Kris Kristofferson

Johnny Mambo


The first thing I remember

Upon meeting Johnny Mambo was his hat

I was staring in the eyeballs

Of a furry thing he’d fashioned from a cat

He swears he never killed it

And he kills me with the way he plays his drums

And the washboard on his belly

That he pleasures with his fingers and his thumbs


I was comfortable with Coma

As an old familiar blanket on the bus

With a future full of strangers

It was nice to see another one of us

He’s the heartbeat of the story

That we’re sharing here tonight

Singing in the shadows

With the spirit of a sacred bird in flight


Stephen Turner Bruton

He’s been something like a brother for so long

He’s a walking affirmation

That the pain that doesn’t kill you makes you strong

He can brighten up the nighttime

With the embers of the songs within his soul

With a Holy sense of humor

And the gift of spinning garbage into gold


Hook your soul into the rhythm

And the universal wonder of the song

You can feel it in your body

Like a hunger in the spirit getting strong

Turn the flame that burns inside you

Into body-blows that drive you like a slave

To the moment of creation

Of a precious thing you’ll carry to your grave

Words & Music by Kris Kristofferson c. Jody Ray Publishing, Inc. (BMI) All Rights Reserved


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