Just Down the Road from Salem
While the hungry ones pass by
the fruits of life upon the ground,
The king and queen are leaving
and they're not making any sound.
In the coming of twilight
there is a soldier standing bare,
The battles he been fighting
are not recorded anywhere.
There's a prince and a pauper
fighting for a wagon and horse,
Both are dreaming of freedoms
that have already run their course.
The daughter of the soldier
was long ago loved by the prince,
But she married the pauper
and has lived with him ever since.
Sometimes late on the ev'ning
she can hear him calling her name,
He begs for her forgiveness
and swears he was never to blame.
Now the stable's four henchmen
have at last broken up the fight,
And the prince and the pauper
soon disappeared into the night.
The queen's having second thoughts
about absconding with the king,
The palace, with its grandeur,
to her had meant everything.
She knew he'd been unfaithful
behind the walls of the courtyard,
But, then again, so had she,
with the new leader of the guard.
The mare was sweating highly
as she galloped against the wind,
The town lay far behind them
and she would not look back again.
A preacher woke at midnight,
sat up and shook his weary head,
Wondered 'bout the commotion
from the smooth comfort of his bed.
The alter wine was tasty
and the communion had gone well,
Thought about the pauper's wife
and all those dreams he can't re-tell.
He heard the fading hoof beats
and knew it was the kings own roan,
Little did the preacher know
would be tonight he died alone.
The pauper's wife was ageing
faster than her chores could be done,
Since he had up and left her
there were no battles be won.
Too often she'd be thinking
"what if the prince had come for me?
I'd not be mopping up floors,
I'd be in royal company".
The windows had been shuttered
and all the lights had been turned down,
No one's left to "fare thee well";
she was the last to leave this town.
The dust has long been settled
on those deserted roads of life,
The broken king lives no more,
his memory's kept by his wife.
She still sees the old soldier
and they've become the best of friends,
Once they took to the wagon
and traveled to their living ends.
Was heard the prince shot himself,
the preacher was found in his bed;
One loan dog howls at the moon
that's been floating high overhead.