It’s a mythical honky-tonk: One part Cheers, one part Brigadoon, shaken
with an ornery, old west attitude -
that’s the Whiskeytown Roadhouse.

The Whiskeytown Roadhouse lives in the past and the present.
It’s inhabited by ghosts and lost souls, lovers and their sordid stories,
and it’s tucked away in a canyon on the rough-and-tumble back roads of old Shasta County.

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"Fair Isabel, Fare the well
Fare the well
I’m bound for gold in California
I’ll hold your mem’ry dear
Your sapphire eyes and raven hair
But we’ll not be wedded in the mornin’”

She wept and she cursed
Spit the bitter words
“You’ll rue the day of your leavin’”
On the cliffs above the sea
She climbed and then she leaped
But no trace of Isabel was found for grievin’

The dawn was guilty gray
To the ship he made his way
Fell to his knees at the mermaid on the prow
Carved of teak and deep despair
Sapphire eyes, raven hair
A figurehead of beauty cruel and proud

Seas raged and swelled 
And the wind wailed "Isabel"
The ship went down off Santa Catalina
All souls aboard were drowned
But the mermaid washed aground
No man could resist or ever leave her

Take the key to my car
Take the Crown down off the shelf
Set that bottle on the bar
I’m feeling sorry for myself
If it’s true I’m a better man
For every wrong road I’ve gone down
I’m bound to be
The Best Damn Man around
 
Chorus:
 
It takes some big mistakes
To make me a better man
But I get better every day
That’s the kind of fool I am
Thanks to every sip of whiskey
That burns as it goes down
Soon I’ll be
The Best Damn Man Around
 
Can’t undo what I did
When temptation called my name
Keep a cherished regret
From climbin’ on a southbound train
Should have run down to the depot
Like a movie hero would
Instead I let her leave
The Best Damn Man for good
 
So raise your glass
Drink it dry
The price of perfection’s high
But the next round’s on
The Best Damn Man alive
  
 

Waitin’ at the downtown depot
With the winter- weary people
I’ll take the blame under heavy darkness
While the rest of Redding sleeps
North of town, the whistle cries
Signals flash, travelers rise
The southbound Coast Starlight and I
Have promises to keep
 
 
2:20 is a lonely time for leaving
Plenty of regrets onboard this train
I know to every time there is a season
2:20 is the time to ride away
 
From burning
Bridges on toward the morning
With pride and my side of the story
Face the west and fall asleep
To the rhythm of the wheels
Dream a dream of graceful endings
Of forgiving then forgetting
Start over far from Redding
With a courage strong as steel
 

Of all the money that ere I had,
I spent it in good company.

And of all the harm that ere I've done,
Alas was done to none but me.

And all I've done for want of wit,
to memory now I cannot recall.

So fill me to The Parting Glass.
Goodnight and joy be with you all.
 
Of all the comrades that ere I had,
they're sorry for my going away, 

And of all the sweethearts that ere I had ,
Would wish me one more day to stay,

But since it falls unto my lot
that I should rise while you should not,

I ‘ll gently rise and I'll softly call,
"Goodnight and joy be with you all"
 
 

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Whiskeytown Roadhouse

The Whiskeytown Roadhouse
Set ‘em up -- slow down
For sawdust, neon and sin
Count on a full house
Whenever it’s cold out
Count on the Whiskeytown Roadhouse
To win


Dan is the man at the bar and he knows what you need
A shot of Jim Beam or a joke about a rabbi and priest
For a while you will smile, forget all the trouble outside
In here there’s a crowd that sings loud when they play “Mama Tried”


Isabel came 'round the horn in 1849
You can’t resist when she says: "Stay until closing time"
A siren of teak, she reclines beside the jukebox
She’ll buy you a round, then laugh when you wreck on the rocks


On the wall there’s a Gibson guitar with cigarette scars
Dan turns down the lights, tunes up, comes from behind the bar
He sings of miners, of lovers, survivors and ghosts
They’ll haunt you long after the Whiskeytown Roadhouse is closed

 


It’s clear, even in the glow
Of the neon sign
I like my Tanqueray with lime
Willie singin’  “Always on My Mind”
What lies beneath:
A silent invitation
Are you waiting to accept
or decline?
 
Chorus:
 
What would you do
If I told you who I am?
Turn away or try to understand?
Would you crush my heart
Or hold it gently in your hand?
What would you do
If I told you who I  am?
 
 A masquerade of rhyme
Shadow cast upon a cloud
Tricks of light and sound
Served me well till now
Skies are clear
For fearless conversation        
Will we choose the road less taken
 or turn around?
 



His boots on the porch caked with mud of the mines
It's whiskey by firelight as he waits for the signs
First music, then shadows, ghostly and pale
These are the nights she slips through the veil 


Chains of gold
Chains of guilt
Chains of lonely
Chained to an unending story
Where darkness never surrenders to dawn
And The Ghost Miner’s Waltz
Plays on 
 
He traded love for the price of a claim
A wreckage off Avalon Bay bears her name
Now the miner is doomed to an eternal dance
With a raven-haired beauty with blood on her hands
 
She drifts in a dark sea, that wails with despair
He’ll toil in the mines seeking gold that’s not there
But this night they’ll pray for redemption divine
Dragging their chains in three-quarter time

 
 

 


It's been the climb from hell, but the downhill side's in view
I'm nearly past the pain myself, just beyond the blue
I survived our crash and burn
And I’II learn to love again‘
Cause we were so much more than

Just The Bitter End
 
 
Chorus:

Devoted lovers, sweet companions
Dearest friends
Way back when
Before The Bitter End
I’ll take my solace where I find it
Smile when I’m reminded
Of the good times
Before The Bitter End
 
Dancing in the kitchen to “Wonderful Tonight”
Spending summer wishes on starry Shasta skies
Hands that knew just what to do
Played me over and over again
Like a love song
Right to The Bitter End
 
 
Forever was not meant to be
But I’ll recall the trinity
Memories of you and me
To hold as we move on
 

 
Mournful Sighs and Rising Water
Chill these weary bones
Mournful Sighs and Rising Water
Rock me gently home   
 
Souvenirs wash up on the beaches
Though we buried them deep in the blue
We’re damned if we don’t pick up the pieces
And damn fools if we do
 
 
Memories echo like thunder
White dove flies to higher ground
Take one last breath before going under
And remember Whiskeytown