Jolly Johnny Junker

Dustin Welch, Super Rooster Music (SESAC); Mark Germino, Black Rhapsody Music (ASCAP)

You try to measure me, better use a slide rule
A chalked up cue and a case of cold duck
I am your junkyard dog, I’m misunderstood
Hiding neath the hood of a pickup truck

I can make you smile, lead you down a path
And if you do the math, you’d be calling the police
I am your good time man, a simple work of art
Set to break your heart and put it back in one piece

Chorus
When the rain falls down, I’ll be washed down the boulevard heading into town
When the big sky falls, I’ll be running for the bunkers with a set of better laws
When the tar pits burn, I’ll be swallowing the cinders, I’ll readily confirm
And when the church bells chime, I’ll still be your Jolly Johnny Junker Two-Time

I am a shit-hot tramp with a burning breaker box
From the school of hard knocks I would suffer to admit
I peel a wandering eye, it’s red and full of sand
I’m the type of man you gotta swallow by the bit

Repeat Chorus

I pose a question now, it’s loaded and it’s laced
With sorrow and disgrace but it’s simple and direct
Now can you walk that walk, go dancing down the track
Raise the Union Jack and then fire for for effect

Repeat Chorus

Dustin Welch: lead vocals, acoustic guitar; Jeremy Nail: electric guitar, background and gang vocals; Scotty Bucklin: piano, gang vocals; Trisha Keefer: violin; Steve Bernal: bass, background and gang vocals; Eldridge Goins: drums, percussion, background and gang vocals; Kayla Welch: gang vocals

Mark Germino made sure I could write a song by myself, saw to it personally, but in the four times we’ve written together, he’s really hogged the page. However, it never really bothered me too much because he happens to be my absolute favorite songwriter of all time and I marvel at his imagination and skill. And don’t you dare tell him I said that. He called me up after Whisky Priest was released and said something to the effect of, “Listen, I’ve got a song I started for you, because your set is missing this particular type of thing, and I’m here to solve all your problems.” So, the next time I was in Nashville, I went over to his house and we sat down with it. I’d say, “Why don’t we put something in there about a burning breaker box?” and he’d write a brilliant line around it. And so it went. He had the title line, and never to this day will tell me what the hell it means. I’ve got my own private explanation which makes perfect sense to me, but have no idea if it has anything to do with what he meant by it. No matter. I took his chord progression, substituted the 6m for the 1 chord, toughened it up a bit, straightened out the rhythm of the verses while still letting the chorus swing, and made it rightfully my own.