And Now, a Great Live Version of One of James McMurtry’s Classic Songs: “Levelland”

Music • Views: 32,088

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I honestly believe this to be one of the greatest songs ever written. So much said with so few words.

Flatter than a tabletop
Makes you wonder why they stopped here
Wagon must have lost a wheel
Or they lacked ambition one

On the great migration west
Separated from the rest
Though they might have tried their best
They never caught the sun

So they sunk some roots down in this dirt
To keep from blowin’ off the earth
They built a town around here
And when the dust had all but cleared

They called it Levelland
The pride of man
Levelland

Granddad grew dryland wheat
Stood on his own two feet
His mind went incomplete
And they put him in the home

Daddy’s cotton grows so high
Sucks the water table dry
His rolling sprinklers circle by
Bleedin’ it to the bone

And I won’t be here when it comes a day
It all dries up and blows away
I’d hang around just to see
But they never had much use for me

In Levelland
They don’t understand me
Out in Levelland

And I watch those jet trails carving up that big blue sky
Coast to coasters watch ‘em go
And I don’t blame ‘em one damn bit
If they never look down on this
Not much here they’d wanna know

Just Levelland
Far as you can point your hand
Nothin’ but Levelland

Mama used to roll her hair
Back before the central air
We’d sit outside and watch the stars at night
She’d tell me to make a wish
I’d wish we both could fly
I don’t think she’s seen the sky
Since we got the satellite dish

I can hear the marching band
Doin’ the best they can
To play “Smoke on the Water”,
“Joy to the World”

I’ve paid off all my debts
Got some change left over yet
And I’m gettin’ on a whisper jet
I’m gonna fly as far as I can get

From Levelland
Doin’ the best I can
Out in Levelland

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