Ballad of Big Joe and Phantom 309 - Tom Faile

    Well you see I happened to be back on the east coast
    a few years back tryin' to make me a buck
    like everybody else, well you know
    times get hard and well I got down on my luck
    and I got tired of just roamin' and bummin'
    around, so I started thumbin' my way
    back to my old hometown
    you know I made quite a few miles
    in the first couple of days, and I
    figured I'd be home in a week if my
    luck held out this way
    but you know it was the third night
    I got stranded, it was out at a cold lonely
    crossroads, and as the rain came
    pouring down, I was hungry, tired
    freezin', caught myself a chill, but
    it was just about that time that
    the lights of an old semi topped the hill
    you should of seen me smile when I
    heard them air brakes come on, and
    I climbed up in that cab where I
    knew it'd be warm at the wheel
    well at the wheel sat a big man
    I'd have to say he must of weighed 210
    the way he stuck out a big hand and
    said with a grin "Big Joe's the name
    and this here rig's called Phantom 309"
    well I asked him why he called his
    rig such a name, but he just turned to me
    and said "Why son don't you know this here
    rig'll be puttin' 'em all to shame, why
    there ain't a driver on this
    or any other line for that matter
    that's seen nothin' but the taillights of Big Joe
    and Phantom 309"
    So we rode and talked the better part of the night
    and I told my stories and Joe told his and
    I smoked up all his Viceroys as we rolled along
    he pushed her ahead with 10 forward gears
    man that dashboard was lit like the old
    Madam La Rue pinball, a serious semi truck
    until almost mysteriously, well it was the
    lights of a truck stop that rolled into sight
    Joe turned to me and said "I'm sorry son
    but I'm afraid this is just as far as you go
    You see I kinda gotta be makin' a turn
    just up the road a piece," but I'll be
    damned if he didn't throw me a dime as he
    threw her in low and said "Go on in there
    son, and get yourself a hot cup of coffee
    on Big Joe"
    and when Joe and his rig pulled off into
    the night, man in nothing flat they was
    clean outa sight
    so I walked into the old stop and
    ordered me up a cup of mud sayin'
    "Big Joe's settin' this dude up" but
    it got so deathly quiet in that
    place, you could of heard a pin drop
    as the waiter's face turned kinda
    pale, I said "What's the matter did
    I say somethin' wrong?" I kinda
    said with 8a half way grin. He said
    "No son, you see It'll happen every
    now and then. You see every driver in
    here knows Big Joe, but let me
    tell you what happened just 10 years
    ago, yea it was 10 years ago
    out there at that cold lonely crossroads
    where you flagged Joe down, and
    there was a whole bus load of kids
    and they were just comin' from school
    and they were right in the middle when
    Joe topped the hill, and could
    have been slaughtered except
    Joe turned his wheels, and
    he jacknifed, and went
    into a skid, and folks around here
    say he gave his life to save that bunch
    of kids, and out there at that cold
    lonely crossroads, well they say it
    was the end of the line for
    Big Joe and Phantom 309, but it's
    funny you know, cause every now and then
    yea every now and then, when the
    moon's holdin' water, they say old Joe
    will stop and give you a ride, and
    just like you, some hitchhiker will be
    comin' by"
    "So here son," he said to me, "get
    yourself another cup of coffee, it's on the
    house, you see I want you to hang on
    to that dime, yea you hang on to that
    dime as a kind of souvenir, a
    souvenir of Big Joe and Phantom 309"

    Marco Giunco
    Work Basket Music Words