Navajo Rug song lyrics

Jack wrote this in October, 2006:

One of the savorable aspects of being alone is the way the mind wanders according to incidental, routine events.  I’ve noticed that when I’m cooking up a breakfast of eggs up on whiskey toast with home fries there’s only one song starts running through my head:

Navajo Rug
Tom Russell
Well it’s three eggs up on whiskey toast
Homefries on the side
Wash it down with truckstop coffee
Burns up your inside

Just a Canyon, Colorado diner
And a waitress I did love
We sat in the back ‘neath an old stuffed bear
And a worn out Navajo rug
Well old Jack the boss he’d close at six
Then it’s Katie bar the door
She’d pull down that Navajo rug
And she’d spread it ‘cross the floor
Hey I saw l ightning in the sacred mountains
Saw the dance of the turtle doves
Lyin’ next to Katie
On that old Navajo rug

Ai-yi-yi, Katie, shades of red and blue
Ai-yi- yi, Katie
Whatever became of the Navajo rug and you?
Well I saw old Jack about a year ago
He said the place burned to the ground
And all he saved was an old bear tooth
And Katie she left town
But Katie she got her a souvenir too
Jack spat out a tabacco plug
He said “You shoulda seen her runnin’ through the smoke
Draggin’ that Navajo rug.”

Ai-yi-yi, Katie, shades of red and blue
Ai-yi- yi, Katie
Whatever became of the Navajo rug and you?

Now everytime I cross the sacred mountains
And lightning breaks above
It always takes me back in time
To my long lost Katie love

Ah but everything keeps on movin’
And everyone’s on the go
They don’t make things that last anymore
Like a double-woven Navajo
Katie, shades of red and blue
Ay-yi- yi, Katie
Whatever became of the Navajo rug and you?

Tom Russell
From the album Song Of The West – The Cowboy Collection 1997

For some reason that song always gets me vaguely reliving one or another of several incidents, 1958-59, working on a ranch outside Kenna, NM, as an impressionable youth with a ’40 Model Chevi.

I think the first time I ever heard Navajo Rug must have been mid-1980s in Austin, Texas.  Bill and Bonnie Hearne were on tour performing in a small place somewhere over west of the University.  I’m not sure whether Tom Russell wrote it, or someone else.  It’s been a Jerry Jeff Walker song, Ian Tyson, in addition to Bill and Bonnie Hearne and Tom R.

I do know I once spent half a day moseying around Canyon Colorado, which is mostly empty spaces, looking around the weeds for evidence a diner was once there and burned down.

Life’s a good place to spend it, amigos.  Full belly of eggs up on whiskey toast, home fries on the side to all of you this morning.



One response to “Navajo Rug song lyrics

  1. Tom’s is a catchy song that you find yourself singing along

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