"Return Of The Grievous Angel" as written by and Beau Brown Gram Parsons....
Won't you scratch my itch sweet Annie Rich
And welcome me back to town
Come out on your porch or I'll step into your parlour
And I'll show you how it all went down
Out with the truckers and the kickers and the cowboy angels
And a good saloon in every single town

Oh and I remember something you once told me
And I'll be damned if it did not come true
Twenty thousand roads I went down, down, down
And they all lead me straight back home to you

'Cause I headed West to grow up with the country
Across those prairies with those waves of grain
And I saw my devil, and I saw my deep blue sea
And I thought about a calico bonnet from Cheyenne to Tennessee

We flew straight across that river bridge, last night half past two
The switch-man wave his lantern goodbye and good day as we went roling through
Billboards and truck stops pass by the grievous angel
And now I know just what I have to do (pick for me James)

And the man on the radio won't leave me alone
He wants to take my money for something that I've never been shown
And I saw my devil, and I saw my deep blue see
And I thought about a calico bonnet from Cheyenne to Tennessee

The news I could bring I met up with the king
On his head an amphetamine crown
He talked about unbuckling that old bible belt
And lighted out for some desert town
Out with the truckers and the kickers and the cowboy angels
And a good saloon in every single town

Oh but I remember something you once told me
And I'll be damned if it did not come true
Twenty thousand roads I went down, down, down
And they all lead me straight back home to you
Twenty thousand roads I went down, down, down
And they all lead me straight back home to you


Lyrics submitted by magicnudiesuit

"Return of the Grievous Angel" as written by Graham Parsons

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Return Of The Grievous Angel song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI thought the lyrics were written by a fan?
    Durangoon May 11, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentactually, everyone is wrong. true, a fan named thomas brown wrote the song. however, the 'amphetamine king' is neither elvis nor 'whoever the listener wants it to be'. the king is gram. check out the following resource:

    whenyouawake.com/2010/11/12/the-return-of-the-grievous-angel-the-story-behind-the-song/
    sgson July 19, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsomeone help me with this one please
    mr.pharmaciston January 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt seems to be about being on the road , and traveling by train, in particular. I'd love to know more.
    spellmanon January 31, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a a real piece of Americana; the gist of it is learning about the old saying: 'Wherever you go, there you are' in spite of the crazy thing he's seen (hitchiking, I think).

    The narrator could have been Gram himself, as opposed to an oblique 'persona', especially in the last verse: Notice that right after "Cheyenne to Tennessee', he meets up with 'the king', who wears an 'amphetamine crown' and talks about 'unbuckling that old bible belt'.

    Elvis????
    elephant_rangeon February 27, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYall are idiots. It was written by Thomas Brown and as much as you want the amphetamine king to be solely about Elvis there's a little thing called "creative license;" it's whoever the listener wants it to be. 9-19 RIP
    delanewmon September 18, 2011   Link
  • -1
    General CommentThis song WAS written by Gram himself, Ryan is just covering it.
    Scottish_Lionon November 30, 2006   Link
  • -1
    General CommentYes he is definately talking about Elvis Presley. The turning point in Gram's life was when we saw Elvis in concert. That was when he knew he wanted to be a musician.

    Gram was often referred to as the "Grievous Angel". I think that this song was written about himself. Gram spent most of his childhood grieving. His father committed suicide when he was young and his mother also died before adulthood. This song is biographical.

    It's a beautiful song and is often overlooked.
    gulfman_74on December 14, 2006   Link

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