Lucky Mud
Maggie McKinney


I had a horse when I was a girl, and he was my best friend. After I wrote this, I started thinking of all those great Western movies where the horse came back to save the cowboy. That was my horse, Cocoa.


We'll go out dancin' in the moonlight

Underneath the stars

Swayin' and a swingin'

In the headlights of the cars


It's another night together

Alone just you and me

We're dancin' in the moonlight

Waltzin' tree to tree



The crickets and the tree frogs

Singin' out a tune

Underneath the Florida Moon


The smell of Jasmine in the air

You'll kick off your shoes

Dancin' in the moonlight

What have we got to lose


We're swingin' and a swayin'

There's no music here

Just the sounds of the night time

Singin' in our ear



Got a natural sense of rythm

That's all you've got to have

When you're dancin' in the moonlight

With the one you love


The owl's a hoota' hootin'

The gator gives a groan

That's all you really need

To make a night time song


Lucky Mud
Mike McKinney


This is my song for the long line of developers that haunt this state. From Andrew Jackson until today, Florida has been captured and sold. Slow Duck Pie is just a reminder that "Old alligator's gonna have his day."


Three ducks swimming

Two ducks fly

Alligator eating

A slow duck pie


Three ducks land

But don't leave together

Gator picks his teeth

With a slow duck feather


So build your condos

Build them high

Eat the land

Hide the sky

Big wind coming

Blow it all away

Old alligator

Gonna have his day


You set the poor

Against the poor

You take it all

You still want more


You build gated cities

With pretty names

But you can't stop

The hurricanes


So cut the trees

Clear the land

Make your laws

Take your stand

Big wind coming

Blow it all away


Get it back someday

Lucky Mud
Maggie McKinney


Big fish eat the little fish

The little fish eat the minnow

The minnow he ain't thinkin' 'bout that

He just keep on swimmin'

The Big Fish think he rules the world

But he gonna get caught someday

Somebody's gonna eat that big ol' fish

While the little minnow swim away


The big money man eat the little money man

And the little money man eat me

I ain't got no money man

Watchin' out for me

The big money man get what he want

Any time he say

But the no money man gonna rise on up

And eat the big money man someday


The big dog chase the little dog

The little dog chase the cat

The little dog gonna get hurt either way

But he don't think about that


The big dog strut around the yard

Like he swingin' the world by its tail

But he wear a collar and a leash and a chain

And he live in a chain link jail

Lucky Mud
Mike McKinney


It's some of the many joys of living in the Florida Panhandle.


I've got a sandy white yard

Where nothing ever grows

But the loblolly pines

And a stand of palmetto

Got a 64 red and white

Half-ton Ford truck

I had an El-Camino

But the bank made me give it up


I could move to the city

But it wouldn't hold a candle

To the backwater bayou

North Florida Panhandle


Walking on the creek bank

Looking for a fishing hole

A #8 bream hook

A cork and a cane pole

Back in the tall grass

The moccasin and alligator

Little country church

Singing praise to the Creator


Well, there ain't a lot to do

But there ain't a lot of scandal

In the backwater bayou

North Florida Panhandle


I've got a little lady

Come to see me every day

Rowing in a fishing boat

And laughing all the way She brings me what I need

And you ought'a see her smile

Looking every bit

Like Cleopatra on the Nile


She's got long hair

Bikini top

Dungarees and sandals

Backwater Bayou

North Florida Panhandle

Lucky Mud
Maggie McKinney


Maggie's family have been cattlemen in Florida for over 200 years, and this song is for them. When cattlemen call their cattle, many use a type of yodel - something that carries across vast and open land. You'll hear this in the song as well. This is for the centuries of hard-working, decent men and women who make their living off cattle, and off the land.


I'm a West Florida wrangler

And I live on a ranch

I come from a long line

Of Cracker cowhands

My life's in the saddle

With my dog at my side

We run the cattle, patch fences

And keep our eyes on the sky


There's a storm up there brewin'

It rolls out of the Gulf

It meets the hot air from over

The land where we work

The livestock will stand it

'Til the lightnin' gets bad

Then they'll take off and run

Down into the Swamp



I'm a Cracker cowboy

That's all that I know

I live on the Florida Gulf Coast

I love this old land

That I've lived on so long

Unlike the cattle

And the tourists

I like bein' alone


We go down in the swamps

With our thick leather boots

The kind that the moccasins

And the briars can't get through

We round up the cattle

Head 'em out of the bog

To the thick, green pastures

And the clover they love


Lucky Mud
Mike McKinney


My mother, at age 14, was given the task of driving a Model-A from the Tennessee mountains to Florida, where she fell in with the McKinney clan along the banks of the Withlacoochee River. This is a song for the women who finish the job, who raise the children against all odds.


Oh, the Southern Mama's

Just got to be strong

'Cause the Southern Daddy

Die's before too long

Working the pulpwood

Every day

Makes his life

Kinda' slip away


Mama keeps to herself

All the tears she's cried

She knows daddy loved her 'til the day he died

So she tries to raise the kids as best she can

Happy she was married

To a damned good man



All the way from the Banks of the Withlacoochee

To a share cropper's shack Up in Tennessee

You'll see the lady with the sad eyes trying

To find food and clothes for the family

Yeah, the Southern' Mama's

Just got to be strong

'Cause the Southern Daddy

Dies before too long


Then the sun is rising

It's another day

She's got work to do

She's got bills to pay

But late in the evening

She can rest a spell

And laugh at the jokes

That the children tell


Now, the South's got beauty

And the South's got soul

But it ain't got silver

And it ain't got gold

So the Southern Mama's Just got to be strong

'Cause the Southern Daddy

Dies before too long


Lucky Mud
Maggie McKinney


Several years ago we almost moved to Ireland. This song came from that, from remembering what 'home' means. Florida is home.


You were the soil in which I grew

I plant my feet firm in you

I lift my face toward your sun

My lips are sweet

With your morning dew



You were the place where I could run

I felt so safe within your arms

And I will leave with heavy heart

All the things I once knew


Along the crystal sands I'd roam

The beach was clean

The air was pure

The dunes rose high above the ground

No buildings blocked

The skies of blue

The creeks and streams

Ran free and clear

The pine forests

Filled with deer

It was a perfect world you see

Where I loved you

And you loved me



I lay my face upon your earth

The smell is clean and sweet

A mix of pine and heat and dirt

The soil is warm

On my bare feet

I place my hand upon your back

I close my eyes and start to weep

I did not care for you as much

As you took care of me


Lucky Mud
Mike McKinney


My family has been hiding out along the Withlacoochee River in Central Florida for about 200 years, and they're still hard to find. They seem to like it that way.


It's a long way

From the Isle of Skye

To this Florida swamp

Where the whipoorwill cries

Like a heart-broken lover

Left alone

My heart cries out

For its Scottish home


Where for hundreds of years

They fought and died

For the little lords

And their foolish pride

And every place a McKinney stood

You cut the ground with a shovel

You can smell the blood


Long before the Clearances came

They lost everything

But the family name

Some stayed behind

To fight the lords

But it was lochaber

Against horse and sword

Some took what they could

And they sailed away

To the Carolinas

In America

And they left a trail

To this Florida mud

You cut the ground with a shovel

You can smell the blood


It's never as easy

As we'd like it to be

So many bad branches

On the Family Tree

But it survived the famine

Stood against the flood

Cut through the roots

You can smell the blood


The McKinneys fought hard

For the things they stole

They fought against the law

And the Seminoles

They died with Dade

In the Piney Woods

Cut the ground with a shovel

You can smell their blood


It's never as pretty

As we'd like it to be

But the poor never suffer

From irony

They stayed alive

Any way they could

Cut the ground with a shovel

You can smell the blood

Cut the ground with a shovel

You can smell the blood

Lucky Mud
Maggie McKinney



When Ivan the Terrible

Swept through that day

There were bodies

In Pensacola Bay


The winds did howl

And the waves crashed in

To drag back their plunder

To the sea

Like pirates it pillaged

The houses and land

And toppled the giant oak trees



Just before dark

They brought in the trucks

And with cadaver dogs

Leading the way

They searched for the bodies then loaded them up

And quietly hauled them away



The board of tourism

Shut down the news

It was bad for business

They say

The loss of life

Was a terrible thing

It would surely keep tourists away


Lucky Mud
Mike McKinney


I studied Zen back in the late 60's and every self-proclaimed teacher told me the same story. When asked what he did today, the Zen master said, "I chopped wood. I carried water." Being a Southerner, I knew the story couldn't stop there. So, I embellished.


I chopped wood

I carried water

I burned the wood

Just to boil the water

Threw in some collards

And some fatback ham

Made up a little cornbread

In the frying pan

Fried up some okra

Made some blackeyed peas

Brewed about a gallon

Of sweet iced tea

Took it out to the front porch

Sat in the swing

Closed my eyes

Let the day go by A

nd I listened to the mockingbird sing



The mockingbird Is a funny looking bird

Just an ordinary grey

The mockingbird

Don't do much as a bird

He just sits around all day

The mockingbird

Ain't a pretty bird

No bright colors

In his wings

But everybody stops

What they're doing

When he sing, sing, sings


Yellow sand

And bright red clay

Come together

In a beautiful way

With the long-leaf pines

And that flat, flat land

It looks like heaven

From where I stand

It's where I was born

And where I was raised

I know the people

And I know their ways

From Pensacola

To the Florida Keys

You can close your eyes

Let the day go by

And listen to the mockingbird sing


Lucky Mud
Mike McKinney


On a long, long trip back to Florida, just at the Western boundary, I saw a sunlit hill and knew I'd soon be home.


I have set my sights

On that distant hill

Where the bright sunlight

Will warm me

But this river is wider

Than my life is long

The water is deep

The current is strong

And, though I am weary

I must go on

Where my father has traveled

Before me


I will make my way

To that distant hill

And wait for you

To join me

For this journey is over

Our sorrow ends

In the bright sunlight

A new journey begins

And in my comfort

A circle of friends

Will gather all around me

Lucky Mud
Mike McKinney


Just a little ditty about the end of the world.


It started as a call to the local police,

when the dispatcher said,

"Can I help you, please?"

She heard the man on the line say, without hesitation

I think I'm on the edge of a bad situation


You see, early this morning I went out in the yard

To get the morning paper

And to water the garden

But all of my tomatoes and my clothesline pole

Was sitting at the bottom

Of a seven foot hole

Well, I was just looking where my garden used to be

When the hole got bigger

And it swallered my tree

Then it ate my fence

And my mailbox, too

So I'd get out here fast if I was you


But you know by the time to police showed up

The sinkhole was chewing

On a pickup truck

And by the time the police

Called the National Guard

The big hole ate up

The house and the yard

Then it nibbled on the driveway

Munched a little more

Stretched out and gobbled up

The house next door

The ace commentator

On the six o'clock news

Concluded there was nothing

Anyone could do


But the experts came

From all over the state

They talked about the sinkhole

Watched while it ate up

A four lane road

And the Omelet Shoppe

And they all agreed

That was where it would stop

But the hole kept growing and everybody ran

While it ate up the houses

And the experts' van

And people watched the news

From miles around

As the sinkhole at up

The entire town


Well, they tried concrete

And dynamite

And engineers worked

On through the night

But the hole got deeper

And the hole just grew

It ate Orlando

And Tampa, too

It ate condominiums

It ate Spook Hill

It ate up Miami and Jacksonville

And double-wide trailers

Lined up in a row

Before it sucked up

The Gulf of Mexico


Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee

Both Carolinas Fell into the sea

Mississippi, Missouri And Louisiana, too,

All disappeared

In that sinkhole brew

While farther up North

In the seat of the nation

Senators and congressmen

Passed Legislation

Making it illegal

With a very stiff fine

For sinkholes to cross

The Mason Dixon line

But the hole kept going

And it broke the law

It ate Indiana

And Arkansas

It ate Massachusetts

And it ate up Maine

And it chewed up the prairies

On the Western Plain

It swallowed up the Rockies

And was doing fine

But it stopped dead still

On the California line


And the people of California laughed

At the strange twist of fate

That left them

Of all people

The remaining state

So they decided to have a big jubilee

But a San Andreas earthquake

Dropped them into the sea

Mud Music

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