Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sisters of the Road by Casey Neill

This is a great song by Portland local, Casey Neill. Although his songs travel around the world, speaking out the stories of those who wouldn't otherwise be heard, he wrote this one about the situation of many street folks here in Portland. Sisters of the Road is a cafe for the street, where you can pay a buck or so for a meal, or you can wipe down some tables for it. The song can be purchased on iTunes or other online spots. Here are the lyrics, but you really need to hear it to get the full impact:

Rain falls relentless on these streets, chill you to the very bone
it's coming down tonight in Portland town and folks are warm inside their homes
Trina she came from Missouri, after her mother passed on
to get away from her old man who needed someone to take it out on.
So she took up with the crusty boys in their fingerless gloves
her in the Oregon streets she found a family again to love
and they dumpstered their food, snuck into the shows, took what
shelter they could find
never once did she regret leaving the life she left behind
your friends become your family and lighten a heavy load
with Abbey and DC Louise she was a sister of the road

Trina fell for a punk named Silver from Southern Illinois
who'd been living on the streets of the West COast since he was a 13
year old boy
he knew every free meal in Stumptown, every dry place to keep warm
and he'd take her to 'em when the darkness fell and they'd lie in each
others arms
Silver hustled now and again in the backs of drunk mens cars
scars ran up and down his arms like the tracks in the railyards
when he'd offer it to her, you know she never once took it
beneath the I-5 viaduct his teeth clenched to a tourniquet
one day the cops found his body by the train tracks where he'd hop the
line to Frisco
But for the last year of his life, he loved a sister of the road...

Trina found her way up off the streets and works in a clinic downtown
all the kids she used to know well she never sees them around
but there are more where they came from cast aside and left behind
walking down a lonely street and strung out on the line
for the old hoboes, the migrant laborers, the lost and wayward teens
there's a place where a buck twenty five will get you a plate of eggs and beans
and there is nothing like a cup of coffee when the winter winds blow cold
you can find them down in old town on 6th, the Sisters of the Road...

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