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John Prine Live

by John Prine

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Shaggy Maggot
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Shaggy Maggot Why do I like John Prine?

He should be recognised as a US National Treasure as he has written some of the most well-crafted and insightful songs of my lifetime (several of which appear in this album). Favorite track: Speed of the Sound of Loneliness.
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released October 25, 1990

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Track Name: Come Back to Us Barbara Lewis Hare Krishna Beauregard
The last time that I saw her
She was standing in the rain
With her overcoat under her arm
Leaning on a horsehead cane
She said "Carl, take all the money"
She called everybody Carl
"My spirit's broke"
"My mind's a joke,"
"And getting up's real hard"

Don't you know her
When you see her?
She grew up In your back yard
Come back to us
Barbara Lewis
Hare Krishna
Beauregard

Selling bibles at the airports
Buying Quaaludes on the phone
Hey, you talk about
A paper route
She's a shut in without a home
God save her, please
She's nailed her knees
To some drugstore parking lot
Hey, Mr. Brown
Turn the volume down
I believe this evening's shot

(Repeat Chorus)

Can't you picture her next Thursday?
Can you picture her at all?
In the Hotel Boulderado
At the dark end of the hall
I gotta shake myself and wonder
Why she even bothers me
For if heartaches were commercials
We'd all be on T.V.

(Repeat Chorus)
Track Name: Six O'Clock News
Wanda had a baby in nineteen fifty one.
The father was stranger and a stranger was the son.
Call that child James Lewis, call these rooms a home. Changing all them diapers polish all that chrome.
C'mon, baby, spend the night with me

All around the schoolyard playing all the games
Running, laughing back and forth the kid with two first names
Stranger in the closet, lock the diary
The past is running faster singing harmony
C'mon, baby, spend the night with me

"God bless this kitchen" said the knick-knack shelf
"The dinner's almost ready Go and wash yourself" Jimmy's growing up now and Wanda's growing old T
he time is growin' shorter the nights are long and cold C'mon, baby, spend the night with me

Sneaking in the closet and through the diary
Now, don't you know all he saw was all there was to see The whole town saw Jimmy on the six o'clock news
His brains were on the sidewalk and blood was on his shoes
C'mon, baby, spend the night with me
C'mon, baby, spend the night with me
Track Name: The Oldest Baby in the World
She's got the mind of a child
And a body peaking over the hill
Well, she would if she could
And she should but nobody will
With her nails painted red
And her hair so unnaturally curled
Well I think that she may be
The oldest baby in the world

She's tasted the night life
But it's left her with nothing but hunger
And all the available men
Seem to think that they want something younger
But youth is a costume
And the beauty within lies unfurled
And I think that she may be
The oldest baby in the world

Fast horses win races
And royal flushes beat aces
And everyone's playing to keep
So let's turn out the lights
And rock that old baby to sleep

She loves the sound of the rain
But you know she's still afraid of the thunder
She keeps a head full of hope
And a heart that's so full of wonder
She may look like a woman
But she's still some daddy's little girl
And I think that she may be
The oldest baby in the world
Yes, I think that she may be
The oldest baby in the world
Track Name: Angel from Montgomery
I am an old woman named after my mother
My old man is another child that's grown old
If dreams were lightning thunder was desire
This old house would have burnt down a long time ago

Make me an angel that flies from Montgom'ry
Make me a poster of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing that I can hold on to
To believe in this living is just a hard way to go

When I was a young girl well, I had me a cowboy
He weren't much to look at, just free rambling man
But that was a long time and no matter how I try
The years just flow by like a broken down dam.

(Repeat Chorus)

There's flies in the kitchen I can hear 'em there buzzing And I ain't done nothing since I woke up today.
How the hell can a person go to work in the morning
And come home in the evening and have nothing to say.

(Repeat Chorus)
Track Name: Grandpa Was a Carpenter
Grandpa wore his suit to dinner
Nearly every day
No particular reason
He just dressed that way
Brown necktie and a matching vest
And both his wingtip shoes
He built a closet on our back porch
And put a penny in a burned out fuse.

Grandpa was a carpenter
He built houses stores and banks
Chain smoked Camel cigarettes
And hammered nails in planks
He was level on the level
And shaved even every door
And voted for Eisenhower 'Cause Lincoln won the war.

Well, he used to sing me "Blood on the Saddle"
And rock me on his knee
And let me listen to radio
Before we got TV
Well, he'd drive to church on Sunday
And take me with him too!
Stained glass in every window
Hearing aids in every pew.

(Repeat Chorus)

Now my grandma was a teacher
Went to school in Bowling Green
Traded in a milking cow
For a Singer sewing machine
She called her husband "Mister"
And walked real tall and pride
And used to buy me comic books
After grandpa died.

(Repeat Chorus)
Track Name: Blue Umbrella
Feelings are strange
especially when they come true
and I had a feeling
you'd be leaving soon
so I tried to rearrange all my emotions
but it seems the same
no matter what I do.

Blue umbrella
rest upon my shoulder
hide the pain
while the rain
makes up my mind
well, my feet are wet
from thinking this thing over
and it's been so long
since I felt the warm sunshine
just give me one good reason
and I promise I won't ask you any more
just give me one extra season
so I can figure out the other four.

Day time
makes me wonder why you left me
night time
makes me wonder what I said
next time
are the words I'd like to plan on
but, last time
was the only thing you said.

(Repeat Chorus)
Track Name: Fish and Whistle
I been thinking lately about the people I meet
The carwash on the corner and the hole in the street
The way my ankles hurt with shoes on my feet
And I'm wondering if I'm gonna see tomorrow.
Father forgive us for what we must do
You forgive us we'll forgive you
We'll forgive each other till we both turn blue
Then we'll whistle and go fishing in heaven.

I was in the army but I never dug a trench
I used to bust my knuckles on a monkey wrench
Then I'd go to town and drink and give the girls a pinch But I don't think they ever even noticed me.

Fish and whistle, whistle and fish
Eat everything that they put on your dish
And when we get through we'll make a big wish
That we never have to do this again again? again?

On my very first job I said thank you and please
They made me scrub a parking lot down on my knees Then I got fired for being scared of bees
And they only give me fifty cents an hour.
Track Name: Sabu Visits the Twin Cities Alone
The movie wasn't really doing so hot
said the new producer to the old big shot
its dying on the edge of the great Midwest
Sabu must tour or forever rest.

Hey look ma
here comes the elephant boy
bundled all up in his corduroy
headed down south towards Illinois
from the jungles of East St. Paul.

His manager sat in the office alone
staring at the numbers on the telephone
wondering how a man could send a child actor
to visit in the land of the wind chill factor.
Sabu was sad the whole tour stunk
the airlines lost the elephant's trunk
the roadie got the rabies and the scabies and the flu
they was low on morale but they was high on...
Track Name: Living in the Future
Jehosaphat the mongrel cat
Jumped off the roof today
Some would say he fell but I could tell
He did himself away
His eyes weren't bright like they were the night
We played checkers on the train
God Bless his soul he was a tootsie roll
But he's a dead cat just the same

We are living in the future
I'll tell you how I know
I read it in the paper
Fifteen years ago
We're all driving rocket ships
And talking with our minds
And wearing turquoise jewelry
And standing in soup lines
We are standing in soup lines

Jake the barber's lonely daughter
Went down to her daddy's shop
She plugged herself to a barber pole
And took a little off the top
Pressure on the left.
Pressure on the right
Pressure in the middle of the hole I
'm goin' to Maine on a forty foot crane
I'm gonna use it for a fishin' pole

(Repeat Chorus)

Old Sarah Brown sells tickets down
At the all night picture show
Where they grind out sex
And they rate it with an "X"
Just to make a young man's pants grow
No tops no bottoms just hands and feet
Screaming the posters out on the street
Strangling the curious and the weak
We give 'em what they want to see - O

(Repeat Chorus)
Track Name: Illegal Smile
When I woke up this morning, things were lookin' bad Seem like total silence was the only friend I had
Bowl of oatmeal tried to stare me down... and won
And it was twelve o'clock before I realized
That I was havin' ... no fun

But fortunately I have the key to escape reality
And you may see me tonight with an illegal smile
It don't cost very much, but it lasts a long while
Won't you please tell the man I didn't kill anyone
No I'm just tryin' to have me some fun

Last time I checked my bankroll, It was gettin' thin Sometimes it seems like the bottom Is the only place I've been
I chased a rainbow down a one-way street... dead end And all my friends turned out to be insurance salesmen

(Repeat Chorus)

Well, I sat down in my closet with all my overalls
Tryin' to get away
From all the ears inside my walls
I dreamed the police heard
Everything I thought... what then?
Well I went to court
And the judge's name was Hoffman
Ah but fortunately I have the key to escape reality

And you may see me tonight with an illegal smile
It don't cost very much, but it lasts a long while
Won't you please tell the man I didn't kill anyone
No I'm just tryin' to have me some fun
Well done, hot dog bun, my sister's a nun
Track Name: Mexican Home
It got so hot, last night, I swear
You couldn't hardly breathe
Heat lightning burnt the sky like alcohol
I sat on the porch without my shoes
And I watched the cars roll by
As the headlights raced
To the corner of the kitchen wall.

Mama dear
Your boy is here
Far across the sea
Waiting for
That sacred core
That burns inside of me
And I feel a storm
All wet and warm
Not ten miles away
Approaching My Mexican home.

My God! I cried, it's so hot inside
You could die in the living room
Take the fan from the window
Prop the door back with a broom
The cuckoo clock has died of shock
And the windows feel no pane
The air's as still
As the throttle on a funeral train.

(Repeat Chorus)

My father died on the porch outside
On an August afternoon
I sipped bourbon and cried
With a friend by the light of the moon
So its hurry! hurry! Step right up
It's a matter of life or death
The sun is going down
And the moon is just holding its breath.

(Repeat Chorus)
Track Name: Speed of the Sound of Loneliness
You come home late and you come home early
You come on big when you're feeling small
You come home straight and you come home curly Sometimes you don't come home at all

So what in the world's come over you
And what in heaven's name have you done
You've broken the speed of the sound of loneliness
You're out there running just to be on the run

Well I got a heart that burns with a fever
And I got a worried and a jealous mind
How can a love that'll last forever
Get left so far behind

(Repeat Chorus)

It's a mighty mean and a dreadful sorrow
It's crossed the evil line today
Well, how can you ask about tomorrow
We ain't got one word to say

(Repeat Chorus)

You're out there running just to be on the run
You're out there running just to be on the run
You're out there running just to be on the run
Track Name: The Accident (Things Could Be Worse)
Last night I saw an accident
On the corner of Third and Green
Two cars collided and I got excited
Just being part of that scene

It was Mrs. Tom Walker and her beautiful daughter Pamela, was driving the car
they got hit by a man in a light blue sedan
who had obviously been to a bar.

They don't know how lucky they are
they could have run into that tree
got struck by a bolt of lightning
and raped by a minority.

It was a four way dilemma
we all arrived the same time
I yielded to the man to the right of me
and he yielded it right back to mine
well, the yield went around and around and around
till Pamela finally tried
just then the man in the light blue sedan
hit Pamela's passenger side.

(Repeat Chorus)

Pamela hit her head on the mirror
Mrs. Walker got a bump on the knee
the man hit himself in the face and said

“Why does this happen to me?”
the neighbors came out
and they gathered about
saying “Hey! who hit who anyway?”
and the police arrived at a quarter to five
and pronounced all the victims “Okay.”

(Repeat Chorus)
Track Name: Sam Stone
Sam Stone came home,
To his wife and family
After serving in the conflict overseas.
And the time that he served,
Had shattered all his nerves,
And left a little shrapnel in his knee.
But the morphine eased the pain,
And the grass grew round his brain,
And gave him all the confidence he lacked,
With a Purple Heart and a monkey on his back.

There's a hole in daddy's arm where all the money goes, Jesus Christ died for nothin' I suppose.
Little pitchers have big ears,
Don't stop to count the years,
Sweet songs never last too long on broken radios. Mmm....

Sam Stone's welcome home Didn't last too long.
He went to work when he'd spent his last dime
And Sammy took to stealing
When he got that empty feeling
For a hundred dollar habit without overtime.

And the gold rolled through his veins
Like a thousand railroad trains,
And eased his mind in the hours that he chose,
While the kids ran around wearin' other peoples' clothes...

(Repeat Chorus)

Sam Stone was alone
When he popped his last balloon
Climbing walls while sitting in a chair
Well, he played his last request
While the room smelled just like death
With an overdose hovering in the air
But life had lost its fun
And there was nothing to be done
But trade his house that he bought on the G. I. Bill
For a flag draped casket on a local heroes' hill.

(Repeat Chorus)
Track Name: Souvenirs
All the snow has turned to water
Christmas days have come and gone
Broken toys and faded colors
Are all that's left to linger on
I hate graveyards and old pawn shops
For they always bring me tears
I can't forgive the way they rob me
Of my childhood souvenirs

Memories they can't be boughten
They can't be won at carnivals for free
Well it took me years
To get those souvenirs
And I don't know how they slipped away from me

Broken hearts and dirty windows
Make life difficult to see
That's why last night and this mornin'
Always look the same to me

I hate reading old love letters
For they always bring me tears
I can't forgive the way they rob me
Of my sweetheart's souvenirs

(Repeat Chorus)
Track Name: Aw Heck
I could be as happy as a sardine in a can
Long as I got my woman
I could run stark naked and live in and old oak tree
Just as long as she's with me
My woman.

The cannibals can catch me and fry me in a pan
Long as I got my woman
I could get the electric chair for a phony rap
Long as she's sittin' in my lap
My woman.

I'd run a mile, just to see her smile
And put her lovin arms, around my neck
Aw heck
My spine starts a tingling, and bells start a ringling
When she's with me, can't you see.

They could torture me and stretch me like a rubber band Long as I got my woman
I could jump off a cliff and never have no fear
Just as long as she is near
My woman.
Track Name: Donald and Lydia
Small town, bright lights, Saturday night,
Pinballs and pool halls flashing their lights.
Making change behind the counter in a penny arcade
Sat the fat girl daughter of Virginia and Ray

Lydia
Lydia hid her thoughts like a cat
Behind her small eyes sunk deep in her fat.
She read romance magazines up in her room
And felt just like Sunday on Saturday afternoon.

But dreaming just comes natural
Like the first breath from a baby,
Like sunshine feeding daisies,
Like the love hidden deep in your heart.

Bunk beds, shaved heads, Saturday night,
A warehouse of strangers with sixty watt lights.
Staring through the ceiling, just wanting to be
Lay one of too many, a young PFC:

Donald
There were spaces between Donald and whatever he said. Strangers had forced him to live in his head.
He envisioned the details of romantic scenes
After midnight in the stillness of the barracks latrine.

(Repeat Chorus)

Hot love, cold love, no love at all.
A portrait of guilt is hung on the wall.
Nothing is wrong, nothing is right.
Donald and Lydia made love that night.

Love
The made love in the mountains, they made love in the streams,
They made love in the valleys, they made love in their dreams.
But when they were finished there was nothing to say, 'Cause mostly they made love from ten miles away.

(Repeat Chorus)
Track Name: That's the Way That the World Goes Round
I know a guy that's got a lot to lose.
He's a pretty nice fellow but he's kind of confused.
He's got muscles in his head that ain't never been used. Thinks he own half of this town.
Starts drinking heavy, gets a big red nose.
Beats his old lady with a rubber hose,
then he takes her out to dinner and buys her new clothes.
That's the way that the world goes 'round.

That's the way that the world goes 'round.
You're up one day and the next you're down.
It's half an inch of water and you think you're gonna drown.
That's the way that the world goes 'round.

I was sitting in the bathtub counting my toes,
when the radiator broke, water all froze.
I got stuck in the ice without my clothes,
naked as the eyes of a clown.
I was crying ice cubes hoping I'd croak,
when the sun come through the window, the ice all broke.
I stood up and laughed thought it was a joke
That's the way that the world goes 'round.
Track Name: Hello in There
We had an apartment in the city,
Me and Loretta liked living there.
Well, it'd been years since the kids had grown,
A life of their own left us alone.
John and Linda live in Omaha,
And Joe is somewhere on the road.
We lost Davy in the Korean war,
And I still don't know what for, don't matter anymore.

Ya' know that old trees just grow stronger,
And old rivers grow wilder ev'ry day.
Old people just grow lonesome
Waiting for someone to say, "Hello in there, hello."

Me and Loretta, we don't talk much more,
She sits and stares through the back door screen.
And all the news just repeats itself
Like some forgotten dream that we've both seen. Someday I'll go and call up Rudy,
We worked together at the factory.
But what could I say if asks "What's new?"
"Nothing, what's with you? Nothing much to do."

(Repeat Chorus)

So if you're walking down the street sometime
And spot some hollow ancient eyes,
Please don't just pass 'em by and stare
As if you didn't care, say, "Hello in there, hello."