I was born just out of town and I never could get in So I turned to traveling 'round where the nights fade and the days begin They called me a hobo but I never took that name And they called me a pilgrim but I was not to blame As I wandered through the tall pines and the clay trying to put a hurry-up on Judgment Day
They jailed me in St. Louis 'cause I was easy prey And everyone was happy to go home early that day Till it was just me and my cellmate staring eye to eye And then he started laughing, saying, "Let me guess, you're not the guy." He offered me a cigarette As I reached he pulled away Saying, "You never get a last request until it's Judgment Day."
Her eyes they were flawed diamonds She said, "That's the price of fame Where all the girls are beautiful All the women look the same And all the men come courting me because I'm the final one And they give their names so quietly just like you might've done And names are just the final thing a man must give away And you'll pass yours on so willingly when it comes Judgment Day"
Well, I heard her sing a melody from a window in the jail And I knew the day I broke out she'd cover up my trail Expecting nothing more than the name I tried to toss Staring into my heart with the eyes of St. John of the Cross Wondering if I'd return again but it don't work out that way Once you've turned your back and the rope goes slack around Judgment Day
It was long out on the Great Plains with nowhere left to go The road was full of nothing and the sky was full of snow I've seen this road before in the sun and rain and wind But I don't need it anymore Let that be my only sin For whatever the next motel costs I'll be glad to pay And I'll hide out till I hear that song that calls me Judgment Day