Back
BUY THE ALBUM NOW:
KEY:

ON THE RURAL ROUTE 7609

Click song title for lyrics

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 don’t always pay
Sometimes you get sick
And don’t get better
That’s 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 I’ve been
So you tell yourself I’ll be back up on top some day
But you know there’s nothing waiting up there for you anyway

Nothing lasts forever
And your best efforts don’t always pay
Sometimes you get sick
And you don’t get better
That’s when life is short
Even in its longest days

Life is short
Even in its longest days




Was a dark stormy night
As the train rattled on
All the passengers had gone to bed
Except a young man with a baby in his arms
Sat there with a bowed-down head

The innocent one began crying just then
As though its poor heart would break
One angry man said, "Make that child stop its noise
For it's keeping all of us awake."

"Grandma's Theme" is a part of the traditional song
"The Baggage Coach Ahead." Here are those lyrics:

On a dark and stormy night as the train rolled on
All passengers gone to bed,
Except a young man with a babe on his arm
Sat sadly with bowed down head;
Just then the babe commenced crying
As though its poor heart would break.
One angry man said, "Make that child stop its noise,
For it's keeping us all awake."

"Put it out," said another, "Don't keep it in here;
We've paid for our berth and want rest."
But never a word said the man with the child,
As he fondled it close to his breast.
"Oh where is its mother? Go take it to her,"
One lady then softly said.
"I wish I could," was the man's sad reply.
"But she's dead in the coach ahead."
As the train rolled onward, a husband set in tears,
Thinking of the happiness of just a few short years.
Baby's face brings pictures of a cherished hope now dead,
But baby's cries can't awaken her in the baggage coach ahead.
Every eye filled with tears as the story he told
Of a wife who was faithful and true;
He told how he'd saved up his earnings for years,
Just to build a home for two;
How when heaven had sent them their sweet little babe,
Their young happy lives were blest;
His heart seemed to break when he mentioned her name,
And in tears tried to tell them the rest.

Every woman arose to assist with the child;
There were mothers and wives on that train.
And soon was the little one sleeping in peace,
With no thought of sorrow or pain.
Next morn at the station he bade all goodbye,
"God bless you," he softly said,
Each one had a story to tell in their homes
Of the baggage coach ahead.




Little girl disappeared and gone
From the rural route
Seven days missing something’s wrong
On the rural route
Amber alert all over the nation
From the rural route
Two lane highway full of cops
On the rural route
Rural route

Police dogs howl from wire cages
On the rural route
Last seen leavin’ a trailer
On the rural route
Just walkin’ home alone
On the rural route
Newspaper prints her fifth grade picture
From the rural route
Rural route

Air stinks of crystal meth
On the rural route
Some one predicts a young girl’s death
On the rural route
Father refuses to answer any questions
From the rural route
The man he runs around with comes up missing
Off the rural route
Rural route

Twenty miles away by a lake
On the rural route
Girl’s body’s found, it’s been raped
By the rural route
Twenty-eight year old friend of the father
Arrested on the rural route
Father traded his daughter for favors
On the rural route
Rural route
Rural route

Here’s my prayer loud and clear
From the rural route
Forgive us Lord, get us out of here
Off this rural route
Oh merciful Father, show us the will
Here on the rural route
Give us the mercy for the drug-addicted
And the mentally ill
On the rural route




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




Scarecrow on a wooden cross
Blackbird in the barn
Four hundred empty acres
That used to be my farm
I grew up like my daddy did
My grandpa cleared this land
When I was five I walked the fence
While grandpa held my hand

(Chorus)
Rain on the scarecrow
Blood on the plow
This land fed a nation
This land made me proud
And Son I'm just sorry
There's no legacy for you now
Rain on the scarecrow
Blood on the plow
Rain on the scarecrow
Blood on the plow

The crops we grew last summer
Weren't enough to pay the loan
Couldn't buy the seed to plant this spring
And the Farmers Bank foreclosed
Called my old friend Schepman up
To auction off the land
He said John it's just my job
And I hope you understand
Hey calling it your job ol' hoss
Sure don't make it right
But if you want me to I'll say a prayer
For your soul tonight
And grandma's on the front porch swing
With a Bible in her hand
Sometimes I hear her singing
"Take me to the Promised Land"
When you take away a man's dignity
He can't work his fields and cows

There'll be blood on the scarecrow
Blood on the plow
Blood on the scarecrow
Blood on the plow

Well there's ninety-seven crosses
Planted in the courthouse yard
Ninety-seven families
Who lost ninety-seven farms
I think about my Grandpa
My neighbors and my name
And some nights I feel like dyin'
Like that scarecrow in the rain

Rain on the scarecrow
Blood on the plow
This land fed a nation
Hey this land made me proud
And Son I'm just sorry
They're just memories for you now

Rain on the scarecrow
Blood on the plow
Rain on the scarecrow
Blood on the plow

Rain on the scarecrow
Blood on the plow
This land fed a nation
This land made me so proud
And Son I'm just sorry
They're just memories for you now
Rain on the scarecrow
Blood on the plow
Rain on the scarecrow
Blood on the plow
Ooooooh yeah



6.  Jim Crow

Look what Jim Crow’s done and gone
Went and changed his name
Don’t know what he’s going by these days
But he’s still actin’ the same
You can call it what you want to
But it’s still a minstrel show
You can call it what you want to
But it’s still Jim Crow

Jim’s probably laying in this morning
Hummin’ as he sleeps
Feeling the glow of another man’s woman
As she lies beneath his feet
Enjoyin’ the cool morning breeze
Smellin’ flowers as he goes
Looks like he’s changed his ways
Ah, but he’s still Jim Crow

Jim will spend the rest of the day
Playin’ in some big hotel
It’s an old song with very bad rhymes
But he does it so well
He’ll make some new acquaintances
When he’s out on his evening stroll
It’s amazing that after all this time
So many love
Big Jim Crow




You used to raise your voice so that it could be heard
You used to shout out your orders, and your word was the final word
Do as I say and not as I do
They've taken your picture off the wall
How does it feel to be the big daddy of them all

You used to chase your women right into your home
You used to tell them you loved them over the telephone
Now they all see through you
And you're sinking like a stone
No one's knocking at your door
No one calls
How does it feel to be the big daddy of them all

You're sad and disgusted
Is what you've grown up to be
Bet you had no idea what your dream would turn out to be
But when you live for yourself
Hell, it's hard on everyone
But you did it your way and man you did it all
How does it feel to be the big daddy of them all

Now you did it your way and man, you did it all
How does it feel to be the big daddy of them all




Daylight is leaving
And the night is closing in
In just a few hours
The sleeplessness begins again
My head feels thick
And I'm unable to think
I guess I'll wait 'til tomorrow
And see what it brings
I have a little hope left
And I guess that's someplace to start
But my memory's full
Of a deep blue heart

My fun-loving sense of humor
Is nowhere to be found
I stare into my own eyes
With tears flowing down
I'd sing out a song
But I've forgotten the tune
And the words now escape me
But I think it's about you
My vision now is way out in the dark
With just a little sight left
Of a deep blue heart

I see us both flying
In the clear blue sky
Floating out on the ocean
With the sun in our eyes
Caught in a moment
Just me and you
In complete honesty
Where everything is true
That's what I wanted to believe
Right from the start
Just a little place for myself
In a deep blue heart

Carve out a place for myself
In your deep blue heart




When I think of all the wrong I’ve done
I can’t believe it’s me that I’m talking about
I bet the same goes for you

There is plenty of goodness in this world
I hope some day to find it all
I hope the same goes for you
I hope the same goes for you

Thank God for forgiveness
I don’t know how else we could get along
Without forgiveness
Without forgiveness

I’d like to say I’m sorry now
I hope this message is not too late
I bet the same goes for you
I hope the same goes for you

Thank God for forgiveness
I don’t know how else we could get along
Without forgiveness
Without forgiveness

If there is peace of mind at all
I’d like to know it someday
I bet the same goes for you
I hope the same goes for you
I hope the same goes for you

Thank God for forgiveness
I don’t know how else we could get along
Without forgiveness
Without forgiveness




Read On The Rural Route 7609 Album Reviews, Features, and Profiles

ALBUM DETAILS

Released Date: June 15, 2010 on Universal Music Enterprises

ALBUM CREDITS:

LEAD VOCALS
John Mellencamp

ADDITIONAL LEAD VOCALS
Joanne Woodward, Cornell West, Laura Mellencamp

DUET VOCAL / BACKING VOCALS
Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Roads, Phillip Sweet, Jimi Westbrook,
Andy York, Mike Wanchic, Toby Myers, Joan Baez, Georgia Jones,
Pat Peterson, Crystal Taliefero, Moe Z, Kenny Childers,
Trisha Yearwood, Mick Ronson, Robert Frank, Larry Crane,
Raphael Saadiq, Jimmy Ryser, Lonnie Pitchford, Janas Hoyt,
Carroll Sue Hill, Courtney Kaiser, Heather Headley,
Lisa Germano, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Michael Ramos,
Susan Swaney, Laurie Robert-Glug, Sonja Rasmussen, Jane McLeod

GUITARS
John Mellencamp, Mike Wanchic, Andy York, T Bone Burnett,
David Grissom, Larry Crane, Mick Ronson, Kenneth “Babyface”
Edmonds, Kenny Childers, Michael Clark, Dave Alvin

BASS
John Gunnell, Toby Myers, Willie Weeks, Andy York, Robert
Frank, Raphael Saadiq, Milton Davis, T Bone Burnett, Reggie
Hamilton, Dennis Crouch, Dave Rowe

KEYS/ORGAN/PIANO
Troye Kinnett, John Cascella, Michael Ramos, Moe Z, Andy York,
Mike Wanchic, Jeff Pederson, Jay Ferguson, Micheal Ramos,
Miriam Sturm

DRUMS
Dane Clark, Kenny Aronoff, Steve Jordan, Ricky Lawson, Moe Z,
Andy York, Mike Dupke

PERCUSSION
Dane Clark, Kenny Aronoff, Crystal Taliefero, Steve Jordan,
Moe Z, Andy York, Pat Peterson,

VIOLIN
Miriam Sturm, Lisa Germano, Jimmy Ryser

ACCORDION
John Cascella, Michael Ramos, David Wierhake

OBOE
Nancy Arnold

BRASS
Harvey Phillips, Tim Riggins, Dennis Riggins

PRODUCERS
John Mellencamp, T Bone Burnett, Don Gehman, Mike Wanchic,
Malcolm Burn, David Leonard, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds,
Paul Mahern

ENGINEERS
Mike Piersante, Paul Mahern, Greg Edward, Ross Hogarth,
David Leonard, Don Smith, George Tutko, Justin Niebank,
Marc Goodman, P. Dennis Mitchell, Ray Kennedy, Jay Healy,
David Thoener, Paul Boutin, Don Gehman, Mark Stebbeds,
Jun Murakawa, Michael Stucker

ASSISTANT ENGINEERS
Scott Davis, Rick Fettig, Emile Kelman, Ross Alexander,
Ed Quesada

BOX SET PRODUCERS
John Mellencamp, Mike Wanchic

MASTERING
Mastered by Gavin Lurssen
Assisted by Reuben Cohen at Lurssen Mastering

RESEARCH
Steve Berkowitz
Quote From Orpheus Descending by Tennessee Williams. Copyright ©1955, 1958 by Tennessee Williams, renewed ©1983, 1986 by the University of the South. Used by permission of Georges Borchardt, Inc., on behalf of the University of the South.
All rights reserved.

Death Letter
Under license from The Sony Music Custom Marketing Group, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Deep Blue Heart
Under license from The Sony Music Custom Marketing Group, a division of Sony Music Entertainment
Trisha Yearwood appears courtesy of MCA Nashville.

Just Like You
Under license from The Sony Music Custom Marketing Group, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Peaceful World
Under license from The Sony Music Custom Marketing Group, a division of Sony Music Entertainment
India.Arie appears courtesy of Motown Records, A Division of UMG Recording Inc.

To Washington
Under license from The Sony Music Custom Marketing Group, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Women Seem
Under license from The Sony Music Custom Marketing Group, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Your Life Is Now
Under license from The Sony Music Custom Marketing Group, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Art Direction: Vartan Kurjian
Design: Coco Shinomiya & Meire Murakami
Photo Coordinator: Jo Almeida
Photos: JJC Andrews, Skeeter Hagler, Marc Hauser, Paul Jasmin, Antonin Kratochvil, Library of Congress, Paul Mahern, Kurt Markus, Elaine Mellencamp, © Stephanie Pfriender/Corbis Outline, Harry Sandler, Norman Seeff, Lance Staedler, Jurgen Vollmer/Redferns/Getty images
Landscapes: Michael Wilson
Production Manager: Michele Horie
Legal Clearances: Andrew Labarrere
Product Manager: Adam Abrams
Management: Hoffman Entertainment

© 2009 John Mellencamp under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises,
a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc. B0013193-02
 

On The Rural Route 7609 is a four CD set that chronicles, in a most unique way, the arc of John Mellencamp’s career, with a focus on his songwriting. Universal Music Enterprises has set June 15th as the release date for the collection through its Mercury imprint. The package, unlike typical box sets that tend to slavishly offer a chronological presentation of hits and near-hits, is programmed as if each of the discs were a freestanding album. The 54 tracks included in the collection are presented, in essence, as four albums with songs juxtaposed in a manner that offers the listener the experience of hearing them in a context that sheds new light on the themes and artistry that have made Mellencamp’s music so cherished by so many over the course of four decades.

While On The Rural Route 7609 offers a wealth of well-known material, a significant number of the tracks included are less familiar but equally compelling, especially in terms of providing an in-depth picture of Mellencamp's spectrum of creativity. The concept behind the four “albums” of the collection is to give long-term Mellencamp fans and newer listeners alike, a more complete and insightful view of the artist's role as a writer and artist whose catalog of songs and recordings resound with substance and nuance.

The songs selected reflect the artist’s pop idol origins through his ascent to the ranks of America’s most respected and socially active writers and performers. On The Rural Route 7609 offers 17 tracks previously unreleased on any John Mellencamp CD including guest readings of Mellencamp’s lyrics by Academy Award® winning actress Joanne Woodward and best selling author/educator Dr. Cornel West. The discs are packaged within a 72-page book that includes an exhaustive essay and comprehensive track-by-track annotation by award-winning writer Anthony DeCurtis. His marathon interviews with Mellencamp were conducted in Bloomington, IN where DeCurtis, coincidentally, earned his PhD in American literature at Indiana University. Mellencamp tells the story behind each of the songs included in the set and there's a scholarly introductory essay by DeCurtis as well. The package, a truly lavish assemblage, includes rare and evocative photos printed on heavy stock that make On The Rural Route 7609 a distinctive set of albums, in the sense that albums -- as originally conceived in earlier times -- are cohesive collections of music.

While such Mellencamp hits including “Rain On The Scarecrow,” “Jack and Diane,” “Jackie Brown,” “Pink Houses,” “Your Life Is Now,” “Our Country” are presented, less familiar songs as well as demos for “Cherry Bomb,” “Authority Song” and other recordings serve to chronicle the maturation of Mellencamp as both an artist and songwriter over the years. As quoted by DeCurtis in the 4500 word introductory essay included in the package, he explains, “We tried to make it like a process of discovery, that perhaps somebody could listen to this set and discover these songs.” Material from early works through his most recently released album, Life Death Love and Freedom which Time Magazine called his "best in a decade" and Rolling Stone ranked #5 in its listing of 50 best albums of the year, gives the listener an opportunity to consider more than 30 years of Mellencamp's output in a musically coherent manner.

The title of the package is reflective of Mellencamp’s continuing role as a troubadour who conveys the hopes, heartbreak and realities of the heartland – that part of the country that politicians are wont to call “the real America,” a divisive jab that is at odds with Mellencamp’s true themes. Per DeCurtis, “..the set takes its title from a scarifying murder ballad on Freedom’s Road, ‘Rural Route.’"

Mellencamp explained to DeCurtis “I started making records in ’76, and the most recent track on the collection was done in ‘09. So Rural Route 7609; it’s like an address. I thought it sounded cool.”

Adds DeCurtis, “It does. But, more important, for anyone interested in finding the real John Mellencamp, this is where he’s been, and where he lives.” On The Rural Route 7609 is a musical journey that sheds new light on an American musician who, as both a songwriter and social activist, has never rested on his laurels or past accomplishments.

On The Rural Route 7609 Tracklisting:

* indicates track selection has never before been released on a John Mellencamp CD

 
Disc 1
1. Longest Days
2. Grandma’s Theme
3. Rural Route
4. Jackie Brown
5. Rain On The Scarecrow
6. * Jim Crow with Cornell West
7. Jim Crow
8. Big Daddy Of Them All
9. Deep Blue Heart
10. Forgiveness
11. Don’t Need This Body
12. * Jenny At 16
13. * Jack And Diane (writing demo)
14. Jack And Diane
 
Disc 2
1. * The Real Life with Joanne Woodward
2. Ghost Towns Along The Highway
3. The Full Catastrophe
4. * Authority Song (writing demo)
5. Troubled Land
6. To Washington
7. * Our Country (alternate version)
8. Country Gentlemen
9. Freedom’s Road
10. * Mr. Bellows (remix)
11. Rodeo Clown
12. Love And Happiness
13. Pink Houses
Disc 3
1. If I Die Sudden (live)
2. Someday
3. Between A Laugh And A Tear
4. * Void In My Heart (acoustic version
 recorded at Chess Studios)
5. Death Letter
6. * Sugar Marie (acoustic)
7. Theo And Weird Henry
8. When Jesus Left Birmingham
9. * L.U.V. (remix)
10. Thank You
11. Women Seem
12. * The World Don’t Bother Me None
13. * Cherry Bomb (writing demo)
14. * Someday The Rains Will Fall
15. A Ride Back Home
Disc 4
1. My Aeroplane
2. * Colored Lights
3. Just Like You
4. Young Without Lovers
5. * To M.G. (Wherever She May Be) (acoustic)
6. Sweet Evening Breeze
7. What If I Came Knocking
8. County Fair
9. * Peaceful World (writing demo)
10. Your Life Is Now
11. For The Children
12. * Rural Route (acoustic)


Preview the On The Rural Route 7609 Book

We have created a preview site for the box browse through 16 pages of the book while listening to several 90 second samples. Click HERE to check out the box set preview!

While viewing, use the tool on the top left to forward it to your friends to check out or post it on your Facebook/Twitter pages to help spread the word about John and his music! Learn more about how to spread the word about the box set.

Listen to On The Rural Route 7609 Online:

You can Listen to the Music and download the box set from Amazon.com on John's MySpace page.

Order On The Rural Route 7609 Online:

John's box set On The Rural Route 7609 is now available for purchase through the following links:

Amazon.com On-line Store
Mellencamp.com Store
Amazon.com MP3+Digital Booklet Download
iTunes Download (includes digital version of the book)

Special Mellencamp.com Store Promotion:
The Official Mellencamp Store is offering a 25% discount on all Mellencamp concert merchandise purchased with the set! Use our special code in the shopping cart (Promo Code: RuralBoxSet) at checkout to get the concert merch discount. Note that third party items listed in the store but sold on other sites (i.e. books & CD's) do not qualify for the discount.


Click HERE for full sized image.

 

WEBSITE & CONTENTS © JOHN MELLENCAMP. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.             PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS OF USE | CONTACT

 

Email Updates! Home Powered by BubbleUp,Ltd. John Mellencamp on YouTube.com John Mellencamp on Wikipedia John Mellencamp on MySpace.com John Mellencamp on Facebook.com John Mellencamp on Twitter.com John Mellencamp on iLike.com John Mellencamp on Pandora.com John Mellencamp on LastFM.com