Guy Clark - The Randall Knife Lyrics




My father had a Randall knife
My mother gave it to him
When he went off to WWII
To save us all from ruin
If you've ever held a Randall knife
Then you know my father well
If a better blade was ever made
It was probably forged in hell

My father was a good man
A lawyer by his trade
And only once did I ever see
Him misuse the blade
It almost cut his thumb off
When he took it for a tool
The knife was made for darker things
And you could not bend the rules

He let me take it camping once
On a Boy Scout jamboree
And I broke a half an inch off
Trying to stick it in a tree
I hid it from him for a while
But the knife and he were one
He put it in his bottom drawer
Without a hard word one

There it slept and there it stayed
For twenty some odd years
Sort of like Excalibur
Except waiting for a tear

My father died when I was forty
And I couldn't find a way to cry
Not because I didn't love him
Not because he didn't try
I'd cried for every lesser thing
Whiskey, pain and beauty
But he deserved a better tear
And I was not quite ready

So we took his ashed out to sea
And poured 'em off the stern
And threw the roses in the wake
Of everything we'd learned
When we got back to the house
They asked me what I wanted
Not the lawbooks not the watch
I need the things he's haunted

My hand burned for the Randall knife
There in the bottom drawer
And I found a tear for my father's life
And all that it stood for





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Guy Clark The Randall Knife Comments
  1. Chris Preston

    heart shattering

  2. Chris Preston

    heart shattering

  3. David R. Davidson

    Good morning Robert W. Roddis, Esq. Thank you very much for sharing this classic from Mr. Guy Clark. He should have music schools and performing art centers around the world named in his honor. He was truly priceless to music and storytelling. God rest his soul.

  4. Silver Hammer

    The song is actually 'The Ballad of Ira hayes'...

  5. Kaptain Kid

    At the end of the day, we've all had our "Randall knife" . . . . . we just need to find a way to enjoy it, and never lose it, and to never lose it.

  6. bigrider2806

    I owned a lot of good knives over my life, miss all of them, wish I had a father like that, mine was a bastard, best day of my life when the evil shit finally died. You have a good father or brother, learn to love them, if you have a bastard like me, be brave enough to run a million miles away from him cause he will destroy you.

  7. MLarge84

    I'm 35 and carry a Randall daily. My son will after me, and his son after... if you dont own a Randall Made Knife, start saving

  8. HisDukeNess

    I just lost my father a Vietnam veteran with the 1st Cav 67-68.. only thing I truly wanted of his was a pair of brass knuckles he kept in his car while being a business representative for a cement masons union. Was also able to show him my knife collection, which he had me doing since a young kid.
    He passed right before Christmas, which would of been his birthday.
    I just found them.. broke me for a while

  9. Tucker Livingston

    incredible story-telling in song. One of the best ever written

  10. Talkin Bout Nawlins

    Without Guy Clark there would have been no Jerry Jeff Walker.Great to see those two Lions together.Aint It Fun Being From Texas!

  11. Nguyen Son

    Style brought me here

  12. KeatingChick

    One of the greatest story tellers ever! Thank you for the gift you gave us Guy Clark.

  13. Bob Dant

    Jerry Jeff Walker in the white hat.

  14. Rhett house

    My daddy was a knife maker in his later years ( though he preferred Loveless to Randal) the knives he left behind are priceless treasures to me now. And I'll tell you this. Bo Randall didnt have a damn thing on "Tinker" House. 'Cept maby a reputation.Thank you for the song Guy. He used to quote "Home GrownTomatoes" sometimes. I imagine you two are exchanging jokes in heaven right about now and I find a tear to imagining the prospect.

  15. Bob M

    Cuts like a Randall Knife..Straight, Deep and to the Hilt..Guy Clark R.I.P. Good Job...👍🎸🇺🇸

  16. Peter Szewzek

    What a great performer. Gone too soon.
    I got hooked when I heard The Guitar.

  17. Frost Productions

    Love this song, there are very few artists like Guy Clark. Like a master carpenter working with a stack of hardwood Guy Clark didnt just write songs, he crafted them. The stories he conveys in his songs are few and far between in today’s music genre. Shame I discovered him 2 months after his passing. Rest in peace Guy

  18. Keith Gamerl

    My dad and I haven't spoke in years. He's still alive but we we are oil and water..... makes me think of him..

  19. Bob Davis

    THE Guy Clark Randall knife is now on display as part of the Armadillos and Outlets Exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

    Talkin Bout Nawlins

    Guy wrote the song on the back of a paper sack.He gave the sack to Vince Gills wife Amy Grant.Its been framed and is hanging in her office in Nashville.Has been for years.

  20. Roger Lawson

    Great song, great song writer, great guitar picker and great singer. Guy Clark is greatly missed.

  21. lost in space 54

    The hallmark of a great songwriter is the ability to say a lot with just a few words, Guy Clark does exactly that.
    Any son who has loved and lost his father cannot fail to be moved by this. Love from the U.K.

  22. ralph crosby

    A month ago, my wife brought me out of box of stuff that was her folks. It poor condition but still usable. Was a Randall knife. Her daddy used in Korea and in Vietnam. Well worn and the leather dry rotted. However the stamp cartouche still visible. I told her what it was and confirmed the dates. I know if her dad was around he’d been the same as Guy’s

  23. Thunderforall *

    No words..... cheers friend

  24. Wayne Lyles

    Rip good radio..you will be missed... YouTube will replace you...

  25. Leon Chatterton

    I was building a guitar for my A levels at college, was doing some work on the body sanding and this song came on, I was trying not to cry, it didn't work, Guy was incredible, really really incredible

  26. Anthony O' Brien

    Some guys see a knife as a weapon, other guys see it as a tool, this Guy saw it as a song.

  27. Talkin Bout Nawlins

    60 dislikes= piss on these turds.

  28. Trevor Cole

    Awesome

  29. Joe Winter

    Guy was the Soul of Music in Tejas

  30. jerdeb4evr

    Such a human story song. If this song doesn't give you feelings, you haven't any

  31. Christopher Neary

    The man was very special

  32. Aiden Dean

    When I was a boy one of my mothers friends had a Randall knife and I will always remember the weighty feeling it had, like it was not to be disrespected.

  33. Bruce Pleshko

    perfect beautiful lyrics in this song, and powerfully sung... understated, but what a statement Guy Clark makes in this song... I can listen to this song over and over and over...

  34. Bob Dant

    Guy,Townes Van Zant,John Prine,Steve Young,& a handful of others are THE songwriters. I had the privledge of knowing them.

  35. Nomad Jeff

    My dad carried a Randall in Vietnam. This always reminds me of him.

  36. Jon Flanders

    It hurts. His father died at 40. That's not enough time....

  37. Adam Nicholson

    Add my applaud to that wave of claps

  38. Andrew Byers

    LET HIM ROLL WITH THAT RANDALL KNIFE

  39. Chris O'Brien

    goddamn Guy!

  40. PHIL NEIMAN

    What a touching song. Makes me think of my dear departed father, whose love for I never properly displayed while he was alive.

  41. JENNY COOPER

    corey you learned nothing from this song every body is entitled there own a opinion

  42. JENNY COOPER

    this song is about strengths not frailtys about self control and forgiveness and understanding we were all young once

  43. remy A

    My father had a Randall knife
    My mother gave it to him
    When he went off to WWII
    To save us all from ruin
    If you've ever held a Randall knife
    Then you know my father well
    If a better blade was ever made
    It was probably forged in hell

    My father was a good man
    A lawyer by his trade
    And only once did I ever see
    Him misuse the blade
    It almost cut his thumb off
    When he took it for a tool
    The knife was made for darker things
    And you could not bend the rules

    He let me take it camping once
    On a Boy Scout jamboree
    And I broke a half an inch off
    Trying to stick it in a tree
    I hid it from him for a while
    But the knife and he were one
    He put it in his bottom drawer
    Without a hard word one

    There it slept and there it stayed
    For twenty some odd years
    Sort of like Excalibur
    Except waiting for a tear

    My father died when I was forty
    And I couldn't find a way to cry
    Not because I didn't love him
    Not because he didn't try
    I'd cried for every lesser thing
    Whiskey, pain and beauty
    But he deserved a better tear
    And I was not quite ready

    So we took his ashed out to sea
    And poured 'em off the stern
    And threw the roses in the wake
    Of everything we'd learned
    When we got back to the house
    They asked me what I wanted
    Not the lawbooks not the watch
    I need the things he's haunted

    My hand burned for the Randall knife
    There in the bottom drawer
    And I found a tear for my father's life
    And all that it stood for

  44. j bouley

    Righteous song about the high quality of his Dad and not recognizing his worth on Earth.

  45. Andrew Byers

    wait did this come before or after let him roll?

  46. jerdeb4evr

    good music is eternal

  47. Wooden Nickel

    He sure told they lilly pad @$$ 'bout daddy then.

  48. Brad Henderson

    Same exact song as 'Let him roll" on his first album with different lyrics. Both awesome versions.

  49. Michael Siemering

    It's got similar guitar to LA Freeway in the background

    Wooden Nickel

    Probably forged in 4311's @$$. Now back to the great things they are doing with rouge CU.

    Faal Onik Dovah

    Michael Siemering Its the same tune as "Let him roll". Another masterpiece from Mr. Clark.

  50. Bob Wells

    So pretty...God Bless

  51. Mark8395217

    Thanks Dad... for everything

  52. Happyface Killa

    i have a randall knife but also have better blades so...

    Happyface Killa

    swimmer706 it's ok i got a new job sexually pleasing ur wives and mothers. I'm flying like neville bartoss

    jerdeb4evr

    it ain't about the knife

    Grnnr

    swimmer706 sounds like this happy guy is a bit sad about losing his job

    Grnnr

    happyfacekilla not all of us are fat like some of us a medium and some of us are Hercules

    Ross Smith

    sime Shut up, trump

  53. Marcia Hess

    Love this episode of "Texas Connection" which copied on my VCR in 1990-1991. Susanna, Richard Leigh. Every song shone!

  54. Lester Crosby

    I have only just started listening to guy Clark  sorry to hear about his passing hope god likes his music and songs

    Talkin Bout Nawlins

    God has his hands full with Guy and Townes up there.

  55. James Land

    Classic- if you've lost a Dad;you get it!

  56. Adam Nicholson

    The video starts with clapping and it ends with clapping.. If you play it on repeat, it's as if Guy sings it repeatedly

  57. Mark P

    What a Great song,about a great father and a great knife.

  58. Bull Dawg

    RIP. LEGEND.

  59. Anthony O' Brien

    You can't go wrong with a Randall Knife and Black Diamond Strings Huh, Guy would know.

  60. bob mirabile

    i really miss him  and his honesty

  61. Everett Cardinal

    I didn't have a Randall knife but as a kid growing up in a foster home in Northern Alberta on a cow farm in the late 60s, I was 9 and was asked what I wanted for Christmas, I loved Barlow knives..and asked for one and got it..I carried that darn thing everywhere..threw it around, sharped it, lost it along the way..my old knife led me to this song..got to know Guy Clark..one of my faves..

    David Fagan

    This is a really nice story..........in NL Canada. Please RSVP if you see this.

    Jason Ferguson

    Hi Everett, and David ... Nova Scotia here. Great story there Everett, did you ever find that old knife again?

    Around here in Nova Scotia a lot of people had/have Grohman Knives, .. I have several Grohman Knives. One time many years ago my Grandfather knew Mr. Grohman that started the company and Mr. Grohman showed up at my Grandfather's shop one time and gave him a Hunting Knife (like as a sampler sort of, that was what he did back then to get the name out there and people usin the product). My grandfather is gone now, and my Father has it .. some day I would like to have that knife.

    Great song writer, that Guy Clark eh?

  62. Marianne

    I kind of dislike when people comment .. RIP. It's sort of like they just want to send off something quickly on their I-phones or whatever, but without any true thought or respect for the artist. Does anyone realize this man's greatness ? ! If so, please be more respectful in your comments especially now that he's passed.

  63. Wm Pet

    I discovered Guy;'s music around 2010. Made me appreciate all the country music so much more, his songs hit home, I can see and hear how the team of Townes and him made an amazing songwriting team.
    God rest your fingers, Guy. They created some magic.

  64. Mrplumpynutt

    I miss him already.

  65. Vincent Kelly

    Another of his great songs. RIP

  66. Mike Chiropolos

    Guy did his father proud. Wrote songs like his Dad practiced aw, and Bo Randall crafted knives. The right way.

  67. Madra Rua

    Guy has gone to Dallas, Bless his soul.

  68. Andrew Kling

    This song always makes me cry. We lost something special today

    Linda McKeown

    It just did. It reminds you of home, years ago.

    NotoTruth

    If life is measured by treasures left behind....Then Guy's life was huge.

    Jason Miller

    He was a masterful songwriter.

    Ralph B

    Couldn't agree more. If this doesn't tear you up nothing will! Just an incredible piece of songwriting genius.

    J.W. Groves

    Jerry Jeff walker

  69. AcousticGroove56

    No other singer songwriter has touch me as deeply. Godspeed Guy.

    Rikki Jensen

    +AcousticGroove56 Amen

  70. Dave Trunks

    i am so sad right now !! Requiescat in pace Mr Clark

  71. Holadude96

    RIP Guy. You will be sorely missed. :(

  72. Destroiscents379

    Unbelievably beautiful in a tough way!!! I'll never be the same now after hearing this. Chills

    jerdeb4evr

    i hope you are a young person. These sentiments should be learned young

    Destroiscents379

    I'm young at heart friend. I collect knives. Been around a bit. Love Americana and the good old USA and what the flag stands for and all the sacrifices before me to allow me the freedom that I have. My forefathers have been on this continent since 1640s and I have the proof of that. I know what boat they came over on, not the May Flower but the Saint Jean along with a Frigate for escort. They carved out a living in the brutal northeast along the Saint Laurence River. They too fought the British for independence. In 1900 AD they immigrated south into USA (legally) with papers and worked hard in New England. Now we struggle to hang on to our American identity and western values and will fight for that as did my forefathers. The Randall knife is an icon of WW2 and I own two of them. Beauties. This song wraps up many feelings. I honor the veterans.

  73. MCJ62

    Something special about Texas songwriters.

    Fairy Hitchcock

    +MCJ62 Have you listened to Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson's "We're the Song Writers"  off the Django and Jimmy Album...Love it!

  74. steve julian

    Was so lucky to see him live in Winnipeg with Lyle Lovette Joe Ely and John Hiatt. What a show. Four guys on stage with four guitars. Beauty

    Huawei is a criminal organization.

    steve julian you lucky son-of-a-gun

    Hazel Perry

    steve julian I saw that same concert here in LA at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. I’ll forever remember Guy Clark, saying “This just feels weird. “He turned around to us, sitting up behind the stage, and sang to us, instead of the huge audience in front of him. What a guy. What a great concert. From all of them.

    Talkin Bout Nawlins

    Saw several of those shows over a couple of years.Never got tired of Johns opening line"Can you tell which one of us is NOT from Texas?" Lol

  75. aAron Soderberg

    This song wells me up every time I listen to it. It's beautiful. Heartfelt. Powerful. Go Guy.

  76. goat 68

    tears well up in my eyes...

  77. Corey Johnston

    I'd like to stick my Randall Knife in the 14 listeners who disliked this video.

    jamie wesson

    @Talkin Bout Nawlins how do you know what they listen to and what makes you better than them

    Talkin Bout Nawlins

    @jamie wesson Well its like this.I would bet you are some dumb kid by yur question so allow me to explain.This is grownup music with lyrics that mean something.Not just some top 40 teenybopper song by some dipshit writing nursery rhyme lyrics and wearing a cowboy hat calling himself a country music star.This music is Americana and Guy Clark was one of the best songwtiters on the planet.Now go back and wait on garth brooks to swing out over the crowd on a rope.Thats real country lol Its not hard to know more about music these days with all the Nashvega$ Prettyboy bullshit on the radio.

    David Fagan

    No you won't.........Guy wouldn't want that....

    Talkin Bout Nawlins

    @David Fagan No but Guy wouldnt mind takking them out to the "Parking Lot".Remember that tune he did? Darrell Scott wrote it for Guy.AINT IT FUN BEING FROM TEXAS!

    Too Many Hobbies

    I will help you if you will let me!

  78. Lavrence

    My father had a randall knife bought for him by my mother. That knife was the one item of his i truly had left after his death. This song hits home, I still have the "sister" to my fathers knife but my brother-in-law stole the one my mother bought long ago. Everyone should look at randall knifes they truly are worthy of this song.

    bandit269u

    May that fucker who stole your knife, stumble and fall on it.

  79. Marianne

    This is one of the finest songs ever written.

    Talkin Bout Nawlins

    Heres some trivia for you.Vince Gill's wife,Amy Grant has the paper sack framed behind her desk that Guy wrote the song on.Guy gave it to her years ago.Ive seen it and its breathtaking.Just a plain paper sack with the lyrics on it.But so Beautiful! R.I.P GUY CLARK GBNF

  80. Angela Masters

    First I heard this song...I was 19....I'm 41 know.....And I still Love the Randall Knife

    Paul

    my kind of lady

  81. Scott Randall

    Only part of this song I question is I doubt you can break an inch off a Randall on a tree.

    William Murray

    +Scott Randall ------- I saw a knife , not a Randall , get snapped by a steel jacketed 30.06 slug that we tracked 10 inches through a walnut tree . The knife must have hit it just right at at a stress point on the blade , took about 2" off .

    Talkin Bout Nawlins

    Dont give a shit how good the quality is a tip can be damaged easy as hell.One wrong hit.Now my question.Why is there always some dipshit in every crowd?

  82. William Murray

    that song touches on our human frailties , mistakes, regrets , and suppressed love. if it didn't touch you or bring a tear i pity the life you've lived .

  83. unkulmark

    Classic pricless song and it is a much more profound experience watching him sing it live. I've listened to it many times today. Who's that to the left of Jerry Jeff?

  84. LuckyB

    Bo and Gary Randall  , Randall made knives out of Orlando Florida  there is many years of US history  in that family , if any of you ever get the chance look it up  they are still in business today and making some of the finest knives in American and the world .

    Icejasper

    I had the pleasure of meeting Bo and Gary - Had three of Bo's knives - two model 14 Attacks, one of which served me well in Vietnam and a model 1 I passed them along to my daughter and her husband who is nearing retirement in the Marine Corps as a Master Gunnery Sgt...

    Lenny Yox

    I have model 1 on the way

  85. Robbie Lacomb

    vietnam, 1966, Randall model 1-7

  86. Buck Morgan

    No other writer brings me more tears. Guy, your reach is deep.

  87. Bill Brennan

    If this song doesn't hit you where you live, something's wrong.

  88. Dragan Kraljevic

    Mystery, anyone?

    Killua Zoaldik

    style and mystery brought me here too ;)

    Dekadenz

    yes brah

    guillaume cleach

    Yup, reading The Game right now

  89. varškėsapkepas

    Good knives.

  90. Jason Lee

    I would give almost all that I own to have seen Guy Clark live during this time period. 

  91. Anders

    Few men in there time get to create something as pure and beautiful as this song.

  92. 14wAYNE

    Does anyone seriously believe that this is a song about a knife?!

    jamie wesson

    its about his dads knife as well has his dad have you been paying attention

  93. cooldude284

    I don't think you understand, I NEVER said I would buy one and I am not going to.

  94. toasteh

    Never in my life have a gotten more defensive responses for Randalls just because of my above statement. Fuck, take it easy you dumb chumps.

  95. john9944

    Don't buy one then. Nobody is begging you to. I think the waiting list is 4 years now....It may be longer. They don't need your business. They have plenty.

  96. john9944

    I've got an idea for you....DON'T BUY ONE IF YOU DON'T WANT ONE. Man if that is all you got out of this song you are a sad, sad piece of work.

  97. john9944

    This is actually the tune to the verse of "The Sweet Bye and Bye."

  98. toasteh

    I think what you pay for is a piece of history, and the opportunity to own something customized. I also feel that price is pushed due to limit of supply, and that quality is mostly the same among most knife makers these days. Not saying its a bad knife at all, I'm sure we can all agree on that. But the price is just ridiculous.