Fall of the Star High School Running Back


All Hail West Texas




the Mountain Goats



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Fall of the Star High School Running Back is the second song on the album All Hail West Texas.

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

sophomore year, you rushed for an average of eight and a third yards per carry.
all eyes were on you.
junior year, you blew your knee out at an out of town game.
nowhere to go to but down down down.
nothing but the ground left for you to fall to. 

by July, you'd made a whole bunch of brand new friends, 
people you used to look down on.
and you'd figured out a way to make real money --
givin' ends to your friends, and it felt stupendous.
chrome spokes on your Japanese bike,
but selling acid was a bad idea.
and selling it to a cop was a worse one.
and the new law said that seventeen year olds could do federal time.
you were the first one, so I sing this song for you,
William Staniforth Donahue,
your grandfather rode the boat over from Ireland,
but you made a bad decision or two.

Comments by John Darnielle About this Song[edit | edit source]

  • "I mean, the thing is, mandatory minimum sentences are not just a story. They’re a lot of people’s reality. Back then, you’d see multiple “20/20s” about some guy who got the idea to buy a pound of weed to distribute in college and got caught and was doing 10 years. You can’t do 10 years and come out the same person you were, as the young person who made a mistake and wound up getting a sentence that a judge was compelled to give him. So yeah, [Fall of the Star High School Running Back]'s an explicitly political song about how mandatory minimum sentences are bullshit.” — Salon.com interview

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