Steve Earle — Copperhead Road
Album: Copperhead Road
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Total ratings: 1897

Released: 1988
Length: 4:28
Plays (last 30 days): 2
Well my name's John Lee Pettimore
Same as my daddy and his daddy before
You hardly ever saw Grandaddy down here
He only come to town about twice a year
He'd buy a hundred pounds of yeast and some copper line
Everybody knew that he made moonshine

Now the revenue man wanted Grandaddy bad
He headed up the holler with everything he had
Before my time but I've been told
He never come back from Copperhead Road

Grandaddy ran whiskey in a big block Dodge
Bought it at an auction at the Mason's Lodge
Johnson County Sheriff painted on the side
Just shot a coat of primer then he looked inside
Well him and my uncle tore that engine down
I still remember that rumblin' sound

When the sheriff came around in the middle of the night
Heard mama cryin', knew something wasn't right
He was headed down to Knoxville with the weekly load
You could smell the whiskey burnin' down Copperhead Road

I volunteered for the Army on my birthday
They draft the white trash first, 'round here anyway
I done two tours of duty in Vietnam
I came home with a brand new plan
I'd take the seed from Colombia and Mexico
I just plant it up the holler down Copperhead Road

Now the D.E.A.'s got a chopper in the air
I wake up screaming like I'm back over there
I learned a thing or two from Charlie, don't you know
You better stay away from Copperhead Road

Copperhead Road
Copperhead Road
Ha! Copperhead Road
Comments (395)add comment
Let's chug some beers and get into a bar brawl!
(yes, I love this classic tune)
Never heard this before (by the look of some comments, I haven't missed much), but from the opening bars I thought it was Screaming Jets. (Let me guess; four tunes' time and it'll be played)...
 DocStrangelove wrote:
that's what she said
 aelfheld wrote:

Definitely not something that improves with age.


Yeah, well, chacun a son gout as the good ol' boys say down here. 
Better with every play.  Bill really got it right on this one!!!
I love the comments on this song. No middle ground! And calling Steve Earle 'commercial' is pretty hilarious. He couldn't give two flips what anybody thinks of him.

My great uncle went to Korea. When he returned he discovered his brother (my grandfather) had used his (uncle's) college money to buy a car. Uncle went through a laundry list of legal and less-than-legal jobs, including to a minor conviction for pot in the 80's.

He passed away a few years ago, but this song always reminds me of him.

 MassivRuss wrote:
Worse with every play. Bill whiffed on this one...

He only whiffed for you.  PSD is your friend.
Okay, that's just weird, when I heard the Julie Miller song I thought it reminded me of Steve Earle.  Coincidence?
visited a Viet-nam vet buddy of mine in upstate NY years ago, went hiking in the open mountain trails in a sunny brisk afternoon, toking away and lovin' mother nature when we heard the rattling from VERY CLOSE BY "fuck there on the boulder!" a timber rattler basking in the sunshine, thing was 3 feet high on that rock and looking us over, damn brother RUN!!!

Crotalus horridus (1).jpg
I remember walking into Tower Records in D.C. in 1988 and they were playing this - first time I heard it.

Was in the same area this weekend to see King Crimson and that TR is now a CVS.
 MassivRuss wrote:
Worse with every play. Bill whiffed on this one...
Definitely not something that improves with age.
 MassivRuss wrote:
Worse with every play. Bill whiffed on this one...

Let's play this one more often, Bill!  Gruff, rough, tough Steve Earle kicks ass.  The effete need not appreciate.
 MassivRuss wrote:
Worse with every play. Bill whiffed on this one...

Completely disagree.  I love Steve Earle's story telling and simple yet catchy tunes.
Worse with every play. Bill whiffed on this one...
 Shotoverplain wrote:
Yet more boring / tiresome Americana ( country & western)  oh dear 

That's 'MURICANA to you, son!!!

Nifty pivot from Loreena McKennit's "The Highwayman"... Jus' rouna corner, an issa whole 'nuther whirl!
 MundieWest wrote:
Recorded at the best studio around: Ardent Studios in Memphis, TN

Where the ghosts of Big Star are still lurking..
 haresfur wrote:
Reminds me of a friend's hour-long tale about his uncle and cousins reworking the family whiskey business into an, um, higher growth venture.

Bottom line: trying to take out a hit on the Sheriff isn't a great idea. 


Kid I went to high school with in those parts grandfather was a Sheriff and was killed in a shootout in the mountains.  If my memory serves me correctly it was over Shine.