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PLAIN SPOKEN

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Written By John Mellencamp

It’s the wake of all evil
A universal mess
I’ve always found trouble
Even at my best
No hopes to get better
‘til they put me down to rest
I am a troubled man

Anxiety and sorrow
Underneath my skin
Self-destruction and failure
Have beat my head in
I laughed out loud once
I won’t do that again
Always traveled the hell fire road
To chase the sweet smell of sin
I am a troubled man
I am a troubled man

I am a troubled man
I am a troubled man
So many things
Have fallen through my hands
I am a troubled man

People up on the east side
People on the gravel road
People of many colors
Whose stories will never be told
Too late came too early for me to face myself
I am a troubled man

I am a troubled man
I am a troubled man, oh Lord
I won’t do anything but hurt you if I can
I am a troubled man



Written By John Mellencamp

Sometimes there’s God in someone else’s eyes
Sometimes there’s God when you see the sun rise
Sometimes your work, only in vain
Sometimes there’s very little heartbreak and pain

Sometimes there’s God
Sometimes there’s not

Sometimes there’s God and sometimes there’s just not
A little redemption would help us a lot
Sometimes there’s God in the palm of your hand
Somedays hard times will cover your land

Sometimes there’s God
Sometimes there’s God
Sometimes there’s God
And sometimes there’s just not

Sometimes you pray for witness you can rise above
There’s judgment and destruction in the name of God
Can we find truth in all that we feel
Sometimes there’s God when sickness is healed

Sometimes there’s God
Sometimes there’s God
Sometimes there’s God
Sometimes there’s not

We all need God when people don’t care
What we do to each other when there’s nobody else there
In the dark we promise God I’ll never do this again
Let the choices we’ve made be forgiven

Sometimes there’s God
Sometimes there’s God
Sometimes there’s God
Sometimes there’s not

Sometimes there’s God
Sometimes there’s God
Sometimes there’s not
And sometimes there’s God



Written By John Mellencamp

Never looked forward to the future
Never enjoyed where I’ve been
Couldn’t keep my mind in the moment
Never really cared if I had a friend
I always felt like there was something better
Even when I had it made
Never respected the job I was doing
Never cared about money but I felt underpaid
Saw so many people
Walking out the door
Never cared about being lonely
Because I couldn’t use you no more
I said, go away
I’m quittin’ on you today

I always felt like sorrow was a lesson
I always felt I needed to feel the pain
I thought happiness was a transgression
And I just took it as it came
I never wanted to say too much
To other people I did not understand
Never made love with my heart in it
Never wanted to make any plans
Saw so many lovers
Walk out that door
Never cared about being lonely
Because you didn’t love me no more
I said, go away, go away
I’m quittin’ on you today

Love ‘em, leave ‘em, then forget ‘em
Don’t worry about 'em when they’re gone
That’s the way I always played it
Now maybe I played it all wrong
Been so indifferent about so many things
About my time and my rage
Thought I was livin’ a life of freedom
But I was living in a cage
And that cage bred with my lower self
So many knots I did not untie
They came undone by my faults
And here’s the reason why
Saw so many lovers
Walk out that door
Never cared about being lonely
Because I didn’t love you no more
I said, go away, go away, go away
I’m quittin’ on you today



Written By John Mellencamp

I’m in the company of cowards
I’m in the company store
Bullet holes through the window
We can’t keep this company up anymore

A bucket of beer, a bucket of fools
A bucket of dark and broken rules
There’s a lot more to this than I ever thought
A bucket of trouble that’s what we’ve bought

Chorus:
The man in the moon this afternoon
Told secrets on you
I believe to be true
I’m in the company of cowards
I’m in the company of me and you

I saw you with Mr. Struggle Must Go On
In a bar down in the Keys
He was old and slow and couldn’t throw a punch
And you looked so musical last night in the breeze
You were showering him with your tender protection
With no regard for me
I was dining alone on the bread of sorrow
While you were making fat the old man and the sea

Chorus:
The man in the moon this afternoon
Told secrets on you I believe to be true
I’m in the company of cowards
I’m in the company of me and you

The Bible speaks of Heaven and Hell
And many frightening things
Politicians say “One more war
And the bells of freedom will start to ring”
Those stories you told by the waggin’ of your chin
Time’s not so precious til it comes to an end
And silence is truth between me and you
With our demur well hidden, like two birds we flew

Chorus:
So cover your eyes old man in the moon
Unless you care to see what really is not true
You’re in the company of cowards
It’s hard telling what they will do
You’re in the company of cowards
You’re in the company of me and you



Written By John Mellencamp

Snow falling on a cane break
Please stop howling at the moon
I got stones in my bed
Stones left there by you

Tears in vain I’m crying
Tears in vain over you
I guess I should know better than
To cry these tears in vain

I guess I could ask myself why now
As if there’s some answer known
I’ll just sit here by myself
As you meet your friend down the road

Tears in vain I’m crying
Tears in vain over you
I guess I should know better than
To cry these tears in vain

I might write you a poem
And put it up there on the wall
I’ll rewrite it ‘til you return to me
Sha la la la la la la

Tears in vain I’m crying
Tears in vain over you
I guess I should know better than
To cry these tears in vain

Tears in vain I’m crying
Tears in vain over you
I guess I should know better than
To cry these tears in vain
To cry these tears in vain



Written By John Mellencamp

The saddest girl in the whole wide world
I met her on the Quarter
With no regards for vagrancy, no respect for civil order
How young are you, I asked her
How old are you, young lady?
I’m much older than you think, ‘cause I have seven babies

Where are those who keep these kids
While you’re out on the party?
I leave them where they are safe
At the church of 12th and Harding
The people there they know me well
They ask me very few questions
And if a child should pass before they wake, they’ll pray them into heaven

No love and no lover
A murder of crows did sing
We soon will discover
The coffin will wear our brass ring

So where’s the father of these kids?
Does he, does he help you ever?
I have no idea where he is
He don’t show his face, he knows better
Can I help you go tonight?
It would be my pleasure
And make sure that you arrive all right
Now we could leave together

She said, no, I don’t need your company
And I don’t want your pity
You’d be wise just to go away
And leave me here where I’m sitting
Is there nothing I can do for you?
Now it’s time to scatter
Why do you think there’s something wrong with me
There’s nothing really the matter?

No love and no lover
A murder of crows did sing
We soon will discover
A coffin will wear our brass ring

I find myself where life could go
I find myself each morning
All the duties of this world
Fell on my shoulders without warning
I make no plans, nor do I care
For the future called tomorrow
This world I’ve seen here's never fair
So just leave me here with my sorrows

No love and no lover
A murder of crows did sing
We soon will discover
The coffin will wear our brass ring

No love and no lover
A murder of crows did sing
We soon will discover
The coffin will wear our brass ring
Wear our brass ring



Written By John Mellencamp

Freedom of speech
Freedom to say
Freedom to think
Freedom of Speech
This is my lucky day
Freedom of thought
Freedom of dreams
Freedom to believe
That we all can be kings

Freedom is yours
Freedom is mine
Freedom of speech
So I can write down these lines
If you and I agree
Hold out your hand to me
We will share our freedoms
With our friends and family

Freedom of speech
Freedom to say
Freedom to think
This is my lucky day
Freedom of thought
Freedom of dreams
Freedom to believe
That we all can be kings

We can take our thoughts
So many ways
If your thoughts are different
Well, I think that’s okay
We should all try
To keep the Golden Rule
And cherish our freedom
At home and in our schools

Freedom of speech
Freedom to say
Freedom to think
This is my lucky day
Freedom of thought

Freedom of dreams
Freedom to believe
That we all can be kings
All can be kings



Written By John Mellencamp

Exhausted by too many tears
Trouble is everywhere
Hold you in my arms
Blue Charlotte

While your eyes gaze up at me
I’m not the man
I used to be
You still own my heart
Blue Charlotte

Look away, look away
They’re so precious, these last few days
Look away, look away
We watch as it comes to an end
Blue Charlotte

And if you pass tonight in your sleep
You will still have me to weep
I’m all that remains here
Blue Charlotte

Yellow letters from your youth
All of them seeking truth
The poems written from me to you
Blue Charlotte

Look away, look away
They’re so precious, these last few days
Look away, please look away
We watch all that screams
Blue Charlotte

Look away, look away
We watch as Autumn comes to an end
Blue Charlotte

It’s a long, long way from here
Our reflection in the mirror
Now you’ve closed your eyes
Blue Charlotte

It’s a slow walk to the grave
Here we are together today
You’ve been my whole life
Blue Charlotte

Look away, look away
They’re so precious, these last few days
Look away, look away
We watch as something new begins

Blue Charlotte
Blue Charlotte



Written By John Mellencamp

I knew this colorful woman once
She drank and had a roving eye
In the morning she was always mournful
She’d cry and apologize
But she’d always repeat herself
Find comfort with a stranger and sing
She never took much notice
In the courtesy of kings

She had pictures of Cuban artists
And paintings from Rotterdam
Promises that she made
She never could stay true to them
She said she loved me so deeply
Then she’d spit in my face and scream
And she never took much notice
In the courtesy of kings

She had the face of an angel
And a smile no one could deny
But the heart of a devil
Beat deep down in her inside
She spoke of judgment and forgiveness
Her other lovers didn’t mean a thing
She never took much notice
In the courtesy of kings

We parted in the middle of nowhere
I haven’t seen her since then
She always kept my mind busy
She made her lies sing like a hymn
Sometimes I wonder if I’d see her
If I would still recognize
Or just remember her as a dream
And respect her for the love she used to bring
And if I could show her
The courtesy of kings



Written By John Mellencamp

Well, you can’t trust your neighbor
Husband or wife
Can’t trust the police
With their guns or their nights
Look out for the creepers
Tappin’ on your cell phone
You’d better lock your door
Even when you’re at home

My, my, my
These are lawless times
My, my, my
These are lawless times

You can’t trust the banks
The way that you used to do
I hope that Wall Street
Has been good to you
You can’t trust the priest
You’d better watch your behind
Don’t look too close at the government
Hard tellin’ what you’ll find

My, my, my
These are lawless times My, my, my
These are lawless times

Well, I don’t trust myself
I don’t trust you
Don’t get too sick
It’ll be the end of you
Don’t expect a helping hand
And if you fall down
And if you want to steal this song
It can be easily loaded down

My, my, my
These are lawless times
My, my, my
These are lawless times

So you might ask yourself
Hey, what can I do?
I can’t trust the future
What’s been promised to you
Learn the rules hard and fast
Take care of yourself
And keep your eyes open
On everybody else

My, my, my
These are lawless times
My, my, my
These are lawless times

My, my, my
These are lawless times
My, my, my
These are lawless times



John Mellencamp will release his new album, Plain Spoken, Tuesday, September 23, 2014, followed by an 80 city North American Tour starting in January. This is his 22nd full-length album and first release for Republic Records. Plain Spoken includes ten stunningly elegant and soul-searching Americana gems from “The Voice of the Heartland”, John Mellencamp, while celebrating his skill not just as a song craftsman but as a world-class entertainer. On its release in September, Plain Spoken will be available in a 10-track edition on CD, vinyl and download. Lead track, "Troubled Man" is available on iTunes August 19 and impacts radio on September 8.

Plain Spoken commences on the acoustic guitar hum of “Troubled Man” as Mellencamp carries a pensive and poetic chorus. Organ and harmonica punctuate “The Isolation of Mister” with a sense of vibrancy, while “Tears In Vain” features a twanging guitar solo and the singer’s unmistakable delivery. The haunting and heartbreaking beauty of “Blue Charlotte” lingers with emotion. There is “The Courtesy of Kings”, which is driven by banjo and Mellencamp’s poignant lyrics and the bluesy swing of the album’s conclusion “Lawless Times” where his cinematic lyrics bristle with energy matched only by the six-string screech. Plain Spoken is set to be hailed as an unparalleled new chapter in Mellencamp’s distinctive songbook.

Plain Spoken is the first album from the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer since 2010’s critically acclaimed, No Better Than This—which landed in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Top 200 during release week and garnered the honor of becoming one of Rolling Stone’s “Best Albums of 2010”. Grammy winning musician John Mellencamp has touched the heart and souls of music listeners and influenced American Culture with enduring songs, he is also one of the most successful live concert performers in the world. A man with a conscience, he used his visibility and influence to advocate an issue that hit close to home and became one of the founding members of Farm Aid, an organization that began in 1985 to raise awareness about the loss of family farm. The Farm Aid concerts have raised over $45 million to promote a resilient family farm system of agriculture.

In 2014, he also signed an historic "lifetime recording contract" with Republic Records for the release of Plain Spoken and all of his albums to follow. Universal Music Enterprises continues to represent the artist's prominent catalog as well. Mercury/UME recently released his latest live album, John Mellencamp Sings Trouble No More Live at Town Hall, this past summer.

Plain Spoken, once again, is John Mellencamp speaking right from the heart and to the world.

TRACKLISTING:

1. Troubled Man
2. Sometimes There’s God
3. The Isolation of Mister
4. The Company of Cowards
5. Tears In Vain
6. The Brass Ring
7. Freedom Of Speech
8. Blue Charlotte
9. The Courtesy of Kings
10. Lawless Times

ALBUM DETAILS

John Mellencamp
Plain Spoken
1. Troubled Man 4:15
2. Sometimes There’s God 4:35
3. The Isolation Of Mister 5:35
4. The Company Of Cowards 3:52
5. Tears In Vain 3:51
6. The Brass Ring 5:37
7. Freedom Of Speech 3:53
8. Blue Charlotte 4:40
9. The Courtesy Of Kings 3:33
10. Lawless Times 3:52

Total CD Running Time: 43:42

Vinyl:
Side A (Tracks 1-5) : 22:04
Side B (Tracks 6-10) : 21:35

Credits:
Executive Produced By T-Bone Burnett
All Songs Written By John Mellencamp

Recorded at Belmont Mall, Nashville, IN
Mixed at Electro Magnetic Studios, Los Angeles, CA
Mastered at Lurssen Mastering, Los Angeles, CA

Musicians:
Dane Clark - Drums
John Gunnell - Bass
Troye Kinnett - Keyboards
Miriam Sturm - Violin
Mike Wanchic - Acoustic and Electric Guitars
Andy York - Acoustic and Electric Guitars
T Bone Burnett - Electric Guitar

Recorded and Mixed by Mike Piersante
Assistant Engineer - Scott Davis
Technical Engineer - Mike Stucker
Assistant Engineer - Zach Dawes
Mastered by Gavin Lurssen
Front cover photo - Meg Ryan
Back cover photo - William Abranowicz
Art Direction - Joe Spix

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

Management: Hoffman Entertainment
©2014 John Mellencamp

 

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