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kangaroo tragedy

from Lamplighter by Oliver Orion

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No one could tell em like you used to
in our hearts you will always be
Tom McKnight tell us tonight
about the kangaroo tragedy

'Twas an innocent plot by your children
to comfort you in your loss
they picked out one whose face had a glow
for it had not seen too much boxing

In a crate the joey was packed
and shipped on a ship on the sea
from the wild, wild Down Under
and onto Tennessee

But the customs would not have it so
for the animal belonged in a zoo
and not in your arms though it would be calmer
if it was cuddled by you.

The quarantine fine was hefty
one thousand dollars or more
and this was a price and a promise
too much for you to bear

And so the kangaroo waited
at an unfamiliar port
while you filed the papers
to have it well cared-for

Your intentions were good and noble
to save it from its portly hell
on a island lakeside menagerie
owned by Barbara Mandrell

At this point your tears overcame you
so much so you could hardly speak
the joey had night died in the middle of the night
for travel had made it quite weak

And then somehow I let you trail off
leaving me without a clue
as to how the fuck you came up
with the story of the kangaroo.

No one could tell em like you used to
in our hearts you will always be
friends lean on in for Tom will begin
to tell us the kangaroo tragedy

And tonight though it cold on the water
I am content to shiver
and your memory will sail beside me
down the Cumberland River.


from Lamplighter, released April 26, 2004


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