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Souvenirs

by John Prine

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1.
Souvenirs 03:42
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)
2.
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.
3.
Far from Me 05:09
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. 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)
4.
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)
5.
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)
6.
It was Christmas in prison and the food was real good we had turkey and pistols carved out of wood and I dream of her always even when I don't dream her name's on my tongue and her blood's in my stream. Wait awhile eternity old mother nature's got nothing on me come to me run to me come to me, now we're rolling my sweetheart we're flowing by God! She reminds me of a chess game with someone I admire or a picnic in the rain after a prairie fire her heart is as big as this whole goddamn jail and she's sweeter than saccharine at a drug store sale. (Repeat Chorus) The search light in the big yard swings round with the gun and spotlights the snowflakes like the dust in the sun it's Christmas in prison there'll be music tonight I'll probably get homesick I love you. Goodnight. (Repeat Chorus)
7.
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 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
8.
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)
9.
Black faces pressed against the glass Where rain has pressed it's weight Wind blown scarves in top down cars All share one western trait Sadness leaks through tear-stained cheeks From winos to dime-store Jews Probably don't know they give me These late John Garfield blues Midnight fell on Franklin Street And the lamppost bulbs were broke For the life of me, I could not see But I heard a brand new joke Two men were standing upon a bridge One jumped and screamed you lose And just left the odd man holding Those late John Garfield blues An old man sleeps with his conscience at night Young kids sleep with their dreams While the mentally ill sit perfectly still And live through life's in-betweens I'm going away to the last resort In week or two real soon Where the fish don't bite but once a night By the cold light of the moon The horses scream- the nightmares dream And the dead men all wear shoes 'Cause everybody's dancin' Those late John Garfield blues
10.
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)
11.
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
12.
People who are sad - sometimes they wear a frown And people who are kings - sometimes they wear a crown But all the people who don't fit Get the only fun they get From people puttin' people down People puttin' people down People without love - sometimes build a fence around The garden up above - that makes the whole world go 'round But all the people who don't fit Get the only fun they get From people puttin' people down People puttin' people down So cold, sometimes it gets so cold You may love your wife - you may lose your family You may lose you mind - just to keep your sanity But the people who don't fit Get the only fun they get From people puttin' people down People puttin' people down People that are glad - sometimes they wear a smile And people without dreams they walk the extra mile But all the people who don't fit Get the only fun they get From people puttin' people down People puttin' people down From people puttin' people down People puttin' people down So cold, sometimes it gets so cold
13.
Sam Stone 04:39
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)
14.
Woke up this morning Put on my slippers Walked in the kitchen and died And oh what a feeling! When my soul Went thru the ceiling And on up into heaven I did ride When I got there they did say John, it happened this way You slipped upon the floor And hit your head And all the angels say Just before you passed away These were the very last words That you said: Please don't bury me Down in that cold cold ground No, I'd druther have "em" cut me up And pass me all around Throw my brain in a hurricane And the blind can have my eyes And the deaf can take both of my ears If they don't mind the size Give my stomach to Milwaukee If they run out of beer Put my socks in a cedar box Just get "em" out of here Venus de Milo can have my arms Look out! I've got your nose Sell my heart to the junkman And give my love to Rose (Repeat Chorus) Give my feet to the footloose Careless, fancy free Give my knees to the needy Don't pull that stuff on me Hand me down my walking cane It's a sin to tell a lie Send my mouth way down south And kiss my ass goodbye (Repeat Chorus)
15.
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."

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released October 31, 2000

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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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