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THE BEST OF JOHN MELLENCAMP 20TH CENTURY MASTERS

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1.  Walk Tall

"Walk Tall"

Written by John Mellencamp

The simple minded
And the uninformed
Can be easily led astray
And those that cannot connect the dots
Hey look the other way
People believe what they want to believe
When it makes no sense at all
So be careful of those killing in Jesus' name*
He donít believe in killing at all*

And I wish you a long sight line +
And the strength to walk tall +

(Chorus)
Walk tall (keep on walking, keep on talking)
Yeah walk on (keep on walking, keep on talking)
Through this world
Walk tall

Somewhere out in the distance
Is the death of you and me
Even though we donít think of it much
Itís still out there for us to see
If you treat life like a ballroom fight
Youíll die stinking of gin
No drunkards allowed in heaven
No sinners will get in

(Chorus)
Walk tall (keep on walking, keep on talking)
Yeah, walk on (keep on walking, keep on talking)
Walk tall (keep on walking, keep on talking)
Through this world
Walk tall

So be careful in what you believe in
Thereís plenty to get you confused
And in this land called paradise
You must walk in many menís shoes
Bigotry and hatred are enemies to us all
Grace, mercy and forgiveness
Will help a man walk tall

(Chorus)
So walk tall (keep on walking, keep on talking)
Yeah, walk on (keep on walking, keep on talking)
Walk tall (keep on walking, keep on talking)
Through this world
Through this world

(Chorus)
Yeah, walk tall yeah (keep on walking, keep on talking)
Then walk on yeah (keep on walking, keep on talking)
Walk tall yeah (keep on walking, keep on talking)
Then walk on

Yeah
Yeah
Yeah

Through this world
Through this world
Through this world
Through this world

Walk tall
Walk tall
Then walk on
Walk tall




"Peaceful World"

Written by John Mellencamp

Hey yeah
Hey yeah
Hey yeah yeah
Hey yeah
Hey yeah
Hey yeah
Hey yeah yeah

Come on baby take a ride with me
I'm up from Indiana down to Tennessee
Everything is cool as can be
In a peaceful world

People know this world is a wreck
We're sick and tired of being politically correct
If I see through it now but I didn't at first
The hypocrites made it worse and worse
Lookin' down their noses at what people say
These are just words and words are okay
It's what you do and not what you say
If you're not part of the future then get out of the way

(Chorus)
Come on baby take a ride with me
I'm up from Indiana down to Tennessee
Everything is cool as can be
In a peaceful world

Hey yeah
Hey yeah
Hey yeah yeah

Racism lives in the U.S. today
Better get hip to what Martin Luther King had to say
I don't want my kids being brought up this way
Hatred to each other is not okay
Well I'm not a preacher just a singer son
But I can see more work to be done
It's what you do and not what you say
If you're not part of the future then get out of the way

(Chorus)
Come on baby take a ride with me
I'm up from Indiana down to Tennessee
Everything is cool as can be
In a peaceful world

Lay back the top and ride with me
I'm up from Indiana down to Tennessee
Everything is cool as can be
In a peaceful world

The money's good and the work is okay
Looks like everything is rollin our way
'Til you gotta look the devil in the eye
You know that bastard's one big lie
So be careful with your heart and what you love
Make sure that it was sent from above
It's what you do and not what you say
If you're not part of the future then get out of the way

(Chorus)
Come on baby take a ride with me
I'm up from Indiana down to Tennessee
Everything is cool as can be
In a peaceful world

Lay back the top and ride with me
I'm up from Indiana down to Tennessee
Everything is cool as can be
In a peaceful world

Hey yeah
Hey yeah
Hey yeah
Hey yeah




"Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First)"

Written by John Mellencamp and George Green

In a hand painted night, me and Gypsy Scotty are partners
At the Hotel Flamingo, wearin' black market shoes
This loud Cuban band is crucifying John Lennon
No one wants to be lonely, no one wants to sing the blues

She's perched like a parrot on his tuxedo shoulder
Christ, what's she doing with him she could be dancing with me
She stirs the ice in her glass with her elegant finger
I want to be what she's drinking, yeah I just want to be

(Chorus)
I saw you first
I'm the first one tonight
I saw you first
Don't that give me the right
To move around in your heart
Everyone was lookin'
But I saw you first

On a moon-spattered road in her parrot rebozo
Gypsy Scotty is driving his big long yellow car
She flies like a bird over his shoulder
She whispers in his ear, boy, you are my star

(Chorus)
But I saw you first
I'm the first one tonight
Yes I saw you first
Don't that give me the right
To move around in your heart
Everyone was lookin'

In the bone colored dawn, me and Gypsy Scotty are singin'
The radio is playin', she left her shoes out in the back
He tells me a story about some girl he knows in Kentucky
He just made that story up, there ain't no girl like that

(Chorus)
But I saw you first
I'm the first one tonight
Yes I saw you first
Don't that give me the right
To move around in your heart
Everyone was lookin'
But I saw you first
I saw you first
I saw you first




"Get A Leg Up"

Written by John Mellencamp

Don't look at me, don't touch me
Keep your mind straight ahead
Don't get no funny ideas about we
Or you'll wish that you were dead
That's what I'm thinking she must be thinking
The girl I spent 53 bucks on last night
She gives me a look from the corner of her eye
That says, "Boy, keep acting right"
How surprised was I
When she leaned over and whispered in my ear

Get a leg up
Get a leg over boy
Get a leg up
What's the matter
Are you shy, shy, shy

I'm pretty good with first impressions
But sometimes I'm not always right
I pulled the car to the shoulder of the road
To see what she had in mind
Want me to spend the night
Hey lover boy you know I will
And my best girlfriend lives down the road
Together we will thrill ya
And I'm thinking to myself
I could be lucky Pierre tonight

If I could get a leg up
If I could get a leg over boy
You know I ain't that handsome
But you know I ain't shy, shy, shy

Ah God damn baby

The rest of the night went on and on
And the moral to this song
Don't go making hasty judgments
'Cause uh sometimes they could be wrong
Nothing wrong with a good time
Just keep yourself protected, make a list
And you can bet your life that the women don't know
The little girls are acting like this here
So the next time a young one moves up
And she whispers in your ear

Get a leg up
Get a leg over boy
Get a leg up
Now don't you be shy, shy, shy

Get a leg up
Get a leg over boy
You know I ain't that handsome
But you know I ain't shy, shy, shy

Get a leg up
Get a leg over boy
Get a leg up
Now donít you be shy

Shotgun




"Jackie Brown"

Written by John Mellencamp

Is this your life, Jackie Brown
Poorly educated and forced to live on the poor side of town
Is this your daughter, Jackie Brown
This pretty little girl
In worn out clothes
That have been hand-me down
Is this your wife, Jackie Brown
With sad blue eyes, walking on eggshells so you don't see her frown
Is this your family, Jackie Brown

Dream of vacationing on a mountain stream
And giving the world more than it gave you
What ugly truths freedom brings
And it hasn't been very kind to you
Is this your life, Jackie Brown

Is this your meal, Jackie Brown
Barely enough, I've seen people throw more than this out
Is this your home, Jackie Brown
This three room shack
With no running water
And the bathroom out back
Is this your grave, Jackie Brown
This little piece of limestone that says another desperate man took himself out
Is this your dream, Jackie Brown

Going nowhere and nowhere fast
We shame ourselves to watch people like this live
But who gives a damn about Jackie Brown
Just another lazy man who couldn't take what was his
One helluva life Jackie Brown
Forevermore, Jackie Brown
Amen and amen - Jackie Brown




"Cherry Bomb"

Written by John Mellencamp

Well I lived on the outskirts of town
In an eight room farmhouse, baby
When my brothers and friends were around
There was always somethin' doin'
Had me a couple of real nice girlfriends
Stopped by to see me every once in a while
When I think back about those days
All I can do is sit and smile

(Chorus)
That's when a sport was a sport
And groovin' was groovin'
And dancin' meant everything
We were young and we were improvin'
Laughin', laughin' with our friends
Holdin' hands meant somethin', baby
Outside the club "Cherry Bomb"
Our hearts were really thumpin'
Say yeah yeah yeah
Say yeah yeah yeah

The winter days they last forever
But the weekends went by so quick
Went ridin' around this little country town
We were goin' nuts, girl, out in the sticks
One night, me with my big mouth
A couple guys had to put me in my place
When I see those guys these days
We just laugh and we say "do you remember when?"

(Chorus)
That's when a sport was a sport
And groovin' was groovin'
And dancin' meant everything
We were young and we were improvin'
Laughin', laughin' with our friends
Holdin' hands meant somethin', baby
Outside the club" Cherry Bomb"
Our hearts were really thumpin'
Say yeah yeah yeah
Say yeah yeah yeah

Alright

Say yeah yeah yeah
Say yeah yeah yeah

Seventeen has turned thirty-five
I'm surprised that we're still livin'
If we've done any wrong
I hope that we're forgiven
Got a few kids of my own
And some days I still don't know what to do
I hope that they're not laughing too loud
When they hear me talkin'
Like this to you

(Chorus)
That's when a sport was a sport
And groovin' was groovin'
And dancin' meant everything
We were young and we were improvin'
Laughin', laughin' with our friends
Holdin' hands meant so much, baby
Outside the club" Cherry Bomb"
Our hearts were really thumpin'
Say yeah yeah yeah
Say yeah yeah yeah




"Small Town"

Written by John Mellencamp

Well I was born in a small town
And I live in a small town
Probably die in a small town
Oh those small communities

All my friends are so small town
My parents live in the same small town
My job is so small town
Provides little opportunity

Educated in a small town
Taught the fear of Jesus in a small town
Used to daydream in that small town
Another boring romantic that's me

But I've seen it all in a small town
Had myself a ball in a small town
Married an L.A. doll and brought her to this small town
Now she's small town just like me

No I cannot forget from where it is that I come from
I cannot forget the people who love me
Yeah I can be myself here in this small town
And people let me be just what I want to be

Got nothing against a big town
Still hayseed enough to say
Look who's in the big town
But my bed is in a small town
Oh, and that's good enough for me

Well I was born in a small town
And I can breathe in a small town
Gonna die in this small town
Oh that's probably where they'll bury me




"R.O.C.K. In the U.S.A. (A Salute To 60's Rock)"

Written by John Mellencamp

They come from the cities
And they come from the smaller towns
Beat up cars with guitars and drummers
Goin' crack boom bam

(Chorus)
R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.
R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.
R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A., Yeah, Yeah!
Rockin' in the U.S.A.

Well they said goodbye to their families
Said goodbye to their friends
With the pipe dreams in their heads
And very little money in their hands
Some are black and some are white
Ain't to proud to sleep on the floor tonight
With the blind faith of Jesus you know that they just might, be
Rockin' in the U.S.A.
Hey!

Voices from nowhere
And voices from the larger towns
Filled our head full of dreams
And turned the world upside down

There was Frankie Lyman-Bobby Fuller-Mitch Ryder
(They were Rockin')
Jackie Wilson-Shangra-las-Young Rascals
(They were Rockin')
Spotlight on Martha Reeves
Let's don't forget James Brown
Rockin' in the U.S.A.
Rockin' in the U.S.A.
Hey!

(Chorus)
R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.
R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.
R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.,
Rockin' in the U.S.A.

(Chorus)
R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.
R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.
R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.,
Rockin' in the U.S.A.




"Pink Houses"

Written by John Mellencamp

There's a black man with a black cat livin' in a black neighborhood
He's got an interstate runnin' through his front yard
You know he thinks he's got it so good
And there's a woman in the kitchen cleanin' up the evenin' slop
And he looks at her and says, "Hey darlin', I can remember when
You could stop a clock."

(Chorus)
Oh but ain't that America for you and me
Ain't that America somethin' to see baby
Ain't that America home of the free, yeah
Little pink houses for you and me
Oh yeah, for you and me

Well, there's a young man in a t-shirt
Listenin' to a rockin' rollin' station
He's got greasy hair, greasy smile
He says, "Lord this must be my destination."
'Cause they told me when I was younger
Said "Boy you're gonna be president."
But just like everything else those old crazy dreams
Just kinda came and went

(Chorus)
Oh but ain't that America for you and me
Ain't that America somethin' to see baby
Ain't that America home of the free, yeah
Little pink houses for you and me

Well there's people and more people
What do they know know know
Go to work in some high rise
And vacation down at the Gulf of Mexico
Ooh yeah
And there's winners and there's losers
But they ain't no big deal
'Cause the simple man baby pays the thrills, the bills,
The pills that kill

(Chorus)
Oh but ain't that America for you and me
Ain't that America somethin' to see baby
Ain't that America home of the free, yeah
Little pink houses for you and me




"Jack & Diane"

Written by John Mellencamp

Little ditty, about Jack and Diane
Two American kids growin' up, in the heartland
Jackie gonna be a football star
Diane's the debutante backseat of Jackie's car

Suckin' on a chili dog, outside the Tastee Freez
Diane's sittin' on Jackie's lap
He's got his hands between her knees
Jackie say, "Hey Diane let's run off behind a shady tree"
Dribble off those Bobby Brooks, let me do what I please
And say uh...

(Chorus)
Oh yeah life goes on
Long after the thrill of livin' is gone, they say
Oh yeah say life goes on
Long after the thrill of livin' is gone, they walk on

Jackie sits back collects his thoughts for the moment
Scratches his head and does his best James Dean
Well then there Diane, we oughta' run off to the city
Diane says, "Baby, you ain't missin' nothing"
And Jackie say uh...

(Chorus)
Oh yeah life goes on
Long after the thrill of livin' is gone
Oh yeah they say life goes on
Long after the thrill of livin' is gone

So let it rock
Let it roll
Let the Bible Belt come down and save my soul
Hold on to 16 as long as you can
Changes come around real soon
Make us women and men

(Chorus)
Oh yeah life goes on
Long after the thrill of livin' is gone,
Oh yeah they say life goes on
Long after the thrill of livin' is gone

A little ditty about Jack and Diane
Two American kids doin' the best they can




ALBUM DETAILS

Release Date: October 23rd, 2007 on Mercury Records/UMe

ALBUM CREDITS:

1. WALK TALL
Written by John Mellencamp
Produced by Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds and John Mellencamp
From the album
Words & Music: John Mellencamp's Greatest Hits (2004)

2. PEACEFUL WORLD
Written by John Mellencamp
Produced by John Mellencamp
From the album CUTTIN' HEADS (2001)
Under License from The Sony BMG Custom Marketing Group, a Division of Sony BMG Music Entertainment

3. KEY WEST INTERMEZZO (I SAW YOU FIRST)
Written by John Mellencamp and George Green
Produced by Little Bastard, Mike Wanchic, and Junior Vasquez
From the album MR. HAPPY GO LUCKY (1996)

4. GET A LEG UP
Written by John Mellencamp
Produced by John Mellencamp
From the album WHENEVER WE WANTED (1991)

5. JACKIE BROWN
Written by John Mellencamp
Produced by John Mellencamp
From the album BIG DADDY

6. CHERRY BOMB
Written by John Mellencamp
Produced by John Mellencamp and Don Gehman
From the album THE LONESOME JUBILEE (1987)

7. SMALL TOWN
Written by John Mellencamp
Produced by Little Bastard and Don Gehman
From the album SCARECROW (1985)

8. R.O.C.K. IN THE U.S.A.
Written by John Mellencamp
Produced by Little Bastard and Don Gehman
From the album SCARECROW (1985)

9. PINK HOUSES
Written by John Mellencamp
Produced by John Mellencamp
From the album UH - HUH (1983)

10. JACK & DIANE
Written by John Mellencamp
Produced by John Mellencamp and Don Gehman
From the album AMERICAN FOOL (1982)

PRODUCTION CREDITS:

Compiled by: John Mellencamp
A&R Coordination: Bill Levenson
Mastered by: Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering, Portland, Maine
Art Direction: Vartan
Design: Meire Murakami
Photo Coordinator: Ryan Null
Photos: Marc Hauser
Production Manager: Ute Friesleban
Product Manager: Adam Abrams
Legal Clearances: Jaime Thiel
Management: Hoffman Entertainment

 

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