(Chorus) These old bones will tell your story These old bones will never lie These old bones will tell you surely What you can't see with your eye These old bones I shake and rattle These old bones I toss and roll And it's all in where they scatter Tells you what the future holds (End chorus)
Oh, she lived upon the mountain 'Leven miles or so from town With a one-eyed cat named Wink A billy goat and a blue-tick hound Her greying hair was braided And wrapped around her head And her dress was long and faded And her home a rusty shed In a little patch of burlap Tied with a piece of twine There were bones all shapes and sizes Gathered through the course of time She'd throw them out before you She swore that she could see The present, past, and future She could read your destiny Everybody knew about her Came to get their fortune read Concerning health and wealth and power Who to love and when to wed "Well, I just like helpin' people I's just glad that I could help Why, I know ev'rybody's secrets But I keep it to m'self."
Some called her "Witchy Woman" Some said she was insane Some said she was a prophet Still everybody came "Just because a body's dif'ernt Well, that don't make 'em mad They've crucified a-many For the special gifts they've had." I had often heard about her Dreamed about her now and then For I too was clairvoyant Came about when I was ten I was fascinated with her And the things I'd heard about And I knew someday I'd meet her And one day, it came about "Well, I knowed that you's a-comin' I could feel it in my bones These old bones have also told me That I won't be here for long. Did you know that you's adopted? Did you know you oncet was mine? But the county took you from me Said I wadn't right in mind But I just knowed I had to see ye 'Fore these bones was laid to rest So I conjured up a message It musta worked, I guess This gift runs in the fam'ly I know you also know And I passed this gift on to you These old bones, they're just for show."
I held her hand while she was dying And with the funeral through I headed on back up the mountain For Billy, Wink, and Blue And that little pouch of burlap With those bones so worn and old She gave me something special Now every time I throw
SPOKEN: Now, I can't tell you what you want to hear I just tell you what I see It's these old bones a-talkin' Blame it on them, don't pack it on me It's just like that time that there boy died up at the sawmill Well, I knowed who done it, but I never said I knowed when somebody's a-cheatin' Or when somebody's baby's gon' be born dead 'Less somebody just plain out ast me Well, I just figger there ain't no point in Goin' 'round actin' like you know ever'thing Just 'cause you might why'know girl, you I want you to take these bones 'Cause I don't want no young'un o'mine goin' 'round unprepared You just remember that the magic is inside you There ain't no crystal ball