Cora Lynn

by Ken Baake

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Everyone is emotionally vulnerable, but some of us survive anyway. Others don't do so well. As kids we did not really understand mental illness when it affected one of us. So we used tough slang like "looney bin" to mask our fear. This song is about the various people in my life in whom whatever grew from the dark and damp recesses of fear got the upper hand.

As Simon and Garfunkel, sang "Jesus holds a place for those who break."

The image is from The Danvers State Hospital, also known as the State Lunatic Hospital at Danvers, Massachusetts--an infamous institution opened in the 1870s, now closed.


Cora Lynn
Sept. 2014

Verse: D>G>A (add a to the G chord sometimes for a G9)

Chorus: C maj j7>em>A |AG|

West of town was the state mental health hospital.
But we didn't call it that,
Just the "looney bin."
And while we didn't know much more.
We were sure it held a place for Cora Lynn.

She was young and smart, and she was beautiful.
As beautiful as a teenaged girl could be.
But her smile took a twist.
As she headed toward the abyss called Cora Lynn.

First time I went parking it was with her.
Laughing as the car slid in the mud.
But when I drove her home,
it was the last I was alone,
with Cora Lynn.

She heard voices sobbing when the pills kicked in.
And fell and got all bruised up from the booze.
I naively held her tight.
Thinking it would be all right for Cora Lynn.


Loser guys came quickly from the shadows.
To hide her from the pain of all her falls.
Only time I saw her then.
Was to drive her to the dark dead end,
of Cora Lynn.

West of town was the state mental health hospital.
She gave in or the voices got the best.
Never saw her or knew why,
But the silence said goodbye for Cora Lynn.


released May 22, 2015
Ken, vocal and guitar

Recorded and engineered by Amy DeVoge at Crossroads Recording Studio, Texas Tech.


tags: folk Lubbock


all rights reserved


Ken Baake Lubbock, Texas

Ken was born in Baltimore in 1955. He grew up hearing everyone from Johnny Mercer and Ray Charles to the Beatles on the family hi-fi, with a usual Saturday encore of Wagner's operas. Ken has degrees in English and economics and a background in journalism. He is currently an associate professor of English at Texas Tech, teaching classes in rhetoric. ... more

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