Along the River Road

RiverRoadThumbby John Sobert Sylvest
civilization’s got a cradle between the tigris and euphrates
and a half a billion people living on the old ganges
so many castles on the rhine
and a backward flowing nile
the jungle covered amazon
but they can’t make me smile

like my mamon’s okra gumbo
like my pawpaw’s jambalay’
eatin’ parrain’s homemade boudin
or my nanan’s crawfish pie
in the shade of our oak alley
where an ancient bayou flowed
there’s nowhere else we’d rather live
than along the river road

from memphis to new orlenz
singing blues or playing jazz
sashaying queens of festivals
creole beauties shakin azz
cousin nick is on his squeezebox
brother’s on a steel dobro
it’s sunday at the creole house
for our monthly fais deaux deaux

where they serve mamon’s okra gumbo
they serve pawpaw’s jambalay’
they serve parrain’s homemade boudin
and nanan’s crawfish pie
in the middle of the sugarcane
where perique tobacco growed
there’s nowhere else we’d rather live
than along the river road

y’d think all we do is dance and sing
except for when we eat
except for when we hunt ‘n fish
except for bourbon street
but cher don’t let’em told you dat
dat ain’t how it’s ever goed
mom and dem, more than anything else
prayed on this river road

mostly thanking God for gumbo
and our cajun jambalay’
thanking Him for boudin and for every crawfish pie
prayed for hunters, fishers, farmers
and, as their prayer has ever showed,
there’s always victory for ole yellowshoe
and peace on the river road

so, enjoy your crawfish etoufee on top your sac-a-lait
don’t leave until you’ve had your fill
of beignets, cafe au lait
but don’t worry ’bout no hurricanes
see them weeping willows bend?
mom ‘n dem are in the chapel
where they’ll pray until it ends

taking breaks to make us gumbo
and our cajun jambalay’
between prayers to make more boudin, bake another crawfish pie
while we fill sandbag after sandbag
where water’s never ever flowed
there’s still nowhere else we’ll ever live
we love our river road

when the cane is being harvested
and the geese are in the sky
when y’ smell a dark roux on the stove
in this sportsman’s paradise
our boys line up on the gridiron
levee bonfires line up, too
gators pull papa noel’s sleigh
and we pull for yellow shoe

and we eat mamon’s okra gumbo
and pawpaw’s jambalay’
and parrain’s homemade boudin
and nanan’s crawfish pie
as we tailgate on the levee
and forget life’s heavy load
there’s nowhere else we’d rather live
than along the river road

sylvestringsWords and Music by John S. Sylvest
Performed by Patrick Sylvest from the Sylvestrings CD.
www.patricksylvest.com

sylvestringsWords and Music by John S. Sylvest
Performed by Patrick Sylvest from the Sylvestrings CD.
www.patricksylvest.com

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2 Responses to Along the River Road

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Wonderful, JB. I have a feelin’ I’d be right at home in your area. We also pull some disgusting-looking things out of the water and make a nice meal of them with family here in the Northwest. Thanks for your splendid contribution. That was a nice slice of American life.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I have to say, both of those songs — and the one on the right sidebar — are really getting into my head. Great stuff.

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