"A Great Fire" as written by and Shel Silverstein....
'Twas sunset down in old Key West
The locals all were high.
The tourists snapped their photographs
And munched their Key Lime pie.
And meanwhile down at Sloppy Joe's
The drinks were standin' tall
With Buffett on the jukebox
And Hemingway on the wall.

Then up spoke Sam the Shrimper:
He said, "I've been a shrimper all my life.
My daddy was a shrimper
And my mom's a shrimper's wife.
And I'm tired of bein' a shrimper
'cause a shrimper's life's too tame
So I'm gonna ride the Conch Train, boys,
And be like Jesse James.
Gonna be like Jesse James, boy...
Gonna be like Jesse James.
Case you didn't hear me the first three times...
Gonna be like Jesse James."

Now the Conch Train is a tourist toy
That rolls through Key West Town
Like some weird ride from Disneyland
It drives the tourists round and round
While the engineer on her P.A.
Points out all the sites
"Well, Tennessee did you-know-what
To you-know-who that night."

"The tourists all have money", said Sam
"Their wives all have rings of gold.
Their mopeds all are pawnable.
Their cameras can be sold.
And think of all the glory, boys,
The money and the fame
To be the first and only man
To rob the Key West Train."

Now the engineer of the Conch Train
Her name was Betsy Wright.
She drove the Conch Train all day long
And loved Shrimper Sam all night.
And with some sweet persuasion,
She agreed to join the game:
She'd slow it down and flag the lad
And let him ride the train.

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
'cause you played Jesse James.

We buried Sam in the southernmost sands
Close by the southernmost waves
Where sweet Betsy Wright
Cries tears every night
Onto his southernmost grave.
And on his tombstone say the words
"Stick to your own game.
And if you are a shrimper,
Do not try to rob a train."


Lyrics submitted by CHaMP1323, edited by gonesovereign

"The Great Conch Train Robbery" as written by Shel Silverstein

Lyrics © T.R.O. INC.

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A Great Fire song meanings
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16 Comments

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  • 0
    General Commentno one had attempted this one so i figured id give it a shot lol
    i think it's right for the most part, theres a line or two in there that I was a little unsure of, so if anyone has any clear mistakes id be happy to edit this


    oh yeah and this new album = ear sex
    CHaMP1323on March 25, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSome changes.

    Verse 2:
    I feel you up on my shoulder
    Like the angel, like my other
    Im not your hero
    Ill never be what you wanted, what you thought I would be

    Chorus 2:
    I can see through the flames that the fire cleanses me,
    Mind and soul, now the same
    And my body guides the way
    I can see through my tired eyes my sickness controls me
    Deep inside, ?I know this? is the mother of deceit

    And as I see the flames that go in the sky
    I can feel it coming to the end
    thismayscareyouon March 25, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh and verse 1:

    And as I heard, the sirens begin to chime,
    I can feel my heart begin to race
    thismayscareyouon March 25, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthanks for that
    its all fixed now
    that "I know this" part is still a little iffy, but its better than what i had so i still put it up there haha
    CHaMP1323on March 25, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah I just can't figure out what he says there. I'm pretty sure its the something of deceit... Just not sure what he says.
    thismayscareyouon March 26, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlol im looking in the cd booklet and theres a few mistakes. and a whole section of singing left out.
    its not "this was my own" in the beginning, its "this was my home"
    and its i know this is, its i know TRUTH is the mother of deceit.
    and then at the endish it says:
    "and as i hear the planes take over the sky
    i can feel it coming to the end
    and your burning down my life so slowly
    i know in my heart trust is the mother of deceit"
    this sites off by just a few lol
    good song though.
    XxSilversteinon April 01, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI guess i'll take a shot at the meaning,

    If you look on the cd's website you see a story attatched to the whole album
    Its about a family who loses their house in a fire and moves into a hotel where their loyalty is tested
    And the marraige falls apart


    So this song is just the first chapter, the man awakens to the scent of smoke and rushed his family out of the house and saves their lives. This sparks the death of their relationship, and the man's whole life turns around against him.
    epiphone098on April 06, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOkay, so if you listen to the entire album you learn that the man that lives in the home, is actually the one who started the fire, in attept to kill his wife and daughter, but can't go threw with it and saves their lives.

    Oh and they've corrected most of the lyrics but this part;

    "I threw you over my shoulder, with a angel on the other"

    :D

    ~Seaira Rayne.
    SeairaRayneon April 11, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentand it's "I threw you over my shoulder with the angel on my other"

    "deep inside i know that trust is the mother of deceit"

    and after " i can feel it coming to an end" you forgot some lyrics that say
    "and you're burning down my life so slowly. i know in my heart trust is the mother of deceit"

    if you think i'm wrong i've got the booklet right in front of me.
    great song though!
    BrandonFTWon April 13, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlyrics should be good now :)
    CHaMP1323on April 14, 2009   Link

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