The Stone Coyotes

B. Keith/D.Tibbles


A man came crawling out of the desert

Said, “I thought I heard a battle cry

The sun looking down so cruel

Was fixing me with a baleful eye”


Mother, do you hear the drumming?

Don’t you know I’ve been called upon?

Father, they are singing something

About the fall of Babylon


“You can bring me home but this house

                                        will not hold me

I’m a stranger in a strange land

I see the dragons at the gate

From a silver ship sailing on the sand


Give me no medicine – Give me no comfort

This blanket feels like a funeral shroud

Bring me my spear – Bring me my armor

The voices are beckoning much too loud"


Wringing her hands she called for the doctor

The doctor said, “This is delirium”

“No, no, Doctor”, he said, “You are mistaken

Look behind you – Here they come”


She said, “Do you not see the sunlight

                                through the window

The rose on the vine as we stand at your side?”

He raised his fevered head from the pillow

Just before he sank back and died, he said…

B. Keith


Dead man on the village green

A killer got away unseen

You’re out of breath – What does it mean?

Mary, where were you?


You answered so evasively

I said, “Do not lie to me

It’s murder in the first degree

Mary, where were you?"


Mary, where were you that night

When the shots were fired and the birds took flight?

Your alibi, it don’t feel right

Mary, where were you?


You told me you were home in bed

That’s not what your sister said

Your plain white dress was stained all red

Mary, where were you?


Six-gun down at the bottom of a well

Sister swore she’d never tell

Now she thinks she’ll burn in Hell

Mary, where were you?


Rumors spread – Suspicions grow

Now the sheriff wants to know

On Friday night a week ago

Mary, where were you?


Tell the truth – Tell it straight

How a woman spurned lay in wait

Undying love turned to hate

Mary, where were you?

B. Keith/D. Tibbles


He looks so familiar

You’ve seen him around

He’s the one slouching in the doorway

Just before the walls come down


He acts a little shifty

He’s got that vacant stare

I don’t know why he seems to multiply

Now you find him everywhere


Here comes trouble climbing in your window

I’m in the alley – I got hit with a low blow

I don’t believe what they say on the radio

    (Who stole the gold at the end of the rainbow?)

Peace in the valley? I don’t think so


I went down to the seaside

Thought I’d go for a swim

Shadow on the boardwalk gave me quite a shock

I said, “Oh no, not him”

He was right behind me

I said, “This is all I need”

I thought I heard him mumble to himself

“I’ve got half a mind to make you bleed”


I turned on the TV

Uh-oh there’s another one

Just a crackpot thinkin’ he’s a hotshot

Beatin’ on the war drum


He likes to rattle his saber

I’d like to take it by force

Leave him out on the field of battle

Cryin’, “My kingdom for a horse”

B. Keith


Death and I have a nodding acquaintance

Met on a few occasions, that’s all

He said, “You’re close to the edge

But don’t worry – I’ll catch you when you fall”


I said, “Thanks for the offer

I didn’t know you were the chivalrous kind”

And then I ran for my life

Leaving him smiling behind


Run away when he whispers your name

Say no if he asks you to dance

Run away – He says, “This is my game

You don’t stand a ghost of a chance”


Time went by and I almost forgot him

Then once in a crowded room

For no reason at all

I felt the chill of the tomb


That night I heard on the stairway

A light but somehow ominous tread

It made me sit up and take notice

He bowed from the waist at the foot of my bed


He said, “To continue our conversation

Did you know I’m considered a patron of the arts?

I’ve been the subject of sonnets

I’ve stopped a lot of hearts”


I said, “I’m well aware of your reputation

But I must decline with regret

Your kind invitation

Some day but not yet, not yet”

B. Keith/D. Tibbles


If only she were free to roam

Wide open spaces would be her home

She was born to wander - Don’t make her wait

Don’t fence her in - Open up the gate


People say

She’s a crazy one

She’s kickin’ down the barn door

Let the wild horse run


Meek and mild – She’s not one of those

No fancy dresses – No ribbons and bows

You can’t keep her under lock and key

She’ll break the chains eventually


There she goes – She cut the ties that bind

Through the hills and valleys where the rivers wind

Finally free from her prison cell

You can hear callin’, cryin’ out with a rebel yell

B. Keith


I’m alone below a desolate sky

You’re all the way to Abilene

I started to write you a song of farewell

But I express so much less than what I mean


Out here in the hard hills

Your song has gone astray

Yes, words are the devil sometimes

They wouldn’t do you justice anyway


There’s a vicious wind tonight

Made me lose that muse of mine

The verses run away and hide behind my back

Laugh and refuse to rhyme


Once again I pick up the pen

To say I miss your sweet embrace

Then I cross it out and tear up the page

It all seems so commonplace


It’s no use, no use at all

I’ll love you in silence till I die

While the moon looks down on a poor little fool

Who can’t even say goodbye

B. Keith


When I was little baby

When I was a little child

I used to make my mother crazy

I used to drive her wild


Lyin’ in my cradle

Cryin’ in my bed

Night after night

This is what I said


The stars that burn above me

I call from far away

Anybody up there love me?

Let me rock another day


It was a near thing

It was a narrow escape

I turned to my comrade in arms

He was in bad shape


He said. “I felt the bullet

Before I heard the gun”

I said, “Come on, let’s get out of this

Dire situation”


If you see me in the alley

Lookin’ worse for wear

This Sword of Damocles

Is more than I can bear


We know our days are numbered

Dare we ask for more?

I’m not ready for the tolling bell

Or the wreath upon the door

B. Keith/D. Tibbles


They warned her he was no good

A long long time ago

She never saw the storm clouds comin’

Or heard the thunder rumblin’ low


Now she’s crawlin’ through the back streets

Like a creature from the wild

Tryin’ to find the man she loves

Wailin’ like a child


She said, “I’m searchin’ on the south side

In the lightning and the rain

Lookin’ for the one who used to call me

His pretty Baby Jane”


She said, “I believed

All the sweet lies he told

Then someone saw him dancin’

With a girl nineteen years old


One night I saw him drivin’

A two-tone Cadillac

He had his arm around

A lady dressed in black”


She said, “The years sure took their toll

He might not recognize me now

I want to get the heart he stole

And take it back somehow


So I’m prowlin’ all around the town

Carryin’ a black cat bone

Underneath a stormy sky

Howlin’ all alone

B. Keith/D. Tibbles


You’ve got a lot of transgressions

Where do I begin?

When my chips were down

You liked to rub it in


I’ve been the soul of discretion

I’ve been a true blue friend

But what good did it do me

In the end?


No – No – No – No

Don’t come cryin’ to me

Don’t come cryin’ to me

Cry Cry Cry Cry baby, cry


Always at your beck and call

Why’d you have to alienate

The only one who ever loved you at all

And now it’s too late


It’s just a matter of time

Before your bridges burn

I might sit on the sidelines

And watch your bridges burn


You should’ve seen the light

A long time ago

The old saying’s right

You reap what you sow


So don’t expect me to send you

A sympathy card

I’m sayin’ Bye Bye baby, goodbye

Try not to take it too hard

B. Keith


The things that used to matter

They don’t matter anymore

I shake my head and wonder

What I wasted all that time for


The glory of an hour

When I threw whole years away, you see

Now I count as gold

To have but not to hold

It changed me


And I awoke

Cut by the blade of Truth

Now if I could just remember

Where I misplaced my youth

Lost along the wayside

Left behind so carelessly

It will not be returned

Another lesson learned

It changed me


One sunny morning

I saw a great bird take flight

I couldn’t help it

I shivered like the day was night


I watched it go over

And on beyond the sea

The pattern on the wing

Told me everything

It changed me


Once I knew a boy

He liked to jump and shout

“Catch me if you can”

His light flickered and went out


And even though you don’t want to

You see things differently

He could run just like the wind

He was swift and thin

It changed me


A troubadour was singing

“Precious little do we own

Fragments of an old song

Last lines unknown”


I heard it from a distance

I couldn’t catch the melody

But Lord, it haunts me still

And it always will

It changed me

B. Keith


For lyrics see "A Rude Awakening" from album " A Rude Awakening"