Saturday, July 30, 2016

Mellencamp Does One

Earlier this week I was driving around and listening to the Big Daddy record by Mellencamp. Immediately my mind clicked back to the day that the record came out. I was living in New Haven, Connecticut. I lived alone. I was 23 years old. I worked long hours at my first real construction job, and I was writing. I was actually writing the book, Desperation, which was about poverty. It was an ambitious book. And wouldn't you know it, Mellencamp had written and released a song about the very subject. Jackie Brown is a song that stopped me in my tracks. I distinctly recall the first time it came through the speakers. The lyrics weren't included in the CD sleeve so I had to stop the song and scratch down the lyrics. Just a great song. There are so many people who suffer, all their lives, just trying to keep their head above the water line. They should not be disposable members of our society. Somehow we have to get them out of the cycle.


Jackie Brown - 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 the worn out clothes
That have been hand-me downs.

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?

Songwriters: JOHN MELLENCAMP
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
For non-commercial use only.

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