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John Prine: Live in Asheville '86

by John Prine

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about

In this rare set, John plays some then-new material from German Afternoons, as well as classics like “Sam Stone,” Souvenirs,” “Far From Me” and “Donald and Lydia.”

Some people have been trying to sell unauthorized copies of this recording on the internet, please do not support this – you can get it from us for free! If you hear of new John Prine material being released, make sure it’s from Oh Boy Records, the label he helped create and now owns!

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released October 24, 2016

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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

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Track Name: Lulu Walls
One evening getting dark
We first met at the park
Just sitting by the fountain all alone
I lifted up my hat
And then began to chat
She said she'd allow me to see her at her home

Chorus:
Such a star I've never seen
She's as pretty as the queen
She's as perfect as an angel from above
If she'd only be my wife
I'd live happy all me life
With that aggravating beauty Lulu Walls.

If she were only mine
I'd build a house so fine
And around it so many fences tall
It would make me jealously
To think that none but me
Could gaze upon that beauty Lulu Walls.

Repeat Chorus:

One evening getting late
Well, I met her at the gate
I asked her if she'd wed me in the fall
But she only turned away
And nothing would she say
That aggravating beauty Lulu Walls.

Repeat Chorus:

With that aggravating beauty Lulu Walls.
Track Name: Torch Singer
The night club was burning
From the torch singer's song
And the sweat was floodin' her eyes
The catwalk squeaked
'Neath the bartender's feet
And the smoke was too heavy to rise

Chorus:
She sang of the love that I left her
And of the woman that she'll never be
Made me feel like the buck and a quarter
That I paid 'em to listen and see
I paid 'em to listen and see

I was born down in Kansas
'Neath the October sky
Work the day shift from seven to three
And the only relief that I receive
Is nearer my God to Thee

She constantly throws me off timing
Leaves me standing both naked and bare
Makes me feel like the Sunday funnies
After everything's gone off the air
Everything's gone off the air

I picked through the ashes
Of the torch singer's song
And I ordered my money a round
For whiskey and pain
Both taste the same
During the time they go down

(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: 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
The 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: Out Of Love
Barley malts and does eat oats and little girls are lively
And your liveliness has left me in a brew
So I'm sitting here just drinking beer
Cause there's nothing else to do.
And when I'm out of love, I'm out of you.

We were so happy, honey when we were together
Why we should have won a ribbon colored blue
But those Rocky Mountain waters came between us
And when I'm out of love, I'm out of you.

Chorus:
So I'm living in the land of sky blue waters
And I'm grabbing all the gusto up it's true
Well, you only go around once in life they say
And when I'm out of love, I'm out of you

These teardrops that I'm crying are the champagne of bottled tears,
And I must admit that I've shed one or two,
But when good friends get together well they always tip a few
And when I'm out of love, I'm out of you.

Repeat Chorus:

So put me in a cool place for I'm the King of Beers
Forty to forty-five degrees will do
And if you must play that jukebox let it be low and now
'Cause when I'm out of love, I'm out of you.

Repeat Chorus:

Ending:
So if you go the time, we got the tears
And when I'm out of love, I'm out of you
Track Name: Donald & 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

(Spoken:)
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.

Chorus:
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:

(Spoken:)
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.

(Spoken:)
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: 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.

Chorus:
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.

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

Chorus:
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: 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.

Chorus:
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: Fish & 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: Storm Windows
I can hear the wheels
of the automobiles
So far away -
just moving along through the drifting snow
It's times like these
when the temperatures freeze
I sit alone just looking at the world
through a storm window
And down on the beach
the sandman sleeps
Time don't fly
it bounds and leaps
And a country band
that plays for keeps
They play it so slow

Chorus:
Don't let your baby down
Don't let your baby down
Don't let your baby down

Well, the spirits were high
'til the well went dry
For so long the raven at my window
was only a crow
I bought the rights
to the inside fights
And watched a man
just beating his hand
against a storm window
While miles away
o'er hills and streams
A candle burns
A witch's dreams
And silence is golden
till it screams
Right through your bones

Repeat Chorus:

Storm windows - Gee but I'm getting old
Storm window - keep away the cold
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

Chorus:
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: Dear Abby
Dear Abby, Dear Abby ...
My feet are too long
My hair's falling out and my rights are all wrong
My friends they all tell me that I've no friends at all
Won't you write me a letter, Won't you give me a call
Signed Bewildered

Bewildered, Bewildered...
Chorus:
You have no complaint
You are what your are and you ain't what you ain't
So listen up Buster, and listen up good
Stop wishing for bad luck and knocking on wood

Dear Abby, Dear Abby...
My fountain pen leaks
My wife hollers at me and my kids are all freaks
Every side I get up on is the wrong side of bed
If it weren't so expensive I'd wish I were dead
Signed Unhappy

Unhappy, Unhappy...
Repeat Chorus

Dear Abby, Dear Abby...
You won't believe this
But my stomach makes noises whenever I kiss
My girlfriend tells me It's all in my head
But my stomach tells me to write you instead
Signed Noise-maker

Noise-maker, Noise-maker
Repeat Chorus

Dear Abby, Dear Abby...
Well I never thought
That me and my girlfriend would ever get caught
We were sitting in the back seat just shooting the breeze
With her hair up in curlers and her pants to her knees
Signed Just Married

Just Married, Just Married...
Repeat Chorus
Track Name: Far From Me
As the cafe was closing
on a warm summer night
And Cathy was cleaning the spoons
The radio played the "Hit Parade"
And I hummed a long with the tune
She asked me to change the station
Said the song just drove her insane
But it weren't just the music playing
It was me that she was trying to blame.

Chorus:
And the sky is black and still now
On the hill where the angels sing
Ain't it funny how an old broken bottle
Looks just like a diamond ring
But it's far, far from me

Well, I leaned on my left leg
in the parking lot dirt
And Cathy was closing the lights
A June bug flew from the warmth he once knew
And I wished for once I weren't right
Why we used to laugh together
And we'd dance to any old song.
Well, ya know, she still laughs with me
But she waits just a second too long.

Repeat Chorus:

Well, I started the engine
and I gave it some gas
And Cathy was closing her purse
Well, we hadn't gone far in my beat old car
And I was prepared for the worst.
"Will you still see me tomorrow?"
"No, I got too much to do."
Well, a question ain't really a question
If you know the answer too.

Repeat Chorus:
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: Linda Goes To Mars
I just found out yesterday that Linda goes to Mars
Every time I sit and look at pictures of used cars
She'll turn on her radio and sit down in her chair
And look at me across the room, as if I wasn't there

Chorus:
Oh My stars! My Linda's gone to Mars
Well I wish she wouldn't leave me here alone
Oh My stars! My Linda's gone to Mars
Well, I wonder if she'd bring me something home.

Something, somewhere, somehow took my Linda by the hand
And secretly decoded our sacred wedding band
For when the moon shines down up on our happy, humble home
Her inner space gets tortured by some outer space unknown.

Repeat Chorus:

Now I ain't seen no saucers 'cept the ones upon the shelf
And if I ever seen one I'd keep it to myself
For if there's life out there somewhere beyond this life on earth
Then Linda must have gone out there and got her money's worth.

Repeat Chorus:

Yeah, I wonder if she'd bring me something home.
Track Name: Let's Talk Dirty In Hawaiian
Well, I packed my bags and bought myself a ticket
For the land of the tall palm tree
Aloha Old Milwaukee, Hello Waikiki
I just stepped down from the airplane
When I heard her say,
"Waka waka nuka licka, waka waka nuka licka
Would you like a lei? Eh?"

Chorus
Let's talk dirty in Hawaiian
Whisper in my ear
Kicka pooka mok a wa wahini
Are the words I long to hear
Lay your coconut on my tiki
What the hecka mooka mooka dear
Let's talk dirty in Hawaiian
Say the words I long to hear

It's a ukulele Honolulu sunset
Listen to the grass skirts sway
Drinking rum from a pineapple
Out on Honolulu Bay
The steel guitars all playing
While she's talking with her hands
Gimme gimme oka doka make a wish and wanta polka
Words I understand Hey!

Repeat Chorus

Well, I boughta lota junka with my moolah
And sent it to the folks back home
I never had the chance to dance the hula
Well, I guess I should have known
When you start talking to the sweet wahini
Walking in the pale moonlight
Ohka noka whatta setta knocka-rocka-sis-boom-boccas
Hope I said it right Oh!

Repeat Chorus

Let's talk dirty in Hawaiian
Say the words I long to hear
spoken: Aloha
Track Name: The Great Compromise
I knew a girl who was almost a lady
She had a way with all the men in her life
Every inch of her blossomed in beauty
And she was born on the fourth of July
Well she lived in an aluminum house trailer
And she worked in a juke box saloon
And she spent all the money I give her
Just to see the old man in the moon

Chorus:
I used to sleep at the foot of Old Glory
And awake in the dawn's early light
But much to my surprise
When I opened my eyes
I was a victim of the great compromise

Well we'd go out on Saturday evenings
To the drive-in on Route 41
And it was there that I first suspected
That she was doin' what she'd already done
She said "Johnny won't you get me some popcorn"
And she knew I had to walk pretty far
And as soon as I passed through the moonlight
She hopped into a foreign sports car

(Repeat chorus)

Well you know I could have beat up that fellow
But it was her that had hopped into his car
Many times I'd fought to protect her
But this time she was goin' too far
Now some folks they call me a coward
'Cause I left her at the drive-in that night
But I'd druther have names thrown at me
Than to fight for a thing that ain't right

(Repeat chorus)

Now she writes all the fellows love letters
Saying "Greetings, come and see me real soon"
And they go and line up in the barroom
And spend the night in that sick woman's room
But sometimes I get awful lonesome
And I wish she was my girl instead
But she won't let me live with her
And she makes me live in my head

(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.

Chorus:
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: Sailing Around
Sailin' around, Sailin' around, Sailin' around,
I've been out sailin' around again
I've been sailin' around
But I can't get back to you.

Hangin' around, Hangin' around, Hangin' around
I've been out hangin' around again
I've been hangin' around
But I can't get back to you.

Chorus:
So tell where you been so long (sailin' around)
What have I done so wrong? (sailin' around)
Well, I'm so glad I finally found you
I can't wait to put my arms around you
Sailin' around, but I can't get back to you

Shoppin' around, Shoppin' around, Shoppin' around,
I've been shoppin' around again
I've been shoppin' around
But I can't get back to you.

Repeat Chorus:

Sailin' around, Sailin' around, Sailin' around,
I've been sailin' around again
I've been sailin' around but I can't get back to you.
I've been sailin' around but I can't get back to you.
I've been sailin' around but I can't get back to you.
Track Name: My Own Best Friend
I'm beginning to like you
But, you know that ain't right
'Cause you'll just twist and twist and twist
Till I'm all crooked inside

Then you'll take all you gave me
Like it never was there
And I think that I might, No! I know
Yes, I will help you there
'Cause ...

Chorus
I've done it before
And I'd do it again
'Cause it's the only time
That makes me feel like I'm
My own best friend

I'm a victim of friction I just got too close to see
Yeah, we sparked in the dark and God hung a light on me
And the lamp gets real heavy and it hangs from my heart
And it comes, and it goes
Till I can't tell the difference apart
But ...

Repeat Chorus

So many people say
It'll never work out that way
You can't stand the heat
While you're watching your heart
Just melt away in the basement
On a rainy day
La la la
La la la
La lala
Lalala la lalaaaaaaaaaa ...

There's motel in Shreveport
Don't ask me where, please
They check in, they check out
By the light of the color TV's
And the maid calls you honey
And she makes your bed slow
And she speaks, of the sheets that don't fit
But you know that she knows
That ...

Repeat Chorus
Track Name: Spanish Pipedream
She was a level-headed dancer on the road to alcohol
And I was just a soldier on my way to Montreal
Well she pressed her chest against me
About the time the juke box broke
Yeah, she gave me a peck on the back of the neck
And these are the words she spoke

Chorus:
Blow up your TV throw away your paper
Go to the country, build you a home
Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches
Try an find Jesus on your own

Well, I sat there at the table and I acted real naive
For I knew that topless lady had something up her sleeve
Well, she danced around the bar room and she did the hoochy-coo
Yeah she sang her song all night long, tellin' me what to do

Repeat chorus:

Well, I was young and hungry and about to leave that place
When just as I was leavin', well she looked me in the face
I said "You must know the answer."
"She said, "No but I'll give it a try."
And to this very day we've been livin' our way
And here is the reason why

We blew up our TV threw away our paper
Went to the country, built us a home
Had a lot of children, fed 'em on peaches
They all found Jesus on their own

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