"Copperhead Road" as written by and Steve Earle....
Well my name's John Lee Pettimore
Same as my daddy and his daddy before
You hardly ever saw Grandaddy down here
He only come to town about twice a year

He'd buy a hundred pounds of yeast and some copper line
Everybody knew that he made moonshine
Now the revenue man wanted Grandaddy bad
He headed up the holler with everything he had
'Fore my time but I've been told
He never come back from Copperhead Road

Now Daddy ran whiskey in a big block Dodge
Bought it at an auction at the Mason's Lodge
Johnson County Sheriff painted on the side
Just shot a coat of primer then he looked inside

Well him and my uncle tore that engine down
I still remember that rumblin' sound
When the Sheriff came around in the middle of the night
Heard mama cryin', knew something wasn't right
He was headed down to Knoxville with the weekly load
You could smell the whiskey burnin' down Copperhead Road

I volunteered for the Army on my birthday
They draft the white trash first,'round here anyway
I done two tours of duty in Vietnam
I came home with a brand new plan
I take the seed from Columbia and Mexico
I just plant it up the holler down Copperhead Road
And now the D.E.A.'s got a chopper in the air
I wake up screaming like I'm back over there
I learned a thing or two from Charlie don't you know
You better stay away from Copperhead Road

Copperhead Road
Copperhead Road
Copperhead Road


Lyrics submitted by shauncreaney, edited by MacHudde

"Copperhead Road" as written by Steve Earle

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

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Copperhead Road song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI am grateful for this comment by littlechicago1. I have always thought that Copperhead Road sounded like a real place.
    This is one of the great American songs by one great American artist.

    A couple of the comments here refer to the use of bagpipes. They sound more like Uillean pipes or Irish bagpipes. That sound may actually be electronic, either way they add to the 'heritage' feel of the song. Steve Earle is tapping into a deep, long felt and heart felt sentiment about the early settlers and frontiersmen. He sings about generations and the music reflects this. The music is rich in instruments and rhythm. The song is a masterpiece, it even puts Springsteen to shame in terms of combination of lyricism and musicality. You can return to this song any time and it still sounds as fresh.

    mgvsmithon January 01, 2011   Link

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