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Iron & Wine Lyrics

*  Cattle On Calvary



Warm in the jailhouse in Brownsville, asleep
A bootful of liquor he borrowed
He dreamed he was colored and waiting to meet
The rich man drawing tomorrow

Head full of cotton, the scent in his mouth
White coat of paint on the steeple
Sharp pins and needles, he cursed as he woke
The smug, sleeping town and its people

Sheriff Brown bit through his tongue 
When he shot out the black boy he thought was stealing
Churches burned on the hillside like cattle on Calvary
Frightened and thirsty

The river swelled up until the valley could feel
Its moving like meddling fury
Brown asked the creek why the Lord had to steal
His horse, his house, and his baby

Grasping for branches while floating downstream
Scared, unfamiliar, and stranded
Jumped on a dog, broke its neck on a tree
His feet all but once again planted

Sheriff Brown bit through his tongue 
When he screamed like a soldier for justice and mercy
Churches burned on the hillside like cattle on Calvary
Frightened and thirsty

Brown left the jail for a bar across town
The street where the weight left his shoulder
He walked through the door, finding no one around
But Jesus, in a booth in the corner

Brown rubbed his eyes, turned his radio off
Seeing, but far from believing
Jesus stood up, and with a thick southern drawl
Said, "Brown, I'm the nigger you're seeking"

Sheriff Brown bit through his tongue 
When he strung up the savior on a hook on the ceiling
Churches burned on the hillside like cattle on Calvary
Dumb of their freedom


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