Contact Al Dunkleman

Track 3óFrom When We Were Young (2011)

Iíll Be Coming Back To You††

Al Dunkleman, Heartfelt Americana Music/ASCAP


Iím here workiní in this lonesome coastal town

The winter wind is blowiní cold

I am tired and so weary tonight

These twelve hour days are getting old



And the only thing that keeps me going

The only thing that pulls me through

Is knowing that by this Friday night

That Iíll be coming back to you


Iím here stayiní in this broken down motel

Ainít had a good meal in days

The work is hard and the nights are so long

I miss your tender loviní ways (Chorus)


And I canít wait to leave this city life behind

And get back to my mountain view

And I canít wait to see you standiní in the door

For Iíll be coming back to you (Chorus)


And Iím knowing that by this Friday night

That Iíll be coming back to you


In the mid-1980s, I worked several years in the Christmas tree industry in Ashe County, North Carolina. This labor intensive job had me mowing, spraying, fertilizing, shearing, tagging, cutting, bailing, loading and eventually retailing Frazier fir and white pine trees. Around the first of November each year, the grower I worked for had about 25,000 trees to harvest. For about three and a half weeks, our crew, and anyone else we could round up, would cut, bail and haul the trees off the mountain to the holding lots on the flat below. After we got all of the tractor trailers loaded for the wholesale customers, a few days before Thanksgiving we would† load a few thousand trees to retail in Wilmington.


Two days before Thanksgiving about four of us would board trucks and drive the 300 hundred mile journey to the coast. As soon as we arrived at the retail lots we would begin setting up and pricing the trees as well as ready the wreaths and pine roping for sale.


We worked from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., seven days a week. Although most of the customers who came to the lots were happy to be there and pleasant to work with, we all eventually became weary from the daily grind. Ironically, whenever there came a cold rain, thatís when it seemed that the most people would come out seeking that perfect tree. With the trees soaking wet, and even with wearing rain gear, it made for a long chilly evening.


A day or two before Christmas we would load up the dozen or so worn and homely trees that didnít sell and drop them off at a local Salvation Army. We would then begin the long journey back to the mountains. Being away from my wife and young son for four weeks was tough. I did this for three consecutive years.


One year as we wearily began our trip home, a song on the radio made me even more homesickóďI wanna go home, I wanna go home, Oh, I wanna go home.Ē A couple hours later as we reached the Ashe County line, the radio played this familiar John Denver song which brought comfort to my sore muscles and spiritóďHey, itís good to be back home again.Ē