barbara's picture



Liner Notes: 

Val posted a lyric based on a LyriCloud word list, and I love to be surprised by how different people use the same set of words, so I headed off and worked on this before reading hers.

Here was the Lyric Cloud:
backroads boy california christmas daughters day drawl drive farm fife floodin good houston hundred mexican motel mound nothin refunds shell sons southeast texas travel waco waylon

Here’s Val’s song:

In one sense, this was something of a FAIL.
Did not use the pesky challenge word ‘fife’ on this one. I think Val will be disappointed in me for that. I actually started out with a story centered around it, but it took off in another direction. Maybe I’ll finish that one too. Look forward to a fife-centric song!

Where I did go leaves me wanting to add some disclaimers.

I would ordinarily not have written a song with this topic or theme or setting, but the LyriCloud words seeded it. I don’t pretend to understand the ways in which workers from Mexico, immigration rules, and marriage policies apply, so there may be some fault lines here. Also, I don’t know Texas; just googled a bit to get the geography and climate parts right and make sure there could be a farm in Houston as well as hurricane concerns. Also, I acknowledge the phrase “Mexican maid“ is probably insensitive and/or offensive, and I mean it to be used by the singer herself to reflect her understanding of the condescension and judgment that might go with it, ways she may be viewed, at the same time she assures us she’s pulling her share of the load both as a member of her family and in her society.
The title is intended to have a double meaning, both for her job and for the reason behind the voyage to try to keep the grandmother’s home safe.

The song itself isn’t going to live up to all that preamble, but it was fun to make!


On the back roads in hurricane season
With a boy I’d defend with my life
Two hundred miles
Full of laughter and smiles
It’s a good day to be this man’s wife

We drive Southeast from Waco to Houston
To get to his grandmother’s farm
Of her daughters and sons
We’re the only ones come
To help her prepare for the storm

There’s floodin’ to come
And a motel for some
With a tip to the Mexican maid
That tip is for me
And eventually
I’ll see that my taxes are paid

In Texas his drawl sounds like nothin’
And my accent is commonly heard
And nobody stares
I guess nobody cares
That our car is is all covered in dirt

We stop at a Shell for the restroom
And a jumbo sized coffee to go
A mound of their sugar
For extra good measure
The winds are beginning to blow

I hear Waylon sing “Rainy Day Woman”
Like their radio’s making a pun
(the) m&m’s machine
ate my quarter again
And the cashier can’t make those refunds

There’s floodin’ to come
And a motel for some
With a tip to the Mexican maid
That tip is for me
And eventually
I’ll see that my taxes are paid

“The good life is in California”
That’s a myth that I used to believe
But Texas is home
And my roots are full grown
I may travel, but hope not to leave

There’s floodin’ to come
And a motel for some
With a tip to the Mexican maid
That tip is for me
And eventually
I’ll see that my taxes are paid

Your tips come to me
And eventually
I’ll see that my taxes are paid

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


cindyrella's picture

I really love this! Different that Val's but I am so happy you did this-even without the fife! Such great images. Such nice music and vocals too!

billwhite51's picture

a lovely piece of tex mex music . it was a surprise when the chorus reveaaled it was from the point of view of a mexican maid. glad you didnt get into the politics of it, but suggested the full story with details of everyday things loved the singing an the harmony was an extra scoop of ice cream

Oh yeah. That acoustic guitar waltz flavor is perfect for the lyrics. I think you did quite well with the LyriCloud words. Fife is just way out there. Not surprised you left it out. In a rewrite of mine, I'd definitely leave that word out. Smile But the hurricane angle was a good plan. You workes out a very interesting story. Really worked out that Houston is actually southeast of Waco, huh? Smile

Adnama17's picture

That is a damn good rhyme scheme, ma'am.
Your rhythm sounds like driving. Neat-o!
I get you not wanting to be offensive. I don't think you are though. The whole thing is obviously from her perspective. She will not be offended, you've represented her well I think. It's other, less tolerant folk, that might disagree. Let them. They're clueless. Lucky for us, I don't think there's many, or any really, jerks here in 50.90 Land. Smile

AndyGetch's picture

This is a lovely story song. A Texas waltz too! No fail here. IMHO song prompts are starting points, not absolutes. BTW I had to look up 'fife' Smile

tamsnumber4's picture

Amazing details in this, love the visuals, melody and harmonies, great vocal on it, what a wonderful way to challenge yourself and I think you got a really different song than you usually pursue....Great song!!