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Old Sam

from Mountain Home by Owen Temple



Driving north out of Houston on I-45, you pass the 65 foot tall statue of Sam Houston that stands by the interstate near Huntsville, Texas.

He was a governor of Tennessee, president of Texas, U.S. Senator, and Governor of Texas, but his life was complicated.

He ran away from home as a boy to live with the Cherokee Indians, was nearly killed in battles by wounds in the groin, shoulder, and foot, was humiliated by rejection in an early short lived marriage, resigned from the governorship of Tennessee in disgrace, battled alcoholism, fought a Congressman with his cane, warned Texans that the Civil War would be brutal and that secession was a bad idea, and followed the code of “honor” above all.

This song is kind of an audio comic book about his life that Adam Carroll and I tried to write in the style of Johnny Horton songs like “The Battle of New Orleans.” My favorite Sam Houston quote is, “To be honest and fear not is the right path.”


Old Sam
(Owen Temple, Adam Carroll)

Timber Ridge, Virginia is a mighty fine place
From that soil sprung a leader of the human race
He had eyes full of thunderstorms and hair like gold
He was seven foot tall when he was six years old- Old Sam, Big Sam

Down in Alabama in 1812
He and Andy Jackson raised all kind of hell
Got shot by an arrow but he had no fear
Hero was the job that he chose for his career- Old Sam, Big Sam

Sam got tired of being the governor of Tennessee
So the Raven flew south to be a drunk Cherokee
He slapped a nasty Congressman right in the face
He said y'all go to hell, I'm gonna find a better place for Old Sam, Big Sam

He rambled on down to western Arkansas
Kicked around Oklahoma where he took up with a squaw
In those days Texas was damn near Mexico
Old Sam decided next that was where he's gonna go- Old Sam, Big Sam

That devil Santa Anna was a molester and a thief
Getting him throwed out a Texas was a mighty big relief
After swatting Santa Anna like you would a pesky fly
He drank a river full of whiskey and ate a piece of pie- Old Sam, Big Sam

Sam told folks not to start a Civil War
But they told Sam just to go and find the door
He sired eight more kids on the Gulf Coast plain
They don't bear the scars but they all bear the name of Old Sam, Big Sam

Sam Houston stood tall, he was true and tough
That statue's pretty big, but it ain't big enough for Old Sam, for Big Sam
Old Sam


from Mountain Home, released April 26, 2011


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