Hey Jack Kerouac, I think of your mother
and the tears she cried, she cried for none other
than her little boy lost in our little world that hated
and that dared to drag him down. Her little boy courageous
who chose his words from mouths of babes got lost in the wood.
Hip flask slinging madman, steaming cafe flirts,
they all spoke through you.

Hey Jack, now for the tricky part,
when you were the brightest star who were the shadows?
Of the San Francisco beat boys you were the favorite.
Now they sit and rattle their bones and think of their blood stoned days.
You chose your words from mouths of babes got lost in the wood.
The hip flask slinging madman, steaming cafe flirts,
nights in Chinatown howling at night.

Allen baby, why so jaded?
Have the boys all grown up and their beauty faded?
Billy, what a saint they've made you,
just like Mary down in Mexico on All Souls' Day.

You chose your words from mouths of babes got lost in the wood.
Cool junk booting madmen, street minded girls
in Harlem howling at night.
What a tear stained shock of the world,
you've gone away without saying goodbye.

Lyrics submitted by kornchick

Hey Jack Kerouac song meanings
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  • +1
    General Commentwell, obviously its about Jack Kerouac. in my opinion he's the greatest writer to ever pick up a pen. its talking about him traveling during the on the road days. "allen baby, why so jaded?" is probably talking about allen ginsberg, the poet. and Jack's friend. at the end when they say "you've gone away without saying goodbye" its like at the end of his days he was more secluded. and not like he was really ever in the public eye, but when he died, maybe people just didn't expect it. though, he did live a rough life style.
    onemindtohearon June 06, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAbout Allen Ginsburg, William S. Burroughs, and of course, my hero, Jack Kerouac. I just finished On the Road and the Subterraneans and today I got his Selected Letters book from the library. Huzza!
    stonedskateron March 22, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentObviously about Jack Keorauc
    MusicISLife22on March 29, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNo one has mentioned "Mary down in Mexico on All Souls day". That is William Burroughs common law wife who he accidently shot in the head while playing William Tell.
    DawnCain1968on April 20, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMerchant obviously was influenced by the Beats, though equally clear is the mixed aspect in the lyrics. Her reference to Kerouac being the "brightest" and the "favorite" seems honest, not ironic or sarcastic. He also died young, never reaching fifty -- a heavy drinker, never recovered after he started throwing up blood. The others lived on and watched the Beat Generation fade away, that seems part of the song -- the "blood stoned days" while they sit rattling bones. The song has clear references like their writing, like "howl" and "junkie", and even mentions WIlliam Burroughs wife, in that casel living dangerously was mortal. A literate song, that's always welcome, and also not a simple encomium.
    john saxonon June 06, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Billy" is William S. Burroughs
    TK6022on January 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is pretty much responsible for me getting into the Beat writers in the first place, which really kicked off my love for poetry in general. Thanks Natalie!
    DevastatorJr.on October 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI read an interview with Alan Ginsberg in which he said he had approached Natalie about the lyric as he found it insulting and she had admitted using his name only cause it rhymed and scanned well.
    pconlon March 24, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think that the implication in these lyrics is that Jack Kerouac was a decent soul led astray by lesser men and women...and that the other beat writers have essentially rode his coattails.

    The lyric about Allen Ginsburg is referring to the fact that he is attracted to much, much younger boys.
    ShaneMCon September 26, 2008   Link

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