Red Sovine's "Teddy Bear"

(transcribed by Bill Rockenbach, October 9, 1998)

Note: These songs were transcribed from a cassette tape, which was in turn recorded from an LP record I bought quite a number of years ago. It's possible that some songs from the LP may be missing, or songs from other albums included by mistake. Please let me know if you find any errors.

Songs

  1. Teddy Bear
  2. Little Rosa
  3. Does Steppin' Out Mean Daddy Took a Walk
  4. Last Mile of the Way
  5. Woman Behind the Man Behind the Wheel
  6. Daddy
  7. Love Is
  8. 1460 Elder Street
  9. It Ain't No Big Thing
  10. Sad Violins
  11. 18 Wheels Humming Home, Sweet Home

Teddy Bear

I was on the outskirts of a little southern town,
Trying to reach my destination before the sun went down.
The old CB was blaring away on channel one-nine
When there came a little boy's voice on the radio line.
And he said, "Breaker, one-nine, is anyone there?
Come on back, truckers, and talk to Teddy Bear."
Well, I keyed the mike and I said, "Well, you got it,Teddy Bear."
And the little boy's voice came back on the air.
"'Preciate the break.  Who we got on that end?"
I told him my handle, and then he began:

"Now, I'm not supposed to bother you fellas out there,
Mom says you're busy and for me to stay off the air.
But, you see, I get lonely and it helps to talk
'Cause that's about all I can do.  I'm crippled and I can't walk."

I came back and told him to fire up that mike
And I'd talk to him as long as he'd like.
"This was my dad's radio," the little boy said,
"But I guess it's mine and Mom's now 'cause my daddy's dead.
Dad had a wreck about a month ago.
He was trying to get home in a blinding snow.
Mom has to work now to make ends meet
And I'm not much help with my two crippled feet.
She says not to worry, that we'll make it all right,
But I hear her crying sometimes late at night.
You know, there's one thing I want more than anything else to see.
Aw, I know you guys are too busy to bother with me,
But, you see, my dad used to take me for rides when he was home
But I guess that's all over now since my daddy's gone."

Not one breaker came on the old CB
As that little crippled boy talked with me.
I tried hard to swallow, the lump just wouldn't stay down
As I thought about my boy back in Greenville town.

"Dad was gonna take Mom and me with him later on this year.
Why, I remember him saying, 'Someday this old truck'll be yours, Teddy Bear.'
But I know I'll never get to ride an 18-wheeler again,
But this old base will keep me in touch with all my trucker friends.
Teddy Bear's gonna back on out now and leave you alone
'Cause it's about time for Mom to come home.
But you give me a shout when you're passing through
And I'll sure be happy to come back to you."

Well, I came back and I said, "Before you go ten-ten,
What's your home-twenty, little CB friend?"
Well, he gave me his address and I didn't once hesitate
'Cause this hot load of freight was just gonna have to wait.
I turned that truck around on a dime
And headed straight for Jackson Street, 229.

And as I rounded the corner, boy, I got one heck of a shock--
Eighteen-wheelers were lined up for three city blocks!
Why, I guess every driver for miles around had caught Teddy Bear's call
And that little crippled boy was having a ball.
For as fast as one driver would carry him in,
Another would carry him to his truck and take off again.
Well, you better believe I took my turn at riding Teddy Bear
And then I carried him back in and put him down in his chair.
And, buddy, if I never live to see happiness again
I want you to know I saw it that day, in the face of that little man.

We took up a collection for him before his mama got home
And each driver said goodbye and then they were all gone.
He shook my hand with a mile-long grin
And said, "So long, trucker, I'll catch you again!"
I hit that interstate with tears in my eyes
And I turned on the radio and I got another surprise.
"Breaker, one-nine," came a voice on the air,
"Just one word of thanks from Mama Teddy Bear.
We wish each and every one a special prayer for you
'Cause you just made my little boy's dream come true.
I'll sign off now before I start to cry.
May God ride with you.  Ten-four, and goodbye."


Little Rosa

Little Rosa was her name,
And still I cry in vain.
My world won't be the same
  Since she's gone from me.

I had gone to visit the grave of a friend of mine
And as I walked through the graveyard
  I noticed this man kneeling down by the grave of a child,
And in his hand he held a big red rose
  and tears were streaming down his cheeks.
So I walked over and laid a hand on his shoulder
  and started to talk to him.
And during the course of our conversation and in his broken English
  this is the story just as he told it to me.

He said, "Mister, I'm a-walkin down the street today
  and I passed by a big flower shop.
I walk in and I ask the man in the shop,
  I say, "Boss, how much for one red rose?"
And he look at me with one big frown
  and he says, 'I want a dollar, please.'
But then by and by a swell-dressed blond young lady walk in
  and she says, 'How much for one red rose?'
And he look at her with one big smile and says, 'Ten cents.'
Then I said, 'Boss, how come you charge me a dollar for the rose
  and charge the young lady only ten cents?'
And he says, 'Look, mister, you tell me why you want the rose
  and maybe I'll give it to you for nothing.'

"Then I said, 'Boss, I'm a hard-working man,
Working the railroad don't make too much a month
And I got a little girl and her name is Rosa.
Rosa's just about this high, boss,
Every day when I come home from work
  Little Rosa come a-running to me, to Papa,
And she throw her little arms around my neck
  and say 'Papa' and I say 'Rosa.'
But one day, boss, I come home from work and I don't see Rosa
I look down by the railroad track and I see one big crowd.
I go down and I push the crowd this-away and I push the crowd that-away,
  and there at my feet lay my Rosa.
And that's why I want the rose, boss.
  I wanta put it on Little Rosa's grave."

The man he don't say nothing,
  but he pick the biggest and the reddest rose
And he give it to me.
And I said, "Thank you, boss! Thank you very much!"

And though she's gone, you see,
She's still the world to me.
To me she'll always be
  That little girl of mine.


Does Stepping Out Mean Daddy Took a Walk

In our neighborhood the kids had been out playing,
Little Johnny's clothes were torn when he came home.
I overheard these words he kept saying,
"They'd better leave my daddy alone."

She kissed away the tears to console him
As I fought to hide my own I held back.
And the more he cried, the closer she would hold him,
And I broke down with these questions that he asked.

  "Does 'stepping out' mean Daddy went out walking?
  Does 'cheating' mean my daddy don't play right?
  Does 'gossip' mean they're lying while they're talking?
  Does 'two-timing' mean that Daddy stepped out twice?

"Mama, don't my daddy stay out late because he's working?
I can't understand this kind of talk.
Does 'ladies' man' mean Daddy's a sissy?
Mom, don't 'stepping out' mean Daddy took a walk?

  "Does 'stepping out' mean Daddy went out walking?
  I just can't understand this kind of talk.
  Don't my daddy stay out late because he's working?
  Mom, don't 'stepping' out mean Daddy took a walk?"


Last Mile of the Way

When I've done everything that you've asked me to do
And when I change every way that I can,
Then if that's not enough to satisfy you
Then I guess I'm not that much a man.

  When I've gone the last mile of the way
  And when I've said everything left to say,
  I know only sorrow awaits me
  When I've gone the last mile of the way.

There are some things in life that money can't buy
And there's some things that words cannot say.
I guess I always knew I couldn't satisfy you
If I went every mile of the way.

  When I've gone the last mile of the way
  And when I've said everything left to say,
  I know only sorrow awaits me
  When I've gone the last mile of the way.
    Yes, I've gone the last mile of the way.


Woman Behind the Man Behind the Wheel

Those hard-driving truckers gear-jamming day and night
Have got a real tough job to stand up to.
Highballing down a highway in a big long diesel rig
Is not a job just anyone can do.

But there's a lot of credit due to a fine group of girls,
They're the truckers' wives who wait for their men.
When they kiss them goodbye and watch the taillights fade
It's a lonely wait until they're home again.

  He may be gone three days or maybe two weeks,
  And everything is left in her care,
  Like paying bills and cutting grass and fixing kids their meals.
  She's the woman behind the man behind the wheel.

This special breed of woman has to share a love affair
With that long stretch of highway on his mind,
But she knows that he loves her more than anything.
She's a trucker's wife and that's the greatest kind.

And as he sips his coffee you can bet she's on his mind,
Or when he's driving down that highway all alone.
And that sleeper sure gets lonely parked at a big truck stop
Compared to being in her arms at home.

  Now, we've sung songs and praises about the trucking man
  And they're true, but lets save one little spiel
  For all the truckers' wives, because after all
  She's the woman behind the man behind the wheel.
    She's the woman behind the man behind the wheel.


Daddy

Today I've been counting the many blessings
  in the family my dad raised.
All the love we shared through the years
  has come back to me in many ways,
And today my mind flashed back to my childhood days.
I recall my first day of school
  and how much it hurt my dad to see me start off in patched-up blue jeans.
But today, Dad, that's the style.
  My boy won't go anywhere without his patched-up jeans.
They're old and faded
  and they look like they've never been cleaned.
And I remember Sunday school
  and how I'd get mad when you'd make me go,
But now I can see why that was so important to you.
Because we prayed together and we stayed together.

Now, my dad was a man who knew his own mind
And I remember when he'd call us all together
  and say, "Family, it's loving time."
His world was built around Mom and the four kids they raised
And I can still see the smile that always came on Mama's face
  each time Dad would say the table grace.

The house was filled with lots of noise
But when we got too loud, Dad would always say,
  "Oh, those devilish boys!"
There was three of us; the fourth was a girl.
Well, you know, Dad had a choice--a favorite, that is--
But he'd say, "I love one just as much as I love the other.
Would you look at her?  She looks just like her mother."

I heard a lot of other people talk about my dad
And talk about the things that he done when he was young.
I might be a little bit prejudiced, but he was the best in the county
  when it came to a contest in games,
'Cause he'd could outrun, outbox, outshoot
  any of the professionals that came to town.

Now, my dad was a good man,
  and his family came first,
And he did his best for us,
  and I know sometimes he worked till it hurt.
The Depression wasn't an easy time;
  a dollar a day was the pay back then,
And I remember my dad leaving the house before daybreak
  and walking fourteen miles to get to work without being late.

I guess everyone remembers the good times and the bad,
Good times were happy and bad times were sad.
And when I'd do something wrong, he'd straighten me out
  with his hand or a belt out behind the house.
But, now, Mama didn't raise her voice or fuss
  when we'd get out of hand.
She'd just say, "Now, that's enough!" and if we didn't obey,
  she'd tell Dad what was wrong and without a question, Dad would lay it on.

Why, we picked cotton, chopped cotton, stacked hay, pulled corn,
Well, that's the way we made our living back then on the farm.
But things are different now
  'cause it's like a new world we're living in.
Everything's a mad rush,
  and not enough time for friends.
And when I think of my dad, it makes me proud, you see,
'Cause he gave so much of himself to make life easier for me.

Now, not everyone is as lucky as I am
  to have a father who wanted the best for me out of life
And now when I hear a church bell chime
  it's almost like my dad saying, "Family, it's loving time."
So why don't you go to your dad right now
  and tell him you love him,
And I'll bet you a dollar against a dog biscuit
  that it'll mean more to him than any gift that money could ever buy.
'Cause you know you can't ever repay him
  for all the things he's done for you,
And the best way I know to let him know
  is just say, "Daddy, I love you."


Love Is

Love is blue skies and white clouds
  touching the valleys of green,
And love is walking in the sunshine
  in my oldest faded jeans.

Love is a pink-footed puppy
  running carefree by our side,
And love is love I have for you, hon,
  that I just can't seem to hide.

  Don't want no fancy clothes,
    and don't need no party wine.
  I've got your sweet, sweet love
    and you've got all of mine.

Love is morning-after memories
  of the night we had before,
And love is warm and tender feelings
  'cause I love you more and more.

  Don't want no fancy clothes,
    and don't need no party wine.
  I've got your sweet, sweet love
    and you've got all of mine.

Love is morning-after memories
  of the night we had before,
And love is warm and tender feelings
  'cause I love you more and more.   [repeat]


1460 Elder Street

I was waiting for a ship to Vietnam
And me being the goodtime loving guy I am
I was looking for some female company,
I met a girl alone and lonesome just like me.

We had coffee at a waterfront cafe,
She said her husband was a soldier far away,
And she talked about her long nights all alone
And the way she's fought temptation since he's gone.

  1460 Elder Street is where she took me
    and I never knew that love could be so sweet.
  Then she promised me that when the war was over
    I'd have a home at 1460 Elder Street.

Too months later I was on patrol one day
When a hand grenade fell not ten feet away.
I watched as one brave man gave all that he could give;
He fell across it, gave his life that I might live.

I found a crumpled tear-stained letter in his coat
And I read the "Dear John" letter his wife wrote.
He had nothing left worth living for, I guess.
Oh, I thought I'd die when I saw her return address.

  1460 Elder Street still drives me crazy
    and sometimes at night we find it hard to sleep.
  Could it be the ones who killed him now are sharing
    our private hell at 1460 Elder Street?


It Ain't No Big Thing

You're losing interest in me and it's showing,
It ain't no big thing but it's growing.
The pain of heartbreak I just started knowing,
It ain't no big thing but it's growing.

  Every day the hurt grows bigger than it did before,
  But I pretend that I don't notice
    if I can hold you one day more.

You've got the look of someone who is going,
You're gonna leave me and it's showing.
A little tear I can feel start to flowing,
It ain't no big thing, oh, but it's growing.

You've got the look of someone who is going,
You're gonna leave me and it's showing.
A little tear I can feel start to flowing,
It ain't no big thing, oh, but it's growing.
  It ain't no big thing, oh, but it's growing.


Sad Violins

Tonight I'm back at our old table
  in our favorite hideaway
Where we used to laugh and dance
  and hear those happy fiddles play.
But the love that she once had for me
  couldn't stand the test of time.
Now the fiddles once so happy
  seem to know that she's not mine.

  I hear those sad violins
    playing softly just for me,
  And their crying strings
    just fit the mood I'm in.
  I don't hear the happy fiddles
    that used to play for her and me,
  Now all I hear are sad violins.

The soft warm wine once sweet and gentle
  now has such a bitter taste,
And I never thought this corner
  could be such a lonely place.
The spotlight on the band just turned
  a lonely shade of blue
As they start to play our favorite song
  in memory of you.

  I hear those sad violins
    playing softly just for me,
  And their crying strings
    just fit the mood I'm in.
  I don't hear the happy fiddles
    that used to play for her and me,
  Now all I hear are sad violins.


18 Wheels Humming Home, Sweet Home

Well, raindrops on my windshield, teardrops on my steering wheel,
  This lonely truck's the only thing I own.
In my heart I'm pining, while her old engine's whining
  With eighteen wheels a-humming "Home, Sweet Home."

I had a gal in Texas, she walked away and left us,
  This old truck's all I'm depending on.
Sometimes I overwork her, but I never would desert her
  With eighteen wheels a-humming "Home, Sweet Home."

We've got a lot in common, we keep each other going,
  Me and this old truck are hanging on.
We just keep right on rolling, that lonesome stack a-blowing,
  With eighteen wheels a-humming "Home, Sweet Home."

It ain't the latest model, and it can't take much throttle,
  Them shiny rigs ain't been where this one's gone.
And we ain't in a hurry, we loaf along and worry
  With eighteen wheels a-humming "Home, Sweet Home."

There's raindrops on my windshield and teardrops on my steering wheel,
  This lonely truck's the only thing I own.
And in my heart I'm pining, while her old engine's whining
  With eighteen wheels a-humming "Home, Sweet Home."



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