Tuesday, July 26, 2011

These Cold Fingers

The dog can’t move no more, surprised he made it till the spring
His pain won’t go away and the pills don’t do a thing
You’ve known that old hound longer than you’ve known any of your friends
And no matter how you let him down he’d always take you back again

So it’s one tall glass of whiskey, one last drink for old times sake
The dog just lays in bed and watches every move you make
Wrap him up in his blanket, hold him once more close to you
Lead him out behind the barn with a borrowed .22

Everything slips through these cold fingers
Like trying to hold water, trying to hold sand
Close your eyes and make a wish and listen to the singer
One more round, bartender, pour a double if you can

--These Cold Fingers, Bill Morrissey


Those are some of the lyrics of a song I requested at a concert some 20-25 years ago, one of the saddest songs I've ever loved. The song wound up on my favorite album of his, Standing Eight. I've owned several of his albums over the years, but all I have left now in a box in Duluth are a couple cassettes. All I have of him on my computer is a concert with Greg Brown from 1993 in Whitefish, Montana--I'm listening to it now.

Bill Morrissey, age 59, died in his hotel room a few days ago while on tour.