I saw her standin' on her front lawn just twirlin' her baton Me and her went for a ride sir and ten innocent people died From the town of Lincoln Nebraska with a sawed-off .410 on my lap Through to the badlands of Wyoming I killed everything in my path I can't say that I'm sorry for the things that we done At least for a little while sir me and her we had us some fun The jury brought in a guilty verdict and the judge he sentenced me to death Midnight in a prison storeroom with leather straps across my chest Sheriff when the man pulls that switch sir and snaps my poor neck back You make sure my pretty baby is sittin' right there on my lap They declared me unfit to live said into that great void my soul'd be hurled They wanted to know why I did what I did Well sir I guess there's just a meanness in this world
Well, they blew up the chicken man in Philly last night Now, they blew up his house, too Down on the boardwalk they're gettin' ready for a fight Gonna see what them racket boys can do Now, there's trouble bustin' in from outta state And the D.A. can't get no relief Gonna be a rumble out on the promenade And the gamblin' commission's hangin' on by the skin of his teeth Well now, ev'rything dies, baby, that's a fact But maybe ev'rything that dies someday comes back Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty And meet me tonight in Atlantic City Well, I got a job and tried to put my money away But I got debts that no honest man can pay So I drew what I had from the Central Trust And I bought us two tickets on that Coast City bus Now, baby, ev'rything dies, honey, that's a fact... Now our luck may have died and our love may be cold But with you forever I'll stay We're goin' out where the sand's turnin' to gold Put on your stockin's baby, `cause the night's getting cold And maybe ev'rything dies, baby, that's a fact But maybe ev'rything that dies someday comes back Now, I been lookin' for a job, but it's hard to find Down here it's just winners and losers and don't get caught on the wrong side of that line Well, I'm tired of comin' out on the losin' end So, honey, last night I met this guy and I'm gonna do a little favor for him Well, I guess everything dies, baby, that's a fact...
There's a place out on the edge of town, sir, Risin' above the factories and the fields Now, ever since I was a child, I can remember That mansion on the hill In the day you can see the children playing On the road that leads to those gates of hardened steel Steel gates that completely surround, sir, The mansion on the hill At night my daddy'd take me and we'd ride Through the streets of a town so silent and still Park on a back road along the highway side Look up at that mansion on the hill In the summer all the lights would shine There'd be music playin', people laughin' all the time Me and my sister, we'd hide out in the tall cornfields Sit and listen to the mansion on the hill Tonight down here in Linden Town I watch the cars rushin' by, home from the mill There's a beautiful full moon rising Above the mansion on the hill
Well they closed down the auto plant in Mahwah late that month Ralph went out lookin' for a job but he couldn't find none He came home too drunk from mixin' Tanqueray and wine He got a gun shot a night clerk now they call'm Johnny 99 Down in the part of town where when you hit a red light you don't stop Johnny's wavin' his gun around and threatenin' to blow his top When an off-duty cop snuck up on him from behind Out in front of the Club Tip Top they slapped the cuffs on Johnny 99 Well the city supplied a public defender but the judge was Mean John Brown He came into the courtroom and stared young Johnny down Well the evidence is clear gonna let the sentence son fit the crime Prison for 98 and a year and we'll call it even Johnny 99 A fist fight broke out in the courtroom they had to drag Johnny's girl away His mama stood up and shouted "Judge don't take my boy this way" Well son you got a statement you'd like to make Before the bailiff comes to forever take you away Now judge I had debts no honest man could pay The bank was holdin' my mortgage and they were gonna take my house away Now I ain't sayin' that makes me an innocent man But it was more `n all this that put that gun in my hand Well your honor I do believe I'd be better off dead So if you can take a man's life for the thoughts that's in his head Then sit back in that chair and think it over judge one more time And let `em shave off my hair and put me on that killin' line
My name is Joe Roberts I work for the state I'm a sergeant out of Perrineville barracks number 8 I always done an honest job as honest as I could I got a brother named Frankie and Frankie ain't no good Now ever since we was young kids it's been the same come down I get a call over the radio Frankie's in trouble downtown Well if it was any other man, I'd put him straight away But when it's your brother sometimes you look the other way Yeah me and Frankie laughin' and drinkin' Nothin' feels better than blood on blood Takin' turns dancin' with Maria as the band Played "Night of the Johnstown Flood" I catch him when he's strayin' like any brother would Man turns his back on his family well he just ain't no good Well Frankie went in the army back in 1965 I got a farm deferment, settled down, took Maria for my wife But them wheat prices kept on droppin' till it was like we were gettin' robbed Frankie came home in `68, and me, I took this job Yeah we're laughin' and drinkin' Nothin' feels better than blood on blood Takin' turns dancin' with Maria as the band Played "Night of the Johnstown Flood" I catch him when he's strayin' teach him how to walk that line Man turns his back on his family he ain't no friend of mine Well the night was like any other, I got a call `bout quarter to nine There was trouble in a roadhouse out on the Michigan line There was a kid lyin' on the floor lookin' bad bleedin' hard from his head There was a girl cry'n' at a table and it was Frank, they said Well I went out and I jumped in my car and I hit the lights Well I musta done one hundred and ten through Michigan county that night It was out at the crossroads, down `round Willow bank Seen a Buick with Ohio plates. Behind the wheel was Frank Well I chased him through them county roads Till a sign said "Canadian border five miles from here" I pulled over the side of the highway and watched his tail-lights disappear Me and Frankie laughin' and drinkin' Nothin' feels better than blood on blood Takin' turns dancin' with Maria as the band Played "Night of the Johnstown Flood"
New Jersey Turnpike, ridin' on a wet night `neath the refin'ry's glow Out where the great black rivers flow License, registration: I ain't got none But I got a clear conscience `bout the things that I done Mister state trooper, please don't stop me Please don't stop me, please don't stop me Maybe you got a kid, maybe you got a pretty wife The only thing that I got's been both'rin' me my whole life Mister state trooper, please don't stop me Please don't stop me, please don't stop me In the wee, wee hours your mind get hazy Radio relay towers lead me to my baby The radio's jammed up with talk show stations It's just talk, talk, talk, talk, till you lose your patience Mister state trooper, please don't stop me Hey, somebody out there, listen to my last prayer Hiho silver-o, deliver me from nowhere
My sister's in the front seat with an ice cream cone My ma's in the black seat sittin' all alone As my pa steers her slow out of the lot For a test drive down Michigan Avenue Now, my ma, she fingers her wedding band And watches the salesman stare at my old man's hands He's telling us all about the break he'd give us If he could, but he just can't Well if I could, I swear I know just what I'd do Now, mister, the day the lottery I win I ain't ever gonna ride in no used car again Now, the neighbors come from near and far As we pull up in our brandnew used car I wish he'd just hit the gas and let out a cry Tell `em all they can kiss our asses goodbye My dad, he sweats the same job from mornin' to morn Me, i walk home on the same dirty streets where I was born Up the block I can hear my little sister In the front seat blowin' that horn The sounds echoin' all down Michigan Avenue Now, mister, the day my numbers comes in I ain't ever gonna ride in no used car again
Well, I had the carburator, baby, cleaned and checked With her line blown out she's hummin' like a turbojet Propped her up in the backyard on concrete blocks For a new clutch plate and a new set of shocks Took her down to the carwash, check the plugs and point Well, I'm goin' out tonight. I'm gonna rock that joint Early north Jersey industrial skyline I'm a all-set cobra jet creepin' through the nighttime Gotta find a gas station, gotta find a pay phone This turnpike sure is spooky at night when you're all alone Gotta hit the gas, baby. I'm running late This New Jersey in the mornin' like a lunar landscape Now, the boss don't dig me, so he put me on the night shift It's an all-night run to get back to where my baby lives In the wee, wee hours your mind gets hazy Radio relays towers, won't you lead me to my baby? Underneath the overpass, trooper hits his party light switch Good night, good luck. One, two power shift I met Wanda when she was employed Behind the counter at Route Sixty Bob's Big Boy Fried Chicken On the front seat, she's sittin' in my lap We're wipin' our fingers on a Texaco road map I remember Wanda up on scrap metal hill With them big brown eyes that make your heart stand still Well, at five a.m., oil pressure's sinkin' fast I make a pit stop, wipe the windshield, check the gas Gotta call my baby on the telephone Let her know that her daddy's comin' on home Sit tight, little mama, I'm comin' `round I got three more hours, but I'm coverin' ground Your eyes get itchy in the wee, wee hours Sun's just a red ball risin' over them refinery towers Radio's jammed up with gospel stations Lost souls callin' long distance salvation Hey, mister deejay, won'tcha hear my last prayer? Hey, ho, rock'n'roll, deliver me from nowhere
Last night I dreamed that I was a child Out where the pines grow wild and tall I was trying to make it home through the forest Before the darkness falls I heard the wind rustling through the trees And ghostly voices rose from the fields I ran with my heart pounding down that broken path With the devil snappin' at my heels I broke through the trees, and there in the night My father's house stood shining hard and bright The branches and brambles tore my clothes and scratched my arms But I ran till I fell, shaking in his arms I awoke and I imagined the hard things that pulled us apart Will never again, sir, tear us from each other's hearts I got dressed, and to that house I did ride From out on the road, I could see its windows shining in light I walked up the steps and stood on the porch A woman I didn't recognize came and spoke to me through a chained door I told her my story, and who I'd come for She said "I'm sorry, son, but no one by that name lives here anymore" My father's house shines hard and bright It stands like a beacon calling me in the night Calling and calling, so cold and alone Shining `cross this dark highway where our sins lie unatoned
Seen a man standin' over a dead dog lyin' by the highway in a ditch He's lookin' down kinda puzzled pokin' that dog with a stick Got his car door flung open he's standin' out on Highway 31 Like if he stood there long enough that dog'd get up and run Struck me kinda funny seem kinda funny sir to me At the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe Now Mary Lou loved Johnny with a love mean and true She said "Baby I'll work for you every day and bring my money home to you" One day he up and left her and ever since that She waits down at the end of that dirt road for young Johnny to come back Struck me kinda funny seemed kind of funny sir to me How at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe Take a baby to the river Kyle William they called him Wash the baby in the water take away little Kyle's sin In a whitewash shotgun shack an old man passes away Take his body to the graveyard and over him they pray Lord won't you tell us tell us what does it mean Still at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe Congregation gathers down by the riverside Preacher stands with his Bible groom stands waitin' for his bride Congregation gone and the sun sets behind a weepin' willow tree Groom stands alone and watches the river rush on so effortlessly Lord and he's wonderin' where can his baby be Still at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe