Lyrics and vid: The Ballad of Lilah Rose

This clip is from my May 2018 Concert Window online show. 🙂  Watch the next one here, June 28, 2018 at 8pm CST!


YouTube says I have too many words for the lyrics to go into the video description. 😉 So here they ALL are.


Lilah loved her family and the land they worked upon.
She minded what her daddy said, she grew up sweet and strong.
Jared was the apple of his southern mother’s eye,
but the devil was his daddy, and he couldn’t help but lie.

Try to stop a cyclone from going where it may.
Try to stop young love from growing day by day.
Lilah’s daddy saw it in his little girl’s face,
but he never said a word about disgrace.

“That boy is trouble,” all the ladies would agree,
and they’d pester Lilah’s daddy to put her under lock and key.
He’d listen with the patience of a saint, but that was all.
Gossip swirled along the wind through harvest into fall.

Lilah was a good girl ’til Jared came around.
Her daddy felt the wind change, but didn’t run him out of town.
Lilah found her mettle when Jared did her wrong.
“Boys will be boys” is such a tired old song.

Love demands a tribute grand enough to shake the earth.
She will meddle in your life and in your death and your rebirth.
Now, Jared ain’t been seen for days and no one acts surprised.
“Long time comin’, and the river’s bound to rise.”

The little waltzing fireflies were glowing there above
when Jared said “forever” in exchange for Lilah’s love.
That girl believed his every word, and so did he, until
that Sunday, when the sight of Mary Ellen broke his will.

Mary Ellen was the preacher’s child, as fair as she could be,
but known for stealing kisses out behind the apple tree.
Her pretty eye met Jared’s, saw the wolf there in his grin,
and mischief took to growin’ in the garden there and then.

Lilah came on Mary Ellen walking with her beau,
and there inside her heart, she felt the thorns begin to grow.
When the preacher’s back was turned, she cursed her suitor so,
and heard the Devil’s laughter outta nowhere, soft and low.

Lilah whirled around and met that Devil eye to eye.
She stood her ground before him and he smiled, long and sly.
“Too bad for you, Miss Lilah”, said the Devil with a bow.
“That boy has got you dreamin’, and it’s too late now!”

“Love will leave her mark on you and then leave you for dead.
She will take the place of God and pluck the sense right from your head.
Now, Jared’s got a babe on you, my girl. Best keep it hid!
Long time comin’, and I know just what you did!”

The Devil laughed at Lilah’s tears and kissed her shaky hand.
“Don’t fret, poor child. Your pa will help you find an honest man,
or at least a man with a little less of me run through his veins.
I fear that boys like Jared all gonna come out much the same.”

The Devil walked sweet Lilah home and left her at the gate.
“It’s not the end, Miss Lilah. Don’t you wail about your fate.
I’ll never be too far away to hear you when you call.
Just curse my boy the way you did before, if I can help at all.”

Lilah watched the Devil walk away back through the corn.
She told her daddy everything, her heart all choked with thorns.
He listened, and he fretted, but the only thing he said was,
“you know that I have loved you since the day you first drew breath.

“No devil’s words, nor devil’s sun can take that love away.
It’s up to you what happens, and it’s not for me to say.
I know my girl is strong and I don’t need to hold her hand.
Her mother was a goddess of the land!”

Love will pull a flush no matter how the bets are laid,
and then she’ll shake the walls down ’til her every debt is paid,
but those who love you best will love you, no matter what they know.
“Long time comin’, and the cotton’s bound to grow.”

Well, the Devil’s been around as long as we’ve known how to sin,
but the earth and rain are older, and they saw the world begin.
Lilah found her power and she started to explore.
Come the spring, her family’s fields were greener than before.

Jared walked up to their gate, but Lilah kept it barred.
He smiled his winning smile at her, but Lilah’s eyes were hard.
“Your daddy’s got good manners too, but we still don’t let him in.
You had your chance and lost it. Best not come around again.”

Then Jared saw the shape of her and knew what he had done.
“Sweet Lilah, if you’ll have me, I would do right by our son.”
Lilah’s smile was sidelong, for she knew it was a lie.
“No, the Devil is your daddy, and you’ve got a roving eye!”

But Jared wouldn’t let it be, and swore he’d change his ways.
The gate stayed shut, but Lilah lent a softness to her gaze.
“Meet me and the preacher by the railroad track tonight.
If you come, I’ll know you mean it, and we’ll set the whole thing right.”

Love’s no fool herself, though she makes fools of everyone.
She burns us and she breaks us ’til the whole thing comes undone.
Lilah’s at the crossroads, but she’s standing straight and tall.
“Long time comin’, and the rain is bound to fall.”

Lilah never told the preacher man just what she had in mind.
She walked alone and heavy, and she led those cuss words fly.
She met Jared at the crossroads with a gent all dressed in black.
It was his first sight of his daddy, summoned up to take him back.

The Devil, being who he was, went after something more.
He asked for Lilah’s child as well, to settle all the score,
but Lilah stood her ground and sent him running for the hills.
She said, “don’t make me call my mother,” in a voice to give you chills.

The Devil didn’t cross that line. He knows his limits well.
There’s a magic runnin’ deeper than the deepest pits of Hell.
“We’d best be gone, my boy, for there is nothing left to say!” 
He put his hand on Jared’s shoulder, and they faded clear away.

Now, Lilah sits on Sunday, with a baby on her knee.
Her daddy sits beside them, as proud as she can be.
They never speak of Jared when the gossip wants to start,
cuz all those thorns have turned to roses down in Lilah’s broken heart.

Love’s a vengeful goddess with her anger gone to flood.
She will bless the waking soil with your body and your blood.
Now, Jared ain’t been seen for years and no one acts surprised.
“Long time comin’ and the river’s bound to rise.”
It was a long time comin’, and the river’s bound to rise.