Down at the mill, down at the mill,

the mill broke down, it's broken still.

I never did find you, and I guess I never will,

unless you meet me down at the mill.


It's always August, sweat on your neck,

you do the work but you never see a check.

Fat Annie waiting for you - man, if looks could kill,

you never would have woke this morning, down at the mill.


Young guys on motorcycles, hard eyes, hardons,

go chasing through the woods to the muddy yellow pond.

Their hands are filthy, their souls are dirty,

they shoot the shit with a 30-30.


Down at the mill, down at the mill,

grampa spit tobacco at a barrel full of swill.

There's a sawdust mountain and a slabwood hill

and Jim Beam on the jammer, down at the mill.


Dammit now I told you, goddammit I said

get that little bastard Frank, smack him on the head.

I'm on my way to Jesus but I'm moving slow,

If you think that you can take me, c'mon, let's go.


Grease of the engine, whine of the saw,

the trouble with the customers, they're all in-laws,

Don't even ask them about the way they feel,

they're all broke down like the damn old mill.

Down at the Mill

One wrong turn is all it takes

and there ain't many signs -

you only get a few breaks.

Some get more.  Some get less.

One wrong turn leads to the next.


The days go slow and the years go fast.

The future you look for is soon the past.

You seldom end up where you thought you would.

One wrong turn can change it all for good.


Love ain't a hug.  Love ain't a kiss.

Love is every day doing this, that, this.

We put in our time and we put in our heart.

One wrong turn can tear it all apart.


Where's that little house with the porch light on

in a stand of cedar and the highway gone -

Good smells of cooking and the garden loam -

I'd have thought by now I'd have found my home.

One Wrong Turn

baby still looks like you're on your way to china

china, chi-nay, far away

baby said how long you gonna stay in china

china, chi-nay, far away


I said I'll be back as soon as I can from china

china, chi-nay, far away

I said babe I hope you understand about china

china, chi-nay, far away


I'm walkin' with my baby but man I'm in china

china, chi-nay, far away

I'm talkin' with my baby but mmm I'm in china

china, chi-nay, far away


I come in on the run from china

china, chi-nay, far away

I tried to hug my baby some, she's in china

china, chi-nay, far away


O maybe somewhere down the line O china

china, chi-nay, far away

we'll get back the same time from china

china, chi-nay, far away


baby said looks like you're on your way to china

china, chi-nay, far away

baby said how long you gonna stay in china

china, chi-nay, far away

A little creek you could spit across

Jimmy and me each took one more toss

our spinners bright in the evening air

People always said, There ain't no fish in there

Well grownups they ain't always right

Jimmy and me walked home slow that night

right down Main Street in our P.F. Fliers

with two 5 lb. bass making grown men liars


Jimmy if I had known--

I might have stopped fishing right then

It's just as well we don't know

when things will never be that good again


A hayride on an Autumn night

Well we was 15 if I remember right

We were far apart at the start of the ride

but somehow we ended up side by side

We hit a bump and she grabbed my arm

The night was as cold as her lips were warm

I shivered as her hand held mine

And then I kissed her one more time


And Jane if I had known--

I might have stopped kissing right then

It's just as well we don't know

when things will never be that good again


She was older than me I guess

Summer was invented for her to wear that dress

I knew about risk and she knew about proof

and that night she took me up on the roof

We could see the lights of the little towns

We could watch the August stars come down

Shooting stars, meteorites--

we went on a ride through the sky that night


And, oh, if I had known--

I'd do it all over again

Some things just get better and better

and better than they've already been

China

If I Had Known

all lyrics and music©Greg Brown unless otherwise noted


                     (turn on subtitles for exact lyrics in the film)

Poor Backslider

That’s Enough

I'm a poor backslider in the pit of sin

I try to crawl out.  I slip back in

Come Savior save me--get ahold of my hand

Please don't let me slide back in the dark again


Well the preacher told me hope was never gone

I combed my hair with water and put my white shirt on

One Sunday morning I put the family in the car

dropped them down at church and went on down to the bar


Audrey left me and she tooks my kids

I miss them children--I'm sorry for what I did

When I get drinking I lose control

When you lose your family it's like you lost your soul


Now the mill is failing, I'm on shifting sand

I sit in my trailer and I wring my hands

No children's voice, no woman's touch

Just a whiskey bottle, some shotgun shells and such


Should not have let that woman get me so annoyed

Should not of hit my girl; should not of struck my boy

Should not of took off running like a turkey through the corn

Should not of bought this gun; should not of ever been born


The preacher told me Jesus laid down his life for my sin

Well I'd lay mine down too if I could do it like him

Three days in the grave--that sounds good to me

I just have some problems with eternity


I'm a poor backslider in the pit of sin

I try to crawl out.  I slip back in

Come Savior save me--get ahold of my hand

Please don't let me slide back in the dark again

When your head come forward

and you dance all about

your legs start shaking

and your tongue hung out

Its enough, goddammit, it's enough


when the room was moving

to that dance you done

when you kicked off your boot

and put out the sun

when the house was rocking

and the stars keep time

fruit starts jumping

right off the vine

it's enough, goddammit, it's enough


when you woman your woman

and I man my man

and we get to loving

oh honey like we can

it's enough, goddammit, it's enough


standing out here

looking at the sky

feeling you

I shout up on high

it's enough, goddammit, it's enough

Fooled Me Once

Your Town Now

My Mama died when I was sixteen

She was shitfaced behind the wheel

They made me go to the graveyard

I would not pray or kneel

I don't pray to no god who takes your Mama

and leaves you in a house full of junk

with a stepdad who gets all lovey dovey

every time that he gets a little drunk


They fooled me once--I took it on the chin

But I'll be damned if they fool me again


Took off out of high school and joined the army

People said that ain't no place for a girl

People 'round here don't know what's going on

I wanted to see the world

All I saw was a hot flat field

and a sergeant the size of a sow

The only thing they taught me was how to run

Well let's see 'em try to catch me now


I met a guy and he talked real nice

and he looked good down on his knees

but now I'm the one who had the kid

and the one that lost the car keys

Now every time I fall in love

I only fall so far

Well they can have a piece of me

but they shouldn't try to take my car


So now I come dancing up to you

shaking 'em in your face

If you got a dollar, fish it out

and stick it in the right place

I need some things the same as you

and my expenses run high

Soon as I pay off this guy I owe

me and my kid are gonna fly


They fooled me once--I took it on the chin

But I'll be damned if they fool me again

I used to go out quite a lot,

chase to chase and shot to shot.

I'm all done with that somehow,

and it's your town now.


These days the mighty eagle sings,

of money and material things,

and the almighty Dow,

and it's your town now,

your town now,

it's--

From the mountains to the plains

all the towns are wrapped in chains,

and the little that the law allows,

and it's your town now,

it's your town now,

it's--

Where are the young bands gonna play?

Where're the old beatniks gonna stay,

and not before some corporation bow?

and it's your town now,

it's your town now,

it's--

So be careful everyone,

Cops can get careless with their guns.

And then they slip off somehow,

and it's your town now,

it's your town now,

it's--

You young ones it's up to you

to fight the fight and I hope you do,

Oh I see in your eyes that you know how

and it's your town now

your town now.

Don't let 'em take the whole damn deal,

Don't give up on what you really feel.

Ah, the small and local must survive somehow,

if it's gonna be your town now.

Is it gonna be your town now?

Is it gonna be your town now?

Is it gonna be?

how are things going in the small dark movie of your life

late at night you call your girlfriend in the morning you call your wife

in the morning you go for coffee leave town by the underpass

leave whatever happened last night cigarette in a champagne glass


the road used to go someplace you never been before

now it's just a race track and the only prize is more

the only off-ramp is up ahead and just where ain't too clear

and change is a semi with smoking wheels filling the rear view mirror


you could really use a rain coat and a pair of cool shoes

you could really use some idea of what you're gonna do

but the road keeps coming at you and you find no place to rest

and in these small dark movies no-one knows what's best


so how are things going in the small dark movie of your life

late at night you call your girlfriend in the morning you call your wife

in the morning you go for coffee leave town by the underpass

leave whatever happened last night cigarette in the champagne glass


how are things going

how are things going

how are things going

Small Dark Movie

Hop in my Valiant, hit Highway 1

Head on down to Hacklebarney, have me some fun

Up over that hill, here's what I'll do

set there and play this old music with you


You are my grandpa, I'm your grandson

50 years between us, feels more like one

We're old as the hills and yound as the dew

when I set there and play this old music with you


Goin' down yonder.  Here rattler here

when you and I were young Maggie preacher and the bear

and that one we can't remember that we always do

when I set there and play this old music with you


And when we've departed this music will ring

It's part of the red dust, part of everything

something of us I know will be here

WHere music is ringing, heaven is near


Jeeminy Criminy, where does life go?

Somewhere down in the holler I know

where you threw your old boot

where the whip-poor-will flew

where I set there and play this old music with you--hoo--hoo

Hacklebarney Tune

How come the young fellas keep whippin' my ass?

I'm almost out of gas, almost out of gas.

If I was a Catholic, I'd take the last mass.

I'm almost out of gas, almost out of gas.


How come I don't give a shit about what's goin' on?

I'm almost out of gas, almost out of gas.

And I don't come visit, and I don't mow my lawn.

Almost out of gas, almost out of gas.


Well, there was a young woman, she gave me a ride, you know.

But it wasn't too long 'til she dumped me off at the side of the road.


There's TV-lookin' people all over the place.

I'm almost out of gas, almost out of gas.

I think the fuckers must be from outer space.

I'm almost out of gas, almost out of gas.


Well, I used to be a man could make his own plan.

I'm almost out of gas, almost out of gas.

Now ya just gotta get by the best you can.

I'm almost out of gas, almost out of gas.


Well, I'm stuck somewhere down by the Missouri line tonight.

If it wasn't for you, I'd be doin' fine, that's right.


Now when I'm dead just throw me in a ditch.

I'm almost out of gas, almost out of gas.

And I wish you good luck, you son of a bitch.

Almost out of gas, almost out of gas.


Almost out of gas, almost out of gas.

Almost out of gas, almost out of gas.

Listen ta me baby,

what I said is right 

I'll leave home in the mornin' baby

But I can't stay out all night


'Cause you got me dizzy

Yeah, you got me dizzy

Yeah, you got me dizzy

And I can't even see my way


Let me tell you baby, what I say is true

I ain't never, never loved nobody

In the way that I love you


Now, you got me dizzy

Whoa, you got me dizzy

Yeah, you got me dizzy

And I can't even see my way


(I hear you)


Wait a minute babe

Don't you bip or bop

You done made me love you baby

And I swear, I just can't stop


'Cause you got me dizzy

Whoa, you got me dizzy

Yeah, you got me dizzy

I can't even see my way


Almost Outa Gas

You Got Me Dizzy

                    Words/Music by:

Jimmy Reed & Ewart Abner

GoodNight Ol’ Mill

Dempster was talking,


View with subtitles in the DVD

Suitcase Boogie

by: Joe Price

View with subtitles in the DVD

Roll & Tumble Blues

traditional - Hambone Willie Newbern

                            View with subtitles in the DVD

Ode to the Mill

by: Dean Williams

                  View with subtitles in the DVD

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...last night at the Mill

Greg Brown