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Dan Bern - Jail

Song Lyrics

I wish you well on your travels
My friends I wish you well along the way
This is the story of how I came to be
In jail for a night and a day

Well I'm driving my '88 Olds Cutlass
It's raining and it's dark
My wipers are beating slow and steady
Like the thump, thump, thumping of my heart
I'm rolling down from up in Colorado
Some little town in Texas tonight
When my rear view flashes blue, blue, blue
It's a cop; my license plate's missing a light
He smells sweet green Colorado
Hidden in the lining 'bove my head
Next thing I know there's four cop cars flashing
And around my wrists are bracelets of lead
Well, take my license, take my fingerprints
Take my wallet that I'll no longer need
Take my belt in case I want to hang myself
For a nickel bag of weed
Then put me in a cell on an old mattress pad
To measure out in minutes this night
One cup of water in styrofoam
Four walls and one fluorescent light
And this is my one phone call
And baby I'm calling you
You tell me, "stay strong boy"
I say "well, I'll do the best I do"

And I wish you well on your travels
My friends I wish you well along the way
This is the story of how I came to be
In jail for a night and a day

Now at first I'm thinking, man, I'm such a fuck-up
My head is lonesome and bowed
Figure I'll join some program, get religious
My abstinence will make my mother proud
And I stare at the stone cold floor
I guess that's what you do in the pen
Then I get to thinking what I'd really like to do
Is to come back here and fight this to the end

Your honor, think of Johnny Cash
And Elvis and Hank Williams too
Whatever it took to go get those songs
Those good old boys would do
If it's illegal, then throw out Blonde on Blonde
And every Beatles song since Hard Day's Night
Go ahead and burn Walt Whitman
Unpaint Starry Night
Coltrane, Louis Armstrong, let 'em burn
Kerouac, Thelonious Monk
Alice in Wonderland, Picasso
Burroughs, Blake, Ginsberg, throw it out, it's junk
Then throw out all your favorite records
Throw your books of poetry away
Close the museums, burn the paintings
Restore us to Galileo's Day
Then to the drug store we will go
For Vicodin and Chloraseptic spray
Scarf a couple Darvocets and Xanax
And then we'll go floating away
Dear Governor, dear Governor, dear Governor
The ultimate enforcer of my fate
Did I interrupt your three-martini lunch?
Are you off on your cigarette break?

Well, I wish you well on your travels
My friends I wish you well along the way
This is the story of how I came to be
In jail for a night and a day

Next day, my buddies bail me out
Toward late afternoon
And the grass, it never smelled greener
Sun drips honey like from a golden spoon
I jump in the car and drive on out of there
Soon I'm miles away
And I get to thinking what awaits me
When I come back some not-so-distant day
Will I stand before the judge
And say, "Your Honor, this law, it is wrong"
Or do I just do the time and pay my fine
Shake this town from my boots and be gone

I wish you well on your travels
My friends I wish you well along the way
This is the story of how I came to be
In jail for a night and a day

CDs

These lyrics are on the following CD(s):

The Swastika EP (2002)
The Swastika EP

Amazon.com link

   

1. Talkin' Al Kida Blues
2. My Little Swastika
3. Jail
4. Friends
5. Lithuania


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