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Johnny Cash
"Orphan Of The Road" lyrics

Orphan Of The Road

From a carny show and a rodeo
That shared a three-day stand
A cowboy met a fiery carny queen
In new spring nights amid the lights
Of the painted carny van
They laughed and loved
And shared short-lived dreams

But the carny show and the rodeo
Went their separate ways
And the carny season bloomed
And soon moved on
And I was born on a winter morn
To the dark-eyed carny queen
The too-late son
Of something that was gone

The black-sheep child
That grew up wild
From the seed the four winds sowed
Unwanted son of ice and fire
An orphan of the road

I was still a child when my mama died
Of a chill that closed her eyes
So I was left to grow up on my own
Without a name, too wild to tame
No one cared to try
So mostly I was mostly left alone

In dingy bars and cold boxcars
Hobo jungle camps
I joined the men
Who drift from town to town
The surging flood of restless blood
Flowed inside my veins
I'd never find the time
To settle down

The black-sheep child
That grew up wild
From the seed the four winds sowed
Unwanted son of ice and fire
An orphan of the road

In the misty rain I caught the train
That slowed down through the town
And I pulled myself
Into the boxcar door
In a passing light in the deep gray night
I saw the still dark form
Of an old man lying sick
Upon the floor

And he said, "I tried to find her
But they told me that she'd died
And that she'd left
An only son behind
And I tried to find him but I never did
But I know I could rest in peace
If I could just see him once
Before I die"

I found a match and I quickly scratched it
Into a flicker and flame
Then I held it close
And I gently raised his head
"My mother, sir"
I said of her
"I have her same dark eyes"
He smiled a cowboy smile
And then was dead

The black-sheep child
That grew up wild
From the seed the four winds sowed
Unwanted son of ice and fire
An orphan of the road

Authors: Dick Feller