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Pete Atkin - Tenderfoot lyrics

Atkin-James

Beyond the border town they call Contrition
The badlands are just boulders and mesquite
A school of Spanish friars built the mission
But left because they couldn't take the heat
And further on the road to Absolution
The mesas turn to mountains capped with snow
And the way becomes a form of execution
That only hardened travellers can go

You can tell the horseman grieves for how he sinned
He rides a killing trail
Reminded of his hard heart by the hail
And of his folly by the chilling wind

By day the canyon ramparts blaze their strata
Like purple battlements he shall not pass
The sunlight sears the horseman like a martyr
The glacier's a magnifying glass
And by night the clouds black out the constellations
While veils of icicles lock up his eyes
He moves by echo through the cold formations
Walls of drift and ice-fall fall and rise

You can tell the horseman grieves for how he sinned
He rides a killing trail
Reminded of his hard heart by the hail
And of his folly by the chilling wind

He knows he made pretense of love too often
His deadly carelessness went on for years
At dawn the shields on his eyes will soften
And all of his regrets will be in tears
But far too late to go back and be gentle
Or say how clearly now it comes to mind
His pride at never being sentimental
Was just a clever way to be unkind

You can tell the horseman grieves for how he sinned
He rides a killing trail
Reminded of his hard heart by the hail
And of his folly by the chilling wind

Around him lie the stunning and the drastic
Where nothing but the utmost can be felt
The temperatures will always be fantastic
Noon will never cool nor midnight melt
A fitting climate for one so unfeeling
Who once was so indifferent to distress
He's goaded onward with his senses reeling
Without the prospect of forgetfulness

You can tell the horseman grieves for how he sinned
He rides a killing trail
Reminded of his hard heart by the hail
And of his folly by the chilling wind

The golden handshake and the lightning kisses
Were all his for the asking in the past
But the subtlety and softness that he misses
For them the horseman always moved too fast
And now at last to contemplate his error
Facing the dimensions of his loss
He journeys where the sky meets the Sierra
That every man alive must one day cross

You can tell the horseman grieves for how he sinned
He rides a killing trail
Reminded of his hard heart by the hail
And of his folly by the chilling wind