20 Miles South of Amarillo
My dad used to tell stories of being a cowboy and driving cattle from one pasture in Texas to another. His stories always started the same. He would rock back in his chair and get this far away look in his eyes and say, "We were twenty miles south of Amarillo, . . .". The story would unravel from his memories and we both were transported back to the west not long after the turn of the century. This was supposed to be a "cowboy song" but I always struggle and putting words to music, so I just ending up as a poem of sorts.
Verse The sun is sitting low in the sky, And the cattle have started to slow. But we’re still 20 miles southwest of Amarillo, And I have two hundred miles to go. My face testifies to the wind and the heat. Holes in my boots, leather bakin' in the sun. Nothing I own’s worth the price of stealin’ ‘Cept this saddle and my daddy’s gun. Chorus We’re twenty miles south of Amarillo, Feels like this saddle is my life. Each season just brings colder weather, But only sleep can bring me my wife. Verse Asking the questions I've had since birth. There's not much to think about anyways. Just take a drink and adjust the girth. I don’t feel no answers comin’ today. The sky is whispering snow for tonight, But tomorrow will look just like yesterday. I will wake to the morning’s gray light; Earn another blister and a another day’s pay.
Chorus We’re twenty miles south of Amarillo, And I‘ve been sitting here my whole life. Each season just brings colder weather. No time for me and my wife. Bridge This life will never give me what I want, And it ain't no matter of greed. We’re twenty miles south of Amarillo. Please God, give me what I need
Verse Days to weeks, and weeks into months. Moving on towards closer pastures. I’m still 20 south of Amarillo, And the time ain't passing no faster. The light moves slowly through the dust, And my thoughts they turn to home. As the sky turns to purple from rust. It’s the stars remind me that I am not alone. It’s the stars remind me that I am not alone.