Good Arkansas Moonshine

Today has been filled with university work as we wrap up the semester.  However, I stopped work long enough to make a post on this blog.

Guy Clark is one of my favorite songwriters. I posted his beautiful waltz, “Magnolia Wind” last May.  Here is another song of his that I do in my little one man shows. It’s called, “Soldier’s Joy 1864.”  One source said that Clark and Shawn Camp co-wrote the song, imagining a Civil War soldier learning to play the fiddle after losing his leg during the war and passing down the art of fiddle playing from generation to generation. Here are the lyrics:

SOLDIER’S JOY, 1864  by Guy Clark and Shawn Camp

Now at first I thought a snake had got me
It happened dreadful quick
It was a bullet bit my leg
And right off I got sick.
I came to in a wagonload
With ten more wounded men
Five was dead
By the time we reached that bloody tent.

Give me some of that soldier’s joy
You know what I mean.
I don’t want to hurt no more,
My leg is turning green.

Well, the doctor come and he looked at me,
And this is what he said.
Said your dancing days are done, son,
It’s a good thing you ain’t dead.
And he went to work with a carving knife
Sweat poured fell from his brow
Bout killed me trying to save my life
When he cut that lead ball out.

Give me some of that soldier’s joy
Ain’t you got some more,
Hand me down my walking cane,
I ain’t cut out for war.

Well, the red blood run right through my veins,
It run all over the floor
It run right down his apron strings.
Like a river out the door

He handed me a bottle, said,
Drink  deep as you can.
He turned away and turned right back
With a hack-saw in his hand.

Give me some of that soldier’s joy
You know what I like
Bear down on that fiddle boy,
Just like Saturday night.

Give me some of that soldier’s joy
You know what I crave.
I’ll be hitting that soldier’s joy
Till I’m in my grave.