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The First Dirty Dozen

The First Dirty Dozen

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The First Dirty Dozen

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Lançado em:
Mar 13, 2018


For over 15 years, Canadian singer-songwriter Brock Zeman has traveled all over North America and beyond, playing almost 200 dates a year in venues large and small, satisfying his loyal fans and making new ones wherever he goes. Zeman delivers his hard-hitting songs with exceptional passion and skill. Poignant, driving, irreverent or humorous (sometimes all of the above), his songs tell us stories that leap from the stage right into our hearts.

Collected here for the first time are the lyrics from his first 12 albums. These songs jump off the page as easily as they do the stage - you just can't hold a good storyteller down.

"Not many people can do what Brock Zeman does… These are good songs - really good songs."

- Frank Gutch Jr., No Depression

"His songs have more depth than can be realized first time through, which only enhances with each listen."

- Steve Tennant, Penguin Eggs

"He's a storyteller, an observer who sings real-life struggles about characters you care about."

- Bob Mersereaux, The Top 100 Canadian Singles

Lançado em:
Mar 13, 2018

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The First Dirty Dozen - Brock Zeman

The First Dirty Dozen

Brock Zeman

Brock Zeman


Copyright © 2018 Brock Zeman

Cover photo by Domenic Cicala.

Cover and book design by Triskell Press (Charles de Lint & MaryAnn Harris).

Album cover credits: Blair Olson, Rick Klaver, Matt Pelletier, and Jamie Kronick.

eISBN 978-1-7753069-1-7 

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author or publisher except for the use of brief quotations in critical articles or reviews.

This is a work of fiction. Names, places, businesses, characters and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, actual events or locales is purely coincidental.

Special thanks to​:​ my wonderful family (Ted, Donna, Lindsay, Ryan and Natalie); Blair Hogan, ​Dylan Roberts, ​Crocket and Deb, Steve Purtelle, Steve Foley, Mark Logan, Mark Jungers, the Stos Boys, the Waytowich Clan, Mary Sack​; all the musicians and bands I've played with over the years​; Charles and MaryAnn for helping with this book​; and all of the angels I've met out on the road. You're too many to mention but you know who you are and I'm lucky to know you.


I. Cold Winter Comes Back


Mississippi River

Ridin’ on the Rims

Billy and Me

Sink Like a Stone

Jefferson County

William P. Rambler

Dragged Through the Dirt


Bonnie and Clyde

II. Songs from the Mud

Fifty-dollar Bill

Scarecrow Blues

Dear Father

Soldier’s Prayer

Tires on the Gravel


Darcy Plunkett

The Sun Went Out

Holler Out

Guitar Fool

Sitting in Hock

The Mason Gang

Mary-Anne O’ Toole

III. The Dirty Hands

Nothing on the Radio

Sweet Charlotte

Down by the River

Two Steps Back


My Heaven

Raise Your Hands

Danny’s Song

Small Town Tongues

Blood of Christ Blues

Breanna Harrison


Another Song

Talking Reality Show Blues

IV. Welcome Home Ivy Jane

Better Half

In Days Ahead

Since You’ve Been Gone


Storm’s A-comin’

Ten Dollars and a Dime

The Greasy Skillet Boys

Porch Light

A Different Kind of Ground

Saturday Night

Whistle While I Clean My Gun

Down in the Basement



V. The Bourbon Sessions

Blood on the Hardwood Floor

Lordy Lord

Silver and Gold

Places to Fall

Call It Even

Rock Fence

Don’t Tell Jimmy

Invisible Line

Something’s Gonna Crack

Train in Me

Spend the Night

VI. $100 Difference

Picture of You

Ain’t Nothing

Ten-day Rut

Length of Your Chain

Plain Wild

Girl with a Gun

Killer in the Corn

Moccasin Road

Keep Moving

All These Roads

Once Upon a Saturday Night

VII. Live At The Acoustic Grill

Ain’t No Grave

Wintertime in Ontario

Oh Me, Oh My

Last $20 Blues

A Song to a Girl

Put Your Foot Down

Closing Time

VIII. Ya Ain’t Crazy Henny Penny

Life Is Good

Where You Leave Your Car

Somebody’s Comin’

Percy’s Daughter

Never Step on a Train

Dust and Dirt


End of the Tunnel

Ya Ain’t Crazy Henny Penny

IX. Me Then You

Push Them Stones

Until it Bleeds

Triple Crown

Someone for You

Light in the Attic


End of the World

Season of Sleep

Rain on the Roof #1

Rain on the Roof #2

X. Rotten Tooth

Rotten Tooth

Day Before Tomorrow

Don’t Forget to Grow Old

Chicken Bones

I’m Going Fishing

The Dreamland Motel

Sending Strange Weather

Where Words Mean Nothing at All

Ever Since You Left Town

There Will Always Be a Right Now

XI. Pulling Your Sword Out of the Devil’s Back

Pulling Your Sword Out of the Devil’s Back

Walking in the Dark


Don’t Think About You Anymore

Some Things Stay

10 Year Fight

Drop Your Bucket

Little Details

Dead Man’s Shoes

Everybody Loves Elvis

XII. The Carnival Is Back in Town

The Carnival Is Back in Town

Hammer Them Stakes Down


Come One, Come All

The Juggler

Buckshot Sadie

Dirty Little Secrets

Little Mac

Freak Show

Percy Jones

Drinks the Clown

Closer to God

The Moon Ain’t Full

The Carnival Has Left Town

Mailing list

About the Author

Album I

Cold Winter Comes Back


I missed my bus at the London station

I had to take the milk run at two hours’ difference

I took a seat beside an old man, he was drinking red wine

He said, I got you a drink son if you’ve got the time

I’ve been gone awhile; I’ve thumbed my way across the country wide

Cold shoulders and road signs, they were my only friends

I thumbed across that prairie stretch in a cherry-red Corvette

I slept beside the railroad tracks back in Thunder Bay

I played hide-and-seek with the sun; I’ve stared down the barrel of a gun

I even slept in the jailhouse some back in the month of May

Picket fences always looked like bones to me, so I rambled far and free

Time to put this soul to sleep; this old dog has had his day

And high on the horizon I see these words across the sky:

Everything turns to dust by and by

I’ve run from the cold and I’ve played with fire, I sang bass in a hobo choir

To the melody of screaming tires, Lord, don’t I love that sound

I’ve talked to God and held the Devil’s hand, I slept down in the mud and the sand

Regrets just ain’t my style man, they’re too heavy to lug around

Sometimes I get to thinking about all the things I’ve been missing out

Lord, I wished I’d’ve settled down and maybe bought some land

It gets me feeling some kinda low when a north wind howls so

But then I hear a lonesome train whistle blow and Lord here I go again

The old man hunched low in his seat, let out a breath slow and deep

His eyes bowed down with sleep, he just kinda trailed off

I saw the lights of my hometown, the bus broke and slowed right down

The old man was still sleeping sound when I hit my stop

Mississippi River

The summer was waving a cold winter goodbye

The river was flowing all fast and high

She had enough of small towns, wanted something new

And she left me standing by the Mississippi River

Not a year goes by when that river don’t bite

You always read in the paper about it taking some lives

When the water is high you best stand clear

Even the Mississippi River couldn’t hold her here

When the snow starts falling, the cold winter comes back

I’ll walk out on that river till the ice all cracks

And I’ll let it take me to where the skies are blue

Maybe the Mississippi River will lead me back to you

I miss you darling, I guess I always will

But asking you to come home is like asking that river to stand still

Ridin’ on the Rims

Manitoba, you best get out of my way

’Cause I’m gonna tear across these prairies like a jailbreak

And Alberta, I just can’t slow her down

And I ain’t got no time for talking but I’m sure I’ll see you around

Should my tires blow, then I’ll just ride on the rims

There ain’t nothing gonna keep me from seeing my baby again

No, nothing’s gonna slow me down

Come snow or sleet or rain

I can make it by tomorrow

If I just drive through today

Honey, I’ll make it by tomorrow

If I just drive through today

I quit my job and set this car on the road

For a pair of dark brown eyes and a heart of gold

All those back roads, don’t matter what the DJ plays

Just ain’t the same without my baby sitting there next to me

Hell, I can almost hear her singing Dylan songs out of tune

Now Rainy Day Woman never fails to leave me blue

Billy and Me

My brother Billy and me, we grew up side by side

Whenever you saw one of us out you knew the other wasn’t far behind

And when the fists would fly on Main Street we were always first on the scene

No, we weren’t afraid of nothing, Billy and me

I came of age and grew restless and hit out on the road

I was young and green and did not know what I was searching for

But it was clear to me if I stayed behind I’d only find discontent

And when you’re palming around in the dark it’s easy to find the Devil’s hand

Before I left I told Billy to get out while he could

’Cause one day you’ll wake and you’ll look in the mirror and see an old man staring at you

And every time you put off something, the weaker your wings will get

Till you finally find yourself holding on to a box of old regrets

And Idle hands are the Devil’s playthings, ain’t that what they say

Billy stayed behind only to find himself deeper every day

He started hanging around with that Tommy Brown, I always said the boy had a forked tongue

Billy shot his future into his veins and let the Devil swim into his blood

It’s kinda funny, I suppose

You can never help the ones that you hold close

And all the people that you love

They’re the ones that’ll hurt you most

I found a girl and I settled down 500 miles from my home

In a little shack with a river out back at the end of a county road

One day I called my mama, she said she hadn’t heard from Billy in days

But no cause for worry now son, you hear, just find it a little strange

Well a week went

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