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Twenty Years Of Dirt
Warner Brothers Records
1986

The best of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, featuring the previously unreleased "Stand A Little Rain."

(Certified Platinum)
Track Listing (choose a title below for lyrics):

I knew a man, Bojangles, and he'd dance for you
In worn out shoes
With silver hair, a ragged shirt, and baggy pants
The old soft shoe
He jumped so high, jumped so high
Then he lightly touched down

I met him in a cell in New Orleans I was
Down and out
He looked to me to be the eyes of age
As he spoke right out
He talked of life, talked of life, he laughed
Clicked his heels and stepped

He said his name "Bojangles", and he danced a lick
Across the cell
He grabbed his pants and spread his stance,
Oh, he jumped so high and then he clicked his heels
He let go a laugh, let go a laugh
And shook back his clothes all around

Mr. Bojangles, Mr. Bojangles
Mr. Bojangles, dance

He danced for those at minstrel shows and county fairs
Throughout the south
He spoke through tears of fifteen years how his dog and him
Traveled about
The dog up and died, he up and died
And after twenty years he still grieves

He said I dance now at every chance in honky-tonks
For drinks and tips
But most the time I spend behind these county bars
'Cause I drinks a bit
He shook his head, and as he shook his head
I heard someone ask him please

Mr. Bojangles, Mr. Bojangles
Mr. Bojangles, dance


I've got ripplin' waters to wake me
To the morning, my woman and love
And tall pine trees are pointing us easily to Heaven above
Blue spruce flaming on the grate in the evening
Takes the chill away fine
Cut the telephone line and the story's the same

There's a worn red chair by the window
That we found at a sale down the way
When some old women said that they needed more room for the winter
People like pulling out the stuffing when they sit down
So it passes the time
Cut the telephone line and the story's the same

Oh, like a bubble on a windy day
Start to flutter when I hear you say
That you feel too good to go away
And you make me feel fine
And you've made my world a warmer place
By the sparkling of your diamond face
On a frayed spot put a little lace
And you make me feel fine
Warm as the mountain sunshine
On the edge of the snowline
In a meadow of columbine

Oh little Jennifer, I'd give a penny for
What you've got on your mind
It seems like most of the time you're lying there dreaming
Maybe in your vision you see how our mission
Is slightly less than divine
Cut the telephone line and the story's the same

Now ripplin' waters flow through pipes
In the walls and they're keeping me warm
And the closest I've been to my family for days is my music
But to silently stare at the morning sky
It's like hearing her calling my name
You cut the telephone line and the story might change

Oh, like a bubble on a windy day
Start to flutter when I hear you say
That you feel too good to go away
And you make me feel fine
And you've made my world a warmer place
By the sparkling of your diamond face
On a frayed spot, put a little lace
And you make me feel fine
Warm as the mountain sunshine
On the edge of the snowline
In a meadow of columbine


I beg your pardon, mama, what did you say?
My mind was drifting off on Martinique Bay.
It's not that I'm not interested, you see;
Augusta, Georgia is just no place to be.

I think Jamaican in the moonlight.
Sandy beaches, drinking rum every night.
We got no money, mama, but we can go;
We'll split the difference, go to Coconut Grove.

Keep on talking, mama, I can hear
Your voice, it tickles down inside of my ear.
I feel a tropical vacation this year,
Might be the answer to this hillbilly fear.

I think Jamaican in the moonlight.
Sandy beaches, drinking rum every night.
We got no money, mama, but we can go;
We'll split the difference, go to Coconut Grove.

Voila! An American Dream.
Well, we can travel girl, without any means.
When it's as easy as closing your eyes
And dream Jamaica is a big neon sign.

Just keep talking, mama, I like that sound.
It goes so easy with that rain falling down.
I think a tropical vacation this year,
Might be the answer to this hillbilly fear.

Voila! An American Dream.
Yeah, we can travel, girl, without any means.
When it's as easy as closing your eyes
And dream Jamaica is a big neon sign.

Just think Jamaican in the moonlight.
Sandy beaches, drinking rum every night.
We got no money, mama, but we can go;
We'll split the difference, go to Coconut Grove.


I don't need the same excuses
All this talk is really useless
You run for cover every time I'm close to you
Don't want to hear about the others
There's something here we should discover
Let's make a little magic before the night is through

Ooh, you've seen it all before and heard the same lines
But if you're willing just to take a chance
It could be all right, so fine
We'll find ourselves dancing by firelight

So don't you try to change the subject
Or try to put yourself above it
A boy could get pneumonia sitting next to you, that's true
A little sleep is all we're losing
It's up to us to do the choosing
Let's make a little magic 'fore the night is through
Make a little magic 'fore the night is through

Ooh, to the blue skies where no one can reach us
It may sound crazy but just hold on tight
Never has a love run deeper
Baby my heart is true
Baby my heart is true

A little sleep is all we're losing
It's up to us to do the choosing
Let's make a little magic 'fore the night is through

Let's make a little magic
Let's make a little magic
Make a little magic 'fore the night is through


All alone in a sleepless night
Passing time with a runaway moon
Talking to myself
Wishing I was somewhere else
It's been too long since I held you girl
And twice a thousand miles
But my heart won't beat alone
I need the love I left behind

Hold back the dawn a while
Things will all work out
Don't let this dream die

There's a fire in the sky
It's like the light in your eyes
Thinking of you
And I won't give up 'til you're in my arms
Never give up 'til what's lost is found
Won't give up on your sweet sweet love again

Now the night is dark with diamonds
And I'm standing inside the rain
Giving up your love
Was the worst mistake I made
There's a sound I hear in the distance
Seems it's calling out my name
Well, I'll pay most any price
Just hope I'm not too late

Turn back the clock a while
Things will all work out
That's what the dream is all about

There's a fire in the sky
Like the light in your eyes
Oh, it's true
That I won't give up 'til you're in my arms
Never give up 'til what's lost is found
Won't give up on your sweet sweet love

Turn back the clock a while
Things will all work out
That's what the dream is all about
I see a fire in the sky
Just like the light in your eyes
Thinking of you
And I won't give up 'til you're in my arms
Never give up 'til what's lost is found
Won't give up on your sweet sweet love


I played a weddin' for the money
And I wished I could've told the bride and groom
Just what I think of marriage
And what's in store after their honeymoon

And I was grumblin' to the dancers
About how men and women ought to live apart
And how a promise never made cannot be broken
And can never break your heart

Then suddenly from out of nowhere
A little girl came dancin' cross the floor
And all her crinolines were billowin'
Beneath the skirt of calico she wore

Oh, what a joy fell on the honored guests
As each one of them was drawn into her dream
And they laughed and stamped and clapped their hands
And hollered at her "Dance, little Jean"

And they said, "Dance, little Jean, this day is for you
Two people you love stood up to say I do"
Dance, little Jean a prayer that you had
Was answered today
Your mama's marryin' your dad

Well, my cynical heart just melted
'Cause I figured what this get together meant
How it ended years of tears and sad confusion
That the little girl had spent

And they told the band to pack it up
About the time the couple cut the cake
But we played as long as they stayed
For love and laughs and little Jeannie's sake

And we played, "Dance, little Jean this day is for you
Two people you love stood up to say I do"
Dance, little Jean, a prayer that you had
Was answered today
Your mama's marryin' your dad
Your mama's marryin' your dad



Way back in my memory there's a scene that I recall
Of a little run-down cabin in the woods
Where my daddy never promised that our blue moon would turn gold
But he laid awake nights wishin' that it would

When the world was on our radio, hard work was on our minds
We lived our day-to-day in plain dirt fashion
With old overalls and cotton balls all strapped across your back
Man, it's hard to make believe there ain't nothing wrong

But mama kept the Bible read and daddy kept our family fed
And somewhere in between I must have grown
'Cause someday I was dreamin' that a song that I was singin'
Takes me down the road to where I want to go
Now I know
It's a long hard road

Sometimes I remember when I stay up late at night
When sun-up came we got up and went
In the shadows of a workin' day our moonlight hours spent
Singin' songs along with Grandma's radio

Now I'm beatin' down an ol' blacktop road, sleepin' in a sack
Livin' in my memories all in vain
'Cause those city lights ain't all that bright compared to what its like
To see lightning bugs go dancin' in the rain

Mama played the guitar then and daddy made the saw blade bend
And raindrops played the tin roof like a drum
But I just kept on dreamin' that a song that I was singin'
Takes me down the road to where my name is known
Now I'm gone
And its a long hard road
Yes, I know
Its a long hard road


Get up on your high horse, woman
Get up on your high horse now
Get up on your high horse, woman
I'll make it up to you somehow

Moonlit shadows she starts tripping fire light
Jumping the trees lying across the right of way
Silvery morning it glistens down the valley
But she don't stop till we ride the night away

Get up on your high horse, woman
Get up on your high horse now
Get up on your high horse, woman
I'll make it up to you somehow

Long braids tangled at the misty break of morning
Catching light through a dusty window pane
Lost in lust in denial of the warning
She digs her heels in the stallion's flank again

Get up on your high horse, woman
Get up on your high horse now
Get up on your high horse, woman
I'll make it up to you somehow

Get up on your high horse, woman
You pay the price, you get to play, hey
Get up on your high horse, woman
You're gonna ride to the break of day
To the break of day
To the break of day

Get up on your high horse, woman
Get up on your high horse now
Get up on your high horse, woman
I'll make it up to you somehow

Get up on your high horse, woman
You pay the price you get to play, hey
Get up on your high horse, woman
You're gonna ride to the break of day
To the break of day
To the break of day
To the break of day


We met on the highway, she flagged me down
Had a flat on her Stingray with nobody around
So I helped her out, she said climb in
So I ditched my ol' truck just to see where the party would end

We spent the weekend in Reno in a honeymoon suite
Never saw the casino, barely took time to eat
I never dreamed she would take me that far
But by Sunday that lady had taken a hold of my heart

It's a modern day romance, a new kind of game
With no time to slow dance in the fast lane
I tried to love her without any strings
But a modern day romance has left me some old-fashioned pain

She never said good-bye, just a note by the phone
Said thanks for the good times, but it's time to move on
Well, I'm out here walkin' with my thumb in the air
Wondering where she might've gone and why I even care

It's just a modern day romance, a new kind of game
With no time to slow dance in the fast lane
I tried to love her without any strings
But a modern day romance has left me some old-fashioned pain
It's a modern day romance, an old fashioned pain




The promoter says he wants to cancel
'Cause there ain't enough tickets sold
The air conditioner on the bus just broke
And I can't shake this cold

The single lost the bullet
The singer's losin' his wife
Well, I might be crazy but I wouldn't change
A single thing about this life

Sometimes we feel like champions
Sometimes we just can't win
Sometimes our records hit the top of the charts
Or the discount bargain bin

Through almost twenty years of touring
We've remained partners, brothers and friends
Well, we keep it together 'cause we're sure
We're gonna be big time before it all ends

Well, as long as Johnny's got his fiddle
And Jimmie's got his drums along
Then Jeffrey and me and Bobby will be
Singing all our favorite songs

We'll catch the fire from the folks in the front row
Fan the flames as the beat gets strong
It's great to be a part of something
So good that's lasted so long

Well, I saw a story in the paper
Suddenly the band's big news
The critics all like our records just fine
But they seem a bit confused

Is it folk or rock or country
Seems like everybody cares but us
So just leave us an early wake-up call
So we don't miss the bus

Well as long as Johnny's got his fiddle
And Jimmie's got his drums along
Then Jeffrey and me and Bobby will be
Singing all our favorite songs

We'll catch the fire from the folks in the front row
Fan the flames as the beat gets strong
It's great to be a part of something
So good that's lasted so long

The band says it can't stand my latest song, it's too personal
But my first wife's second marriage blew up
They had to get the dang thing annulled
Well if that ain't something to sing about
Then you tell me what is
And we'll give it a beat and put it on the street
And we just might have another hit

Well, as long as Johnny's got his banjo
And Jimmie's got his harps along
Then Jeffrey and me and Bobby will be
Singing all our favorite songs

We'll catch the fire from the folks in the front row
Fan the flames as the beat gets strong
It's great to be a part of something
So good that's lasted so long
Yeah, it's great to be a part of something so good that's lasted so long


Dark cloud is coming
Headed straight for your heart
Might get just a little bit crazy, baby
Might try to tear us apart
When the storm blows over
Only the strong love remains
If we're ever gonna see a rainbow
We have to stand a little rain

Everybody wants love to be easy
But it's never been that way
Each love starts out with blue skies
Sometimes those blue skies turn gray
And when the storm blows over
Only the true love remains
If we're ever gonna see a rainbow
We have to stand a little rain

Thunder rolls and the lightning strikes
Hold on darling it's gonna be alright
'cause when the storm blows over
I swear our love will remain
If we're ever gonna see a rainbow
We have to stand a little rain

If we're ever gonna see a rainbow
We have to stand a little rain
Have to stand a little rain
If we're ever gonna see a rainbow
We have to stand a little rain
Have to stand a little rain
If we're ever gonna see a rainbow
We have to stand a little rain