From the album Peace Be With You
Snake Charmer of Deep Ellum
She sets up just before 9 a.m.
on Elm St. south of Main,
watching the crowd passing by
she smiles despite the pain
Punjab, the cobra, in the basket
a present from her father when she left
he said you’ll need to make some money
and he’s a good deterrent to theft.
Ch.) Keep the lid on the snake
for your own damn sake
Keep yourself in the clear
don’t charm a snake when you’re drinking beer.
And if you get a heckler
‘tell him to come on over here
Otherwise keep the lid on the snake.
Keep the crowd a bit away
‘Bout three or four feet back,
You never know when Punjab the cobra
is gonna want to have a snack.
And if a child passes by
be careful what you say
He might want to come toward you
we lose a lot of kids that way.
You might want to learn to juggle
for when the cobra goes to sleep
to keep earning tips
when you’re out there on the street
And you might want practice singing
to entertain everyone you meet
but clear the crowd and break at five
‘Cause that’s when Punjab likes to eat.