Can’t Go Home Again (Border Wars)

Song Notes

TK/Chris Crawford

–Chris and I like to get away to write by driving down to his grandparents’ old farmhouse near Lynchburg. I don’t think we’ve ever gone down there and come back empty-handed. On one particular ride down Chris told me he’d been saving an idea to write with me, and he surprised me by saying he’d always wanted to write something about the Kansas/Missouri Border Wars. I’d been interested in the Civil War for as long as I can remember, but I knew next to nothing about Bleeding Kansas or the Burnt District and the long, brutal conflict in that area. As Chris filled me in and we researched it together, the story truly came to life for us in this song.

Three crosses in the shadow of a chimney stand alone
That’s all that’s left of my family and my home
A plow horse, a blanket and a Walker Colt
Gonna ride with Quantrill’s men
Hot on the trail of John Brown’s ghost

West to Kansas, hell for leather
Sworn to set things right, but then
Everything we ever cared about
Is ashes in the wind
Ride back east to Missouri
But we can’t go home
We can’t go home again

Redlegs set fire to Lone Jack, we track ‘em down
Catch sight of their flag edged in black, the bugle sounds
Our Colt pistols thunder and spit out flame
Our reins held in our teeth
We fight ‘em back the way they came

West to Kansas, hell for leather
Sworn to set things right, but then
Everything we ever cared about
Is ashes in the wind
Ride back east to Missouri
But we can’t go home
We can’t go home again

Trouble years in the making
Now it’s going down fast
Cause when life and land’s being taken
It sets a man on Vengeance’ Path

West to Kansas, hell for leather
Sworn to set things right, but then
Everything we ever cared about
Is ashes in the wind
Ride back east to Missouri
But we can’t go home
We can’t go home again

words & music: Tom Kimmel & Chris Crawford
©1999 Maverick Music Company / Drala Music / WB Music Corp. / Hurdlow Music / (ASCAP)

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