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Song Parodies -> "Did Tex Pull Town Names From A Barrel?"

Original Song Title:

"The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald"

Original Performer:

Gordon Lightfoot

Parody Song Title:

"Did Tex Pull Town Names From A Barrel?"

Parody Written by:

Guy DiRito

The Lyrics

The state of Texas has some of the most unique town names. I was asked some time back to write a parody from a list of the weirdest named towns listed in the state for a travel destination website. The idea for the site was abandoned so I have decided to publish the parody on Amiright. The list of names was so long that I needed a long OS just to get about half of them mentioned. I have linked something about each town name in the footnote comment section. All links have been tested in preview mode but it has been my experience that some things work fine in preview but get the 404 eviction during runtime. I can provide any failed links in the comments section for anyone who is unable to get to any of the links. Just leave a comment and I will post the URL in a follow on comment. "Big Bend" is not a town but is a very remote area along the Rio Grande in West Texas. "Imperial Filet" is a made up name for a restaurant. The rest are real and are either populated or have gone ghost. The term “Red” in the next to the last line of the parody refers to the Red River that forms part of the border between Texas and Oklahoma.

DKTOS? Click HERE for a Youtube video featuring Gordon Lightfoot performing "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald".


The migrants move on to "Amarillo" [1] cow town.
From where waves break on Old "Corpus Christi". [2]
"Pancake" [3] it is said, was once, but now dead,
Did they name them some towns while on whiskey?

But the towns we adore, less 6,000 no more,
Must have been named by men, heads full empty.
Once with folks unglued, came the town "Cut and Shoot", [4]
One young male, quite remembered shot early.

Each fight has two sides, how the land they divide,
They were loud and were shrill and were cussin'.
Where a hedge stand did grow, our young lad did he post,
And let flew with some peppered shells seasoned.

Including a worm in tequila 'stilled urns,
It can get fully loaded these Texans.
On tequila they're tight, the Bell county gang,
May it be that "Ding Dong" [5] seemed appealing?

It's been long retired, take on "Medicine Mound", [6]
Nothing saved, 'cept gas pumps now failing.
A mile or two, mounds on high you can view,
For the sick do they render their healing?

When Juan rose late, soon his breakfast he ate,
Later smells from his ender came gassing.
The gas strewn methane, when the wheezing came,
Named the place called "Frijole" [7] from Juan's wind.

A nevermind name, some old coot gave no heck,
Saying town name, now why would we need ya?
No one did weigh in, so attached name waived then,
So it's "Nameless" [8] this town shall we know ya.

Some chappin' styled men. smelled bad water riding in,
Like a dung pit, pee yew, what a smell hole.
Old "Big Stinking Creek" [9] it so reeks that knees go week,
Did Tex pull town names from a barrel?

Does anyone know how the town of "Odds" [10] rose?
If a card turns, we win it, it's ours?
I searched night and day, for that town called "Noonday" [11]
Found no sunbeam was night did I find her.

Is "Nickel" [12] bankrupt and there's tight wad "Cheapside" [13]
Is "Squeezepenny" [14] broke - short of dollars?
They're all so inane all these places with strange names,
Are the lives lived in "Dime Box" [15] of squalor?

Names here on roads, mysterial things,
Towns in ruins as their names brought their mashin'.
There's Mexican themes, with towns named for beans,
Near "Highlands" [16] a motel the "Bateman". [17]

Down near Mexico, you'll find old "Del Rio", [18]
Take care in what bars you attend there.
And the iron brands glow, near the town of "Echo", [19]
On the trails signs 'No Enter' mean send there.

In the dusty town "Wall" [20] employed making hay,
All have very fine balers for feed stalls.
In "Turpentine", [21] they drank 99 wines,
Poured each man drawn 'til ended the barrel.

In Big Bend they're fond for a sip of draw in town
Eat a big steak in small, "Chillicothe". [22]
'Imperial Filet', river grill on the Red,
And the mail's late as ever in "Early". [23]


Each town or city referenced in this parody has a link below for anyone who may be curious about any place name. At the time of posting each link was tested in the preview mode and has worked. I have experienced problems in the past where a link works in preview but not after publish. I will add in comments for any failed links upon request. I was surprised to find that the towns were not always named for the obvious. Example - The town of Ding Dong is in Bell county. There is no correlation between the county name and the town name.

[1] Amarillo

[2] Corpus Christi

[3] Pancake

[4] Cut And Shoot

[5] Ding Dong

[6] Medicine Mound

[7] Frijole Pronounced Free-holy Spanish word for bean.

[8] Nameless

[9] Big Stinking Creek

[10] Odds

[11] Noonday

[12] Nickel

[13] Cheapside

[14] Squeezepenny

[15] Dime Box

[16] Highlands

[17] Bateman

[18] Del Rio

[19] Echo

[20] Wall

[21] Turpentine

[22] Chillicothe Pronounced Chill-a-co-thee

[23] Early

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Total Votes: 14

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Stan Hall - November 13, 2008 - Report this comment
A fun read, Guy. Map-freak that am, i'm actually familiar with a surprising lot of those town names, and with some equally odd ones other states boast. (I can;t, tho' claim to know anything _about_ all the ones I recognize, so will have to follow your links when/as time allows).
alvin - November 13, 2008 - Report this comment
a monster of a parody...you really did your homework...i'm gonna see if i can convince my wife to spend our vacation at big stinking creek...lol
adagio - November 13, 2008 - Report this comment
Funny names. :D Yea, you did your homework plus turning out a fun read. ;)
AFW - November 13, 2008 - Report this comment
Quite a unique idea...And very well put together...
Andria - November 13, 2008 - Report this comment
On a previous post (over a year ago), I contributed some odd South Dakota town names. Now here are some from Oregon: Boring, Dufur, Idiotville, Nimrod, Zigzag, Plush, Spray, Noti. 5-5-5.
2Eagle - November 14, 2008 - Report this comment
Can you top Embarrass, Minn or Intercourse, Penna? My favorite is Eagle Rock, Calif.
LittleMILCakes - November 14, 2008 - Report this comment
Sir Guy, I head east every morning to a city named, ~Milpitas~ !?! ?!
Guy - November 14, 2008 - Report this comment
Stan - Texas has 254 counties, so no doubt there are thousands of municipalities - but even at that I find Texas to have more crazy named places proportionately than most other states. I wish I could have included more of the names that I had on that list, but there is only so much you can do when your structure is already predetermined by the OS. Thanks.

Yeah - Alvin, I am sure your Mrs. will no doubt be ecstatic that you would think to take her to such great vacation destination - and did you miss the ref to Norm in this parody? Thought for sure that would have caught your eye. Thanks, buddy.

Pat - It wasn't that much homework. I was provided the names, most of which I already knew. It was just a matter of finding a good reference on the WWW to validate that all place names were for real. Thanks.

Farce - It wasn't my idea exactly. I was asked to write something on funny named towns in Texas. Hardest part was selecting the best OS that I could work with. TWOTEF was the 3rd OS I tried. The other two failed miserably and I cannot right now remember what they were, Duh. Appreciate your comment.

Andria - I tried to find where you posted the towns in SD but I failed to find anything. Post a link - i'd like to see your posting. Idiotville - are you kidding? Of course you are not. That is a good place to be from - far from. Thanks

2Eagle Gee, wonder why you like Eagle Rock so well? I grew up in Pennsylvania and have been in the village of Intercourse - it is in Amish country. Other nearby Amish communities are named Passion and Bird in Hand. There is a small town very near to my hometown named Eighty-Four - There is also a town named Mars in Pa. I took a picture of a sign on Interstate 79 north of Pittsburgh that had an arrow that appeared in the pic to point skyward and it was pointing to the exit ramp that would lead you to that town. So you are driving along and come to an interstate highway interchange and you see a big green sign that says Mars with an arrow pointing skyward and you say - yeah, that seems right, but why the sign?

I think Pennsylvania rivals Texas with strange named towns. Not far from Eighty-Four Pa. is another very small town called Cokeburg. Cokeburg, Pa is about 925 people soaking wet and if that isn't enough about 1 1/2 miles from Cokeburg is the smaller community of Cokeburg Junction. TV producer Donald P Bellisario, who produces NCIS and formerly JAG, Quantum Leap, Magnum PI and several other shows is from Cokeburg. My hometown, Cokeburg and Eight-Four are all in the same school district. So I may not have topped Embarrass and Intercourse but nonetheless these towns names are just as strange.

M'Lady - I used the services of Sir Google to read up on Milpitas. The name is derived from maize gardens and is Spanish in origin. If it weren't for the Minutemen in the early 1960s you would be driving east daily to San Jose. Thanks for reading and commenting on my write.
Andria - November 14, 2008 - Report this comment
I frankly cannot remember where the S.D. odd town name posting is, and Idiotville, if I remember correctly, is an abandoned town that has been swallowed up by the forest, and as I recall, I watched a news special about small towns in Oregon that are abandoned or nearly so, and it said that (not surprisingly) nobody ever admitted being from Idiotville.
Michael Pacholek - November 14, 2008 - Report this comment
It wouldn't be an official "Edmund Fitzgerald" parody if I didn't at least comment. I'm not sure this could be done for New Jersey, with all those Indian-tribe and Dutch names, but Texan names are so rich (with history, among other things) that it makes for a terrific opus. Though I'm not sure about "Deaf Smith County." My favorite Texas-town name? "Humble," of course, though no Texan would ever claim to be humble -- they pronounce it with a silent H.
Guy - November 14, 2008 - Report this comment
Ladies & Gentlemen - This parody now has the official seal of approval of the TWOTEF Meister Mr. Michael Pacholec. Thank you Michael. I was wondering when you were going to get here.

But you are remiss in regards to "it" being pronounced with a silent "H". Texans say "Hit" like everybody else. =;-) And as for Humble, Texas - that is more of an oxymoron than a town. Now as for Deaf Smith county it was named after Erastus "Deaf" Smith (1787–1837), a partially-deaf scout and soldier who served in the Texas Revolution. (The pronunciation of "Deaf", like that of Smith, is "Deef".) He was the first to reach the Alamo after its fall. So Humble is umble and deaf is deef.

Andria - I did some reading up on Idiotville - There was an old logging camp that was about 1/2 mile up from the mouth of Idiot creek called Ryans Camp in the Tillamook State Forest. This spot was so remote to anything civilized that it was said that only an Idiot would work there. Thus the name Idiotville was coined. The creek that that ran through the camp was named after the camp.
Doug Baseball - November 16, 2008 - Report this comment
This was great; wasn't quite sure on the pacing of some, but I won't knock it down any, I think anything near is good enough for this one, as different ears can hear, say, "Chippewa" as 2 or 3 syllables, and lines like "When Juan rose late, soon his breakfast he ate, Later smells from his ender came gassing" are just too good to pass up. BTW, having tried but failed to come up with anything close for it, my guess is one of the others you tried was "We Didn't Start the Fire." makes the pacing for TWOTEF seem easy!
Doug Baseball - November 16, 2008 - Report this comment
Forgot to add, for Mike Pacholek, you missed my TWOTEF parody from CAlvin & Hobbes; must have been too close to the election for you.
Michael Pacholek - November 17, 2008 - Report this comment
Sorry it took me so long to find it, Doug. I've commented on it.
John Jenkins - November 17, 2008 - Report this comment
Very good job of spicing up a list of place names with some clever rhyming and humor.
Peregrin - December 04, 2008 - Report this comment
Hi! Saw it late! Worth the wait! Funny stuff.
Fiddlegirl - August 22, 2009 - Report this comment
Guy: you found some great names! (My personal favorite line is the last one...) :)

Perhaps another parody will find room for these Lone Star gems: Bangs, Muleshoe, Gun Barrel City, Spur, Earth, Cactus, and Rule-- which is what Texas does! (Ya-hoo!)

Have a Shiner Bock on me ;)

[ps: Security code: GAL... as in "veston"] :D
Guy - August 23, 2009 - Report this comment
FG I probably had some of those towns in the list that I wrote this from, but you can only do so much with them. I take it that you are a native born Texan? I am not but I got here as fast as I could. Actually the USAF sent me here on my last tour. That was awile ago and this is the longest that I have ever lived continuiously in one place. So now I have adopted the Great Republic as home. And yes, Texas rules. I knew you would like this parody. Have you been to any of these places or ex places? I've been to a few. and recogized a lot more before I wrote this parody. I don't know what happened to the link for Wall but it showed a pic of cattle and hay - thus the mention in the song. And Wall, I've been through about a dozen times, about 6 times I blinked going through and missed it entirely. =;-) I have friends in San Angelo - so Wall is a pass through place to get there. Thanks for reviewing and commenting.
FiddleTex - August 23, 2009 - Report this comment
Yep, born in Tyler, raised just north of DFW in Denton. The only towns in either list that I've actually been through are Muleshoe and Earth, en route to Albuquerque via Clovis. As a fun fact, that road also takes you through the bustling towns of Halfway and Progress, just north of Circle Back. :)
Guy - August 23, 2009 - Report this comment
Yep - Texas has some very colorful place names. My home state of Pa. also has a whole lot of colorful place names. Places named Cokeburg, Cokeburg Junction, Eighty Four, Large, Mars, Intercourse, Passion and King of Prussia just to name a few.
Alice DiRito - September 01, 2011 - Report this comment
WHAT A GUY!

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