"Tennessee" as written by and Gillian Welch David Rawlings....
I kissed you 'cause I've never been an angel
I learned to say hosannas on my knees
But they threw me out of Sunday school when I was nine
And the sisters said I did just as I pleased

Even so I try to be a good girl
It's only what I want that makes me weak
I had no desire to be a child of sin
Then you went and pressed your whiskers to my cheek

Fa la la la
Fa la la lee
Now let me go, my honey oh
Back to Tennessee
It's beef steak when I'm working
Whiskey when I'm dry
Sweet heaven when I die

Now I've tried drinking rye and gamblin'
Dancing with damnation is a ball
But of all the little ways I've found to hurt myself
Well you might be my favorite one of all

Fa la la la
Fa la la lee
Now let me go, my honey oh
Back to Tennessee
It's beef steak when I'm working
Whiskey when I'm dry
Sweet heaven when I die

Why can't I go and live the life of riley?
Why can't I go back home to apple pie?
'Cause your affront to my virtue was a touch too much
But you left a little twinkle in my eye

Fa la la la
Fa la la lee
Now let me go, my honey oh
Back to Tennessee
It's beef steak when I'm working
Whiskey when I'm dry
Sweet heaven when I die

Now some will come confessing of transgressions
Some will come confessing of their love
You were there strumming on your gay guitar
You were trying to tell me something with your thumb

Fa la la la
Fa la la lee
Now let me go, my honey oh
Back to Tennessee
It's beef steak when I'm working
Whiskey when I'm dry
Sweet heaven when I die
It's beef steak when I'm working
Whiskey when I'm dry
Sweet heaven when I die


Lyrics submitted by sarahp

"Tennessee" as written by Gillian Howard Welch David Todd Rawlings

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC, DO WRITE MUSIC LLC

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Tennessee song meanings
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  • +1
    General Commentthis song is so gorgeous, even as it tackles a tough subject matter

    so many great lines about self destructive engagements,
    reconciled in typical Gillian fashion, with a knowing quiet smile,

    ..your affront to my virtue was a touch too much, but you left a little twinkle in my eye..


    been there, hopefully learned from that


    I do hear one line differently..

    why can't I go and live the Life of Riley
    riteron July 14, 2011   Link

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