Ballad of Thunder Road
(Robert Mitchum & Don Raye (Capitol Records))
Let me tell the story, I can tell it all;
About the mountain boy who ran illegal alcohol.
His daddy made the whiskey, the son he drove the load;
And when his engine roared they called the highway "Thunder Road".
Sometimes into Ashville, sometimes Memphis town.
The Revenuers chased him but they couldn't run him down.
Each time they thought they had him his engine would explode.
He'd go by like they were standing still on "Thunder Road".
And there was thunder, thunder over "Thunder Road",
Thunder was his engine and white lightening was his load.
And there was moonshine, moonshine to quench the devil's thirst.
The law they ( swore they'd get him but) the devil got him first.
last chorus: (never got him 'cause)
It was on the first of April, Nineteen-Fifty-Four
The Federal man sent word he'd better make his run no more.
He said "200 agents were covering the state;
Which ever road he tried to take they'd get him sure as fate.
'Son' his daddy told him, 'make this run your last.
The tank is filled with 100 proof; you're all tuned-up and gassed.
Now don't take any chances, if you can't get through.
I'd rather have you back again than all that Mountain Dew.'
Roaring out of Harlan; revving up his mill.
He shot the Gap at Cumberland and streamed by Maynardville.
With G men on his tail light; road block up ahead,
The mountain boy took roads that even angels feared to tread.
Blazing right through Knoxville, out on Kingston Pike,
Then right outside of Bearden, they made the fatal strike.
He left the road at 90; that's all there is to say.
The devil got the moonshine and the mountain boy that day.