In the early 1970s I lived in a small house high on a mountain road in Sonoma County, California.  To the west down below was the Valley Of The Moon. Over the mountain to the east was Napa County.  Mountain life was lawless, wild, and dangerous but also beautiful and exhilarating. There was a secret path to a gorgeous waterfall. There were ruins of old houses to be found where there were no roads or paths. Trees, flowers, and wild animals abounded and the view from my back porch was spectacular. Everything in the song is true.

I’m playing a guitar that is tuned down a step so I can get the sonority of E fingering while singing in D.


(Jody Stecher/ Vegetiboy Music, BMI)

By a hairpin curve on a mountain road
Where the buzzards glide I made my abode
On the mountainside you live by the code
There’s no Law on Moon Mountain
No Law on Moon Mountain

No work, no dough, no car, no home
I was living in the danger zone
Some kindly folk gave me a room of my own
No door but no rent neither 
No door but no rent neither

On the eastern hills of the valley of the moon
It gets so hot in the month of June
Kingsnakes and rattlers are coming out soon
Kingsnakes eat rattlesnakes for breakfast
They eat ‘em for breakfast

Moon Mountain drunks living deep in the hill
They get so mean when the air is still
If the snakes don’t get you the bullets will
Keep to yourself and mind your business
Just mind your own business

Out on the back porch most any day
I could see down the valley all the way
Mt Diablo, Tamalpais,  the beautiful Bay
And one sky over five counties
Five big ol’ counties

Summer sun shone hot as soon as I arose
In the morning out back without any clothes
The fog from the south tickled my toes
And the sun beat down on the mountain
All over Moon Mountain

It’s a winding road just barely wide
Enough for two cars to pass and not collide
But don’t cross over down the other side
Keep away from Napa
Don’t go to Napa

Police down there they play fast and loose
They’ll throw you in the slammer on any excuse
Your hair’s too long, you’re in the calaboose
Turn around, go back down the mountain
Stay on your side of the mountain

That’s how it was in that bygone time
Now they’ve fixed up the road and they’re growing wine
The sun still shines above the foggy line
And the snakes still slide on the mountain
All over Moon Mountain