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G She had a reputation, as a girl who had been around. D On Main street after midnight, a brand new pack of cigs, G A fresh one hanging from her lips, a beer between her legs. A She'd ride down to the river, and meet with all her friends.
And not with impunity, because The law caught wind of Sonny and one day he got caught. Yet, and this is a theme throughout the song, he was back in business when they set him free again. And now, as at the end of every verse, Robert Earl Keen sings The road goes on forever and the party never ends.
And this is where the real genius of the story starts to be told; he then Stuffed a dollar in her tip jar and walked on out the door. And the mark of an alpha male.
No, he just used his damned pool cue and took care of business. Sherry might also be looking for someone to protect her, to treat her with dignity and respect.
He acts decisively, taking charge. And Sherry is happy to let him. They head for the shore and get a hotel by the water and a quart of Bombay gin.
A nomadic life is expensive, and they soon run out of money. Sonny again takes charge because He knows some Cuban refugees that dealt in contraband.
Sonny manages to escape, only to be apprehended by an officer — and it is at this point that Sherry changes from being the passive, almost submissive person in the relationship and shows that she is actually more than capable of protecting Sonny too: She stepped into the alley with a single-shot. This reversal of roles left me stunned when I first heard it.
Sherry, on the other hand, has no such reservations, and shoots the police officer in cold blood to save the person that she, if not loves, admires and considers to be her man. With a single line, Robert Earl Keen turns the story on its tail, forcing the listener to rethink the entire narrative, both spoken and inferred.
And this is what he is so good at: painting a picture with just a few words. The roles continue to be more fluid from thereon in. Sonny not only then gives her all the money and blew her a little kisshe also went on to instruct Sherry If they ask you how this happened say I forced you into this.
And the consequences are harsh. She pulls back onto Main Street in her new Mercedes Benz.
Because, of course, The road goes on forever and the party never ends…. There are many versions of this song, both by Robert Earl Keen and others.
The speed in Earl Keen sings it in his distinctive voice makes for a riotous sing-a-long in which the audience s in enthusiastically. Oh, and if you like this, then you really must listen to Gringo Honeymoon.