the world
He let me drive his car
When he's too drunk to

And he'd wink and give me money for the girls
And our lives were like some old western movie
Like desperados waitin' for a train
Like desperados waitin' for a train

From the time that I could walk he'd take me with him
To a bar called the Green Frog Cafe
There were old men with beer guts and dominos
Lying 'bout their lives while they'd played

And I was just a kid
They all called his "Sidekick"
Like desperados waitin' for a train
Like desperados waitin' for a train

One day I looked up and he's pushin' eighty
And there's brown tobacco stains all down his chin
To me he's one of the heroes of this country
So why's he all dressed up like them old men

Drinkin' beer and playin' Moon and Forty-two
Like desperados waitin' for a train
Like desperados waitin' for a train

A day before he died, I went to see him
I was grown and he was almost gone
So we just closed our eyes and dreamed us up a kitchen
And sang another verse to that old song
"Come on, Jack, that son of a guns are comin' "

Like desperados waitin' for a train
Like desperados waitin' for a train
Like desperados waitin' for a train
Like desperados waitin' for a train


Lyrics submitted by ButNeverOutgunned, edited by Samelson03

"Desperados Waiting for a Train" as written by Guy Clark

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Desperados Waiting for a Train song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentOne of the best country/folk songs ever written. Why does this not have any comments?

    Lyrics are self-explanatory. It's about a young boy and his relationship with an old man, who share an incredible mutual respect for eachother. The boy listens to the stories the man has about his hard life, and the man teaches the boy many things about growing up like driving, gambling and chasing girls.

    The boy can't understand why this man, who he respects more than no other, did not lead an overly successful life, and rather winds up a rugged old man with tobacco stains on his chin wearing worn down clothes.

    The man finally dies, and they mutually hope that his death will provide him the success and happiness the old man deserves.
    gobosox5on September 19, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI was so damn shocked to see that this song only had one comment. Such an amazing song!
    Samelson03on April 18, 2013   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThis song is about Guy's grandmother's boyfriend and Guy's relationship to him.

    It seems to me that the lyrics reflect a type on man with a sort of desperado style bravaura, but without a sense of purpose or direction. Machismo without an outlet, like .

    There's perhaps some sort comparison here, the old man is waiting for death, the young man waits to have his life.
    grembleon March 10, 2015   Link

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