D A D Elijah came to Texas to build his family a home D/C# Bm Bm/A A With his wife and new baby and what little goods that they owned. D G D Bm Had a good yoke of oxen and hand tools for clearing the land, Em A7 D And he built him a church, 'cause he was a God-fearing man.
All of his children and heirs worshipped here through the years,
On down to my grandad, and he's buried 'bout forty yards from here.
It's where I was baptized, where I took me a wife,
And if I have my say so, that's where I'll rest when it's time.
D When I'm dead and I'm gone, won't you carry me home G D To that little white church in my daddy's hometown? G G/F# G/E D Lord knows I'm some kind of sinner, Em A But I've done come this far, and it's too late for changing. D D/C# When this race has been run, take me back where I came from, Bm A And let me return what I took from the ground. G D When this body won't carry me no further, A D Take me home, and lay me down.
That ol' East Texas red dirt won't grow much of nothing, they say,
'Cept tomatoes and peaches, mostly drill for oil nowadays.
And a hired hand named Reagan first made me understand,
And he told me the red was the blood of my kin in the land.
When I'm dead and I'm gone, won't you carry me home
To that little white church in my daddy's hometown?
Lord knows I'm some kind of sinner,
But I've done come this far, and it's too late for changing.
When this race has been run, take me back where I came from,
And let me return what I took from the ground!
When this body won't carry me no further,
Take me home, and lay me down.
(Words and music by Steve Earle, 1975)
Notes: Steve Earle performed this song with Guy Clark in the 1976 documentary Heartworn Highways, which is often considered by fans as "the only recording of the song". However, it's not. While searching for information on the film, I came by a very rare studio demo tape of the song, recorded by Steve with a full band in Nashville in 1975. I've put it on YouTube here. The chords and lyrics above are based on the studio version.
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