1. Proverbial Rag

From the recording Cleaning Up My Act

I started fooling around with these guitar licks in 1982, sitting on the porch steps of AO house in Charlottesville, Virgina. It only took me 20 years to get around to writing some words.

Doug Day had taught me Mississippi John Hurt's "Sally, Where'd You Get Your Liquor From?" No doubt you'll recognize a lick from it in this.


Copyright 2002 Dave Nealon

They say you can’t go home, but I never went away.
And if I ever get on the road, I wouldn’t last a day
because I’m late to bed and late to rise; I’m sick and poor, and, moneywise,
I’m another day older and deeper in debt, and I got bills to pay.

I leapt before I looked. I didn’t stitch in time.
I hesitated and lost, and now I popped all nine.
Well, I wanted because I wasted and wasted because I hasted. I started from scratch when I should have cut and pasted.
As the saying said I made my bed, but now I won’t lie.

You can’t make a silk purse from the ear of a sow no matter how you try,
so don’t throw your precious pearls on the ground in front of the swine.
You get irked if you try to teach a pig to sing. It annoys the critter, and he don’t learn a thing.
You might as well jump out of the pan and right into the fire.

I couldn't even boil water because I watched the pot.
I put my idle hands to work in the devil’s workshop.
Well, it’s worse to be sorry than to be safe, but I cut off my nose despite my face,
and it looks like I spoiled the child when I spared the rod.

You can lead a horse to the water trough, but don’t look it in the mouth.
That’s like shutting the barn door after the horse is out.
They say that pride goeth before a fall,
but it feels so good when you finally stop knocking your head on the wall.

I woke a sleeping dog and tried to teach it new tricks.
There’s more than one way to fall off a log, and oil and water don’t mix.
Well, I counted my chicks before they hatched, and I put all them eggs in one little basket.
I should have left well enough alone. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.