Everywhere he goes

by Ken Baake with The Rhetoricians

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This is an adventure song, based on a thousand old folk tunes--most notably in my repertoire, the old Western ballad of Sam Bass. Each verse is an episode based loosely on my younger adventures, or those of friends. Most are embellished with fictitious elements.

The picture of me to the right with my Somali photo permit from 1986 shows the toll that adventure can take. So gather your stories while you are young and resilient!

Then try taking highlights of your life adventures and set them to this simple lyric pattern, 8 lines with rhymes on lines 2 and 4 and again on lines six and 8.


Oh Woody is a scoundrel
A7 D
And he's my friend
Every time he leaves
He comes back again
G D | em bm| A7
And every place he goes, it's a pint of ale.
G |G A7| D
And every one of those, it's another tale.

Once it was a Chris Craft,
out on the Bay.
Rushing tide so strong,
forced a panicked way lay.
That tub damn near sank even at the pier.
Sold it the next day, with all his gear.

Ruined Russian built hotel,
Somalia's rocky coast.
Mercenaries pitch rum and lies.
He's awestruck at their boasts.
At night his passport wallet can't be found anywhere.
Drunken search while muezzin call the faithful to prayer.

Missionary English teacher in Mozambique,
Bag of Bantu bhangi
Keep stomach and spirits at piece.
Lantern lit, chapatti and eggs, the Arab radio.
Drifts into romantic dreams of Bedouin long ago.

Oh then there was Mexico,
a freelance photo shoot.
Homemade police siren,
Said it helped to clear a route.
But it only drew federales, from miles around.
Stripped his car while he was running from that town.

On a railroad sleeping coach,
Rolling out of St. Louis.
Spies two toughs by the baggage hold,
both acting kind of nervous.
Train slows to curve, they push the coupling door.
Leap into the prairie night, the baggage is secure.

Oh Woody is on watch
And he's my friend.
Every time he wants to run.
He comes home again.
And every story told, it's a hero's fall.
But he always goes back out again, for another haul.


released April 13, 2014
Ken vocals and guitar
Kristi Dunks, banjo
Chris Andrews, mouth harp and ukulele
Charity Tran, ukelele

Recorded 2013 at the Crossroads Recording Studio, Texas Tech University.
Amy DeVoge, producer/engineer.


tags: folk Lubbock


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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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