"Ruby and Carlos" as written by and James Mcmurtry....
Ruby said you're getting us in of world of hurt
Down below the mason dumb ass line the food gets worse
I can't go back to Tennessee
That Nascar country's not for me
Go on if you think you must

Carlos packed his drums up in the dark of night
Ruby standing just outside the front porch light
Chain smoking camel straights
The sky off to the east got grey
And he rolled off in a cloud of dust

And the grey colt nickered at the gate, she said,
\"You're right it's getting late
You and me got work to do
We can't be burning daylight too

She took down the long lead rope
And stayed off that slippery slope
Now aspen trees were turning gold up top
The talk was buzzing round the beauty shop

Wasn't he barely half her age
Well that's just how they do nowadays
We should all have been so lucky

By spring she'd had the run of the free born men
Ruby turned 50 in a sheep camp tent
Her body still could rock all night
But her heart was closed and locked up tight

Potato feids all muddy and brown
The gossip long such quieted down
After one more Coggins test
Pouring coffee for the county vet

Pictures on the ice box door
Carlos in the first gulf war
Black eyed brown and youthful face
Smiling back from a Saudi base

Then Carlos on the big bay mare
Heavier now and longer haired
Looking past the saddle shed
From way on bac inside his head

And the old vet said one day Rube
that colt will break an egg in you
Now and then one comes along
You just can't ride and he went on home

And the storm door didn't catch
It blew back hard as she struck a match
But she cupped it just in time
Then she sent that ashtray flying

And holding back the flood
Just don't do no good
You can't unclench your teeth
To howl the way you should
So you curl your lips around
The taste of tears and the hollow sound
That no one owns but you
No one owns but you

Carlos took the road gig
And he saw it through
He rode the tour bus
While the singer flew

Managed out a music row,
Carlos never saw the studio
The session guys had that all sewn up

He looks out the window
And it starts to sleet
Laying on a friends couch on Nevada street
Lately he's been staying high
Sick all winter and they don't know why
They don't know why or they just won't say
They don't talk much down at the V.A

And Ruby's in his thoughts some times
What thoughts can get out past the wine
He feels her fingers on his brow
And right then he misses how
She looked in that grey morning light

She never shaved like they all do now
He sees it all behind his eyes
And his hands go searching but they come up dry

Half way in that waking dream
Carlos lets the land line ring

He'd never guess it was Ruby calling
A pin in her hip from the grey colt falling
Figure eights and a lazy lope
Stumbled on that slippery slope

Holding back the flood
Just don't do no good
You can't unclench your teeth
To howl the way you should
So you curl your lips around
The taste of tears and the hollow sound
That no one owns but you
No one owns but you

Lyrics submitted by SongMeanings, edited by Johny108

"Ruby and Carlos" as written by


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Ruby and Carlos song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThe first time I listened to this song I felt like sometihing just came crashing down on me and was damn near bawling. I have no idea why it affected me so much, but that's just a testament to really great songwriting.
    larry10069on November 20, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBoy, the lyrics were so messed up. Says they were submitted by Songmeanings. Whoever submitted them probably never understood the song or English isn't their first language. Coat instead of colt. For heavens sake, it's referring to a horse, not a garment. That said, fantastic song. I hope the corrections I made are accepted.
    Johny108on July 26, 2014   Link
  • 0
    Link(s)Here is a Youtube link to an excellent performance by McMurtry.
    Johny108on July 26, 2014   Link

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