Wm. Pollock's Pianobook

Blue Wing

Tom Russell, Dave Alvin

He had a blue wing tattooed on his shoulder
D                                   Em
might have been a bluebird, I don't know 

but he got stone drunk and he talked about Alaska
A                    D
salmon boats and 45 below

Well he got that blue wing at Walla Walla
and his cellmate was a Little Willy John
Willie, he was once a great blues singer
so Wing & Willie wrote him up a song

(no chord)         D                   G  
sang, it's dark in here, can't see the light
      D                                     A
but I look at this blue wing when I close my eyes
          D                  G 
and I fly away, beyond these walls
             D                            A
up above the clouds, where the rain don't fall
                D         G A  D   
on a poor man's dreams

Well they broke blue wing in August in 1963
and Blue Wing moved on, picking apples in the town of Wenatchee
winter finally caught him in a rundown trailer park
on the south side of Seattle where the days grow long and dark

And he drank and he dreamt a vision
of when the salmon still ran free
and his father's fathers crossed that wide old Bearing sea
the land belonged to everyone, 
there were old songs yet to sing
now, it's broken down to a cheap hotel
and a tattooed prison wing

now, it's dark in here ... [continue Chorus]

Well he drank his way to heaven and that's where he died
and no one knew his Christian name, and there was no one 
  there who cried
but I dreamt that there was a service,
  a preacher in an old pine box
and halfway through the service, the Wing began to talk