more from
Oh Boy Records

John Prine Live

by John Prine

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)
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
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
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)
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)
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)
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.
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...
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)
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
Mexican Home 04:16
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)
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
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)
Sam Stone 05:06
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)
Souvenirs 03:33
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)
Aw Heck 02:33
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.
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)
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.
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."


released October 25, 1990


all rights reserved



John Prine Nashville

A two-time Grammy-winner, John Prine is among the English language’s premier phrase-turners. Almost 50 years into a remarkable career that has drawn praise from Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, Roger Waters, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen & others. He is a 2019 Rock & Songwriter’s Hall of Fame inductee, a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member and a PEN New England Lyrics Award. ... more

contact / help

Contact John Prine

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Report this album or account

If you like John Prine, you may also like: