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Sam Falbo's Blues (Lyrics)

Updated: Mar 6

Samuel T. Falbo was born in Floyd County

Late 1950 in eastern Kentucky

Raised by a TV repairman who tinkered

With old radios in a dimly lit kitchen

Never able to put much food on the table

In a coal covered holler in southern Floyd County

Sam and his brothers all split for Ohio

The day that the oldest was legal to drive

Stacked in an Oldsmobile shoulder to shoulder

Like the bedroom they'd shared from day one in Kentucky

Just six hungry brothers all feeling lucky

Running Route 23 to a home in Ohio

Samuel T. Falbo found work on Lake Erie

Pouring four hundred miles of the Ohio Turnpike

With his two older brothers and a young Puerto Rican

Who could outwork those Falbos even when he'd been drinking

From the time he woke up to the five o'clock whistle

To a smoke filled hotel room on the Ohio Turnpike

Sam met a girl who washed clothes for a living

On the corner of Mill Street in Huron Ohio

And the traffic on Mill Street stood still when she'd smile

And she always did smell like the freshest of linens

So he gave her his name and she gave him six children

All baptized in a single room church on Lake Erie

Samuel T. Falbo bought a house by an orchard

That stretched from the tracks nearly clear to the turnpike

Where his three youngest brothers toiled when they were sober

Enough to pick apples from twenty foot ladders

And when they weren't scrapping metal or trading in horses

Or sleeping on couches in the house by the orchard

Sam was an old man before he turned forty

From decades of concrete and honest hard living

Paycheck to paycheck layaway and credit

Knowing this life would kill him if only he'd let it

And just before fifty, old Falbo he let it

And they buried Sam Falbo by a church on Lake Erie

Samuel T. Falbo died broke and unnoticed

In a late model Oldsmobile on County Line 20

Leaving seven mouths hungry and fourteen hands empty

And no food on the table in a dimly-lit kitchen

Just seven mouths hungry and fourteen eyes weeping

And one middle-aged widow who smelled like the linens

© Copyright 2019, Chris Castle. (BMI)

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