Red Dog In The Morning

This song fascinates me. I cannot seem to find much information on it suggesting that it was penned by Tim in a traditional style rather than being a remnant of aural tradition. I would love to know more about the origin of these lyrics. Does anyone know if it is quoting something ole-timey or is just, in the words of Tim, “something to sing between the banjo parts”?

I've heard Tim say that he's

I've heard Tim say that he's not sure what the all words mean in that song, and that some of his songs are made out of bits and pieces from the broad landscape of traditional music. The banjo is conveying a lot of meaning all by itself in that tune. I heard or read an interview with Tom Waits where he said that he has no idea what some of his songs are about. Pete Anderson (Dwight Yoakam's longtime guitarist/collaborator) said that the job of a song is to put a picture in your mind. Red Dog In The Morning certainly seems to do that successfully. Maybe Tim will chime in at some point on this one...

It wasn't till I saw this

It wasn't till I saw this post that I thought about the words to this wonderful song; I had listened to, sung and learned to thrash my way through playing it just liking the hell out of it.
My wife and I raised our family in a small cabin in the Southeast Alaska bush. In the early days of our marriage we did not even have a radio to call to town for help, and we lived where we could get help only by boat or floatplane...... this was a quite common condition in this country at that time. We were always conscious of our behavior, and tried not to take foolish chances while hunting or gathering food, since we were totally dependent on each other. While listening to this song I remembered looking at the cabin from a couple of ridges away, looking for the right amount of smoke to come out of the chimney. Or walking on the muskeg when I thought I heard...call my name. So now that's how I sing that verse. I suppose in some ways that a song means in part what a listener brings to it... that instead of telling one and only one story it can merely suggest a trip through the great hall of archetypes. Whenever I hear or sing the song I can see myself walking with my rifle, trying to keep one eye and ear open for the family...

 
 
by R & T