Sunday, February 3, 2008

Son of Your Father

I'll catch the tramline in the morning
With your leave Van Bushell said
He had further heard the cock crow
As he stumbled out the shed

Then blind Joseph came towards him
With a shotgun in his arms
He said you'll pay me twenty dollars
Before you leave my farm

And that's the crux of the conflict in this Western story-song.

Van Bushell, some sort of ne'er-do-well, is trying to abuse hook-handed, blind Joseph's hospitality by skipping out on the debt he owes him; Joseph isn't having any of it, and backs up his claim with a shotgun. Van Bushell appeals to his sense of family and charity, in the chorus:

You're the son of your father
Try a little bit harder
Do for me as he would do for you
With blood and water bricks and mortar
He built for you a home
You're the son of your father
So treat me as your own

This seems to work, as Joseph lowers his rifle and empties out the shells. Problem is, VB is a jerk and screws up when he says in passing:

He said now hey blind man that is fine
But I sure can't waste my time
So move aside and let me go my way
I've got a train to ride

Joseph doesn't take kindly to this, and the tale doesn't have a happy ending.

Bernie kinda fumble-mouths the moral with some odd syntax in the summup, but it doesn't matter- it's a neat little vignette and it's catchy too, as Elton sets it in a typically Band-like arrangement, with lots of Ian Duck harmonica, chorus-style backing vocals and some honking horns buried in the mix.

I've always thought it was one of the best songs on the album.

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