Lucky Mud
Maggie McKinney


TiTi (tye-tye) Road is the story of struggle along the Florida panhandle, where poverty runs deep and the first sweet flower of Spring is the TiTi. Its blossoms make the first honey along the wild Gulf Coast.


Yonder come a man with a pack on his back

He been walkin' down the railroad track

He's lookin' for food, he's gonna find the poor

Down on the TiTi Road


Seen a lot of people in this world before

Goin' hungry, goin' door to door

Eat a little possum or a squirrel or two

Down on the TiTi Road


Folks turn up their nose they ain't hungry enough

Livin' off the land can sure be rough

You'll eat anything you can get your hands on

Down on the TiTi Road



Down on the TiTi Road we're livin'

Down on the TiTi Road

Down on the TiTi Road we're strugglin'

Down on the TiTi Road


Livin' is hard in a tar-paper shack

Wind blow through the front

It blow through the back

Rain drippin' off the roof and soakin' my clothes

Down on the TiTi Road


Patchin' holes in the walls with a paper sack

Front porch broken and the roof is saggin'

But it's better than nothin' in the Winter cold

Down on the TiTi Road




Bay come alive in the Summer sun

Fish are jumpin' gonna catch me some

Fry 'em up in a pan with a hushpuppy, too

Down on the TiTi Road


I got bee boxes down in the TiTi swamp

Makin' sweet honey gonna get me some

Pour it onto a biscuit loaded up butter

Down on the TiTi Road



Lucky Mud
Mike McKinney


Massa Joe is the story of another struggle, and that's the act of making a living in a land that pretty much has one employer. Or at least one over-seer. One place to find work.


Heat rising up from the highway

Steam coming off of the pines

July, the sap is running hot

The air smells like turpentine

If you want to put food on the table

There's only one place you can go

In this bad land, with your hat in your hand

You go to work for Massa Joe


You rise up early in the morning

Work 'til late at night

Don't argue with the man on the high horse yonder

Just know he's always right

He's looking out for the man with the money

Making sure you don't work slow

You'd better be afraid, 'cause you won't get paid

If you mess with Massa Joe



'Cause Massa Joe lives in the Big House

To hear him tell it, he's a saint

The only thing you've got to know

Shut your mouth and do what you're told

And you'll get along with old Saint Joe

You'll get along with Massa Joe


Now, he don't know what your name is

But he owns everything

So where ever you live you're gonna be giving

Your money and your time to The King

'Cause he owns the land and the airport

And he owns the Company Store

It might not be right, but don't try to fight it

It belongs to Old Saint Joe


Lucky Mud
Mike McKinney


"Can to cain't" (can to can't) is an old Southern expression. Ask a pulp wooder the hours he works and he'll say, "I work from can to cain't." They work six days a week and divide the seventh between church and the time it takes to repair worn-out equipment so it's ready to go again early Monday morning.



Can to cain't, he's always out workin'

Can to cain't, in the sun and the rain

Can to cain't, he comes home hurtin'

Got grits for his body

Cheap whiskey for the pain


Back at home there's a baby cryin'

Back at home there's a woman who cares

Back at home something's always broken

Back at home there's bills to pay


Men in suits always talkin'

Politicians and preachers, they always want more

Never worked a day, they never broke a sweat

Never been hungry, never been poor



Back at home the washer ain't workin'

Back at home the clothes line's on the ground

Back at home there's a woman waitin'

She knows her man will never let her down


But men in suits always whinin'

They never have enough, they're never satisfied

They never see the man who does the labor

He works all day 'til the day he dies


Lucky Mud
Maggie McKinney


Annie Belle is a hymn to a black woman who loved me, a young white child, despite all the racial turmoil, because her faith in God was strong. She was much kinder than she had to be to a young, white girl. I will never forget her.


I am walkin' in the footsteps of my Lord

I have traveled down many broad highways

I've seen death, I've seen sorrow, I've seen misery

And I've been a part of many brighter days



Oh - I'm still travelin'

Oh - I still care

I am walkin' in the footsteps of my Lord

And wherever he takes me, I'll go there


I was born in a cabin in the backwoods

I've watched many a man lose his fight

Some of them were good, some were bad men

But a man is just a man, black or white



I can't ever say that I've been perfect

But I can say that I've tried really hard

To be the kind of woman you can count on

And to follow in the footsteps of my Lord



I have seen a hundred years come and go now

There have been a thousand changes in my life

But one thing I can tell you for certain

A poor man just a poor man, black or white


Lucky Mud
Mike McKinney


This is the song of the Apalachicola River. My friend Bunky grew up along its banks and it shaped her life. She's so much like the River to me that it seemed natural to name the song after her.


Bright stars float on still, black water

Heat like a panther rises slow

Wind like a snake slithers on the river

It rattles the fronds of the palmetto

Frog shouts out as the rising moon

Spills a pool of milk-white light

Gator growls back from the muddy bank

And the Apalachicola comes alive at night


My boat floats like a leaf on the water

Lying on my back, looking at the sky

The wood hull creaks like saddle leather

Sweat trickles down and burns my eyes

Somebody somewhere is causing trouble

Some big city hears a siren wail

But on the Apalachicola the night bird's singing

And the Milky Way looks like a comet's tail


Then, there's the faraway rumble of a shrimp boat working

And the distant whistle of a factory

Dawn starts erasing all the stars from the heavens

And the Apalachicola is calling me

"Stay," she says in a lover's whisper

"Drift a little longer on my gentle bed

Stay with me and none will harm you

Linger here with me," the River said

"Linger here with me," the River said.

Lucky Mud
Maggie McKinney


This is a celebration song for our son, who spent many years away in California before coming home again.



I'm comin' home

I'm comin' home

I've been away too long

I'm comin' home


I left my hometown when I was eighteen

I left my home and my family

I made a good life by livin' Westward

But I never lost my memories



I have praised my hometown loudly

Although the West has been good to me

There are places that never leave you

And faces I long to see



My feet touch down on familiar places

My eyes are hungry to see

All my senses come alive here

Back in the land that sheltered me


Lucky Mud
Mike McKinney


The story of a lonely man who always gets what he wants. Then, he meets Evangeline.


Another rainy Tampa night

I fooled around and missed my flight

No real reason to get back home

So I turned toward the city lights

I found an empty Causeway bar

A lonely man in a rented car

I ignored the darkness in her eyes

All alone behind the bar



She said 'you can call me Evangeline

Or Angelina, I don't mind You look like a man with no place to go

And I'm just sittin' here killin' ti9me


An hour's talking led to two

She never asked me what I do

She said, 'I don't want to know your name

And I won't fall in love with you'

We walked down to the waterline

I lost myself in her troubled eyes

Before the dark skies turned to blue

I fell in love with Evangeline 


I said, 'I have a plane that leaves today

But I would really like to stay'

Then the lovely Evangeline

Just kissed my lips and walked away


I won't tell a soul about Angelina

'Cause I know just what they'll say

'Look at the man who gets everything he wants

And all he wants is the one that got away'


She said you can call me Evangeline

Or Angelina, I don't mind

Lucky Mud
Mike McKinney


This song is about growing up in Florida before the Civil Rights struggle changed the Deep South. And make no mistake, Florida was, and is a part of the Deep South. It's about growing up bored, restless and more than a little dangerous. It's the story, too, of what happened to young high school girls who lost their way, and what they and the boys around them did on moonlit nights in the orange groves.


Under a yellow moon, over the orange grove

Some white boys played a game

Back when the Sunshine State was still segregated

And the 'good old boys' wanted it to stay that way

But the Vietnam War, and Brown vs. the Board of Education

Changed everything

And on that night, some white boys

Played a strange and dangerous game


And the young girls sat on the hoods of their cars

And they watched them race on by

In big Chevys and Fords

And they were drinking Schlitz by the quart

And they were bored out of their minds


If mommies and daddies knew what their children do

In the light of a yellow moon

They'd lock them away 'til their dying day

In their safe, familiar rooms


It was back in the time when those young girls

Would simply disappear

Sometime in their Junior or Senior year

And they'd come back different

And they'd come back changed

In another strange and dangerous game

Because 'good girls' didn't get pregnant then

Without a ring on their finger

And a man's last name


Then all the good people would close their eyes

And they'd all agree on the same damned lie

Saying, 'she just went to live with her Uncle John

and Aunt Marie down in Boca Raton

And they'd fold their arms and make a wall

'Cause all the children were good

Back in the Good Old Days


But in the orange grove on that moonlit night

As girls learned to flirt

And all the boys were fighting

Driving ninety miles an hour without headlights

Through the orange trees in the steamy night

We all could've died so easily

In a tangle of bumpers and a flame so bright

Under the quiet sky


But most of us lived to go to war

Or get a job and settle down

To live our lives and raise our children

In that mean and dying town


And we all learned to tell a lie

To our own children about our lives

And what we did on moonlit nights

Back in the Good Old Days


But girls will be girls

And boys will be boys

They'll raise some hell and They'll make some noise

They'll burn time like it was gasoline

In the world we'll leave behind

And they'll make love beneath that moon

Learn too late and die too soon

And watch their children slip away

Just like the Good Old Days

When the Sunshine State was still segregated

And white boys played a game

Lucky Mud
Maggie McKinney


On a visit to the Keys I realized that we always feel like pirates during our time there. I think most people feel the same way.


Coming out of the Keys

I look up in my rear view mirror

And see the blue green waters

Staring back at me

My heart has the pride

Of a native daughter

And I am smiling through my tears


A sailboat floats by

Over dark beds of coral

The mangrove islands in dark relief

A perfect blue sky

Blends in with the water

As I am leaving the Florida Keys


I can still see the pirate ship

Slipping out of the mangroves

Gliding up to an unwary foe

Swooping down like the cormorant diving

For his next meal

In the water below


We all still hope

For that thrill of adventure

That sends our hearts

Reaching up to our throat

In the Florida Keys

On the edge of the ocean

We all feel like pirates

Slipping on to the shore

(repeat first verse)

Lucky Mud
Mike McKinney


I wrote this song in the early 1980s, when all 'live' music played along the Gulf Coast was 'Buffett Music.' It was all anyone wanted to hear, so I would write 'Buffett' songs during the day to play that night in bars along the coast. This was my most requested Jimmy Buffett song, though he's never heard it. I hope I don't owe him royalties....


The poster in the window said

'Fly to the Islands

You can leave all your troubles behind'

It showed happy men and women

Just drinkin' and swimmin'

And I thought it'd get you off of my mind


So I bought a ticket, caught the very first plane

Flew right down to the islands

I didn't even think twice

Headed down to Paradise

Thought I'd have a good time

Forget all the pain



They say this is the most beautiful place In the world

With palm trees swaying

Over long-legged tropical girls

But I didn't see a thing

Except diminishing bottles of gin

I spent all three days

At the airport Holiday Inn


Why put a fool in Paradise?

It's only wasted on me

Sitting at a laminated bar watching TV

I might as well be back home

In my neighborhood bar

If I wanted to act like a fool

I didn't have to go this far



Why put a fool in Paradise?

It's only wasted on me

And it's such a shame

To waste Paradise on a fool

Lucky Mud
Mike McKinney


This is just what it seems - what Florida means to me - not wistful rivers and endangered species but humidity and heat and hard work and fences that need to be repaired. And thunderstorms. And why I love it all.


Even at midnight it's too hot to sleep

So humid it's like living underwater

Birds don't sing in the morning trees

Clothes stick to my skin

I'd pay money for a breeze

In Florida


Young men get old working in the sun

Old men die just to get a day off

Women shade their eyes with a glistening hand

Not even a cloud to cool the land

In Florida


So why does my heart beat faster?

Why do I love it so?

Why do I hate to leave this state

And when I do

Why do I always want to go back to Florida?


My blood runs hot in Florida

Believe it or not, it's my Florida

Love it or leave it


Black clouds stick to the tops of the trees

Hard rain beats down on the black dirt

There's a hole in the fence where the cows got through

Gotta patch it up Just one more thing to do

In Florida


Dogs lie panting in the shade of the porch

Weeds growing up around the car

But just remember, if you don't love my state

Then stay where the hell you are

I'll keep Florida

Believe it or not, it's my Florida

So Love it, or leave it

Lucky Mud
Maggie McKinney


As Florida natives from Pioneer families, we have lived the stories that newcomers write songs about. So every song we write is a Florida song. It's that simple.


I've been livin' the dream all of my life

Balanced on the bones of my ancestors

Florida sons, Florida daughters

Six generations of original investors

And you ain't got nothin' new to tell me

You ain't got nothin' new


Cracker cowboys and Florida cattlemen

Jackson's Thieves, Civil War battalions

Livin' and dyin' in the Florida swamps

And you ain't got nothin' new to tell me

You ain't got nothin' new



It's in my blood, it's in my bones

In every word of every song

And I don't have a thing to prove

And you ain't got nothin' new to tell me

You ain't got nothin' new


Florida blood runs through my veins

Every patch of ground holds another stain

Every drop tells another story

You ain't got nothin' new to tell me

You ain't got nothin' new


Lucky Mud
Mike McKinney


He's only doing what he was born to do. Why all the bad press?


Even before I got to town

I had a bad reputation

I knew it had something to do with my occupation

But I can't help's predestination

I'm a snake!


The lady in the garden said she was hungry

So I offered her some fruit

If I'd been a bunny rabbit

God would've said, 'Isn't that cute?'

But he tossed them out of the Garden

And he threw me out to boot -

Do you know why?

Because I'm a snake!


I scare little girls

And eat baby birds out of the nest

Some people don't like me

They say I'm a pest

But I'm doing exactly what I was born to do

You might say I've been blessed

I'm a snake


So, when you're out in the garden

And you're down on your knees

Reaching for a butter bean

And your hand's there in the weeds

When you feel something slither by

Hey....that's me!

I'm a snake!

Now, we're all a part of the Master Plan

A woman's a woman, a man is a man

Some people turn out to be Pentecostal

Some are Taliban

But me? I'm exactly who I say I am!

I'm a snake

Lucky Mud
Maggie McKinney


This song is a celebration as well. A celebration of the beat and rhythm of a born-again Floridian who chose Gainesville as his home. The University of Florida said 'Thank You' by dedicating Bo Diddley Plaza to him.


Hey, Bo Diddley won't you give me that beat?

Get up on the floor with your dancing feet

From deep in the bowels of the Florida swamp

We're gonna do the Bo Diddley Stomp



Bo, Bo, Bo Bo Diddley (3 times)


We got the rhythm, we got the moves

We're gonna dance in our alligator shoes

We got the rhythm, we got the beat

We gonna take it out to the street



Stomp your feet, beat that drum

Clap your hands, move your butt

We got the rhythm, we got the beat

Dance all night in the Florida Heat


Mud Music

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