CALIFORNIA EARTHQUAKE (A WHOLE LOTTA SHAKIN’ GOING ON)

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
CALIFORNIA EARTHQUAKE (A WHOLE LOTTA SHAKIN’ GOING ON)
Rodney Crowell first gained widespread recognition as a leader of the new traditionalist
movement of the mid-’80s, he in fact was a singer, songwriter, and producer with roots
and ambitions extending far beyond the movement’s parameters. Born to a musical family
on August 7, 1950, in Houston, TX, Crowell formed his first band, the Arbitrators, while
in high school, and in 1972 moved to Nashville to become a professional musician.
There, he struck up friendships with singer/songwriters Townes Van Zandt and Guy
Clark. Combining careers as a country songwriter, producer and artist, Crowell rose to
fame in the 80s as an influential figure in Nashville’s new breed of country traditionalists,
along with Emmylou Harris, in whose Hot Band he worked for three years.
His songs have been covered by Bob Seger, Waylon Jennings, George Jones and others,
while he has also produced albums for Sissy Spacek, Guy Clark and Bobby Bare.
There was a California earthquake, in the year of ’83
It shook the living daylights out of the Owens County Seat
Not a building still left standing when the dust had cleared away
Just a rumble in the distance all the way to San Andrea
Oh Sherman Buck was driving his old mule into town
When a big one came and shook so hard, that it knocked him to the ground
Lord there opened up a hole so big, he thought his time was up
And it swallowed up that poor old mule and it just missed Sherman Buck
Chorus
California earthquake you just don’t know what you’ve done
We may fall off in the ocean, but you’ll never make us run
You’re a partner to the devil, but we ain’t afraid of him
We’ll build ourselves another town so you can tear it down again
Then came the quake of ’99 that leveled Mission Creek
The earth was like an ocean churning, with waves of twenty feet
Lord it sounded like a thousand trains were screaming underground
Clean across to San Joachim, they heard that mournful sound
[chorus]
Then came one day the holocaust on San Francisco Bay
[Ninety] miles of walls came down like old Jericho that day
Might near everything the earthquake missed, a holy fire consumed
And left ’em smoke and the ashes of the dreams that can’t be ruined
[chorus