“This City” Lyrics by Steve Earle

Those of us who enjoyed the Treme series on HBO, heard the series close with this song by Steve Earle. I had to transcribe the song by ear, and some of Earle’s phrases are hard to decipher, so if you can correct any of the phrases, I would appreciate it. Just email me at rickeyp@bayou.com or leave a comment.  I placed a question mark by the lines I wondered about. Here is a YouTube link where you can hear the song yourself. (Thanks to Matt for his corrections!)

“This City” by Steve Earle

This city won’t wash away
This city won’t ever drown
Blood in the water and hell to pay
Sky tear open and pain rain down.

Doesn’t matter, let come what may
I ain’t ever going  to leave this town
This city won’t wash away
This city wont’ ever drown.

Ain’t the river or the wind to blame
As everybody around here knows.
Nothing holding back Pontchatrain
Except  a prayer  and a promise’s ghost

This town’s digging our graves
In solid marble above the ground
Maybe our bones will wash away
This city won’t ever drown

This city won’t ever die
Just as long as our heart be strong
Like a second line stepping high
Raising hell as we roll along
Gentilly to Vieux Carre
Lower 9, Central City, Uptown
Singing Jockamo fee nané

This city won’t ever drown.

Don’t matter cause there ain’t no way
I’m ever going to leave this town.
This city won’t wash away,
This city won’t ever drown.

6 thoughts on ““This City” Lyrics by Steve Earle

  1. A few corrections:
    “As everybody around HERE knows
    Except a PRAYER…

    Lower 9, CENTRAL CITY, UPTOWN

  2. I’m doing it by ear too, but I’m familiar with the southern speech. To my ear, he says at #4, “we (or we’ll) just carry on diggin’ our graves, in solid marble above the ground.”

    At the next to last:

    ‘This city will never die
    Just as long as her heart beats strong
    Like a second line steppin’ high
    Raisin’ hell as we roll along”

    And it’s “Lower 9th” (as in ward) not Lower 9, I think.

    See if that works. Thanks.

    • its a simple 3 chorder (D G A) – the trick is he does it in an open D tuning. Try it.

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