"Putnam County" as written by and Tom Waits....
I guess things were always quiet
Around Putnam County
Kind of shy and sleepy as it clung to the skirts
Of the 2-lane, that was stretched out like an
Asphalt dance floor where all the oldtimers would
Hunker down in bib jeans and store bought boots
Lyin' about their lives and the places that they'd been
Suckin' on Coca Colas and be spittin' Days Work
They's be suckin' on Coca Colas
And be spittin' Day's Work
Until the moon was a stray dog on the ridge and
The taverns would be swollen until the naked eye
Of two a.m., and the Stratocaster guitars slung over
Burgermeister beer guts, and the swizzle stick legs
Jacknifed over naugahyde stools and the
Witch hazel spread out over the linoleum floors,
The pedal pushers stretched out over midriff bulge
And the coiffed brunette curls over Maybelline eyes
Wearing Prince Machiavelli, Estee Lauder,
Smells so sweet
I elbowed up at the counter with mixed feelings
Over mixed drinks
And Bubba and the Roadmasters moaned in pool hall
Concentration as they knit their brows to
Cover the entire Hank Williams Song Book
And the old National register was singing to the
Tune of $57.57
Until last call, one last game of 8 ball
And Berneice would be putting the chairs on the tables,
Someone come in say "Hey man, anyone got
Any Jumper Cables, is that a 6 or a 12 volt?"
And all the studs in town would toss 'em down
And claim to fame as they stomped their feet
Boasting about being able to get more ass
Than a toilet seat.
And the GMCs and the Straight 8 Fords
Were coughing and wheezing and they
Perculated as they tossed the gravel
Underneath the fenders to weave home
A wet slick anaconda of a two lane
With tire irons and crowbars a rattlin'
With a tool box and a pony saddle
You're grinding gears, shifting into first
Yea and that goddam tranny's just getting worse
With the melodies of "see ya later"
And screwdrivers on carburettors
Talkin' shop about money to loan
And palominos and strawberry roans
See ya tomorrow, hello to the Mrs.
Money to borrow and goodnight kisses
The radio spittin' out Charlie Rich
Sure can sing that sonofabitch
And you weave home, weavin' home
Leaving the little joint winking in the
Dark warm narcotic American night
Beneath a pin cushion sky and it's
Home to toast and honey, start
Up the Ford, your lunch money's there on the
Draining board, toilet's runnin' shake the
Handle, telephone's ringin' it's Mrs Randal
Where the hell are my goddam sandals
And the porcelain poodles and the glass swans
Staring down from the knick knack shelf
With the parent permission slips for the
Kids' field trips
Pair of Muckalucks scraping across
The shag carpet
And the impending squint of
First light, that lurked behind
A weeping marquee in downtown Putnam
And would be pullin' up any minute now
Just like a bastard amber
Velveeta yellow cab on a rainy corner
And be blowin' its horn, in every window
In town.


Lyrics submitted by archmastermind

"Putnam County" as written by Tom Waits

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Putnam County song meanings
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2 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentI'm amazed there's no comments about Putnam County, It is after all a real place in upstate New York and perfectly illustrates a small Town America, the local types and the towns people so affectionately. Lines like 'the Stratocaster guitars slung over Burgermeister beer guts, and the swizzle stick legs Jacknifed over naugahyde stools' (you can visualise Meatloaf 70's style good old boys giving their country concert to the local girls and their boyfriends). And 'With the parent permission slips for the Kids' field trips' you can see the children getting excited about their outing to the coast.........Such familiar vivid imagery.

    I live in London, England unfortunately. A world far removed from small town American communities but after hearing Putnam County, I almost feel I lived there (maybe in in another life)........What genius songwriting.
    BarnabyHugheson October 07, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis Should Read: 'And Bubba and the Roadmasters moaned in pool hall
    Concentration as they knit their brows to cover the entire Hank Williams Song Book whether you like it or not' (Brilliant line)
    BarnabyHugheson October 07, 2015   Link

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