Chumstick Beans 
 This song celebrates the life of some good friends of mine in the Chumstick Valley in Washington State.   When I introduced the song to the musicians on the recording, Keith Little asked “what is a ‘Chumstick bean’ ?”.  So a few words of explanation may be in order. My friends acquired a parcel of land beside Chumstick Creek.  On the opposite side, is a railroad track, whose pleasantly rumbling trains find their way into my song. “Ringtail” was their cat.   The first thing they built was a platform near the creek. It soon had a roof but no walls, a very nice old wood burning cookstove, some chairs, and some shelves. And there they lived as they built their “real house” over several years. After moving into the house, meals in the summer were sometimes still had down at the old platform (the “castle” in the song)  or nearby at the creek.  A typical summer lunch was mashed pinto beans heated with a bit of olive oil (frijoles refritos) on hot tortillas with a freshly picked salad. Is there anything better? Nothing in the world beats Chumstick Beans. 

Their boy was a basketball fanatic in his early teens. There was a hoop and court built just outside the kitchen door of the house. But how do you dribble in three feet of snow? How do you even find the court? He wasn’t going to be stopped by such small inconveniences and this hopeless but fun endeavor got a fitting name: Alaskatball.  As for the bathtub, you need a step ladder to get up to it. It had to be up high or you couldn’t get down the cellar stairs without bumping your head. Trust me, it’s so. 

Chumstick Beans  
(Jody Stecher/Vegetiboy Music BMI) 

Chumstick beans, put em on the boil 
Mash em in the skillet, add a little oil 
Eat em by the creek with garden greens 
Nothing in the world beats Chumstick beans. 

Chumstick train in the middle of the night 
Rumbles up the creek when the moon is bright 
Shakes your bed and wakes you from your dreams 
Wakes ya to a belly full of Chumstick beans 

chorus: Chumstick beans they’re all right 
Eat em by the creek when the sun shines bright 
Food from the table of kings and queens 
Never was better than Chumstick beans 

Chumstick cat on a ringtail prowl 
Under the moon with a kittypuss growl 
Double stop fiddle and a blue guitar 
Cascade mountains, shooting star. 

chorus:Chumstick beans, they’re alright 
Eat em by the gallon when the sun shines bright 
Won’t be back till the middle of the week 
Good times on Chumstick Creek 

Shootin’ hoop in three foot snow 
Ain’t no tellin’ where the ball will go 
Alaskatball, sink or slide 
Chumstick kitchen right inside. 

Chumstick bathtub up in the air 
Chumstick cellar under the stairs 
Chumstick castle down by the creek 
Chumstick beans can’t be beat 

chorus:Chumstick beans, they’re alright 
Eat em by the barrel when the sun shines bright 
Eat em in your old age, eat em in your teens 
Nothing in the world beats Chumstick beans 

chorus: Chumstick beans, they’re alright 
Eat em by the bucket in the middle of night 
Eat em in your PJs , eat em in your jeans 
Nothing in the world beats Chumstick beans 

Jody Stecher: lead vocal and guitar 
Keith Little: harmony vocal and banjo 
Chad Manning: fiddle 
Paul Knight: bass