Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Lost Alamos: Music

Old John McCullough

(Lost Alamos)
© Brian Daniell 2008 ASCAP


There really is a round-top hill with a hardscrabble little place just west of it in the hills near Boulder. One fall, a few years ago, we hiked to the top of it and I had a dark little daydream . . .


Old John McCullough had a cabin in the hollow
Just west of the round-top hill
Lived close to the bone, didn’t have a phone
I guess he might live there still

He lived a long life, grieved for his wife
There wasn’t a good reason to live
He said men were his brothers, he didn’t much like others
Didn’t have much to give

Livin’ off--livin’ off the grid
Nobody cared what old John did
Out at the end of a dusty road
All you got to carry is your own load


Old John McCullough was down in the hollow
By the stream with a bucket to fill 
When they gave the order to storm across the border
When they moved in for the kill

He was the last man standing when the bombs stopped landing, 
God help the town just east of the hill
When the ground stopped rumbling and the boulders stopped tumbling
John slowly turned and drank his fill

Livin’ off--livin’ off the grid
Nobody cared what old John did
Out at the end of a dusty road
All you got to carry is your own load

Old John McCullough walked out of the hollow
To the top of the round-top hill
He saw the death and flames, he didn’t know their names
But then and there he wrote down their will


 “We are gone to dust, but remember this you must
It was love and family kept us whole
The men who bring war are evil to the core
And they’ll never have what they just stole”

Livin’ off--livin’ off the grid
Nobody cared what old John did
Out at the end of a dusty road
All you got to carry is your own load

Out at the end of a dusty road
All you got to carry is your own load

_________