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Song Parodies -> "Garden City Flames"

Original Song Title:

"Blackjack County Chain"

Original Performer:

Henson Cargill/Willie Nelson & others

Parody Song Title:

"Garden City Flames"

Parody Written by:

Patrick McWilliams

The Lyrics

Original song written by Red Lane. Rejected by Charlie Pride. Purportedly about a revolt by Black toilers on a corrupt Southern Sheriff's work crew. The version I knew was sung by Henson Cargill, a White man. Willie Nelson, Del McCoury, Jack Palance and a number of other White artists have performed it. Of course, Whites as well as Blacks who were picked up on phony charges were often put in chains and forced to labor in the hot sun building roads. Those days may be gone, I hope, but small towns are known for fleecing motorists with bogus traffic tickets and forced to pay outrageous fines because they live too far away and the courts are too infrequent and inconvenient to come back to and contest the charges. I reimagined this classic for a modern abuse of police power.
I was driving alone one night in Garden City
The judge and cops were crooked as Frank Nitti*
As racketeers and closet queers they put the Mob to shame
And a C-Note bill from a poor man's till was to them a laughing game

Where every move you make's a violation
And a cop lurks in each bush to write citations
"Contempt of Court" the judge would snort if some poor fool complained
And an honest man didn't stand a chance as his bank account was drained

Then one night while they count their weekly taking
A bottle through the window pane came breaking
And heaven help those bastards as they run to dodge the flames
When the victim strikes back it's his turn to laugh at their hick town shakedown game

Of the root of all that's evil, they say cash is
All that's left is a pile of smoking ashes
Some times you push, you meet someone who pushes back the same
When the tables are turned you could get burned playing hick town shakedown games

Hick town shakedown games
*Frank Nitti: Chicago gangster. Took command of the Al Capone mob after Capone was sent to prison. Played by Bruce Gordon in the "Untouchables" TV series and Billy Drago in the movie starring Kevin Costner.

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Voting Results

Pacing: 4.8
How Funny: 4.9
Overall Rating: 4.9

Total Votes: 17

Voting Breakdown

The following represent how many people voted for each category.

    Pacing How Funny Overall Rating
 1   1
 2   0
 3   0
 4   0
 5   16

User Comments

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Rob Arndt - November 13, 2015 - Report this comment
I'm giving you a $555 fine, Mister!
Dr Giorgio Coniglio dec - November 13, 2015 - Report this comment
Nice use of an old song. I enjoyed Youtubing the original (Nelson/Jennings) while viewing your clever lyrics!
Patrick - November 13, 2015 - Report this comment
This was always a favorite of mine. The local country music station in KCK played it frequently. There is one line that I liked most of all. I bet you can guess what it is. Rob, if the judge ever finds out I wrote it, I bet the fine will far exceed your judgement.

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