Big Thinkin'

Raelene Wheeler

by Dallas Wayne

on Big Thinkin' (2000)

Raeleen wheeler was the first girl I loved
Through the last year of high school, we were thicker than blood
Holed up in Mississippi, and starvin' for fun
We made love and dreamed up places to run
I was burnin' that summer with the big dreams I had
And the songs I'd written, well, the world needed bad
But a pretty girl needs more comfort and gold
Than a beat-up black notebook is likely to hold
Hey, Raelene, it's a wide world between pearl river and the bright L.A. lights
And if I'd done it all without dreamin' I'd still be in Jackson tonight
Hollywood hopefuls ain't an endangered breed
But luck is like lightnin', and it sure struck me
The hit songs, the women, the standing-room halls
And twenty years of hard labor, holdin' on to it all
Louisiana i-20 headed east from Monroe
A bus bound for Jackson and a homecoming show
Staring through the dark glass at the flat miles beyond
Tryin' not to look at a face that is gone
Hey, Raelene, a wife at 19, but I heard you made out all right
And every now and again, I wonder are you somewhere in Jackson tonight
Well, we killed 'em, we crushed 'em, burned the place to the ground
And in the dressing room quiet, I was still coming down
When in the doorway appeared an old flame, full-grown
Looking pretty as ever, and entirely alone
She said the divorce nearly broke her, she was learning to stand
And as she talked it came clearer that she wanted a hand
So I drew her close to me, and I kissed my sweet rae
And the miles and the memories just melted away
Then I glanced in the mirror, and in a split second's time
Just before recognizing that old face as mine
I saw a strange, sad man in a cheap rhinestone shirt
And a woman he held onto like his last hope on earth
He was worn and trod down as the road he'd been on
And his eyes were half-dead, lookin' too hard, too long
His life measured in nights that flashed and grew dim
Leaving no one really happy, least of all him
Then the loading gate slammed, and I let my arms fall
We traded numbers, small talk, promised to call
And as she faded from me, and the night closed around
I picked up a black notebook and I let it spill down
Hey, Raelene, it's a long way between the wantin' and the makin' it right
And if I was the one that you needed I'd never leave Jackson tonight
(Tag) yeah, if I had it all to do over I'd still be in Jackson tonight

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