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THE LONESOME JUBILEE

Click song title for lyrics

Written by John Mellencamp

She had a dream
And boy it was a good one
So she chased after her dream
With much desire
But when she got too close
To her expectations
Well the dream burned up
Like paper in fire

(Chorus)
Paper in fire
Stinkin' up the ashtrays
Paper in fire
Smokin' up the alleyways
Who's to say the way
A man should spend his days
Do you let them smolder
Like paper in fire

He wanted love
With no involvement
So he chased the wind
That's all his silly life required
And the days of vanity
Went on forever
And he saw his days burn up
Like paper in fire

(Chorus)
Paper in fire
Stinkin' up the ashtrays
Paper in fire
Smokin' up the alleyways
Who's to say the way
A man should spend his days
Do you let them smolder
Like paper in fire

There is a good life
Right across this green field
And each generation
Stares at it from afar
But we keep no check
On our appetites
So the green fields turn to brown
Like paper in fire

(Chorus)
Paper in fire
Stinkin' up the ashtrays
Paper in fire
Smokin' up the alleyways
Who's to say the way
A man should spend his days
Do you let them smolder
Like paper in fire

(Chorus)
Paper in fire
Stinkin' up the ashtrays
Paper in fire
Smokin' up the alleyways
Who's to say the way
A man should spend his days
Do you let them smolder
Like paper in fire




Written by John Mellencamp

Well Dear Mr. President
I live in the suburbs
It's a long way from Washington , D.C.
Had me a job
Workin' for wages
'Til the company moved out
And they forgot about me
Can't draw unemployment
For some unknown reason
My kids are hungry
I've got four mouths to feed
I go out every day looking for suitable employment
Do you think there's something you could do for me
Cause I'm

(Chorus)
Down and out here in paradise
Down and out and I'm on my knees
I'm down and out here in paradise
Looks like the milk and honey
Done run out on me

Dear Mr. President
I used to be a dancer
Got a little bit too old
So I became a secretary
Married a man
In Las Vegas, Nevada
And ten years later
He ran out on the kids and me
Some said I was pretty
But those days are over
Now I've no place to live
And I'm out on the streets
Oh, Mr. President
Can I tell you a secret
I never ever thought that this could happen to me
Cause I'm

(Chorus)
Down and out here in paradise
Down and out and I'm on my knees
I'm down and out here in paradise
Looks like the milk and honey
Done run out on me

Dear Mr. President
I'm just a young kid
I'm in the fourth grade
At Riley Elementary
My mom and dad's been actin' funny
I'm not sure what
If it ain't got something to do with me
My daddy's always drunk
My mom's a babysitter
And I don't like the Russians
Cause I hear they hate me
Dear Mr. President
Can I ask you one question
When the bombs fall down
Will they hurt everyone in my family
Yeah, yeah

(Chorus)
Down and out here in paradise
Down and out and I'm on my knees
I'm down and out here in paradise
Looks like the land of milk and honey
Done left me

(Chorus)
Cause I’m a
Down and out here in paradise
Down and out and I'm on my knees




Written by John Mellencamp

A million young poets
Screamin' out their words
To a world full of people
Just livin' to be heard
Future generations
Ridin' on the highways that we built
I hope they have a better understanding

Check it out
Goin' to work on Monday
Check it out
Got yourself a family
Check it out
All utility bills have been paid
You can't tell your best buddy that you love him
So check it out
Where does our time go
Check it out
Got a brand new house in escrow
Check it out
Sleepin' with your back to your loved one
This is all that we've learned about happiness

Check it out
Forgot to say hello to my neighbors
Check it out
Sometimes I question my own behavior
Check it out
Talkin' about the girls that we've seen on the sly
Just to tell our souls we're still the young lions
So check it out
Gettin' too drunk on Saturdays
Check it out
Playin' football with the kids on Sundays
Check it out
Soarin' with the eagles all week long
And this is all that we've learned about living
This is all that we've learned about living

Check it out
Check it out
Check it out
Check it out

A million young poets
Screamin' out their words
Maybe someday
Those words will be heard
By future generations
Ridin' on the highways that we built
Maybe they'll have a better understanding
Check it out
Hope they'll have a better understanding
Check it out
Maybe they'll have a better understanding
Check it out
Maybe they'll have a better understanding
Check it out
Hope they have a better understanding

Check it out
Check it out
Check it out
So check it out
Check it out




Written by John Mellencamp

Suzanne divorced her husband
She got the keys to the car and the home
But her friends were really his friends
No one stops by to see her much anymore
So one night she goes back down to the old haunts
That once upon a time were her own
She didn't know nobody out there no more
And the whole experience just made her feel so old
She says

(Chorus)
I want to live the real life
I want to live my life close to the bone
Just because I'm middle-aged that don't mean
I want to sit around my house and watch T.V.
I want the real life
I want to live the real life

Jackson Jackson was a good kid
He had four years of college and a bachelor's degree
Started workin' when he was 21
Got fed up and quit
When he was 43
He said, "My whole life
I've done what I'm supposed to do
Now I'd like to maybe do something for myself
And just as soon as I figure out what that is
You can bet your life I'm gonna give it hell"
He says

(Chorus)
I want to live the real life
I want to live my life close to the bone
Just because I'm middle-aged that don't mean
I want to sit around this house and watch T.V.
I want the real life
I want to live the real life
Hey hey

I guess it don't matter how old you are
Or how old one lives to be
I guess it boils down to what we did with our lives
And how we deal with our own destinies
But something happens
When you reach a certain age
Particularly to those ones that are young at heart
It's a lonely proposition when you realize
That's there's less days in front of the horse
Than riding in the back of this cart
I say

(Chorus)
I want to live the real life
I want to live my life close to the bone
Just because I'm middle-aged that don't mean
I want to sit around this house and watch T.V.
I want the real life

(Chorus)
I want to live the real life
I want to live my life close to the bone
I want to live the real life
I want to sit around this house and watch T.V.
I want the real life
I want to live the real life
I want the real life

I want to live the real life
I want to live my life close to the bone
I want to live the real life
I want to live my life close to the bone




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




Written by John Mellencamp

If you're feelin' shut down
May my thoughts be with you
If you're a black man bein' beat down and shoved all around
May my thoughts be with you
If your world's gettin' a little to tough
You know our thoughts are with you
Hey, I know that it's crazy out there
And my thoughts are with you

(Chorus)
We are the people
And we live forever
We are the people
And our future's written on the wind
On the wind

If you are one of the homeless
May our thoughts be with you
If you are scared and alone
You know our thoughts are with you

If you are one of the fortunate ones
We all know it's lonely up there
We understand that nobody's got it made
So our thoughts are with you

(Chorus)
We are the people
And we live forever
We are the people
And our future's written on the wind
On the wind

You see yourself as a leader
May my thoughts be with you
If you try to divide and conquer
We'll rise up against you
We know only the strong will survive
But the meek will inherit
So if you've got a coat of arms, oh friend
I suggest we wear it

(Chorus)
We are the people
And we live forever
We are the people
And our future's written on the wind
On the wind




Written by John Mellencamp and George Green

In the shadows of the smokestacks
Through the black snow that lay on the land
Walked home one winter morning
With my life's savings in my hand
Maryanne, she's fixin' up some breakfast
Got the lights on, on the Christmas tree
Sittin' there lookin' up at an angel
With something dyin' inside of me

Grew up with great expectations
Heard the promise and I knew the plan
They say people get what they deserve
But Lord, sometimes it's much worse than that
Maryanne she's takin' in some laundry
I got a part-time job at a drive-in stand
Oh Lord, what did I do
To deserve these empty hands

(Chorus)
Across the cities, across this land
Through the valleys, and across the sand
To many people standin' in line
Too many people with nothin' planned
There's too many people with empty hands

Now Maryanne's been cryin'
Lord knows I love her the best I can
When my pride is bruised and broken
She slips her hand into my empty hands
Without hope, without love, you've got nothing but pain
Just makes a man not give a damn
That's no way for us to live
We've got to fill these empty hands

(Chorus)
Across the cities, across this land
Through the valleys, and across the sand
To many people standin' in line
Too many people with nothin' planned
There's too many people with empty hands




Written by John Mellencamp

One man
Does his work
He's not satisfied
Not at all
Feels like
That he is being used
His self respect starts to fall
His frustration
Runnin' very very high
He takes it out
On the ones he loves
Because it's safe it's safe
And who they gonna tell
And he hates the cold-bloodedness
That runs inside

(Chorus)
Oh yes
It's hard times
For an honest man
Very very very hard times
Hard times for an honest man
Very very very hard times

Sister
She's got a lot of pride
You can see it when she walks into the room
But she's young
And she's unaware
Of what a brutal world can do to you
So she loves a man
He lies like a dog
Tears her little world all apart
So the walls go up
For the rest of her days
And there ain't no man can touch this girl's heart

(Chorus)
Oh yes
It's hard times
For an honest man
Very very very hard times
Hard times for an honest man
Very very very hard times

So we walk
From the front porch to the back yard
Just to laugh and say hello and say good-bye
But some days are hard, like a soldier's steel-toed boots
And the rent we pay to stay here gets high

(Chorus)
Oh yes
It's hard times
For an honest man
Very very very hard times
Hard times
For an honest man
Very very very hard times

Say it again now

Hard times
For an honest man
Very very very hard times
Hard times
For an honest man
Very very very hard times

Very very very hard times




Written by John Mellencamp

Drivin' down on a dry summer's day
Old Route 66 and I was just a kid
Met a pretty little Indian girl
Along the way
Got her into my car
And tried to give her a kiss
I'll give you beads and wampum
Whatever it takes girl, to make you trade
She jumped into the back seat
And she kind of flipped her lid
She said you're tryin' to get something for nothing
Like the pilgrims in the olden days

We rode for a while 'til the sun went away
And I realized it was sort of an honor
Bein' around this girl
I felt embarrassed
Of what I tried to do earlier that day
She was the saddest girl I ever knew
She told me stories about the Indian nations
And how the white man stole their lives away
And although she kinda liked me
She could never trust me
And when the sun comes up
We'd go our different ways

(Chorus)
Now everybody has got the choice
Between hotdogs and hamburgers
Every one of us has got to choose
Between right and wrong
And givin' up or holdin' on

So I dropped her off at some railroad crossing in Texas
An old Indian man was waiting there
He smiled and thanked me
But he saw right through me
I could tell he didn't like me
For my kind he did not care
Because to him I was the white man
The one who sold him something that he already owned
And it was like he'd been riding in the car right there with us
And I felt ashamed of my actions
And the way the west was really won
So I drove down the highway
'Til I came to Los Angeles
The town of the angels
The best this country can do
I got down on my knees
And I asked for forgiveness
I said, Lord, forgive us for we know not what we do

(Chorus)
Now everybody has got the choice
Between hotdogs and hamburgers
Every one of us has got to choose
Between right and wrong
And givin' up or holdin' on




Written by John Mellencamp

Got my hands on a little bit of dough
So I went to the grocery store
And got some steaks to go
went by and picked up my gal, Teddi Jo
We had ourselves a picnic
Beside a dirt road

(Chorus)
Rooty toot toot
Rooty toot toot
We had it made in the shade
Like a ball through the hoop
Spinnin' and tumblin' inside this hoola hoop
Livin' and learnin'
Rooty toot toot

We laid out a blanket
And started a fire
Had the radio playin'
From inside the car
I took off my shirt and kicked off my shoes
She read the paper
And told me the news
She said, there's a lot of people out there
Who are at the end of their rope
Sometimes baby
You've got to lay low

(Chorus)
Rooty toot toot
Rooty toot toot
We had it made in the shade
Like a ball through the hoop
Spinnin' and tumblin' inside this hoola hoop
Livin' and learnin'
Rooty toot toot

We stayed there all day
We both got us some real good suntans
I thought that was ok
Sometimes life can be so grand

We were gettin' ready
To shake out of that place
When the Illinois state trooper
Got in my face
He said, You're on private property
But once he cooled down he was ok
Sometimes you're golden, man
That's all I got to say

(Chorus)
Rooty toot toot
Rooty toot toot
We had it made in the shade
Like a ball through the hoop
Spinnin' and tumblin' inside this hoola hoop
Livin' and learnin'
Rooty toot toot

(Chorus)
Rooty toot toot
Rooty toot toot
We had it made in the shade
Like a ball through the hoop
Spinnin' and tumblin' inside this hoola hoop
Livin' and learnin'
Rooty toot toot




Written by John Mellencamp

Well, it’s another hot day in Leland, Mississippi
They’ll be playin’ the harmonica and the old people sing?
Some are laughing, some are crying
Most are still relying on the Old Delta

Yeah, each trying to comment, don’t wanna
show the world today
There ain’t no use to it, since they took our
Dignity and ran away
Well, who we are, and what we achieve
When it comes to grips with that
And maybe someone’ll believe in Shannon County

Here in the Midwest four crosses on a slow burn
Well I know it ain’t my fault, so I reckon it
Must be my turn
Aimless day, empty future
Bruised optimism
You know we ain’t no quitter’s here in the county

Just people talking, do you know what I mean
You can keep all your big deals, don’t take
Away our reason to believe
We worked in your fields, and ran your
Foundries
We seen soldier’s in your wars, please let us
Keep our dreams
We’re just people talking




ALBUM CREDITS:

Kenny Aronoff: Drums, Tambourine, Vibes, Hammer Dulcimer, Congas, Backing Vocals
Larry Crane: Acoustic Guitars, Electric Guitars, Pedal Steel, Lap Steel, Mandolin, Harmonica, Autoharp, Banjo, Backing Vocals
John Cassella: Accordion, Keyboards, Sax, Melodica, Penny Whistle, Claves
Lisa Germano: Fiddle
Toby Myers: Bass Guitar, Banjo, Backing Vocals
Pat Peterson: Backing Vocals, Cowbell, Tambourine
Crystal Taliefero: Backing Vocals
Mike Wanchic: Electric Guitars, Acoustic Guitars, Dobro, Banjo, Dulcimer, Backing Vocals
John Mellencamp: Vocals

PRODUCTION CREDITS:

Produced by: John Mellencamp and Don Gehman
Engineers: David Leonard and Don Gehman
Maintenance Engineer: Ross Alexander
Assistant Engineer: Rick Fettig
Mastering Engineer: Stephen Marcussen, Precision Lacquer, Hollywood, CA
Mix by: David Leonard and Don Gehman
Recorded and Mixed at: Belmont Mall Studio, Belmont, IN September 1986 through June 1987
Photography: Skeeter Hagler
Art Direction: George Corsillo
Management: Champion Entertainment Organization, INC.

 

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