"Calistan" as written by and Charles Thompson....
I took three days to drive down one street
The radio on, tuned to the big fleet
Invisible planes are cracking the concrete
That's just what some people say

I put down my blanket on cigarette-butt beach
I saw the old man, he was doing okay
He's making his last stand
On old bottles and cans
'Round there, Calistan way

Used to be sixteen lanes
Used to be Nuevo Spain
Used to be Juan Wayne
Used to be Mexico
Used to be Navajo
Used to be yippy-ay-I-don't-know

Went in from the weather when I got wheezy
I play some Pachinko I play Pachisi
And St. Anne is still making it breezy
In the valley of tar that once was L.A.

And my best friend he's the king of Karaoke
He struck up a chord and he took it away
Out of the pan
And into Japan
'Round there, Calistan way

Used to be sixteen lanes
Used to be Juan Wayne
Used to Mexicain
Used to be Espano Nuevo
Used to Navajo
Used to be yippie-ay-I-don't-know.


Lyrics submitted by TheDirge

"Calistan" as written by Charles Thompson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Calistan song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment"And through the layers of California, from pre-Navajo (as the Spaniards said) all the way to a time found somewhere between now and Blade Runner." - Frank in the press kit for the album.
    ezamoron May 13, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningThere's a YouTube video where he explains

    - it's about El Camino Real, a road that extends 600 miles down through California;
    - the radio is CB and the Big Fleet is all the truckers on the highways;
    - the weather refers to the smog in LA.

    I wish he'd said more about the more speculative elements (like LA being a valley of tar) but that's what's there.

    youtube.com/…
    kreniighon March 24, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really have no idea what this one is about, but it's clearly nostalgic. Maybe it's about the way California or the West in general used to be. Yeah, it seems like the land used to belong to the Navajo, then to Mexico, then to the Americans aka John Wayne...
    DevastatorJr.on September 08, 2008   Link

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