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A Bullet Lives On © Jennie Avila

Guitar and Vocal - Jennie Avila · Violin - Jay Ansill · Upright Bass - Ralph Gordon · Banjo - Anne Hills · Dulcimer - Christina Muir

The Boonsborough Museum of History in MD has hundreds of bullets that were carved during the Civil War. Soldiers were able to sculpt the lead into utilitarian items such as buttons and pencils; and novelties such as toys and initials. In each verse of this song I imagined what a soldier was thinking while carving a bullet.

A bullet lives on. It's a soldier's clay
Once it's fired it does not go away
Listen to our stories, look at what we carve
From the lead of the bullets in our Civil War

A bullet lives on when it's in your hand
I'm carving a pencil from what killed a man
I'll sharpen a point and write a note
So mamma can't say I never wrote

A bullet lives on like a story's end
I'm carving the bullet that killed my friend
Into a toy soldier to give to his son
He'll remember his father and play with him some

A bullet lives on when you take aim
But if one finds you it knows your name
So carve your initials in the devil's lead
Keep it in your pocket and duck your head

A bullet lives on when it burns a hole
A hole so wide, God can see your soul
I'm carving a button from what took my brother down
To dress him up and lay him in the ground

A bullet lives on. Why it is don't ask
A Three Ringer Minnie's lying in the tall tall grass
This bullet hit nothin' so I'll give it a task
I need a new stopper for my whiskey flask

A bullet lives on like the eyes of a snake
I'm loading the dice that blew away my leg
I carve 'em to roll like a golden egg
Come on lucky seven! I'll never have to beg

A bullet lives on but I only got one Smith
And I won't go back to the 65th
They shoot deserters, I know, I just want to live
I'll carve me a sinker and catch me a fish