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Black Cowboys Lyrics

Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Album: Devils & Dust

Rainey William's playground was THE MOTT HAVEN streets
Where he ran past melted candles and flower wreaths,
names and photos of the young black faces,
whose death and blood consecrated these places
Rainey's mother said "Rainey stay at my side
For you are my blessing, you are my pride.
It's your love here that keeps my soul alive
I want you to come home from school and stay inside."

Rainey'd do his work and put his books away.
There was a channel showed a Western movie everyday
LYNETTE brought him home books on the black cowboys of the Oklahoma range
AND the Seminole scouts that fought the tribes of the Great Plains.
Summer come and the days grew long,
Rainey always had his mother's smile to depend on.
Along A street of stray bullets he made his way
To the warmth of her arms at the end of each day.

Come the Fall, the rain flooded these homes in Ezekiel's valley of dry bones,
it fell hard and dark to the ground. It fell without a sound.
LYNETTE took up with a man whose business was the boulevard,
whose smile was fixed in a face that was never off guard
In the pipes 'neath the kitchen sink his secrets are kept
In the day, behind drawn curtains in LYNETTE'S bedroom he slept.

And she got lost in the days. The smile Rainey depended on dusted away.
The arms that held him were no more his HOME.
He lay at night his head pressed to her chest listening to the ghost in her bones.

In the kitchen, Rainey slipped his hand between the pipes
From a brown bag pulled five hundred dollar bills and stuck it in his coat side,
stood in the dark at his mother's bed, brushed her hair and kissed her eyes.

In the twilight Rainey walked to the station on streets of stone.
Through Pennsylvania and Ohio his train drifted on.
Through the small towns of Indiana the big train crept,
as he lay his head back on his seat and slept.
He woke and the towns gave way to muddy fields of green
Corn and cotton and endless nothing in between
Over the rutted hills of Oklahoma the red sun slipped and was gone
The moon rose and stripped the earth to its bone.


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