Goin’ Back to Texas

Posted in: Uncategorized | By: | March 09, 2009

In the decades following the second World War, millions of people left the land in the south and went north to find better work in the auto factories and steel plants. The transition was profound for families, individuals, and our entire country’s culture. Ultimately, people adjusted and our economy thrived. But there was something lost as farm boys grew accustomed to factory noise and cold winters and rare long-distance phone calls home. The emotion of this separation was best captured in the popular song “Detroit City” by Bobby Bare, which plaintively moans for home. Not much more than a generation later the automotive industry teeters on collapse and Midwesterners are running back to the south and southwest.

I chose this return migration as the topic for an amateur song-writing contest with my friend Jack Holt. Amateur, of course, is the most important word to remember as you read these lyrics.

Goin’ Back to Texas

Got my notice just last Friday

Said the graveyard’s got to go.

Put the house up on the market.

Asking price is way too low.

Grandpa went north back in 50.

Tired of choppin’ cotton rows.

Now this line is barely movin’

And there’s nowhere left to go.

(Refrain)

But we’re goin’ back to Texas

Warm air that’s filled with song.

We’re headin down to Austin

Where dreams can still grow strong

Across the Brazos by mornin’

Texas hard times never last too long.

My daddy earned an honest dollar

We set this nation on a roll

Men in suits just got too greedy

Dumped our country in a hole.

Buildings now are standin’ empty

Our jobs all shipped away.

We’ve got no offers comin’

Just words ’bout brighter days.

(Refrain)


So we’re goin’ back to Texas

Where bluebonnets last so long

We’re rollin into Houston

Thinkin’ nothin’ can go wrong.

Over the Sabine by sunrise

Texas hard times never last too long.

My baby dreamed along the highway

A shining city by the sea

I promised to keep tryin’

Livin’ in the land of free….

(Refrain)

Yes we’re goin’ back to Texas.

We’ve found a hopeful song.

We’re ridin’ into Dallas

Knowing nothin’ will go wrong.

We crossed the Red at sundown

Texas hard times never last too long.

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