Drive a sleepy mile in this town
stretch yourself across the bed
We can get the boys to come round
We'll watch the day decay

I remember we were reckless
Half asleep across the floor
I was young and we got restless
Oh pretty girls make graves

Do you have the nerve to ask me
What's the center of your world
I am drunk with love, set me free
Promise you won't forget

Make believe that time is resting
sorrow on a fading chair
Please be waiting where I left you
This summer's set to set

And I bet he had a habit
of pulling down the wall
and I bet he made a fine job
of bending all the rules

I go east to west in this place
my feet upon your steps
screaming louder than a gunshot
I haven't finished with you yet

Lisa wants a revolution
I can see you've had your fill
yours is just a dirty version
I'm gonna walk away

Can't you see that your big promise
Fell apart in '73
Give yourself to something honest
what makes a man today

Baby let me follow you down
Market to a lonely place
Part of us belongs to this town
Maybe I'm made to run

Baby I'm on my last chances
On the run from time to time
Sharp enough to feel so worthless
The season has come and gone

and I bet he had a habit
of pulling down the wall
and I bet he made a fine job
of bending all the rules

I go east to west in their
my feet upon your steps
screaming louder than a gunshot
I haven't finished with you yet

and I bet he had a habit
of pulling down the wall
and I bet he made a fine job
of bending all the rules

I go east to west in this place
my feet upon your steps
screaming louder than a gunshot
I haven't finished with you yet


Lyrics submitted by hemlock_echo

Dirty Version song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThis song is about Jack Kerouac and the other Beat Writer's insatiating desire for (the American) wildnerness and its promise of freedom.

    "and I bet he had a habit
    of pulling down the wall
    and I bet he made a fine job
    of bending all the rules" - are probably references to Neal Cassady's erratic behavior

    "east to west in this place" - reference to Kerouac's journeys across America

    "I remember we were reckless
    Half asleep across the floor
    I was young and we got restless
    Oh pretty girls make graves" - reference to "The Dharma Bums" -Kerouac retells of spending every weekend drinking and partying in Ferlinghetti's log cabin outside of San Francisco with Gary Snyder. "Pretty Girls Make Graves," is directly quoted from the book.

    "Lisa wants a revolution
    I can see you've had your fill
    yours is just a dirty version
    I'm gonna walk away" - Commenting that Kerouac's and Neal's revolution may have been irresponsible and selfish. It was "counterculture" but socially unproductive.

    "Can't you see that your big promise
    Fell apart in '73
    Give yourself to something honest
    what makes a man today" - 1973 was the big oil crisis when the OPEC nations proclaimed an oil embargo on the States. This is metaphorical for the imprisonment of the car, that it is no longer free to run and roam. "Give yourself to something honest" follows and adds on to "yours is just a dirty version(revolution)" The ends of Kerouac's books are filled with a strong sense of abandon. At the end of the drunken road, there is nothing left. It ends. Perhaps these wild journeys are irresponsible. Maybe freedom is not the wilderness, but the acceptance of one's obligations.


    gummy_bon June 22, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Thanks to everybody who has asked about "Dirty Version": That song is actually sung by Jennifer Moore, who still sings with us occasionally. She can be heard on "Sway", "Raised by Wolves", and possibly some of the new material." - ramesh
    petietothecoreon March 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is so good.
    misguidedbythe405on June 04, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is beautiful
    gummy_bon October 31, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhy hasnt anyone else commented this song. i want to know what the world thinks of this beautiful masterpiece of genuine art
    gummy_bon December 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentusually when i don't know the works of an artist but just got interested from one or two of their songs, i would go on songmeanings and look up the songs with the most comments and listen to it.
    gummy_bon December 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthat is why i type in more comments
    gummy_bon December 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI could be wrong, but I think the first line of this is 'drive a sleepy mile in this town'.
    storygirlon May 09, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionAgree that I think the first line is "drive a sleepy mile in this town."

    The vocals in this are really great.
    failsatlifeon April 29, 2011   Link

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