Song – Smoke Dawson


  • Bob Gibson


  • Robert Josiah Music

Song Licensing information


  • None

Song Notes

A haunting story of a lonesome bagpiper and the dangers of the fog-drenched cliffs of the Mendocino coast.

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Smoke Dawson

All alone Smoke Dawson roamed
Through midnight Mendocino
The fog had hovered close at hand
The misty blanket on the land
And though you couldn’t see a thing
You could hear Smoke’s bagpipe dronin’
With the sea fog seemed to roll on in
To rocky Mendocino

And the people in the town
Snug at home, settled down
Knew that someone walked the night
Who was lonesomer than they
And the fog creepin’ in
Muffled every single sound
Except the wail of Dawson’s bagpipe
‘Twas Amazing Grace he played

Now, old Smoke, he was a ramblin’ man
And a fiddler, you know
And some who know about such things
Said he stroked a wonderous bow
For jigs and reels or other things
If a wing was on ev’ry note
And he wandered and he fiddled
Ev’rywhere the four winds blow

I think the year was sixty-eight
And he brings this girl to town
And the wags all shook their heads in awe
At the beauty Smoke had found
And if she wasn’t the prettiest one
He ever knew, she’d do
And the story wouldn’t be complete
If her hair weren’t gold and her eyes weren’t blue

When a day is fair in Mendocino
Your blood runs quick and free
So you stroll on Main Street and you meet and you greet
Nobody stays at home
And just as sure as a lode stone lure
You’re drawn to the edge of the sea
To the cliffs and the crags and the seaweed stones
And the paths right down to the waves and the foam

You know, surfers count their waves in nines
The ninth is biggest, they say
And the storm or a temblor miles away
Can produce an extra heavy wave
And whether that’s true or not I know
That the ocean plays strange tricks
And if you’re prone to roam at the edge of the foam
You best be sharp and quick

So Smoke walked down by the ocean
On the rocks with his girl
And a big wave came in
Tooke her out to sea
So all alone Smoke Dawson roams
Through midnight Mendocino
The fog hovers close at hand
A blanket on the land

And though you cannot see a thing
You can hear Smoke’s bagpipe dronin’
As the fog rolls on through midnight Mendocino

Words & music by Bob Gibson
© Robert Josiah Music