Oleander

I wrote Oleander at Ocracoke a couple of years ago. This year at the OcraFolk Festival in early June they had a songwriter circle at one of the coffee shops. I played it when it was my turn: giving it back to the island. It felt good. All that oleander, all those mourning doves . . . Oleander Don’t you hear the lonesome call of the mourning dove It’s a common sound I don’t think much of Heard it all my life, more’s the shame I’d rather hear the warble of the whippoorwill If I hadn’t run away I would be there still Pleased to meet you, Oleander is my name That’s a pretty name for a pretty face And I’ll bet a little loving would soon erase All the worries and troubles that are on your mind Maybe it won’t and maybe it will But I’ll tell you Mister my looks can kill It would come out better for you if your love was blind, cause Oleander could be your doom Oleander a rosy bloom Oleander smells so sweet Makes a heart forget to beat I was raised up hard and I was raised up mean I was the prettiest baby Mama’d ever seen But a girl that was pretty and poor filled her with dread Now Mama believed that words had power So she named me for a poison flower I done for you what I could was what she said Now I could love you till the day you die But if I was you I’d just walk on by Go on now – forget you ever came It won’t get better it will only get worse Cause I live in the shadow of my Momma’s curse Go on now – I’ll not tell you again that Oleander could be your doom Oleander a rosy bloom Oleander smells so sweet Makes a heart forget to beat

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