Huckleberry Finn

by Bob Dyer

Bob Dyer Guitar and vocal-Dave; banjo and vocal-Cathy;

Long before the musical "Big River," Bob decided we all needed a song about this quintessential riverman and American free spirit. Bob's first verse actually describes part of Thomas Hart Benton's marvelous Missouri mural at the State Capitol, and much of the rest of the verses come from Bob's favorite chapter of the book, Chapter XIX. Our rendition evokes that chapter.

There's a moon on the Mississippi River tonight,
A side-wheel steamboat making up time.
There's a raft drifting by with a bunch of drunk men,
And I'm catfishing with my old friend, Jim.
The call me Huckleberry Finn, Finn, Huckleberry Finn,
Finn, Huckleberry Finn.

Well, I lived for a while up in Hannibal town,
But my daddy was a drunkard, and he beat me around.
So I left my friends, Joe, Tom Sawyer and Ben,
And went off a rafting with Jim.
They call me…

Well, we run by nights, and we laid up days.
Dawn turn the river to a smoky haze.
Lazin' in the shallows doing just as we please,
Me and Jim layin' there dreaming.
They call me…

Life slides by when you're living on a raft.
You never rightly know just what's gonna pass:
Sometimes danger, sometimes fun,
Sometimes, it's just a piece of driftwood.
They call me…

I never much cared for the civilized life.
I'd rather be out on the river at night,
Laying on my back and looking up at the stars,
Smoking on my pipe and just drifting.
They call me...

Steamboat chimbley's a'spewin' out sparks,
Fiddle music floating by in the dark,
There's a hoot owl calling from a cottonwood tree.
This lonesome old river keeps a' rollin'.
They call me…