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St John the gambler
   ------Townes Van Zandt

by Townes Van Zandt

When she had twenty years she turned to her mother
saying Mother, I know that you'll grieve
but I've given my soul to St John the gambler
tomorrow comes time leave
for the hills cannot hold back my sorrow forever
and dead men lay deep 'round the door
the only salvation thats mine for the asking
so mother, think on me no more


Winter held high round the mountains breast
and the cold of a thousand snows
lay heaped upon the forests leaf
but she dressed in calico
for a gambler likes his women fancy
fancy she would be
and the fire of her longing would keep way the cold
and her dress was a sight to see


But the road was long beneath the feet
she followed her frozen breath
in search of a certain St John the gambler
stumbling to her death
she heard his laughter right down from the mountains
and danced with her mothers tears
to a funeral drawn a calico
'neath the cross of twenty years


To a funeral drawn a calico
'neath the cross of twenty years