In A thought

1952 Vincent Black Lightning

Richard Thompson

Says Red Molly, to James, “Well that’s a fine motorbike.

A girl could feel special on any such like.”

Says James, to Red Molly, “My hat’s off to you.

It’s a Vincent Black Lightning, 1952.

And I’ve seen you on the corners and cafes, it seems.

Red hair and black leather, my favorite color scheme.”

And he pulled her on behind,

And down to Boxhill,

They’d Ride.

Says James, to Red Molly, “Here’s a ring for your right hand.

But I’ll tell you in earnest I’m a dangerous man;

For I’ve fought with the law since I was seventeen.

I’ve robbed many a man to get my Vincent machine.

And now I’m twenty-one years, I might make twenty-two.

And I don’t mind dyin’ but for the love of you.

But if fate should break my stride, then I’ll give you my Vincent, To Ride.”

“Come down Red Molly, ” called Sargent McQuade.

“For they’ve taken young James Aidee for Armed Robbery.

Shotgun blast hit his chest, left nothing inside.

Oh, come down, Red Molly, to his dying bedside.”

When she came to the hospital, there wasn’t much left.

He was runnin’ out of road. He was runnin’ out of breath.

But he smiled, to see her cry.

And said, “I’ll give you my Vincent.

To Ride.”

Said James, “In my opinion, there’s nothing in this world

Beats a ’52 Vincent and a Redheaded girl.

Now Nortons and Indians and Greavses won’t do.

Oh, they don’t have a Soul like a Vincent ’52.”

Well he reached for her hand and he slipped her the keys.

He said, “I’ve got no further use…for these.

I see Angels on Ariels in leather and chrome,

Swoopin’ down from Heaven to carry me home.”

And he gave her one last kiss and died.

And he gave her his Vincent.

To Ride.

Songwriters: Richard Thompson

1952 Vincent Black Lightning lyrics © BMG Rights Management


I first became aware of this song when Robert Earl Keen recorded a cover of it for his bluegrass album Happy Prisoners



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