Ocean Cowboy

from by Arlon Bennett

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I grew up on Long Island’s south shore where digging clams was the hard livelihood for many a bayman. Somehow I 'felt' the life they chose.



If there’s one thing I know ‘bout this island
it’s long on land and long on loneliness
if I could ever get past the guarded beaches
this is one place I know I’ll never miss

and the summer crowds they roll in like the tides do
and September sends them back the way they came
leaving bottles smashed in drunken disappointment
yet they come back here the next year with no shame

and me I’m just the local ocean cowboy
they wave at my boat and think I got it made
they see the freedom and adventure
but their eyes are blinded by the shade

‘cause working on the waves ain’t so easy
and the winters don’t forgive my way of life
but once in a while I get a little lucky
when the man who sells the bait lets me inside

that’s me the local ocean cowboy
in this one boat town where the ferries rule the bay
I wish I could tell my mother that I made it
‘cause my ship comes in every day

so living on this salty splintered vessel
with a cat who eats ‘bout half of what I earn
and when I step off onto the dry land
the seagulls always call me to return

‘cause they know me better than I know myself
and accept me in their mean and dirty lives
but they will always have it over me
they have wings to fly …away….


so the summer crowds they roll in like the tides do
I drop my nets and play the waiting game
they eat more than I can feed them
I despise and need them just the same

so if you ever take that journey
from the inlet to that shining fire light
that’s me there in the distance
bobbing in the wake you leave behind

Everyday, I make it and I don’t know any other way


from The Watch Man, track released September 1, 2001
Music & Lyrics by Arlon Bennett


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Arlon Bennett New York

Arlon Bennett; Daddy, Eagle Scout, baseball connoisseur, and all-around Renaissance guy with Tuscan roots, is an Americana songsmith writing songs that recall Harry Chapin and vintage James Taylor, but with an eloquence and honesty all his own. A home-made guitarist with a self-effacing style, he has a gift of storytelling from the heart that reveals the gold nuggets in the river of everyday life. ... more

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