Gregor Rice

Gregor Rice

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Fremont, Indiana, United States
Total Song Plays: 1,773   
Member Since: 2004
   Last Login: over 30 days ago

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17

Song Description

Battling the elements, young Billy and friends lose their lives but gain in manifold in their eventful segway to the other-side camp, as our Kiowa friends say.

Story Behind the Song

True story related by Ed 'Billy' Norvell to Gregor Rice aka Joules LaHae about a cowboy struck by lightning on a cattle drive along what is now highway 54 between Albuquerque and Santa Fe in New Mexico, USA.

Lyrics

The Ballad of Young Billy

Unfinished demo - it's way worth the listen. It's tough to keep gear going here on The Hill: www.tarajories.com/lightning.html 8-) Logic tracks in process.

see: www.tarajories.com/youngbilly.html

Verse:
I was drivin' down to Cloudcroft on State Highway 54
When a brass plate marker flashed and caught my eye
A long, hard drive from Albuquerque down Nuevo Mexico
I couldn't stop, I had to pass it by

Now a hard day's work behind me, beat, I dreaded drivin' back
With that big trip-hammer bangin' in my head
But headed north to Carrizozo I had to stop and read that plaque
And this is what that graveyard marker read:

Chorus:
"Young Billy was a good cowboy, not twenty-one, they say
Struck down by ligntnin' one stormy mid-spring day
On his last and final roundup." Now his bones forever lay
In a washed out cemetery 'long the road to Santa Fe

Verse:
As I neared the grave I felt an awesome reverence in my bones
Saw some flowers there but no tracks up ahead
Then I heard the soul of Billy as I knelt beside the stone
And this is what that good ol' cowboy said:

"Got a job in ol' El Paso on the drive to Santa Fe
It was ridin' drag or cookin' for the crew
Was my seventh year of ridin' -- learned a lot along the way
Enough, I thought, to always see me through

It was a long, hard drive through no man's land where hell and heaven meet
But I needed work and didn't mind the sweat
But 'tween the Mescalero Injun, White Sands' water, and the heat
Well, ya take your chances, gettin' what ya get

Had ol' Cochiti, my saddle, had no need to pack a gun
Oh, I guess I never had that much to prove
Had my ol' Granddaddy's work-stained hat, my first and only one
An' worse my boots like breathin,' on the move

Bridge/Choir
He was a peace-lovin' man, who lived the law of the land

Verse:
It was just passed Tularosa 'bout a half day's ride or so
When a wind kicked up -- we 'r' headed for a storm
I could see that glory rainin' from Sierra Caballo
'Course the cattle spooked, then two small twisters formed

There ain't nothin' worse than ridin' drag, I'm tellin' you for true
Pickin' up those strays that wander from the herd
I could hear her mama callin' -- was a sound I sorely knew
An' I feared that thunder'd turn her milk to curd

Took me way too long to rope her, slung her over Cochiti
An' got the heck on back the fastest way I could
She was covered with my duster, but that critter wouldn't be
So I had to stop an' tie her on real good

Well that stop was all it took for me, those rains hit hard and fast
I guess the blindin' dust storm wasn't bad enough
Just ol' Cochiti, that calf, an' me -- I knew we'd never last
But God takes care, an' I was us'ly pretty tough

Bridge/Choir
If White Sands' water don't kill, the Mescelero sure will

Verse:
Now in a storm that fierce you're gonna count on flash floods ragin' close behind
An' Lord, that blazin' lightnin' nearly turned me white
Our only chance was takin' cover -- if there's any we could find
So we headed for the only cov'r in sight

Yeah... it wasn't just a bad move... but the only move we had
By then I had no other choice but take a chance
Between the thunder an' the lightnin' an' that wind, Im talking BAD
One bolt hit so close it dang near torched by pants

Now the last thing I remember, I knelt down to make my peace
When just that fast a bright, white Light shot over head
I kissed the dirt an' saw those critters' feet kick out like they'd hit grease
An' when I looked around I knew we all were dead

I coulda sworn I saw my Granddad's face inside that bright, white Light
So I got up and couldn't keep from lookin' in
An' he was smilin' as he stretched his arm an' grabbed my hand real tight
An' I felt a peace passed any peace that's ever been

A Capella:
They found us all fried crisper 'n cracklins in a cast ir'n fryin' pan
An' wrapped me up an' took the tach off Cochiti
An' those ol' cowboy's gave a buryin' that was fit for any man
An' there ain't no place else my bones would rather be."

Chorus:
"Young Billy was a good cowboy, not twenty-one, they say
Struck down by ligntnin' one stormy mid-spring day
On his last and final roundup." Now his bones forever lay
In a washed out cemetery 'long the road to Santa Fe

Story inspired by Ed 'Billy' Norvell

I would slow this down a bit & redo the entire arrangement, of course -
35mm slides of what may be the grave are available

Male vocal probably works best

Copyright 1985-2014 Kieswetter Rice & Gregor Rice
RiceSound Studios
Gregor Rice Publishing & Production BMI
511 East Clear Lake Drive
Fremont, IN 46737
260-495-3211
ieshea@frontier.com
www.broadjam.com/jouleslahae

Have a GREAT duet inspired by the beginning days of the whirlwind love-of-a-lifetime via Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood! Ask about it!

See The Stories of Tarajories now available for multimedia production: www.tarajories.com/stories.html MetaMagical Emergence: Unbelievably true & amazing stories of magic, mystery & intrigue as lived here on The Hill www.tarajories.com FSBO ~ See The Tsekoombah for another hit story song with magical video or full feature film potential!


Song Length
5:41
Genres
Country - General, Spoken Word - Humor
Tempo / Feel
Medium Fast (131 - 150)
Lead Vocal
Male Vocal
Moods
In High Spirits, Sociable

Subject Matter
Spirituality, Cowboy

Similar Artists
, Toby Keith
Language
English
Era
1800 - 1899

Lyric Credits Joules LaHae aka Gregor Rice
Music Credits Mark Kieswetter & Joules LaHae aka Gregor Rice
Producer Credits Joules LaHae aka Gregor Rice
Publisher Credits Gregor Rice Publishing - Negotiable/Open
Performance Credits Joules LaHae aka Gregor Rice
Label Credits RiceSound - Negotiable ~ Open