"Sam Stone" as written by and John Prine....
Sam Stone came home,
To the wife and family
After serving in the conflict overseas.
And the time that he served,
Had shattered all his nerves,
And left a little shrapnel in his knees.
But the morhpine eased the pain,
And the grass grew round his brain,
And gave him all the confidence he lacked,
With a purple heart and a monkey on his back.

There's a hole in daddy's arm where all the money goes,
Jesus Christ died for nothin I suppose.
Little pitchers have big ears,
Don't stop to count the years,
Sweet songs never last too long on broken radios.

Sam Stone's welcome home
Didn't last too long.
He went to work when he'd spent his last dime
And soon he took to stealing
When he got that empty feeling
For a hundred dollar habit without overtime.
And the gold roared through his veins
Like a thousand railroad trains,
And eased his mind in the hours that he chose,
While the kids ran around wearin' other peoples' clothes...

There's a hole in daddy's arm where all the money goes,
Jesus Christ died for nothin I suppose.
Little pitchers have big ears,
Don't stop to count the years,
Sweet songs never last too long on broken radios.

Sam Stone was alone
When he popped his last balloon,
Climbing walls while sitting in a chair.
Well, he played his last request,
While the room smelled just like death,
With an overdose hovering in the air.
But life had lost it's fun,
There was nothing to be done,
But trade his house that he bought on the GI bill,
For a flag-draped casket on a local hero's hill.

There's a hole in daddy's arm where all the money goes,
Jesus Christ died for nothin I suppose.
Little pitchers have big ears,
Don't stop to count the years,
Sweet songs never last too long on broken radios.


Lyrics submitted by Bobo192

"Sam Stone" as written by John Prine

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Sam Stone song meanings
Add your thoughts

24 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    General CommentThis is the first Prine song I ever heard and I didn't know anything about him, or the name of the song, for the longest time. Years later I finally located the song and bought my first Prine album and he has turned out to be one of my all-time favorite songwriters.

    In reference to the discussion of the "little pitchers" line, this phrase has been in use for at least 100 years in American vernacular. Basically it means adults must be careful about what they say within the hearing of children because they understand way more than we give them credit for. The saying refers to the large handles (ears) sometimes attached to small vessels.
    kckidon March 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song. Obvious and sad meaning.
    frty0zon April 13, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJohn Prine is definitely underrated. He has a talent to put obvious meanings in such poetic form. My favorite line is "Sweet Songs never last too long on broken radios." Does anyone know what "little pitchers have big ears" would mean?
    southernanthemon December 11, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy wild guess is "Sweet Songs never last too long on broken radios." meant life is shorter to those who abuse their bodies with hard dope.
    dcaton December 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy dad's explaination on "little pitchers have big ears" is a reference, one, to how children say the word 'pictures', two, "little pitchers" in reference to a picture of children, three, little kids with big ears. Prine is amazing. My dad is a HUGE John Prine fan.
    reflect4everon December 21, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentvery sad that an injured soldier returned home and brought all that he had endured with him,leading him down a bad road with drugs.After awhile it consumed his everyday life and he thought nothing of his family but only his own pain."little pitchers have big ears"refers to his children taking all that went on in their home in and him not realizing that they knew or understood,that is what i get out of this song.
    sly_lil_maxyon February 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah, this song's about drugs.....no doubt about it.
    cclover_98on June 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe first time I heard this song I was very young, my dad liked it too, and now I'm really into it.
    I'm doing a homework assignment on it and I have to analyze the lyrics, and the only lyrics I can't undertand is; "Climbing walls while sitting in a chair"
    and; "Well, he played his last request
    While the room smelled just like death"
    Can anyone help??????
    Homicideon October 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt means war sucks, that kids suffer when their parents do, and that rarely can someone make it sound beautiful.

    Homicide: "climbing walls..." -> Heroin high resulting in an overdose.
    cclover 98: You're right as well.
    kckid: Thanks for clearing up the "little pitchers" thing.

    I'm wondering where he came up with the name "Sam Stone".
    MeanSprouton November 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Climbing walls while sitting in a chair" refers to a person on an excessive high or alternately, going through withdrawals.

    "Played his last request while the room smelled just like death" - his last high, the final overdose. Also, hardcore junkies will often cease bathing because when their pores are clogged with dirt, grime and whatever else, they stay high longer. I guess after a while, that would smell like death.
    IslandMykon November 01, 2007   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain