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The Missing Years

by John Prine

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1.
Picture Show 03:22
A young man from a small town With a very large imagination Lay alone in his room with his radio on Looking for another station When the static from the mouthpiece Gave way to the sound below James Dean went out to Hollywood And put his picture in a Picture Show. James Dean went out to Hollywood And put his picture in a Picture Show. And It's Oh Daddy get off of your knees Mamma why'd you have to go Your darling Jim is out a limb I put my picture in a Picture Show Whoa Ho! Put my picture in a Picture Show Hamburgers Cheeseburgers Wilbur and Orville Wright John Garfield in the afternoon Montgomery Clift at night When the static hit the mouthpiece Gave way to the sound below James Dean went out to Hollywood And put his picture in a Picture Show. (Repeat Chorus) A Mocca man in a wigwam sitting on a Reservation. With a big black hole in the belly of his soul Waiting on an explanation While the white man sits on his fat can And takes pictures of the Navajo Every time he clicks his Kodak pics He steals a little bit of soul. Every time he clicks his Kodak pics He steals a little bit of soul. (Repeat Chorus) Yie Hi! Put my picture in a Picture Show Here we go! A young man from a small town With a very large imagination...
2.
All the Best 03:28
I wish you love And happiness I guess I wish you All the best I wish you don't Do like I do And ever fall in love with Someone like you Cause if you fell Just like I did You'd probably walk around the block Like a little kid. But kids don't know They can only guess How hard it is To wish you happiness I guess that love Is like a Christmas card You decorate a tree You throw it in the yard It decays and dies And the snowmen melt Well I once knew love I knew how love felt Yeah I knew love Love knew me And when I walked Love walked with me And I got no hate And I got no pride Well I got so much love That I cannot hide Say you drive a Chevy Say you drive a Ford You say you drive around the town Till you just get bored Then you change your mind For something else to do And your heart gets bored with your mind And it changes you Well it's a doggone shame And it's an awful mess I wish you love I wish you happiness I wish you love I wish you happiness I guess I wish you All the best
3.
From the bells of St Mary To the Count of Monte Cristo Nothing can stop Nothing can stop Nothing can stop The sins of Memphisto Sally used to play with her hula hoops Now she tells her problems to therapy groups Grampa's on the front lawn staring at a rake Wondering if his marriage was a terrible mistake I'm sitting on the front steps drinking orange crush Wondering if it's possible if I could still blush Uh huh Oh yeah A boy on a bike with corduroy slacks Sleeps in the river by the railroad tracks He waits for the whistle on the train to scream So he can close his eyes and begin to dream Uh huh Oh yeah The hands on his watch spin slowly around With his mind on a bus that goes all over town Looking at the babies and the factories And listening to the music of Mister Squeeze As if by magic or remote control He finds a piece of a puzzle That he missed in his soul Uh huh Oh yeah Adam and Eve and Lucy and Ricky Bit the big apple and got a little sticky Esmeralda and the Hunchback of Notre Dame They humped each other like they had no shame They paused as they posed for a Polaroid photo She whispered in his ear "Exactlyodo, Quasimoto"
4.
I wake up to a clock that's ringing Birds are singing on my telephone line I work all day and I chase my woman Why don't she chase me sometime? Everybody wants to be wanted I mean I ain't no scarecrow cop I don't need no transalazation I don't need no diddiley bop Next time tell me that you want me Put your little foot inside of my shoe Next time tell me that you need me Everybody wants to feel like you I used to love you so hard in the morning I'd make you stutter and roll your eyes I put your mind on a brief vacation To the land of the lost surprise You got a heart that beats like mine love You got a bell that rings so true I get this feeling that I got to tiptoe Round every little thing you do.
5.
Up in the morning Work like a dog Is better than sitting Like a bump on a log Mind all your manners Be quiet as a mouse Some day you'll own a home That's as big as a house I know a fella He eats like a horse Knocks his old balls Round the old golf course You oughta see his wife She's a cute little dish She smokes like a chimney And drinks like a fish There's a big old goofy man Dancing with a big old goofy girl Ooh baby It's a big old goofy world Now Elvis had a woman With a head like a rock I wished I had a woman That made my knees knock She'd sing like an angel And eat like a bird And if I wrote a song She'd know ever single word Kiss a little baby Give the world a smile If you take an inch Give 'em back a mile Cause if you lie like a rug And you don't give a damn You're never gonna be As happy as a clam So I'm sitting in a hotel Trying to write a song My head is just as empty As the day is long Why it's clear as a bell I should have gone to school I'd be wise as an owl Stead of stubborn as a mule.
6.
I lose my blues Only when I'm with you No one else can do You're in my heart to stay But when I'm gone and I'm all alone I'll be singing this song I want to be with you always I'd be happy dear If you could only be here And always be near you Forever and a day Then we'd travel far to some big shining star Just you and my guitar And stay there sweetheart for always I hope you feel the same You really want my name You'll be the one who's to blame If it works out wrong that day Cause my love is true, my love's only for you I'll never be blue If I can be with you always I'd be happy dear If you could only hear And always be near you Forever and a day Then we'd travel far to some big shining star Just you and my guitar And stay there sweetheart for always.
7.
You must be daddy's little pumpkin I can tell by the way you roll You must be daddy's little pumpkin I can tell by the way you roll Why it's quarter past eleven And you're sleeping on the bedroom floor I can see the fire burning Burning right behind your eyes I can see the fire burning Burning right behind your eyes You must of swallowed a candle Or some other kind of surprise I'm going down to Memphis I got three hundred dollars in cash I'm going down to Memphis I got three hundred dollars in cash All the women in Memphis Want to see how long my money will last I'm going downtown I'm gonna to rattle somebody's cage I'm going downtown I'm gonna rattle somebody's cage I'm gonna beat on my guitar And strut all around the stage If you see my baby coming Don't tell her that her daddy's in jail If you see my baby coming Don't you tell her that her daddy's in jail She'd sell her little pumpkin just to raise Her sweet daddy's bail You must be daddy's little pumpkin I can tell by the way you roll You must be daddy's little pumpkin I can tell by the way you roll You never do nothing To save your doggone soul.
8.
I seen my old lady's boyfriend He don't look nothing like me 'cept for a bit of confusion Same kind she laid on me You don't know what you're getting into She's gonna tear you apart You're going places I've been to Take a look at my heart Take a look at my heart You're pro'bly sending her flowers And talking to her on the phone You're gonna get it together And find yourself all alone Do you think you can be her lover And not become her fool Do you think that you are the exception to the rule You're gonna hate all her girlfriends And everything that they say You ask me how do I know this They come around every day.
9.
Great Rain 04:08
Great rain great rain I thought I heard you call my name Great rain great rain I thought I heard you call my name I was standing in the station Waving down an unmarked train There's a fire at the junction Why do you do the things you do There's a fire at the junction Why do you do the things you do I was praying for mercy And all he ever sent me was you Jimmy bought the liquor I bought the cups and ice Jimmy bought the liquor I bought the cups and ice I tell you funny stories Why can't you treat me nice Great rain great rain I thought I heard you call my name Great rain great rain I thought I heard you calling my name I was standing by the river Talking to a young Mark Twain.
10.
Night is falling We're doing the things we do You are acting just like me I'm acting just like you Do you remember When you were my friend? That's the way I'd like things Just like way back then Baby's sleeping Brother is on the run I am out undoing All the good I've done If you loved me Tell you what I would do Wrap the world in silver foil Bring it home to you. Lately I feel That I can't pretend I may never ever see The likes of you again I take a walk, I come back home Then I sit a spell Watch the ponies dance around The empty wishing well. Night has fallen I've said the things I did The only baby sleeping Is when I was a kid Do you remember When you were my friend? That's the way I'd like things Just like way back then.
11.
Unlonely 04:35
You make me unlonely I feel like the only person in the world That ever had a girl like you You make me feel wealthy I almost look healthy With you on my arm Yeah together we could charm This whole wide world Once I was lonely Nobody but me My heart in a prison Love set me free God woke up He heard my plea He sent you to me He sent you to me You made me feel stronger You made me love longer Than anyone Anyone in the whole wide world.
12.
You Got Gold 04:38
Is there ever enough space between us To keep us both honest and true? Why is it so hard just to sit in the yard And stare at the sky so blue? I've got a new way of walking and a new way of talking Honey when I'm around you, But it gives me the blues when I've got some good news And you're not there to bring it to. Life is a blessing, it's a delicatessen Of all the little favors you do. All wrapped up together no matter the weather, Baby you always come through. It's a measure of treasure that gives me the pleasure Of loving you the way I do And you know I would gladly say I need your love badly And bring these little things to you. Cause you got gold Gold inside of you You got gold Gold inside of you Well I got some Gold inside me too Well I'm thinking I'm knowing that I gotta be going You know I hate to say so long. It gives me an ocean of mixed up emotion I'll have to work it out in a song. Well I'm leaving a lot for the little I got But you know a lot a little will do And if you give me your love I'll let it shine up above And light my way back home to you. (Repeat Chorus) You got wheels Turning inside of you You got wheels Turning inside of you Well I got wheels Turning inside me too.
13.
Everything is cool Everything's okay Why just before last Christmas My baby went away Across the sea to an island While the bridges brightly burn So far away from my land The valley of the unconcerned I was walking down the road, man Just looking at my shoes When God sent me an angel Just to chase away my blues I saw a hundred thousand blackbirds Just flying thru the sky And they seemed to form a teardrop From a black haired angel's eye That tear fell all around me And it washed my sins away Now everything is cool Everything's okay Everything is cool Everything's okay Why just before last Christmas My baby went away And I find it real surprising For myself to hear me say That everything is cool Everything's okay Everything is cool Everything's okay Why just before last Christmas My baby went away.
14.
(Spoken) Jesus.... the missing years It was raining. It was cold West Bethlehem was no place for a twelve year old So he packed his bags and he headed out To find out what the world's about He went to France. He went to Spain He found love. He found pain. He found stores so he started to shop But he had no money so he got in trouble with a cop Kids in trouble with the cops From Israel didn't have no home So he cut his hair and moved to Rome It was there he met his Irish bride And they rented a flat on the lower east side of Rome... Italy that is Music publishers, book binders, Bible belters, Money Changers, Spoon Benders and lots of pretty Italian chicks. Charley bought some popcorn Billy bought a car Someone almost bought the farm But they didn't go that far Things shut down at midnight At least around here they do Cause we all reside down the block Inside at ....23 Skidoo. Wine was flowing so were beers So Jesus found his missing years So He went to a dance and said "This don't move me" He hiked up his pants and he went to a movie On his thirteenth birthday he saw "Rebel without a Cause" He went straight on home and invented Santa Claus Who gave him a gift and he responded in kind He gave the gift of love and went out of his mind You see him and the wife wasn't getting along So he took out his guitar and he wrote a song Called "The Dove of Love Fell Off the Perch" But he couldn't get divorced in the Catholic Church At least not back then anyhow Jesus was a good guy he didn't need this shit So he took a pill with a bag of peanuts and A Coca-Cola and he swallowed it. He discovered the Beatles And he recorded with the Stones Once He even opened up a three-way package In Southern California for old George Jones (Repeat Chorus) The years went by like sweet little days With babies crying pork chops and beaujolais When he woke up he was seventeen The world was angry. The world was mean. Why the man down the street and the kid on the stoop All agreed that life stank. All the world smelled like poop Baby poop that is ..the worst kind So he grew his hair long and threw away his comb And headed back to Jerusalem to find Mom, Dad and home But when he got there the cupboard was bare Except for an old black man with a fishing rod He said "Whatcha gonna be when you grow up?" Jesus said "God" Oh my God, what have I gotten myself into? I'm a human corkscrew and all my wine is blood They're gonna kill me Mama. They don't like me Bud. So Jesus went to Heaven and he went there awful quick All them people killed him and he wasn't even sick So come and gather around me my contemporary peers And I'll tell you all the story of Jesus...The Missing Years We all reside down the block Inside at ....23 Skidoo.

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released September 24, 1991

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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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