South of Nowhere
Bill & Libby Hicks

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"...& somewhere along the path to south of nowhere,
My vehemence evaporated with the dew..."

Bill Hicks, for those who are old enough to remember, was a [founding] member of the Red Clay Ramblers, and before that, the Fuzzy Mountain String Band. His fiddle sound was a hallmark of the Ramblers' sound. Fiddle tunes include "Ducks on the Millpond," and a medley of "Sugar Hill/ Sally Ann." His improvisation, which abounds here, is marked by a searing tone and melodic sense much like a bebop horn player. His vocal ease is a strong contrast to his ambulant bow. Libby Hicks nicely sings blues. But she gets to the core of the lyric as on "Big Road Blues," and there is no mistaking what she is trying to say. ...Robert C. Buckingham, Bluegrass Unlimited, October 2001
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Four South of Nowhere songs are Bill's originals ==>
Libby's photo is by Daniela Gilbert; Bill's by Denzil Thorne
TURN OUT THE LIGHTS [free download ]

Chorus:
"When you're sitting up too late, and I have gone to bed,
And the TV flickers bluely in your aching head,
And you're staring out a window at a parking lot," you said.
"Turn out the lights."

I could hear the neon buzzing through the sweating pane of glass,
"Come on in" the tubing mumbled in the night.
I ran my finger down the pane, I wrote and then erased your name,
The shower door slid open and she came into the room,
And looked at me and smiled, "Isn't it too bright? 
Turn out the lights."

Repeat chorus

In the morning restaurant  the tablecloths are stiff and white,
There are flowers made of plastic on each one.
The silverware is gleaming like a polished bayonet in flight,
A woman takes our orders and writes them with a frown,
And for a second it's another Sunday morning, in another Sunday town.

Repeat chorus

And later on, alone, I am sitting in my car.
There is a hint of some perfume and sun bleached leather.
I can't stand the radio--how can they preach to eskimos?
I watch the cars whiz by, time my mistake to a semi,
I'll be coming home to baby. . . .   by and by.

Repeat chorus

©2001 Bill Hicks, Copper Creek Records
UNCLE CHARLIE'S REVENGE

My Uncle old-time Charlie threw his fiddle up a tree
My brother told me 'simmons was the thing that got his goat:
He'd sat there on the back porch, drinking Elum tea,
And when he went inside to eat there wasn't any soap.

There wasn't any victuals, there warn't no silverware,
There wasn't any plates nor cups nor no place to sit down,
There wasn't any table, there wasn't any chair,
And his wife was in the living room without no underwear.

Chorus:
Charlie, Oh Charlie, your name will always be,
You took my grampaw's fiddle and you throw'd it up a tree,
They say you ate the 'simmons that had landed on the ground,
And when you pitched that fiddle up they say you shot it down.

Well Charlie looked and looked around, his house was awful strange,
The clock was running back'ards, the upstairs felt like rain,
His couch was lying on the floor, his car was in the ditch,
He picked up grampaw's fiddle but it wouldn't get in pitch

Oh Charlie wound and tuned and tuned, he twisted all them wires,
He put his E on Mercury, he put his G on Mars,
His head was spinning like the Moon is spinning round the Earth,
He rosined up his bow a spell but took an awful thirst.

Repeat chorus

By the time he got his pistol out the 'simmon punch was gone,
The Sun has passed behind the ridge, evening was coming on,
It took him twenty cartergize -- ey god he got 'er down --
He dragged his legs into the house and left er on the ground!

Repeat chorus

©1998 Bill Hicks, Copper Creek Records

Bill, Anna, and Libby Hicks

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Bill's solo CD of original songs - The Perfect Gig
Bill's lyrics for The Perfect Gig





 

THE ISLAND ROCKERS

Out on the beach there is a real horizon,
I know precisely where it hurts:
If you look, it's where the sky the water crowds,
And tiny waves flick up and try to lick the clouds.

There's lightning way out there; it happens sometimes
When two blues collide: the other night
Across the smoky lights I watched you dancing--
your eyes were closed, your lips were silently singing.

The band was cranking out the 1960s classics,
Johnny was  wailing on his Telecaster:
Across the room you danced for only him to dream;
He draped his notes down across your shoulders.

Each note he played was like a falling star:
They splashed and sizzled out along that razor edge;
Your shirt was soaked, he fell down on his knees;
He crashed your strings, you flinched, and left the bar.

And later on the balcony, I found you smoking,
We both heard distant thunder on the beach.
You handed me your pack of cigarettes, a way to say hello--
I'd offer you a match, but I quit years ago.

Reprise
Out on the beach there is a real horizon,
I know precisely where it hurts, just so:
You handed me your pack of cigarettes, a way to say hello again,
I'd offer you a match, but I quit years ago.
 

©2001 Bill Hicks, Copper Creek Records
ANAZASI PREMONITION

Chorus:  It always seemed so temporary,
The daffodils appearing without effort
Beside the winter streets, the golden light
Of February, . . . on a beach.

The winter loomed, a wave, beyond Sierras;
The shadow overhead, but never breaking,
And finally, in March, we headed East,
Back to a land of no illusions, and big winds.

Repeat chorus

Some friends of ours went way down to the Keys,
Scuffing sandy streets and peering into bars,
And on their backs, twisting in wet heat, guitars,
And bobbing sailboats like a parking lot of cars.

Repeat chorus

We struck the other way, to fat Chicago,
We picked up all the work that we could stand:
Shouts and whistles, accordions, bazoukis,
The Hawk circling the Loop and out across Lake Michigan

Repeat chorus

And somewhere along the path to south of nowhere
My vehemence evaporated with the dew;
I'm beating gold to earrings: tiny ancient signs,
For empty ears uninterested in tunes,
Transporting hidden meanings as they jangle,
Of the foretold Anazasi Paradise:
It's shrieking towards us all with each small tapping,
A great wind behind a redrock canyon wall. 

Repeat chorus

©2001 Bill Hicks, Copper Creek Records
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June 3, 2014