Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Rachel Harrington: Listen

Blow - the Ballad of Bill Miner

(Rachel Harrington)
May 1, 2007
Based on the true story of Bill Miner, a fella who robbed trains right here in the great Northwest. Also know as the "Gentleman Bandit," Bill often gave the ladies aboard roses and always gave all his loot away. Sentenced to prison several times, he usually managed to escape. Anyhow, very little is known about Bill's actual history, but I figured he had to have a really good reason to keep breaking out prison and keep robbing trains and giving away the money. My song "Blow" explores possible motives.
Blow ~ The Ballad of Bill Miner

1846
the year that I was born
Daddy died layin’ track
On Northern railroad
And it’s a back break
Hell of a way to go
Lay it inch by inch
And they got 1200 miles yet to go

Folks down at the Bureau
Say I ain’t got no claim
Man up in the White House
Done gave it all away,
“Transcontinental!
Oh, stand back! Sit still!
And what Villard don’t get, young man,
Weyerhaeuser will.”

Whistle blow on the train track
Whistle blow on the train track
Whistle blow

Judge said fifteen years
But I got out in ten
North to the Columbia
From the gates of San Quentin
And it’s a long haul
But look at me smile
‘Cause my life’s work ain’t done yet, son,
Not by a mile

Whistle blow on the train track
Whistle blow on the train track
Whistle blow

Comin’ up on the tender
My mare is on the chase
Wanted dead or alive
Next time you see my face
I’ll be a rich man
And I’ll make you a deal
‘Cause what a rich man won’t give
A righteous man will steal