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Liars, Cutthroats and Dames

by Kathleen Dunbar

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Lilah 03:12
Lilah By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar Lilah goes when she can Lilah goes to meet her man lovers come since time began Lilah meets him when she can Lilah goes by the moon that’s when they make their lovin tune day can’t go to dark too soon Lilah meets him by the moon woman got feet she walk along woman got a mouth she talk along woman got a heart and her love is strong woman get a man it’ll all go wrong one desire goin make it last one desire goin make it last workin on the highline when he can spend his days in ol Montan he met Lilah and her man you burn in the fire and you cook in the pan they was all out drinkin on a roadhouse high he touched her arm, fell in her eyes ain’t no because, there ain’t no why desire blooms(and wisdom dies she shook her head, she told him no don’t want your voice so sweet and low she said boy you got to go wantin somethin don’t make it so one desire etc. Montana man done killed her love that’s the deed I’m speakin of brought his fist down from above got the devil in him ain’t got no dove Lilah weeps at the stone for all the love that she has known god gives you life but it’s a loan you pay him back in blood and bone one desire etc.
Baby Put Your Red Shoes On By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar when I lived by the traintrack I loved the traintrack man now I’m livin by the cookhouse we’re cookin every time we can ….. servin me up breakfast at least as much as I can stand I used to pray for comfort down on my knees you know when you’re lonely and you’re wantin that release ….. but it ain’t worth the trouble now I’m doin what I please Chorus come on pretty baby baby put your red shoes on come on pretty baby baby put your red shoes on we’re gonna keep on dancin keep on dancin till the dawn I can’t back to Olema cuz of what I done you know I couldn’t help it I was only havin fun …..mm hm yeah the gossip tongues a’waggin and they got me on the run he said baby won’t you meet me at the Pillowtalk Motel he said you can’t resist me so you know I went and fell, in …..love, yeah oh the fireman’s a’comin and he’s ringin on his bell Chorus my heart is breakin you know it’s breakin with the pain the company I’m keepin yeah I know I can’t complain …..uh-uh the tears I am cryin they all meltin in the rain a man tells you that he loves you sweet-talkin’ voodoo don’t believe what he’s sayin it’s a lotta hoo-doo-doo …..doo, doo gal, the medicine you’re needin is to tell him that you’re through Chorus
Bill Lost His Leg By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar bill lost his leg got a hollow one of wood hides his gun and his whiskey good the body ain’t impo’tant it’s what’s under the hood yeah, yeah, yeah roebuck died when the weather was hot real quick funeral is what he got better in the ground then rottin on top yeah, yeah, yeah CHORUS and the gypsies say “I can tell your fortune” and the gypsies say, “I can read it in the cards” they can tell it all with the crystal ball but you gotta have cash that’s cold and hard ol joe eagle eye flyin up real high thought he’d have some dinner with the saints and the whores, but the cops done found him dead as a board leaned up flat on the old church door high as a donkey, feeling kinda wonkey he robbed the honkey-tonkey joint, tired a bein poor bullet in the gun, gun, in your pocket point and shoot, it what the gun is for chappa chappa tay, chappa chappa tay chappa chappa tay, chappa chappa tay chappa chap TAY, chappa chappa TAY CHEW CHEW CHEW play sad on the trombone when I am long gone weep in your beer at old Jack’s bar Friday’s full of knives and other people’s wives yeah, yeah, yeah debt goes up and your pile goes down give it to the gal in the fancy gown angels say up but the devil says down yeah, yeah, yeah CHORUS BRIDGE and there might be some sweet eternity for me all that I can see is the boneyard, worm field day old, garbage no one knows how it goes when you’re down in the ground woulda spent the loot, tried to take it all last thing he did was a dead man’s crawl died with his fingerbones bent round the gold put in the ground, boy the ground is cold engineer jumped, ain’t comin back pretty soon train gonna run out of track you see the end comin for a mile or two you take another drink what else ya gonna do Chappa Tays
April Blues 03:50
April Blues By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar I told when I left you I told when I go I told for the last time in the cabin down below you cannot keep me boy by the chain that’s in your hand you can put the spell of love on me but it blows away like sand Chorus and I know you oh you wan-na taste my kiss I know what you like what you like is this I told you on that first hot night you gotta take me as I am when the devil comes to claim your soul you’ll be thankful you been damned I lit your ya-ya fire love delicious, funky, fine I know I said I love you boy I meant it at the time Chorus when I left you I was travelin light sweet talkin for my pay you held my body to you just beggin me to stay you know the cost of lovin me it leaves a burnin brand you said if I can’t keep you girl then no other lover can you put your voodoo charm on me that’s what the spirit’s tell you sold me down the river in a boat that goes to hell Chorus
Circus 03:07
Circus By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar VERSES a freak as a boy on the far side of hell he lived by his wits in a crumbling motel with the eyes of a gunner, a rock-steady aim all that he lacked was a good-looking dame charm won the girl and the damage was done his prospects weren’t much but it sounded like fun when the calls comes for you and you step in the ring inside the big tent you get to be king BRIDGE-A the acrobat jumps while the audience stares dangling his legs and his life in the air when he performs, there’s never a net a prayer and a handshake is all that you get VERSES it’s time for the show and he changes clothes puts on the sequins, the makeup, a rose a jacket with tails as wild as a dream sweet love and nightmare sewed into the seams the ringmaster waves his tall hat and cries out the knifethrower enters and circles about under his spell, you hold your breath in the circus at the edge of death BRIDGE-B he says I fell, I’m in love – I’m still falling oh-ho my dear how your loves is enthralling when you let go (pause) there is no cure for a fall VERSES he tells the girl to lay perfectly still steadies his hand by the strength of his will the wheel is spinning, the knives wicked sharp her neckline plunged down shows the beat of her heart he’s in to the hilt and he’s up the hasp throws back his arm and the audience gasps he wants the girl but true love is so frightening he lets go his knives and he throws them like lightning BRIDGE-C the more the desire, the sweeter the kiss I’ll try to be good but please know if I miss love is more fun when it’s dan-ger-ous! INSTRUMENTAL HALF VERSE FINALE tigers are jumping through round rings of fire a tightwalker walks on a rope of thin wire love is a promise, a wing and a prayer step up if you dare!
East Junk Hangyard By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar VERSE East Junk Hangyard belly full of steel he drove the locomotive was a devil at the wheel the freight that he was carryin you wouldn’t wanna know Red got the fire goin down below pretty Betty Blue was the woman that he loved pull comes to push and the pushes start to shove be careful with desire careful what you dream cuz wishes got a dark side ‘ll tear you at the seam CHORUS come on Betty come to me please pretty Betty won’t you set me free I’m the cat’s meow I’m pretty kitty don’t you know you gotta have the fire goin down below 4 CUT TIME BEATS VERSE the preacher calls on jesus to heal in the tent but travellin’s expensive and there’s money jesus spent oh the money box was full the preacher got bored when the wild life called he was out the door well he met Betty at the damnin of his soul she come to the tent eyes black like coal took the preacher’s hand looked him up an down said honey bring your money and we’ll paint the town BRIDGE well he’ll lie for he die for her ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooooooh oh how he’ll cry for her ooh-ooh-ooh-ooooooh VERSE crumbs of love is your supper all the time you’re hopin’ for a dollar but you’ll settle for a dime shoulda known better but the deed went down Red found Betty on the other side of town you can always find a fella if you’re willin to pay use a little muscle to brighten up your day, (now) there was Betty in the juke joint dressed in baby blue, he said I’ll make your train wreck and the preacher is through TROMBONE INTERLUDE VERSE the band kept playin the singer did his thing when the honeybee gets mad-oh! then she up and sting Red threw a punch preacher threw a chair but Betty sent the bullets flyin through the air 1 CUT-TIME BEAT I heard she left the preacher for a fella on the coast he had a lotta money so he got a lotta votes Red’s still around but he ain’t right since pretty Betty Blue shot out his light CHORUS come on Betty come to me please pretty Betty won’t you set me free I’m the cat’s meow I’m pretty kitty don’t you know you gotta have the fire goin down below you got to have the fire goin down below
Half of You Good By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar VERSE fancy man, paintin the town take a coin and finger it down makin your bet, see what you get wheel of fate spinnin around oh hoh prayer and a curse half of you good, half of you worse crying and crying, chasin the high baby you ain’t the first and you when you play ain’t no right or wrong make a bet with your debt sorrow’s the end of your song all the angels lookin at you but the devil he’s takin your side oh hoh you know the bill come due at the end of the ride it don’t help if you cry or if you lie you can’t carry it boy then you die VERSE oh hoh break or bend cards your lady, your lover, your friend tomorrow you’ll quit, be done with it who you foolin you’ll do it again oh hoh heavy as stone carry the weight till it’s crackin your bone sweet and mean, gamblin queen she won’t leave you alone and you say when you pray ain’t no right or wrong make a bet with your debt sorrow’s the end of your song lady luck is tired of you oh you curse her name ¬¬¬¬give her your love or take it away the hell that you feel’s the same wherever you turn you never learn you’re gonna burn with the pain VERSE oh hoh all you know never get free wherever you go sit on the porch, bottle in hand lady tells your story of woe hangman’s noose swingin your doom preacher man stand in the gloom mumble his words pullin the bell now you goin to hell and you say when you play ain’t no right or wrong make a bet with your debt sorrow’s the end of your song oh-oh lonely world all you know is gone kill when a man is lookin at you and the look that he gives is wrong it’s understood half of you good in a coffin of wood in the dawn
Hung Him On A Tree By Kathleen Dunbar Copyright by Kathleen Dunbar Verses: Chinese love song playin in the rain with a coin for luck and a joke for the pain he was lookin for the holy grail she was candy sweet, naked as a nail STOMP Little Miss Slyboots laughin out loud, Ooh! sugar in her kiss and her name on the shroud baby you think you’re pushin cool well I take cash/STOMP money and I ain’t no fool The Ohs how’d you get in trouble with the law you ain’t heard nothin, there’s nothin that you saw playin with the bottle with the pistol with the drug keep lookin, till you find looooooove Christ was the fall guy, hung him on a tree talkin to his daddy said you forgot me I’m so fulla woe o, ho, lookin for your sayso that’s all that I know Aphrodite in her nightie and a old blind shark angel and the devil put a bet on their mark deed gets done, then we know by dark pull it, shake it, break it on down that’s how you keep alive in this town no time to mess a-round The Ohs INSTRUMENTAL watch it go, money you spent hair and nails women with the strong accent foot out the limo see the high heels shine ain’t got the dollar, they ain’t got tiiiiiiiiime Christ was the fall guy, hung him on a tree talkin to his daddy said you forgot me I’m so fulla woe o, ho, lookin for your sayso that’s all that I know livin high on the hog, gotta have dough axe them cards, cards say no help yourself nobody gotta know then you get a shovel and you put it in the ground they’ll never know what it was that you found nest egg don’t make no sound The Ohs
I Knew A Girl By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar I knew a girl who was a dove I knew a girl who was a bird I knew her with a broken wing I tell this story from her word hie la, hie la, hie la—hey girl, don’t give your sweetness away young moon, a hoop of gold quick your dance both sweet and bold light your laugh, soft your hair your daddy saw you opened there hie la, hie la, hie la—hey girl, he stole your sweetness away your family took their livin from dirty cards and whiskey runs when their debt they could not pay one night they sold their child away hie la, hie la, hie la—hey god could hear no prayer girl you say wild men with gold and guns found your body for their fun used you like your pa had done where you learned that love begun hie la, hie la, hie la—hey girl, we make our livin where we lay there was a girl who was a dove there was a girl who was a bird I found her with a broken wing I found her with a broken word hie la, hie la, hie la—hey if we run there’ll be hell to pay time went on a yellow moon your chi-ild would be talking soon family doubled in her face sweetest pain and troubled grace sickness comes no one can hide in cold of dawn your child died I held you close when you cried for your sister daughter shame and pride hie la, hie la, hie la—hey angels took your baby away we took the drug that offered balm rough the water, sweet the calm I could not follow where you went on the day your life you spent hie la, hie la, hie la—hey gave the ground your body today there was a girl who was a dove there was a girl who was a bird I could not mend her broken wing I tried but I could find no word just hie-la hie-la hie-la hey girrrrrrrrrl, in my heart all lo-ove-broke you stay
In The Hole 05:13
In The Hole Lyrics by Kathleen Dunbar, music by Kathleen Dunbar and Gawain Mathews Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar and Gawain Mathews all gone the life you had before she called your name stood with her hand on the door she lay sweet and warm in her bed he won’t know my husband is gone so she said was it love was it love that made you burn old news you’re yesterday’s page that she turned her perfume wet and warm on her skin done with you ohh she beckons to him lay, lay it down, lay it in the bone hey, now you’re goin on alone hangin round her place outside of town she comes laughin her gold hair fallin all around she told you no and looked you up and down so you shot her laid her body in the cold, cold ground no mercy for you you still hear her callin an angel of light in darkness has fallen with the spell of her body to hell she bound you you remember all your days her golden hair all around you in the hole in the hole put it down and die got a secret want to tell but you can’t say why you talk about her guess that woman moved on your friends are laughin say how she liked her fun lay, lay it down, lay it in the bone hey, now you’re goin on alone there’s a hound there’s a gold haired hound comin through out of hell with the white teeth catches you no one knows the thing that you did do but every night in your dreams you must tell what is true no mercy for you you still hear her callin an angel of light in darkness has fallen with the spell of her body to hell she bound you you remember all your days her golden hair all around you OOHs
Joytown 04:39
Joytown By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar I bought me a ticket to Joytown I bought me a ticket to play it’ll cost my life if I leave here cost me more if I stay I walk in the water to wash away my sin but the stain it gets darker that’s the kind of trouble I’m in unh-hnn………………………… no holdin back on a slippery track can’t stop a runaway train ain’t no use to fight with a noose no brake on a hurricane some people been dyin in some of the places I been they want me for livin that’s the kind of trouble I’m in unh-hnn………………………… I wish I could but I can’t stop the siren calls to my end if I live through the morning tomorrow I’ll do it again I’m tired of losin can you tell me why I never win my chance ain’t great at the pearly gate that’s the kind of trouble I’m in unh-hnn………………………… I’m stuck in Johnson City mm-hm I might die I met one-eyed Jesus that’s the Jesus lost his eye he said don’t you know me right hand of the great big boss hey baby when you need it I can help you to get across CHORUS: come the end of the day everybody got to go to their jones when sweet jesus died he died with the nails in his bones I got these evil ways if I go I know I’m lost when I can’t take the pain then I’ll pick up the cross and I know, I know, this pain I’m holdin one shot, I know, would make it golden mm mm I need this a blind man needs a cane I guess I need my jesus to take away my pain the heaven he is selling that’d put me on the nod he said more’s the pity take a shot and call it god CHORUS
Liars, Cutthroats and Dames By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar all the boys are dancing in their dreams, you see they all believe they’re tall and fine and able the women in their arms are captured by their charms generalissmo is dining at their table you like drinking gin, but the girl that you fell in with drinks blue nightmare so you pour that in your glass all the things said she stick like magnets in your head you think of nothing else in the days that come to pass you shoulda caught the train but you were praying – in your way confessions to her eyes so deep and blue pull the rope and ring the bell, the devil grins in hell you know you’ve sold your soul and you’re dancing to her cue laaa la la laaaai laaa la la la la la la laaa la la laaaai laaa la la lai and you’re saying – la la la and you’re swaying – la la la to the tune of the moon when it’s tipping out it’s spoon and it’s spilling all its silver light around X X it’s raining really hard and the boys are playing cards you wish you’d never took the shortcut through the woods she is storm, she is froth, she is the flame, you are the moth she won’t recognize who you are when the bandages come off she whispered in your ear come be my joy come be my pain then she left you, oh! she went away when the hole is deep enough, you shovel in the dirt the passing of the years cannot cover up the hurt laaa la la laaaai etc. her name upon your tongue is like the secret word of god though she’s gone she burns your mind, she burns your skin you feel like putting poison in the cake you bake for you her but to kill her indirectly’s such a sin if I could play the host I would have everybody here the liars and the cutthroats and the dames the party’s just begun, OH HOH it is such fun with a hand upon the gun you cannot help but taking aim I know you like I know myself, my boy I have the cure you’ll be quick, you’ll be discreet, you’ll slip away no one cares, you’re all alone, your chips are down, your bones they groan just give into the urge, it’s only hell you’ll have to pay laaa la la laaaai etc.
Mojo for a man By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar I don’t want no fancy man I want a ditchdiggin man not afraid to get his hands dirty hardworking and somebody who can laugh at this old world climb out of the earth grinning keep enough of his paycheck in his pocket for bills and what is needful and meet me, washed clean and smelling alive. Damn, you’re trying too hard, he’d say you’re a knockout just the way you are, he’d say and with strong arms he’d pull me to him, long-stem on my heels and look me eye-to-eye. I’d throw back my head and laugh for joy tell him: I want to get down into the ditch with you into the mud let it ooze and suck and rush – your kisses are so wet and I am so thirsty – what I am looking for is a long drink of water I’ve been to hell and back had enough of being lost and having found myself is cause for celebration! I tell you, I am looking for a man who will sing to me in a voice so rich I can wear it on my skin a man who knows how to sweeten honey I mean – put it in a kiss and give it to me his mouth on mine with a boy’s delicious mischief and a man’s hard-edged working face handsome in the cut of the sun. I want a man who’ll hold me like I’m a bunch of flowers with his hands pressed close into the live-wire me a man ready for the long pause just ending an “are my legs long enough to leap from this jiggling stone to the other side or will I end up in the river?” kind of risk that, once taken, will change our lives. It’s not just sex I’m looking for though I want our bones to fit hip upon hip but something beautiful and strange as real as grit as full as the thrum of a bell! I want to clang in honeyed angles joyous in the wind our house filled with life, laughter reasonable arguments and the kind of love that ever-stirs the soul. These bodies we have are warm for a reason where are you, man? all this work I’ve done on myself – I’ve just come out of the oven, warm and sweet snowy with powdered sugar . . . . I know I am a woman because my mouth is ripe with myself and I am ready – it’s kisses that I want what my mouth can’t accomplish alone and all the rich companion things that follow – so I am standing on this moment in my red shoes I’ve put my red dress on yes – I’ve put soft red cloth over my breasts to let you know I’m sending my heart through my singing hands making this mojo for a good man.
Riverside 03:47
Riverside By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar I got a deep and burnin wound don’t know what the hell I am do-in I’m stuck on the ride goin round and round that’s trouble for sure that’s the devil in town I got a deep and burnin wound it never goin to get better than this here I go to shift and I grind the gear I got the bad luck broke the mirror the fucked up crack in what is clear ain’t gonna get better than this here Chorus Down by the riverside, that’s where I go when I want to hide Oh hoh you know I tried, how many times you know I cried hangman got to have his supper too you take a money job when you need to make it through get up again when the mornin is new¬¬¬ it ends the same whatever you do hangman got to have his supper too a kiss is sugar in your veins the hunger’s worse with every bed you lay in upon your leg the velvet chain you can pray or beg but it’s all the same for a kiss like sugar in your veins Chorus the brimstone preacher loves his word he ain’t lived the hardship in this world ain’t no balm gonna heal the hurt drop the coffin in the ground, shovel in the dirt oh give that preacher back his word we’re each the do-er and the done we each got the ticket that lost and the one that won you get drunk and confess your fun the law gets involved and it’s best you run we’re each the do-er and the done Chorus
Smoochy Smoo 02:22
Smoochy Smoo By Kathleen Dunbar Copyrighted by Kathleen Dunbar I’m in the mood for some fun so ba-by/tell me, tell me baby why not why don’t you go get your gun and show me what you got hah! you’re gon-na throw down on me then we go down, all the way we go down I’m in my black sa-tin gown you hot to take a shot Owwww I got the three black belt cool come on ba-by, kick it with your high leg I’m gon-na ju-jit-su you you’re gon-na beg me to I got a heart you can’t break silly ba-by playin for the high stake you know when I’m through with you you’ll be my smoo-chee smoo The Oooooos you know where-eh-ver you go gonna find you oh you know I’ll fol-low you know the train can-not slow you hear the whis-tle blow you feel the rhy-thm and pull gonna tease you, ba-by gonna please you we push the throt-tle to full you know you want us to Low Oooos INSTRUMENTAL I’m walk-in show-down with you takin aim now play a little game now so ve-ry com-pli-ca-do ain’t no-thin you can do here come the boom and ex-plode got my fin-ger pul-lin on the trig-ger whoh-whoh-whoh-woh lord a-bove we got a great big love The Oooooos


San Francisco Singer-Songwriter Kathleen Dunbar performs her blend of rootsy, humorous, and spellbinding storytelling about tragedy and redemption through her original song compositions in the Americana tradition. A musical journey into the darkness of the heart, love, betrayal, steamy romance, and the transformation of the spirit after passing through the flames.


released August 4, 2017

All songs by Kathleen Dunbar
Except "In the Hole" by Kathleen Dunbar and Gawain Mathews
Arranged and Produced by Gawain Mathews and Kathleen Dunbar
Engineered, Recorded and Mixed by Gawain Mathews Music Studio
Mastered at Trakwork by Justin Weis
Photos by Joseph Feusi
Art Direction/Design by Joseph Feusi
P & C Sing Like a Bird Music/ASCAP

Kathleen Dunbar/Songwriting and Vocals. My band, The Better Devils, is: Gawain Mathews/guitars, electric bass, banjo, mandola, keyboards, accordion, percussion, backing vocals. Kyle Caprista/drums. Dan Feiszli/standup bass. Nicholas Daniel Wlodarszyk/trombone. Eric Levy/piano on Baby Put Your Red Shoes On. Rich Armstrong/trumpet. Bryan S. Dyer/backing vocals. MJ Lee./violin. Joseph Feusi/backing vocals. Thanks and love to Joseph Feusi, Raz Kennedy and Gawain Mathews!


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Kathleen Dunbar San Francisco, California

You may notice my songs are about angels and devils, birth, life, death, about creation and crumbling destruction—the troubles we humans get ourselves into and the choices we make—some of them funky, some of them ending in the dark, others rising into the light of morning. Touching, humorous, spellbinding storytelling—my songs brings you into the irony, the tragedy, and the possibilities of life. ... more

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