I got a girl from Nacogdoches

Call a friend of mine…

Yes, I got a girl from Nacogdoches

Call a friend of mine…

Don’t remember when we met…

I knowed the last time I see her just fine…

 

She say I smiled when I see her

But I don’t recall…

Uh hmm…  I smiled when I see her

But I don’t recall…

Say she got a heart as big as Texas

But I ain’t found her soul at all…

 

How come I can’t remember

When we took that ride?

Yeah, how come I can’t remember

We took that ride?

Wound up in Louisiana

Falled short the Mississippi side…

 

You can run from the law, girl

I’ll be your outlaw by and by…

You can run, you can run, girl

No, bad checks don’t tell no lie…

Left me for a chain gang

And kept runnin’…

Lazarus man can’t help her cry…

 

Now I’m down in New Orleans

No Nacogdoches girl gonna help me heal…

Yeah, I’m down in New Orleans

Dead man rising don’t never feel…

Singin’ bout a woman…

Don’t know if she was ever real…

 

Nacogdoches Girl… written by David Threnody: Jun 23, 1945

 

            And she was.  She was from Nacogdoches.  At least that’s what she told me.  Her last name Soledad.  At least that’s what she said.  How she ended up in Mississippi in that car at the crossroads she never did tell.  She left me to wonder.  Maybe so I’d write songs about it—I don’t know.  Rosie wasn’t a girl that made you feel good by making her feel good.  I don’t think she ever wanted that—at least not from me.  No, in fact I think she wanted sufferin’.  She wanted you to feel good from her sufferin’—that was the love she taught me.  Maybe that’s why I found her with him.  Why he had her there in that car waitin’ for me.  To teach me that pain.  That pain of knowin’ a paradise.  Lettin’ me in so I’d know what’s outside.  So I’d always be wonderin’.  Wonderin’ ‘bout what was inside from what she made me know ‘bout outside.  So I’d feel it when I played my guitar—always tryin’ to get in—back in to what she made me realize I’d lost…  And that’s a woman for ya.  Not makin’ you know what you got, but makin’ you feel what you ain’t never had.  And you owe them for this.  You owe them for showing you this.  Your world now outside their world, what as a boy you ain’t got no clue, and as them makin’ you a man you regret you ever found out.  You regret the regret, and any man that’s loved a woman knows this.  He knows whatever sound he makes after knowin’ love is all he lacks of the beauty a woman gives him of her beauty—sufferin’ it to him so’s he can suffer—so he can know what she gave.  And that’s the only sound he can give back—knowin’ it’s never enough…  And so I wrote a song, and then another, lettin’ the guitar I stole from her and not from him say what she knew the words would never say.  They were just words so my voice could sing them.  So my voice could be heard singin’ them.  And when I came to New Orleans, after all I’d seen in the war, I ‘spose I knew I had to keep my end of the deal now—not with him, but with her.  I knew I needed to make a record after all my runnin’ around.  After joining the Army to escape it, only to come to Mississippi again and meet the friend I would save from his own love and his own losses during the war.  And I knew that’s why I got that guitar back even if it was missing a string.  I knew I couldn’t escape it no more—what I had to sell, what I had to sing.  And maybe she knew all along—what he knew when he asked me to get in that car with her—the girl I was goin’ to meet that would only remind me of what she gave by taking it away.  And so I found a studio.  I found it just like I found her.  And put it all on wax…

            –David Threnody, on finding Piety Street Records—from his journals 1941 to 1948

 

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