The Stone Coyotes

The Stone Coyotes
B. Keith


I went to bed and I closed my eyes
Tried to sing myself lullabies
No such luck – I said mercy me
Got taken out of my reverie
And then I heard three ravens sing
“You’re in for a rude awakening”

I met a man, a gambler by trade
He was sitting pretty, yes he had it made
A high stakes game, no walk in the park
The deck was stacked and the cards were marked
He said, “I might have to pawn my diamond ring
I’m in for a rude awakening”

The moon looked down and the hour was late
I dreamed of wolves at the door and barbarians
at the gate
Of a piece of parchment rolled up thin
That the messenger brought as he leaned right in
And gave cold comfort to the king
It read, “You’re in for a rude awakening”

I tossed and turned, beset by fears
My pillow was wet with tears
Nero grinned, said, “There’s a lesson to be learned
You know what I was doing while my city burned”
And he dragged the bow across the strings
Said, “You’re in for a rude awakening”

The Stone Coyotes
B. Keith


In a churchyard lies a man
His story widely known
One day I came upon a girl
Laying flowers by his stone

I said, “It is not my intention
To intrude upon your grief
I’ll say one thing and one thing only
And it is my true belief”

Somewhere it is written
In a book all bound in gold
They are assured a place in Heaven
The ones who rocked and rolled

She said, “He was taken
In his thirty-seventh year
And since that fateful morning
I come to feel his presence here

If you were to ask me
It is his voice I miss the most
When someone speaks a little like him
I turn as if I’ve seen a ghost”

I prepared to take my leave
For her face was drawn and pale
She said, “Your words so kind I’ll bring to mind
When my courage starts to fail

In the middle of the night
I cannot keep my thoughts at bay
I see him climbing up the burning stairwell
To the call of Mayday, Mayday, Mayday”

Somewhere it is written
In the book of kindred souls
They answered "Yes" to the question
"Did you rock? Did you roll?""


The Stone Coyotes
B. Keith/D. Tibbles


Tell me who is that I see
In the mirror staring back at me
Looking like she’s been through hell
Living in a run down motel?
Torn curtains, tattered dreams
All coming apart at the seams
Why was I so blind?

Might have been Memphis
Where I saw the light
I can’t do this – Gonna make it right
Lord, took your name in vain
I confess I’ve been raising Cain
Little girl singing in the choir
Grew up, started playing with fire
I said, “What am I doin’
Goin’ full speed ahead on the road to ruin?”

Hard to say where it all went wrong
Always was a little headstrong
Turned my back on the golden rule
Got a reputation as a rebel in school
Mama said, “You used to make us so proud
What are you doin’, for cryin’ out loud?”
Why was I so blind?

I said, “You’re not gonna hold me down
I’m gettin’ out of this one horse town
Not gonna listen to you anymore”
Stormed out the house and I slammed the door
Jumped in the car and I put it in Drive
Hit the highway doin’ ninety-five
Why was I so blind?

Up till dawn and sleep all day
Skin and bones and I’m wasting away
Wish I may and I wish I might
Be the child singing “Silent Night”
On the phone I swore I wasn’t cryin’
Daddy said, “ I always could tell when you were lyin’”
I said, “Please – Can I come home?”

The Stone Coyotes
B. Keith


She drums her fingers on the windowsill
And glances out at the far dark hill
Something makes her hesitate
Then turn back to the cup and plate

What’s that music in my ear
Running deep and running clear?
(It’s a song I can almost hear)
Something moves from North to South
To the river’s mouth

Behind his desk he’s grey and tired
While suns explode and stars inspire
He said, “All my fury has been spent
Whether by design or accident”

The old man’s family is bowed in grief
While his spirit dives off the barrier reef
He said, “I don’t want to step on your muddy banks
Your tangled grasses – Oh no thanks”

So hurl your spears and set your lairs
But you’d better aim with deadly care
For if you don’t, I may yet evade
The hangman’s noose and the hunter’s blade


The Stone Coyotes
B. Keith


When the sun’s gone down and everyone’s closed up shop
When all the dancers know it’s time to stop
When shutters bang and shades are drawn
Gentlefolk go home and put their bedclothes on

Something stirs and birds take flight
Shadows elongate in the white streetlight
It jumps from the wall without making a sound
Says, “This is the hour when I own this town”

Watch out, World, I’m comin’ through
Now what do you think of that?
Down the avenue about half past two
I’ll be creepin’ like a cat

While you’re all dreaming your sweet little dreams
Remember nothing, no, nothing’s what it seems
I’m shakin’ the city off my paws
I mean you no harm – I’ll retract my claws

I’m hunter and hunted and that’s fine with me
The laws of the universe fit to a T
I’ve been here forever breathing perfumes of the night
I feel it all and I feel all right


The Stone Coyotes
B. Keith


“Should old
Acquaintance be forgot”
Lately I’ve
Been giving it some thought
And it seems
To me unjust
That time and circumstance
Should separate us

On this January day
Remember what was said
We will be

I heard
The bell toll
And it chipped the paint
Right off my soul
Left it exposed
To the rain and the wind
Got me watching the door
Waiting for you to walk in

“Death shall have no dominion”
Isn’t that what the poet said?
And you know, he was right
He’s really not dead
Though he sleeps
Behind abbey walls
His voice still lingers
And we hear it call

The way a hawk
Goes into a dive
Makes us shake our heads and say
“So that’s what it’s like to be really alive”
And things
That make us laugh out loud
The way we’d look in white robes
Holding hands in a cloud

And then –
Like an actor in a play
So as not to overdo it
Throws his exit line away
With a small salute
A wink and a nod
Walks off Stage Right
Into the arms of God

The Stone Coyotes
B. Keith
The Stone Coyotes
B. Keith/D. Tibbles


I wanna be a punk again
I’m tired of being quiet
I wanna be a punk again
Time to start a riot

I’ve got the inclination
To turn back the pages
Create some agitation
And act outrageous

Goin’ down to CBGB
Gonna damage my ears
I want to hear…
“Hey ho, let’s go let’s go”
I want to go way back when
I wanna be a punk again

I wanna be a punk again
Don’t want to settle down
I wanna be a punk again
Get driven out of town

Safety pins and chains
A black leather jacket
Throwin’ punches in the pit
And make a big racket

Joey, Dee Dee, Johnny, Tommy
Do you hear us call your name?
Joey, Dee Dee, Johnny, Tommy
You’re the keepers of the flame

Way over in the U.K.
Johnny, Steve and Sid
You may not have had fun
But we sure did


The Stone Coyotes
B. Keith


Out in Franklin County
Not too far from here
Two men loved one woman
And the price they paid was dear

She said, “I’d like to marry
But I’m not sure which one
I guess I’ll play it out
Until the setting sun”

One man stood before her
His hands trembling and cold
He said, “I’d like to take you for my bride
To have and to hold”

She said, “But you must understand
I’m not sure who I love
It might be you and it might be him
That I am dreaming of”

Sometimes in love
We play a deadly game
I hear the angels up above
Say, “What a pity, what a shame”

Her mother tried to tell her
“You court disaster down the line
Play one man against the other
And you’re no daughter of mine”

“Mother, don’t be so serious
Broken hearts can always mend
I will soon make up my mind
And besides, they’re the best of friends”

Meanwhile as she spoke these words
One was taking out his knife
And in a fit of jealous rage
He took his best friend’s life

She ran down to where he lay dying
He was cradled in her arms
All that she could think to say was
“I never meant to do you harm”

The trial was a sad sad thing
All the judge could say -
“I sent one man to prison
But the real killer got away”

The Stone Coyotes
B. Keith/D. Tibbles


I can see that you’re all shook up
You’ve been drinking from an empty cup
Getting ready for the fatal blow
Time to shout out, “No, No, No!”

Oh – It’s the age-old battle cry
(The odds we must defy)
Wipe the tear away from your eye
Never say die

Don’t get me started – I could tell you tales
Of bloody streets where the sirens wail
Blinded by ”the rocket’s red glare”
Pounding hearts and whispered prayers

So when they tell you that it’s over and done
That your chances are slim to none
Don’t you listen to what they say
Remember where there’s a will, there’s a way


The Stone Coyotes
B. Keith/D. Tibbles


Now that hard times leave us shaken
Swaying as the cruel wind blows
One possession can’t be taken
A single jewel still glows

I say to you words fair and true
One treasure stands above
I’d trade all the gold in Spanish ships of old
For a deep and abiding love

Galleons sailing through the ages
Had riches from stern to bow
Useless when the fever rages
Give me a cool soothing hand on my brow

So take your gold and take your silver
But leave our love alone
We made a vow to last forever
Till the sun’s just a cold grey stone