Ballad of Thunder Road

Robert Mitchum, Hunter S. Thompson Buy

About Ballad of Thunder Road

"The Ballad of Thunder Road" is a song performed and co-written by actor Robert Mitchum in 1957, with music by composer Jack Marshall. It was the theme song of the movie Thunder Road. The song made the Billboard Hot 100 twice, in 1958 and 1962, and while it never peaked higher than #62, it racked up 21 total weeks in the chart. The song moves ominously between minor and major keys. It tells the tale of "Lucas Doolin" (Robert Mitchum), a bootlegger during the 1950s who would deliver moonshine along local roads at excessive speeds to avoid "revenuers". After receiving word (on April 1, 1954) that the revenuers had "200 agents, covering the state", Lucas' father advises him to "make this run your last", and that he should not attempt to outrun the revenuers, but if he could not get through safely, to turn himself in. However, Lucas ignores his father's request, and attempts to outrun the law, but fails to evade them and dies as a result (the last lines read: "Then right outside of Bearden, they made the fatal strike./He left the road at 90, that's all there is to say/The Devil got the moonshine and the mountain boy that day"). 


Year:
1967
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Let me tell the story, I can tell it all;
About the mountain boy who ran illegal alcohol.
His daddy made the whiskey, the son he drove the load;
And when his engine roared they called the highway "Thunder Road".

Sometimes into Ashville, sometimes Memphis town.
The Revenuers chased him but they couldn't run him down.
Each time they thought they had him his engine would explode.
He'd go by like they were standing still on "Thunder Road".

And there was thunder, thunder over "Thunder Road",
Thunder was his engine and white lightening was his load.
And there was moonshine, moonshine to quench the devil's thirst.
The law they swore they'd get him but the devil got him first.

It was on the first of April, Nineteen-Fifty-Four
The federal man sent word he'd better make his run no more.
He said "200 agents were covering the state;
Which ever road he tried to take they'd get him sure as fate."

'Son' his daddy told him, 'make this run your last.
The tank is filled with 100 proof; you're all tuned-up and gassed.
Now don't take any chances, if you can't get through.
I'd rather have you back again than all that Mountain Dew.'

And there was thunder, thunder over "Thunder Road",
Thunder was his engine and white lightening was his load.
And there was moonshine, moonshine to quench the devil's thirst.
The law they swore they'ed get him but the devil got him first.

Roaring out of Harlan; revving up his mill.
He shot the Gap at Cumberland and streamed by Maynardville.
With G men on his tail light; road block up ahead,
The mountain boy took roads that even angels fear to tread.

Blazing right through Knoxville, out on Kingston Pike,
Then right outside of Bearden, they made the fatal strike.
He left the road at 90; that's all there is to say,
The devil got the moonshine and the mountain boy that day.

And there was thunder, thunder over "Thunder Road",
Thunder was his engine and white lightening was his load.
And there was moonshine, moonshine to quench the devil's thirst.
The law they never got him 'cause the devil got him first.

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Robert Mitchum

Robert Charles Durman Mitchum (August 6, 1917 – July 1, 1997) was an American film actor, author, composer and singer. He is #23 on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest male American screen legends of all time. Mitchum rose to prominence for his starring roles in several major works of the film noir style, and is considered a forerunner of the anti-heroes prevalent in film during the 1950s and 1960s. more »

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Written by: DON RAYE, ROBERT MITCHUM

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

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    "Ballad of Thunder Road Lyrics." Lyrics.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 4 Dec. 2020. <https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/34989961/Robert+Mitchum>.

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