The Last Call Blues
© 2014 Nelson Wright
I’ll be damned if I know how you lived this long,
Through the years since you were nineteen.
When you thought all you needed was a six string guitar,
Blues and Benzedrine.
Underaged, playing in lounges and bars,
In a world that’s long since unmade,
Loners and lovers in the neon and smoke,
Heard their stories in the songs you played.
That barroom music slipped under your skin,
And marked you like a prison tattoo.
In the smell of the smoke and the whiskey, my friend,
When your final set was through, you’d play the last call blues.
Now the smoke is still there in the blues that you play,
But the old days are time out of mind.
It’s like you’re a relic from a world that’s gone by,
When they say you’re the last of a kind.
It wasn’t religion kept you playing this long,
It wasn’t the fortune or fame.
It wasn’t the lovers who all drifted away,
It wasn’t the skin in the game.
I think all you wanted was one good line,
To say something clean and true.
Through the smell of the smoke and the whiskey, my friend,
Before your set was through, before the last call blues.
Do you long for those days of discontent,
For the days when you tempted your fate?
Do you wonder what stories abide in those strings,
To sound out before it’s too late?
They say you get to pick your poison,
But maybe it picks you.
You’ll be smelling the smoke and the whiskey, my friend,
When your final set is through, and you hear the last call blues.