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LIFE DEATH LIVE AND FREEDOM

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If I Die Sudden

Written By John Mellencamp

If I die sudden
Please donít tell anyone
There ainít nobody that needs to know
That Iím gone
Just put me in a pine box
Six feet underground
Donít be calling no minister
I donít need one around

Well my grandma she told me
Sheíd be waiting at the gate
She said that the fix was in
And that sheís already prayed
And the rest of my family
Will be waiting there for me too
Theyíd already taken care of my sins
And thereís was nothing for me to do

So If I die sudden
Please donít tell anyone
There ainít nobody that needs to know
That Iím gone
Just put me in a pine box
Six feet underground
Donít be calling no minister
I donít need one around
I donít need no preacher around

I got a little bit of money
Some papers you might want to see
I got a house down in Georgia
But letís keep this brief
Iím not afraid of dying
This lifeís been right to me
I got a whole bunch more than I deserve
And now I will be free
Yeah now I will be free

So If I die sudden
Donít tell anyone
There ainít nobody that needs to know
That Iím gone
Just put me in a pine box
Six feet underground
And donít be calling no minister
I donít need one around
I donít need no preacher around




Troubled Land

Written By John Mellencamp

Well thereís a pain in my side
But I keep traveling on
Bring peace to this troubled land
Itís dark out here
I canít read those signs
Bring peace to the troubled land
Hurricane on the horizon
Judgment getting closer all the time
I canít find tomorrow
Bring peace to this troubled land

Well thereís two men a walking
Down the same dirty road
Bring peace to this troubled land
They stand shoulder to shoulder
Carrying the same heavy load
Bring peace to this troubled land
One manís eyes are full of sorrow
The other manís belly full of unbearable pain
They keep getting closer
Bring peace to this troubled land

Iíve got many screaming children
Ten million rows to hoe
Bring peace to this troubled land
Deader than an hammer
But I canít let go
Bring peace to this troubled land
The eyes of heaven are upon you
But so is the soul from down below
TheyĎll cut off your fingers
To bring peace to this troubled land

Well you can stand up and holler
You can lay down and die
Bring peace to this troubled land
We can turn up our collars
And never even try
To bring peace to this troubled land
Beware of those who want to harm you
And drag you down to a lower game
Just know the truth is coming
To bring peace to this troubled land

I got a pain in my side
But I keep traveling on




Donít Need This Body

Written By John Mellencamp

This getting older
Ainít for cowards
This getting older
Is a lot to go through
Ainít a gonna need this body
Much longer
Ainít a gonna need this body
Much more

Well I canít see much
Like I used to
And I canít run like the wind
I don't sleep more
Than just a few hours
I canít remember where Iíve been

Ain't a gonna need this body much longer
Ain't a gonna need this body much more
I put in a ten million hours
Washed up and worn out for sure

Well all my friends are
Sick or dying
And Iím here all by myself
All I got left
Is a head full of memories
And a thought of my upcoming death

Ain't a gonna need this body much longer
Ain't a gonna need this body much more
I put in a ten million hours
Washed up and worn out for sure

Well I know one thing
Iíll die easy
And I know my life
Is not in vain
Because I loved
And I fought with many
And the people they loved me just the same

Ain't a gonna need this body much longer
Ain't a gonna need this body much more
I put in a ten million hours
Washed up and worn out
Washed up and worn out for sure
This getting older
Well it ainít for cowards
This getting older
Is a lot to go through




Longest Days

Written By John Mellencamp

Seems like once upon a time ago
I was where I was supposed to be
My vision was true and my heart was too
There was no end to what I could dream
I walked like a hero into the setting sun
Everyone called out my name
Death to me was just a mystery
I was too busy raising up Cain

But nothing lasts forever
Your best efforts donít always pay
Sometimes you get sick
And donít get better
Thatís when life is short
Even in its longest days

So you pretend not to notice
That everything has changed
The way that you look
And the friends you once had
So you keep on acting the same
But deep down in your soul
You know you, you got no flame
And who knows then which way to go
Life is short even in its longest days

All I got here
Is a rear view mirror
Reflections of where Iíve been
So you tell yourself Iíll be back up on top some day
But you know thereís nothing waiting up there for you anyway

Nothing lasts forever
And your best efforts donít always pay
Sometimes you get sick
And you donít get better
Thatís when life is short
Even in its longest days

Life is short
Even in its longest days




Young Without Lovers

Written By John Mellencamp

Better take a look
At my circle
Better take a look around
Tell all my friends
Better take a look
At the colors of the people
Young without lovers
Old without friends

Better say a prayer
For the poor and unhealthy
Better sing a song
For those who donít care
Let the people have the right
To be different
Young without lovers
Old without friends

Life is an abstraction
And it tries to fool us all
And itís working so far it seems
Brother against brother
This world is such a mess
Behind the drawn curtains
So our thoughts can not be seen

Better shake the hand
Of the hated
Better hear the words
That donít seem clear
Better take a look around
At what weíre doing
Young without lovers
Old without friends

Better take a look
At my circle
Better take a look around
Tell all of my friends
Let the people have the right
To be different
Young without lovers
Old without friends
Young without lovers
Old without friends
Young without lovers
Old without friends




A Ride Back Home

Written By John Mellencamp

Hey Jesus can you give me a ride back home
Iíve been out here in this world too long on my own
I wonít bother you no more
If you can just get me in the door
Hey Jesus can you give me a ride back home

When I started out I was so young and so strong
I just let it roll off my back when things went wrong
Now itís starting to get to me
All of this inhumanity
Hey Jesus can you give me a ride back home

You wouldnít know it by looking at me now
But I was showing some promise once upon a time
But itís gone now
And it ainít coming back
My timeís come and gone
Itís as simple as that

Hey Jesus this world is just too troublesome for me
I try to fight off all these devils but Iím just too weak
When Iím out here walking all alone
I feel like taking my life but I wonít
Too big a coward, can you give me a ride back home
Hey Jesus can you give me a ride back home
Hey Jesus can you give me a ride back home



7.  Jena

Jena

Written By John Mellencamp

An all white jury hides the executioner's face
See how we are, me and you?
Everyone here needs to know their place
Let's keep this blackbird hidden in the flue

Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Take your nooses down

So what becomes of boys that cannot think straight
Particularly those with paper bag skin
Yes sir, no sir, we'll wipe that smile right off your face
We've got our rules here and you must fit in

Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Take your nooses down

Some day some way sanity will prevail
But who knows when that day might come
A shot in the dark, well it just might find its way
To the hearts of those that hold the keys to kingdom come

Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Take those nooses down

Oh oh hey Jena
Oh oh Jena
Oh oh Jena
Take your nooses down

Take those nooses all down



8.  My Sweet Love

ALBUM DETAILS

Release Date: June 23, 2009 on Hear Music

Listen to the complete album & learn more about Life Death Love & Freedom by checking out the e-card.

Buy Deluxe Edition Online: CD Version - Amazon.com or purchase as a digital download at iTunes or Amazon.com

Deluxe Edition includes both Life Death Love and Freedom along with Life Death LIVE and Freedom.

LINER NOTES

Long before the release of the album that would eventually be titled Life Death Love and Freedom, John Mellencamp debuted songs from that then work-in-progress for audiences all over North America. It was an unusual move for an artist whose body of work was so well known and revered, but as John will tell you, heís never one to look back all that much. Whatís in the past stays there; we can only deal with now if weíre to have some kind of impact on the future.

By the fall of 2007, with T Bone Burnett producing, he had recorded most of the tracks for his new album and then proceeded to road test them with any and every audience he would encounter. John characterized these new songs as being in the tradition of the American songbook. They would only live if they were played for real people.

The songs themselves were stark, elemental and to the point, the antithesis of the pop ditties and bombastic neo-rock fodder that is the order of the day in contemporary music. In many ways, they represented the latest iteration of the continuum that began in 1985 with the release of his
Scarecrow album, the groundbreaking work that foretold the roots/Americana/No Depression movement that would become a codified genre more than a dozen years later.

He kicked things off at Farm Aid 2007 on September 9th of that year, when he audaciously opened his set with ďTroubled Land,Ē a brand new song performed in front of a massive audience. The song that addresses the American malaise so evocatively went over with the politically aware and socially conscious audience like gangbusters. He also performed a driving version of ďIf I Die SuddenĒ that was equally riveting despite the crowdís unfamiliarity.

Less than one month later he felt compelled to post ďJenaĒ on mellencamp.com even before the album was completed. The song is a piece of troubadour-style poetic reportage, chronicling the issues that faced the Louisiana town where racial tensions had recently flared and nooses were found in school yard trees. Jenaís Mayor Murphy R. McMillin wrote that the ďJenaĒ song and video were "so inflammatory, so defamatory, that a line has been crossed and enough is enough." Within just three days of the posting, Mellencamp performed it at San Franciscoís Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival on October 5th and another huge audience heard and positively responded to more unreleased material from an album that didnít have a title, let alone a release date.

Later that fall, starting in Terre Haute on October 26th in his native Indiana, Mellencamp and his band set off on a 40-city North American tour that found him playing an 18-song set each night. Typically, five of those songs were unreleased and, hence, unknown to the audience. He boldly performed ďTroubled Land,Ē ďIf I Die SuddenĒ and ďJenaĒ back-to-back and most often, even in the nose bleed seats, you could hear a pin drop. He led the audience in a sing-along to the solo acoustic ďYoung Without LoversĒ with enthusiastic participation night after night Ė no mean feat for a rock audience out to hear the hits. Also rendered solo was ďA Ride Back Home,Ē certainly not anticipated fare for the concert-going crowd but very much appreciated. It was an enlightening experience for both audience and performer at just about every show.

Numerous times, he performed ďLongest Days,Ē evoking the special relationship he had with his late grandmother and, on occasion, the ethereal ďDonít Need This Body,Ē challenging audiences to contemplate mortality.

Only months into the tour, did audiences have some passing familiarity with at least one new song: ďMy Sweet Love.Ē The video featuring duet partner Karen Fairchild had picked up some exposure. Karen is, in fact, also heard on ďA Ride Back HomeĒ that is one of the highlights of the
Life Death Love and Freedom studio album.

These live versions of Life Death Love and Freedom songs serve to underscore their connection with the human experience. In recognition of that, the songs are presented here just as they were performed: no overdubs or studio enhancements of any kind were added. They come direct from the soundboard to your ears. Songs are organic and, metaphysically speaking, they need air; the best ones touch your soul on some level. These did just that for hundreds of thousands who attended Johnís concerts, both before and after the albumís release.

Written by Bob Merlis

ALBUM CREDITS:

All songs written by John Mellencamp
Belmont Mall Publishing (ASCAP). All rights administered by EMI April Music, Inc.

1. IF I DIE SUDDEN
John Mellencamp Ė Vocals, electric guitar
Andy York Ė Guitars, background vocals
Mike Wanchic - Guitars, background vocals
Troye Kinnett - Keyboards, background vocals
Miriam Sturm - Violin
John Gunnell - Bass
Dane Clark - Percussion

2. TROUBLED LAND
John Mellencamp Ė Vocals, electric guitar
Andy York Ė Guitars, background vocals
Mike Wanchic - Guitars, background vocals
Troye Kinnett - Keyboards, background vocals
Miriam Sturm - Violin
John Gunnell - Bass
Dane Clark - Percussion

3. DON'T NEED THIS BODY*
John Mellencamp Ė Vocals, acoustic guitar
Andy York Ė Electric guitar, background vocals
Mike Wanchic - background vocals
John Gunnell Ė background vocals
Dane Clark - background vocals
Troye Kinnett - background vocals

4. LONGEST DAYS*
John Mellencamp Ė Vocals, acoustic guitar

5. YOUNG WITHOUT LOVERS*
John Mellencamp Ė Vocals, acoustic guitar

6. A RIDE BACK HOME*
John Mellencamp Ė Vocals, acoustic guitar

7.JENA
John Mellencamp Ė Vocals, guitars
Andy York Ė Guitars, background vocals
Mike Wanchic - Guitars, background vocals
Troye Kinnett - Keyboards, background vocals
Miriam Sturm - Violin
John Gunnell - Bass
Dane Clark - Percussion

8. MY SWEET LOVE
John Mellencamp Ė Vocals, guitars
Andy York Ė Guitars, background vocals
Mike Wanchic - Guitars, background vocals
Troye Kinnett - Keyboards, background vocals
Miriam Sturm - Violin
John Gunnell - Bass
Dane Clark - Percussion

PRODUCTION CREDITS:

PRODUCED BY John Mellencamp & Mike Wanchic

Recorded by Bill Chappell
Mixed by Dave Bianco at Dave's Room, North Hollywood, CA
*Mixed by Paul Mahern at Belmont Mall Studios in Nashville, IN
Mastered by Eddy Schreyer at Oasis Mastering, Burbank, CA

Management Ė Hoffman Entertainment

Photography Ė Elaine Mellencamp
Package Design Ė Larissa Collins

www.johnmellencamp.com

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(P) & (C) 2009 John Mellencamp. Under exclusive license to StarCon, LLC d/b/a Hear MusicTM, 100 N. Crescent Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Hear MusicTM is a licensed trademark of the Starbucks U.S. Brands, LLC, in the U.S. and Starbucks Corporation outside of the U.S. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws. Printed in the U.S.A. HRM-31635-02

 

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