John Hartford - "Gentle On My Mind"

Banjo Tuned to E, Key D, Capo 1

D D7
It's knowing that your door is always open
D Em
and your path is free to walk,
that makes me tend to leave my sleeping bag
A7 D
rolled up and stashed behind your couch.
And it's knowing I'm not shackled
by forgotten words and bonds
D Em
and the ink stains that have dried if on some line,
that keeps you in the backroads

by the rivers of my mem'ry
Em A7 D
that keeps you ever gentle on my mind.

It's not clinging to the rocks and ivy
planted on the columns now that binds me,
or something that somebody said
because they thought we fit together walking.
It's just knowing that the world will not be cursing
or forgiving when I walk along some railroad track
and find that you are moving on the backroads
by the rivers of my mem'ry
and for hours you're just gentle on my mind.

Though the wheat fields and the clothes lines
And the junkyards and the highways come between us
And some other woman's cryin' to her mother
'cause she turned and I was gone
I still might run in silence
Tears of joy might stain my face
And the summer sun might burn me till I'm blind
But not to where I cannot see
You walkin' on the back roads
By the rivers flowin' gentle on my mind

I dip my cup of soup back from a gurglin' cracklin' cauldron
In some train yard
My beard a rustlin' coal pile
And a dirty hat pulled low across my face
Through cupped hands 'round a tin can
I pretend to hold you to my breast and find
That you're waitin' from the back roads
By the rivers of my memory
Ever smilin', ever gentle on my mind