Released on Places I’ve Been, 2008, performed by the Redwood Canyon Ramblers reunion band plus my added dobro-style resonator guitar. The Ramblers (myself on guitar, Scott Hambly on mandolin, and Neil Rosenberg on banjo) became the Bay Area’s first bluegrass band in 1959. Tom Glass joined us on bass fiddle for our biggest season, the summer of 1960 and Ed Neff has joined us on fiddle for important gigs since 1991.

The phrase “I hate to eat and run, but I’m still hungry,” came from Joe Hickerson when we were both Folklore grad students at Indiana University. A few years later I took the phrase as a metaphor and ran with it, quite possibly to the wrong goalposts after reversing my direction several times — there I go again!

Well I hate to eat and run but I’m still hungry
I’m sure you did the very best you could
Well I may be kind of dumb, but back where I come from
The frosting off the cake don’t count for food

The proof of the pudding’s in the eating, so they say
But you won’t let me have one little taste
You only let me see what’s on the surface of your mind
And all my hopes and plans have gone to waste


I like to have a solid meal before I eat dessert
I’ve always been a meat-and-‘taters guy
But you’ve been acting lately like our little love affaire
Is nothing but a piece of cherry pie


If you’re as anxious as you claim to keep me hanging ‘round
Just open up your arms and let me near
Stop showing off your looks and fancy manners all the time
And show me that you’re glad to have me here

    By Mayne Smith, 1966 © Hillgreen Music <>