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SHIFTING, WHISPERING SANDS, THE (Jack Gilbert / Mary Hadler) Rusty Draper - 1955 Billy Vaughn & His Orch. (vocal: Ken Nordene) - 1955 Eamonn Andrews - 1956 Sheb Woolley - 1960 Jim Reeves - 1961 Johnny Cash - 1965 The Sons Of The Pioneers - 1965 Also recorded by: Pioneer Pepper & The Sunset Pioneers; Lorne Greene; Bob Louisell; Frank Chacksfield & His Orch. As recorded by RUSTY DRAPER: (Listen to the age old story of the shifting, whispering sand) Yes, it always whispers to me of the days of long ago When the settlers and the miners fought the crafty Navajo How the cattle roamed the valley, happy people worked the land And now everything is covered by the shifting, whispering sand (How the miner left his buckboards, went to work his claims that day) And the burros broke their halters when they thought he'd gone to stay How they found the ancient miner lying dead upon the sand After months they could but wonder if he died by human hand (So they dug his grave and laid him on his back and crossed his hands And his secret still is hidden by the shifting whispering sands) This is what they whispered to me, way out on that quiet desert air Of the people and the cattle and that miner lyin' there If you want to learn the secret, wander through this quiet land And I'm sure you'll hear the story of the shifting, whispering sands (The shifting, whispering sands) ++++++++++ As recorded by KEN NORDENE with BILLY VAUGHAN, HIS ORCH. & CHORUS: I discovered the valley of the shifting whispering sands While prospecting for gold in one of our western states I saw the silent windmills, the crumbling water tanks The bones of cattle and burros picked clean by buzzards Bleached by the desert sun I stumbled over a crumbling buckboard nearly covered by the sands And stopping to rest, I heard a tinkling, whispering sound And suddenly realised that even though the wind was quiet the sand did not lie still I seemed to be surrounded by a mystery so heavy and oppressive I could scarcely breath For days and weeks I wandered aimlessly in this valley Seeking answers to the many questions that raced through my fevered mind Where was everyone, why the white bones, the dry wells The barren valley where people must have lived and died Finally I could go no farther, my food and water gone I sat down and buried my face in my hands, and resting thus I learned the secret of the shifting whispering sands How I managed to escape from the valley I do not know But now to pay my final debt for being spared I must tell you what I learned out on the desert so many years ago (When the day is oddly quiet and the breeze seems not to blow) (One would think the sand was resting, but you'll find this is not so) (It is whisp'ring, softly whisp'ring, as it slowly moves along) (And for those who stop and listen it will sing this mournful song) (Of sidewinders and the horntoads, of the thorny Chaparral) (In the sunny days and moonlight nights, the coyote's lonely yell) (How the stars seem you could touch them as you lay and gaze on high) (At the heavens where we're hoping we'll be going when we die) Yes, it always whispers to me of the days of long ago When the settlers and the miners fought the crafty Navaho How the cattle roamed the valley, happy people worked the land And now everything is covered by the shifting whispering sands How the miner left his buckboard, went to work his claims that day And the burros broke their halters when they thought he'd gone to stay Wandered far in search of water, on to Old Sidewinder's Well And there, their bones picked clean by buzzards that were circling when they fell (How they found the ancient miner lying dead upon the sand) (After months they could but wonder if he died by human hand) (So they dug his grave and laid him on his back and crossed his hands) (And his secret still is hidden by the shifting whispering sands) (This is what they whispered to me on the quiet desert air) (Of the people, and the cattle, and the miner lying there) (If you want to learn their secret, wander through this quiet land) (And I'm sure you'll hear the story of the shifting, whispering sands) (Shifting whispering sands) ++++++++++ As recorded by EAMONN ANDREWS: I discovered the valley of the shifting, whispering sands While prospecting for gold in one of the Western states I saw the silent windmills, the crazy lopsided water tanks The bones of cattle and burrows picked clean by buzzards And bleached by the desert sun I stumbled over a crumbling buckboard Almost completely covered by the sand And stopping to rest, I heard a tinkling, whispering sound And suddenly realised that even though The wind was quiet, the sand did not lie still I seemed to be surrounded by a mystery so heavy and oppressive I could scarcely breath For days and weeks I wandered aimlessly in this valley Seeking answers to the many questions that raced through my confused mind Where was everyone, why the white bones, the dry wells This barren valley where people had lived and died Finally I could go no further, my food and water gone I sat down and buried my face in my hands and resting thus I learned the secret of the shifting, whispering sands The sidewinders and the horntoads, of the thorny Chaparral Endless sunny days and moonlit nights, and the coyote's lonely yell (Coyote's lonely yell) How I managed to escape from the valley I do not know But now to pay my final debt for being spared I must warn you of what I saw on that desert So many hours, or is it years ago I found the aged miner lying dead upon the sand Out there I could but wonder if he died by human hand So I dug his grave and layed him on his back And crossed his hands If you want to learn their secrets Wander through this quiet land And I'm sure you'll hear the story Of the shifting, whispering sands (If you want to learn their secrets) (Wander through this quiet land) (And I'm sure you'll hear the story) (Of the shifting, whispering sands) ++++++++++ As recorded by SHEB WOOLEY: (Oh, the sand is softly whispering as it slowly moves along) (And for those who stop and listen, it will sing this mournful song) Yes, it always whispers to me of the days of long ago When the settlers and the miners fought the crafty Navajo How the cattle roamed the valley, happy people worked the land And now everything is covered by the shifting, whispering sand (How the miner left his buckboard, went to work his claim that day) And the burros broke their halters when they thought he'd gone to stay How they found the aged miner lying dead upon the sand And after months they could but wonder if he'd died by human hand (So they dug his grave and laid him on his back and crossed his hands) (And his secret still is hidden by the shifting whispering sands) This is what they always whisper to me, way out on that quiet desert air Of the people and the cattle and that miner lying there If you want to learn the secret, wander through this quiet land And I'm sure you'll hear the story of the shifting, whispering sands (Shifting, whispering sands) ++++++++++ As recorded by JOHNNY CASH: (Listen to the age old story of the shifting, whispering sands) Yes, They always whisper to me of the days of long ago When the settlers and the miner fought the crafty Navajo How the cattle roamed the valley, happy people worked the land Now everything is covered by the shifting, whispering sands (The miner left his buckboard, went to work his claims that day) And the burros broke their halters when they thought he'd gone to stay How they found that ancient miner lying dead upon the sands And for months they could but wonder did he die by human hands So they dug his grave and laid him on his back and crossed his hands And his secret still is covered by the shifting, whispering sands (And his secret still is hidden by the shifting, whispering sands) This is what they always whisper to me, out on the quiet desert air Of the people and the cattle and that miner lying there So, if you want to learn the secret, wander through this quiet land And I'm sure you'll hear the story of the shifting, whispering sands (And I'm sure you'll hear the story of the shifting, whispering sands) ++++++++++ (Transcribed by Mel Priddle - June 2011)

    


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