"Small Town" as written by and John Mellencamp....
Well I was born in a small town
And I live in a small town
Probably die in a small town
Oh, those small communities

All my friends are so small town
My parents live in the same small town
My job is so small town
Provides little opportunity

Educated in a small town
Taught the fear of Jesus in a small town
Used to daydream in that small town
Another boring romantic that's me

But I've seen it all in a small town
Had myself a ball in a small town
Married an L.A. doll and brought her to this small town
Now she's small town just like me

No I cannot forget where it is that I come from
I cannot forget the people who love me
Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town
And people let me be just what I want to be

Got nothing against a big town
Still hayseed enough to say
Look who's in the big town
But my bed is in a small town
Oh, and that's good enough for me

Well I was born in a small town
And I can breathe in a small town
Gonna die in this small town
And that's probably where they'll bury me


Lyrics submitted by rabidpenguin

"Small Town" as written by John Mellencamp

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

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Small Town song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentOne of the things I love about this song is that it captures a sense of place, belonging and community that he identifies with small towns. But that feeling is not limited just to small towns.

    I grew up in a large Midwestern city that is full of neighborhoods that people describe as being a lot like small towns...multiple generations living close by, friends who gre up together and know each other their whole lives, etc. I think this line captures that sense of community perfectly:

    "I cannot forget where it is that I come from. I cannot forget the people who love me. Yeah I can be myself here in this small town and people let me be just what I want to be."
    GeneralDisorderon May 26, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI love this song! It perfectly describes the advantages of a small town. The sense of individuality, and freedom from being judged by people. THe thing about a small town is that there are so little people, that everyone knows everyone and is close with them because there aren't many people to be close to. There's less gossip, hate, crime, traffic, noise... It feels more FREE.
    SuperAnneon July 23, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song mnakes me appreciate my small town all the more
    lanticon November 08, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm from a small town in Wisconsin, and I can definately relate to this song as well. I could pick apart this whole song and relate it to things in my hometown, but I don't want to bore anyone. :)
    brewercrazyon June 15, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSmall towns are definitely what you make of them - if you live in a town, well even if you live in the city, if youre not involved in the community, and if you dont have friends and family and people you love and care about there then chances are youre gonna hate it and want to get out. then it becomes a whole 'the grass is greener on the other side' which is a situation its very easy to find yourself in, i know i'm feeling that now... its very easy to blame an entire town and the people in it... but yeah so evidently the city will provide more opportunity, especially nowadays, but you wont necessarily be happier. which is not really the message of this song, its not really comparing the city to the small town, its just mellencamp's reflection on his roots really...probably more simple than i think. but you can never be quite sure with songwriters, they tend to have a hidden meaning in many of their songs, or little clues that suggest that the song holds deeper meaning for them.
    thirsty_thursdayon November 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe beautiful thing about Mellencamp's lyrics in many songs, but especially this one, is that they're so simple and straightforward, but they're still poetic. The meaning in this song is obvious, but I just wanted to comment on it because I love it so much! It talks about the amazing experience of being from a small town. There is more money in big cities, and there are more "opportunities," as defined by our culture, but the opportunities to find love and friendship are unparalleled in small towns. I'm from small town Indiana, and this song couldn't be a more accurate description of my childhood. I went to a big-name university out of state, but I can't wait to get back to my roots! I'm so proud that he has come back to small town Indiana, and I'm looking forward to doing the same.
    sunshinegirlon January 15, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMakes me want to move to a small town and forget the hassles of business life.
    tradrrron June 12, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis was the campaign theme song for Senator John Edwards (D-NC) for his failed 2004 presidential campaign. Edwards is a native of the small town of Robbins, North Carolina and this song fit into his theme of "two Americas".
    Blue387on February 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's fitting cuz mellencamp is from a small town in indiana
    flaminmofoon November 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm from a small suburb, in a small city, in a small country. For me, this song is about everybody knowing you, your folks and your history. Because you're part of something bigger. Bigger not by much, but enough.

    The small town thing echoes not only across America, but here I am in NZ. Our biggest city has 1.5 million people, so we're a small town sorta place. For me, this song is about growing up in a place that isn't anonymous. I grew up in a small community, that suddenly became a reasonable sized city when I realised how many places fed into it. But people still know who my folks are, and where they live. Mellencamp is referring to the familiar things about our childhood, the things outsiders remember.

    Great song about growing up in a little community - even if your little community lives inside a big city.
    megznzon May 20, 2011   Link

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