Tarmack Tears

        I knew a man whose wife left him for some Italian fellow.  He was bluegrass.  She was, well….. let’s just say she got above her raising.  He’s remarried now, and doing well. 

        One day he recalled how she said she was so sorry, but he thought her tears were likely gone before the plane took off.  If occurred to me if his wife had been bluegrass it never woulda happened; she’d a taken a train.  

        The more I thought about it, I decided there needed to be a few more bluegrass jet plane songs.  The trains dominate the genre, and rightly so.  As somone wrote, there ain’t nothing romantic about a tarmack.  There wasn’t much romantic about this guy’s first wife either, so it fits.

‘Tarmack Tears’


Tarmack tears
They took flight today
Tarmack tears
Dried up right away
Tarmack tears
Ain’t like a railroad song
The thing about these tarmack tears
Is they won’t last too long


She called the house to tell me
She’d booked a flight to Rome
She said there warn’t nothing left
To keep her here at home
She met some guy Italian
From his hairdo to his shoes
Ain’t nothing ‘talian bout me ‘cept the day old pizza blues



I walked her through the turnstile
She shed a tear or two
At a gift shop stop she somehow got
Stricken with the blues
Bought her one last Starbucks
And put her on the plane
I hope she bought a one way flight  And don’t come home again



What she don’t know is when she’s gone
I’m gonna be just fine
The high pitched whine of a jet turbine
Don’t tug this heart of mine
Like the lonely moan late at night
Of the old steam whistle blues
That stirs my soul some sad way  She ain’t never knew


Dr. B

O.K.  Get on me for being silly if you want, but I see enough bad stuff in my work.  For me music is just pure fun and an escape from the reality of the Doctor world.

Dr. B

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10 Comments on “Tarmack Tears”

  1. Dr. B, that is an awesome song! I want to hear it with music – I can just picture the rhythm and the melody already, it’s such perfect bluegrass. Your lyrics are just perfect for this. I really really liked it ^_^.

  2. Rekx Says:

    Dr. B – your thoughts about the romanticism of the tarmac immediately made me think of my favorite Gordan Lightfoot song –

    Early Morning Rain

    In the early morning rain
    With a dollar in my hand
    With an achin in my heart
    And my pockets full of sand
    Im a long way from home
    And I miss my loved ones so
    In the early morning rain
    With no place to go

    Out on runway number nine
    Big seven-o-seven set to go
    But Im stuck here in the grass
    Where the cold wind blows
    Now the liquor tasted good
    And the women all were fast
    Well there she goes my friend
    Well shes rollin down at last

    Hear the mighty engines roar
    See the silver bird on high
    Shes away and westward bound
    Far above the clouds shell fly
    Where the mornin rain dont fall
    And the sun always shines
    Shell be flyin oer my home
    In about three hours time

    This old airports got me down
    Its no earthly good to me
    cause Im stuck here on the ground
    As cold and drunk as I can be
    You cant jump a jet plane
    Like you can a freight train
    So Id best be on my way
    In the early morning rain

    You cant jump a jet plane
    Like you can a freight train
    So Id best be on my way
    In the early morning rain

  3. drtombibey Says:


    My book store tour will be some odd amalgamation of part doctor, part writer, part readings, and part mandolin picking. I guess because that is all I am!

    In spite of a very marginal singing voice (think Bob Dylan with laryngitis) I’ll sing it for you someday.

    Dr. B

  4. drtombibey Says:


    Man you are honorary SPBFW President for the day, ’cause that is the all time classic. “You can’t jump a jet plane like you can a freight train.” – THAT’S IT!

    Dr. B

  5. rekx Says:

    That’s exactly what I was thinking Dr. B…I really like Dylan’s version on the “Self Portrait” album…gosh I love that song…I am going to have it in my head for the rest of the day….

  6. drtombibey Says:

    Great stuff rekx. It’s in my brain too. A man could do a lot worse for a Monday sound track.

    Dr. B

  7. Martin Waddell Says:

    Stick with the trains, all you bluegrass people! Not only are trains more romantic than planes, they’re more environmentally friendly. They’re also more comfortable (unless you’re 6 foot 6 like me and live in Scotland, where the trains are as cramped as the cheapest of cheap airline jets).

  8. drtombibey Says:

    Mr. Waddell,

    With a name like Martin you are bluegrass for sure. They are the best guitars going. Yeah, the fact the woman left him on a plane is a sure sign she was up to no good.

    Dr. B

    • Martin Waddell Says:

      The name is purely coincidental, Dr B. I can play about 6 chords on my guitar (whch I never manage to tune properly anyway) and I know practically zilch about bluegrass. I do, however, listen to a bit of blues and R&B – which is where my concern about planes and trains comes from. What if Muddy Waters or Chuck Berry had sung something like “Going on down to Memphis, baby, catch that United Airlines 747 from LAX” – nah, just doesn’t work. Like I said, stick to the trains.

      • drtombibey Says:


        Heck don’t worry. I can only sing six notes, but I’ve learned where to use ’em as a part singer, and I can get by.

        If you know three chords and have a capo you can get started and join in the jam.

        Bluegrass is interesting. The top players are very highly skilled, but they welcome newcomers like family. I think it because everyone remembers getting started, and most don’t forget it.

        There’s a lot of blues influence in bluegrass. You’re right; they also tend to travel by train.

        Dr. B

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