Who Sang Merchants Lunch? The Red Clay Ramblers

The Red Clay Ramblers  cover art
Release information
length: 3:35
producer: Bill McElroy and The Red Clay Ramblers
lead vocals: Tommy Thompson
vocal: Jack Herrick, Mike Craver and Jim Watson
engineer: Bill McElroy
bass: Jim Watson
(chorus phrases are in parenthesis)

I took a walk (he was walkin' up and down Broadway)
I was hungry (had an eye out for a swell cafe)
I was searchin' (he was soundin' for a bite to munch)
I found a spot (he took a table at the Merchants Lunch)
Oh the Merchants Lunch, it was an ocean of gloom
It looked like half past midnight in the afternoon
Down by the bar (a rat-faced manager was pouring suds)
For the boys (Trailways cowboys in their Good Will duds)
And the girls (a pride of peddle-pushin' pinball queens)
Chewin' gum (in sweaty combat at the Wizard machines)
But the queen of them all, lookin' big as a fort
Was Broadway Brenda and her derelict court

I ordered a blue plate special and peered out through the room
Just to see what kind of citizens inhabited this gloom
And the hapless visages I saw were innocent of cheer
Though mirthless laughter filled the air inspired by wine and beer
From these helpless accidents of Fortune's careless aim
Broadway Brenda rose upon her queen-sized six foot frame
I looked away to shun her eyes but I knew it was too late
A hand fell on my shoulder as my gaze fell on my plate
I looked her up and over (and she did the same to me)

Her teeth were green (as green as garden peas)
She shaped her hair (with dishpan fingertips)
An earthquake of excitement shook her Krakatoan hips
Her hands went to her bosom, a hush fell on the crew
An acre of Brenda lay exposed to view
These fevered words she whispered as I gazed upon the scene:
It's the custom here at Merchants Lunch to entertain the queen
I grabbed my hat (and in an instant he was on his feet)
I was sober as a judge down at the county seat
I kept my diesel up to 80 way past Baton Rouge
Made it back to Beaumont for the "Evening News"

I own a wide-load rig (he pays thousands in tax
He's gonna keep it it Texas) I ain't leavin' for snacks (He's a driving fool) the interstate belongs to me
But I'm never going back (into the state of Tennessee)
Oh the Merchants Lunch, it was an ocean of gloom
It looked like half past midnight in the afternoon.