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The Randall Knife lyrics - Steve Earle

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My father had a Randall knife
My mother gave it to him
When he went off to World War II
To save us all from ruin
If you've ever held a Randall knife
You know my father well
If a better blade was ever made
It was probably forged in hell

My father was a good man
A lawyer by his trade
Only once did I ever see him
Misuse the blade
It almost cut his thumb off
When he took it for a tool
Ah, the knife was made for darker things
You could not bend the rules

He let me take it camping once
On a Boy Scout jamboree
And I broke a half-an-inch off
Tryin' to stick it in a tree
I hid it from him for a while
But the knife and he were one
And he just put it in his bottom drawer
Without a hard word one
There it slept and there it stayed
For twenty some-odd years
Sort of like Excalibur
Except waiting for a tear

Now my father died when I was forty
And I couldn't find a way to cry
Not because I didn't love him
Not because I didn't try
I'd cried for every lesser thing:
Whiskey, pain, and beauty
But he deserved a better tear
I was not quite ready

So we took his ashes out to sea
And poured 'em off the stern
And then threw the roses in the wave
Of everything we'd learned
And when we got back to the house
And they asked me what I wanted
Not the law books, not the watch
I need the things he's haunted
Aw, my hand burned for the Randall knife
There in the bottom drawer
And I found a tear for my father's life
And everything he stood for




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