Press "Enter" to skip to content

The Great Conch Train Robbery

suprusr 0

‘Twas sunset down in old Key West
The locals all were high.
The tourists snapped their photographs
And munched their Key Lime pie.
And meanwhile down at Sloppy Joe’s
The drinks were standin’ tall
With Buffett on the jukebox
And Hemingway on the wall.

Then up spoke Sam the Shrimper:
He said, “I’ve been a shrimper all my life.
My daddy was a shrimper
And my mom’s a shrimper’s wife.
And I’m tired of bein’ a shrimper
Cuz a shrimper’s life’s too tame
So I’m gonna ride the Conch Train, boys,
And be like Jesse James.
Gonna be like Jesse James, boy…
Gonna be like Jesse James.
Case you didn’t hear me the first three times…
Gonna be like Jesse James.”

Now the Conch Train is a tourist toy
That rolls through Key West Town
Like some weird ride from Disneyland
It drives the tourists round and round
While the engineer on her P.A.
Points out all the sites
“Well, Tennessee did you-know-what
To you-know-who that night.”

“The tourists all have money”, said Sam
“Their wives all have rings of gold.
Their mopeds all are pawnable.
Their cameras can be sold.
And think of all the glory, boys,
The money and the fame
To be the first and only man
To rob the Key West Train.”

Now the engineer of the Conch Train
Her name was Betsy Wright.
She drove the Conch Train all day long
And loved Shrimper Sam all night.
And with some sweet persuasion,
She agreed to join the game:
She’d slow it down and flag the lad
And let him ride the train.

The conch train made its turn
Down the Smathers Pitch
When Shrimper Sam with a snorkle eye
Leaped naked from the sea.
His fillet knife was in his hand.
He jumped aboard the train.
“Give up your bucks, you tourist schmucks.
I’m Key West Jesse James.
I’m Key West Jesse James, boy…
Key West Jesse James…
Case you didn’t hear me the first three times…
I’m Key West Jesse James.”

Now unbeknownst to Shrimper Sam
In the third car from the rear,
Sat Kelso Bolls from Muscle Shoals,
An American Legioneer.
He was a redneck of respect
And a marksman of reknown.
From under his fat
He drew a Gat,
And shot the shrimper down.

Now the first time that he shot poor Sam,
Sam groaned and clutched his side.
The second time that he shot poor Sam,
Sam fell to his knees and cried.
And the third time that he shot poor Sam,
You could see in both their eyes
Lash LaRue and Randolph Scott
Beneath the Western skies.

We laid poor Sam upon the sand
And we lifted up his head.
We listened close to hear the words
The dying shrimper said.
He said, “Boys, you know I had my chance
But I went and botched the job,
But how can a boy named Jesse James
Without a train to rob?”
Then Kelso Bolls took off his hat
And the tears streamed down his face.
He said, “Son, I know just how you feel.
This world’s a changin’ place”.
When history is written,
Uh… they won’t recall our names,
But I only got to play Pat Garrett
Cuz you played Jesse James.

We buried Sam in the southernmost sands
Close by the southernmost waves
Where sweet Betsy Wright
Cries tears every night
Onto his southernmost grave.
And on his tombstone say the words
“Stick to your own game.
And if you are a shrimper,
Do not try to rob a train.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *