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The Singing Mailman Delivers

by John Prine

/
1.
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. Chorus: 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."
2.
Souvenirs 03:20
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)
3.
Sam Stone came home to his wife and family After servin' 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 stealin' when he got that empty feelin' 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 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, mm Sam Stone was alone when he popped his last balloon Climbin' 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 nothin' 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 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
4.
Paradise 03:10
5.
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:
6.
Aw Heck 01:37
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.
7.
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
8.
While window shopping through the past I ran across a looking glass Reflecting moments remaining in a burned out light Tragic magic prayers of passion Stay the same through changing fashions They freeze my mind like water on a winter's night Spent most of my youth Out hobo cruising And all I got for proof Is rocks in my pockets and dirt in my shoes So goodbye nonbeliever Don't you know that I hate to leave here So long babe, I got the flashback blues. Photographs show the laughs Recorded in between the bad times Happy sailors dancing on a sinking ship Cloudy skies and dead fruit flies Waving goodbye with tears in my eyes Well, sure I made it but ya know it was as hell of a trip. Spent most of my youth Out hobo cruising And all I got for proof Is rocks in my pockets and dirt in my shoes And ten times what it grieves you That's how much more I hate to leave you now So long babe, I got the flashback blues. Spent most of my youth Out hobo cruising And all I got for proof Is rocks in my pockets and dirt in my shoes So goodbye nonbeliever Don't you know that I hate to leave here So long babe, I got the flashback blues.
9.
I come home from work this evening There was a note in the frying pan It said fix your own supper babe I run off with the Fuller brush man Chorus: And I miss the way she used to yell at me The way she used to cuss and moan And if I ever go out and get married again I'll never leave my wife at home Sat down at the table Screamed, and I hollered and cried And I commenced a carryin' on Till I almost lost my mind Repeat Chorus If I ever see another salesman Come a knockin' at my door I'm gonna pick up a rock and hit him on the head And knock him down on the floor Repeat Chorus
10.
Sour Grapes 01:59
I don't care if the sun don't shine But it better or people will wonder And I couldn't care less if it never stopped rainin' 'Cept the kids are afraid of the thunder Chorus: Say sour grapes You can laugh and stare Say sour grapes But I don't care I couldn't care less if I didn't have a friend 'Cept people would say I was crazy And I wouldn't work 'cause I don't need money But the same folks would say I was lazy repeat chorus I couldn't care less if she never come back I was gonna leave her anyway And all the good times that we shared Don't mean a thing to day repeat chorus
11.
He’s a star But he didn’t get as far As those who idolized his ways and means To prepare themselves To be better human beings Well they understood more than he had meant to say In his day But that’s O.K. She’s a jewel But her tactics are so cruel And her past affairs smelled cheap Like the perfume in her hair She lives Another life but not her own On an imaginary throne In the sky She’s afraid to die Great thoughts don’t come To those who try to hard To interpretate what’s going on In the minds back yard So I’ll leave Lest you think that I’m a hoax Like these other folks In my song Good-bye so long
12.
While window shopping through the past I ran across a looking glass Reflecting moments remaining in a burned out light Tragic magic prayers of passion Stay the same through changing fashions They freeze my mind like water on a winter's night Spent most of my youth Out hobo cruising And all I got for proof Is rocks in my pockets and dirt in my shoes So goodbye nonbeliever Don't you know that I hate to leave here So long babe, I got the flashback blues. Photographs show the laughs Recorded in between the bad times Happy sailors dancing on a sinking ship Cloudy skies and dead fruit flies Waving goodbye with tears in my eyes Well, sure I made it but ya know it was as hell of a trip. Spent most of my youth Out hobo cruising And all I got for proof Is rocks in my pockets and dirt in my shoes And ten times what it grieves you That's how much more I hate to leave you now So long babe, I got the flashback blues. Spent most of my youth Out hobo cruising And all I got for proof Is rocks in my pockets and dirt in my shoes So goodbye nonbeliever Don't you know that I hate to leave here So long babe, I got the flashback blues.
13.
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. Chorus: 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."
14.
While digesting Reader's Digest In the back of a dirty book store, A plastic flag, with gum on the back, Fell out on the floor. Well, I picked it up and I ran outside Slapped it on my window shield, And if I could see old Betsy Ross I'd tell her how good I feel. Chorus: But your flag decal won't get you Into Heaven any more. They're already overcrowded From your dirty little war. Now Jesus don't like killin' No matter what the reason's for, And your flag decal won't get you Into Heaven any more. Well, I went to the bank this morning And the cashier he said to me, "If you join the Christmas club We'll give you ten of them flags for free." Well, I didn't mess around a bit I took him up on what he said. And I stuck them stickers all over my car And one on my wife's forehead. Repeat Chorus: Well, I got my window shield so filled With flags I couldn't see. So, I ran the car upside a curb And right into a tree. By the time they got a doctor down I was already dead. And I'll never understand why the man Standing in the Pearly Gates said... "But your flag decal won't get you Into Heaven any more. We're already overcrowded From your dirty little war. Now Jesus don't like killin' No matter what the reason's for, And your flag decal won't get you Into Heaven any more."
15.
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)
16.
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:
17.
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
18.
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 Chorus: 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:
19.
Time was once just a clock to me and life was just a book a biography Success was something you just had to be and I would spend myself unknowingly And you know that I could have me a million more friends and all I'd have to lose is my point of view But I had no idea what a good time would cost till last night when I sat and talked with you. An apple will spoil if it's been abused A candle disappears when its been used A rainbow may follow up a hurricane And I can't leave forever on a train And you know that I'd survive if I never spoke again and all I'd have to lose is my vanity But I had no idea what a good time would cost till last night when you sat and talked with me. You can smile for the lack of something else to do and no one will laugh and point a finger at you If your tears didn't always make me feel so bad would you still cry every time that you felt sad? I thought I'd heard and seen enough to get along till you said something neither of us knew And I had no idea what a good time would cost till last night when I sat and talked with you.
20.
Say hey, good lookin'. What ya got cookin'? How's about cookin' somethin' up with me? Hey, sweet baby. Don't you think maybe We can find us a brand new recipe? I got a hot rod Ford, and a two dollar bill And I know a spot right over the hill There's soda pop and the dancin's free So, if you wanna have fun, come along with me Hey, good lookin'. What ya got cookin'? How's about cookin' somethin' up with me? I'm free and ready, so we can go steady Hows about savin' all your time for me? No more lookin'. I know I been tookin' Hows about keepin' steady company? I'm gonna throw my date book over the fence And buy me one for five or ten cents I'll keep it till its covered with age Cause I'm writin' your name down on every page Say hey, good lookin', what ya got cookin'? How's about cookin' somethin' up with me? Goodbye Joe, me gotta go, me oh my oh Me gotta go pole the pirogue down the bayou My Yvonne the sweetest one, me oh my oh Son of a gun we'll have big fun on the bayou Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and filé gumbo Cause tonight I'm gonna see my ma cher amio Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-o Son of a gun we'll have big fun on the bayou Thibodaux Fontaineaux the place is buzzin' Kinfolk come to see Yvonne by the dozen Dress in style and go hog wild, me oh my oh Son of a gun we'll have big fun on the bayou Settle down far from town get me a pirogue And I'll catch all the fish in the bayou Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and filé gumbo Cause tonight I'm gonna see my ma cher amio Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-o Son of a gun we'll have big fun on the bayou Later on, swap my mon, get me a pirogue And I'll catch all the fish on the bayou Swap my mon, to buy Yvonne what she need-oh Son of a gun we'll have big fun on the bayou Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and filé gumbo Cause tonight I'm gonna see my ma cher amio Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-o Son of a gun we'll have big fun on the bayou
21.
Strolling down the highway with my shoes in my hand I don't talk much I'm a quiet man Beauty and silence both run deep And running like crazy while you are asleep Chorus: You got news for me, I got nothing for you Don't pin your blues on me Just go ahead and do whatever you wish to Last Monday night I saw a fight Between Wednesday and Thursday over Saturday night Tuesday asked me what was going on I said, "Sunday's in the meadow and Friday's in the corn." Repeat Chorus: Hocus-pocus, Maladjusted Don't you think my tears get rusted Steady losing means you ain't using What you really think is right Repeat Chorus: Oodles of light what a beautiful sight Both of God's eyes are shining tonight Rays and beams of incredible dreams And I am a quiet man. Oodles of light what a beautiful sight Both of God's eyes are shining tonight Rays and beams of incredible dreams And I am a quiet man. Oodles of light what a beautiful sight Both of God's eyes are shining tonight Rays and beams of incredible dreams And I am a quiet man.
22.
When I was a child my family would travel Down to Western Kentucky where my parents were born And there's a backwards old town that's often remembered So many times that my memories are worn. Chorus: And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away Well, sometimes we'd travel right down the Green River To the abandoned old prison down by Airdrie Hill Where the air smelled like snakes and we'd shoot with our pistols But empty pop bottles was all we would kill. Repeat Chorus: Then the coal company came with the world's largest shovel And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land Well, they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man. Repeat Chorus: When I die let my ashes float down the Green River Let my soul roll on up to the Rochester dam I'll be halfway to Heaven with Paradise waitin' Just five miles away from wherever I am. Repeat Chorus:
23.
Sam Stone came home to his wife and family After servin' 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 stealin' when he got that empty feelin' 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 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, mm Sam Stone was alone when he popped his last balloon Climbin' 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 nothin' 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 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
24.
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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released October 25, 2011

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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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