I was reminded by a reader that I have not reposted some of my songs since my blog crashed during the great flood — so here’s one. David Thornton came to me with the idea of rewriting a little local history.… we came up with this and played it at the Bluebird.
Lovell & Thorton 2009 Peter Cassian Music
Travelin’ men were never bashful with work to do in Nashville,
Though weary from the rigors of the road
They gladly undertook their labors cause they knew the gentle favors that awaited them when they at last unload.
You could sing, you could dance, you could find romance,
You could get a little comfort for the night
In the arms of her girls you were in another world
If you came inside the Inns of Granny White.
Horse-trader named Joe, with six mares in tow, wound his way along the dusty Trace,
With his mind set on his goods, just ahead and through the woods,
a sign appeared that made his slow his pace.
It said, “Enter, Granny White” and sure as morning follows night,
her reputation brought some thoughts to mind
As the evenin’ light was fadin’, he did a little tradin’,
In the mornin’ he left two white mares behind.
Down the Trace there came a banker who possessed a mighty hanker
And the deed to all that Granny thought was hers
As he made the bank’s demand, sweet-things took him by the hand,
And dispossessed him of his purpose and his purse.
In the morning he departed, feeling warm and tender-hearted,
Wearing nothing but his suitcoat and a grin
Now into the Inn’s accounts there came cash in large amounts
And she knew he’d soon be comin’ back again.
Circuit preacher of the Lord heard of the bawdy room and board
That tempted pilgrims on the narrow way
Off he stomped to Granny’s Inn, raised his voice to preach of sin,
But soon found his firm resolve began to stray.
He confessed in later years, with little shame and happy tears,
I was justified for my erratic ways
I know well it was immoral, not too terribly pastoral
But it filled me with a new desire to praise!
All the menfolk called her Lucy, but Lucinda White was choosy,
Till one night she met the client of her dreams
Said he was a single man, with a house and barn and land,
But tragically he was not all he seemed
One day without his knowing, his wife learned where he was going
Rode ahead and lay in wait til they had supped
Well, the end of Granny White came on that dark and stormy night
With a rifle as a coitus interrupt.
Many men were in attendance
At the service of remembrance
Sobbing loud as she was lowered in her grave
Off the street that bears her name
They raised a marker to her fame
You can see the place where Granny White got laid.