Ballad of the Evil Twins

“Dedicated to Jimmy Swaggart and Jerry Lee Lewis, born as cousins, raised as brothers.”

-From the liner notes of Ghost Stories From Lonesome County

Ghost Stories from Lonesome County

The sun rose red on two Louisiana brothers,
Borne of one dream to two different mothers.
And the babies cried in the tongues of the tower,
Mamas left them at the feet of another kind of power.
And they in swaddles lay on the seventh day,
In the Louisiana sun.
“You better speak in tongues son.”

They say that one became a thief
And one became a childhood preacher.
But when the sun sunk they both wrestled
With the same midnight creatures.
And their mamas cried and they moaned and they shivered
Laid their hands on their boys, sayin’,
“Son, do you feel the fever?”
And their calling came in the Prince’s name,
And they put Him on his run.
“You better speak in tongues son.”

Two young men sat at the piano with fevered fingers.
One brother washed his hands,
While the other brother lingered.
And at the trembling keys a vision was inspired –
It was black and white with great orange balls of fire.
One kissed the ghost of the holy host,
And one kissed the very barrel of the gun.
“You better speak in tongues son.”

There’s a stadium filled with ninety thousand
Screamin’ demon people,
Singin’, “The devil’s in rock and roll
And I’m balanced on the steeple.”
And he flew to the stage on the wings of a rage
And he reeled and he riddled and rolled
With the rock of the ages.
He said, “In the halls of my head,
There’s a moon soaked in red,
And a rapture that’s capturing some.
You better speak in tongues son.”


“Ballad of the Evil Twins” appears on Ghost Stories from Lonesome County.

© and ℗ 1994 Marques Bovre