Are you honest when no one's looking?
Can you summon honey from a telephone?
They sat there with their hooks in the water
and their moustaches caked with airplane glue.

o come let us adore them
California overboard
when the sun sets on the ghetto all the broken stuff gets cold.

Smith and Jones forever!
Smith and Jones forever!
Smith and Jones forever together forever and ever.

Build a stage for Autumn's bitch.
They walk the alleys in duct tape shoes.
They see the things they need through the windows of a hatchback
The alleys are the footnotes of the avenues.

o come let us adore them
California overboard
holding up their trousers with extension cords.

(chorus)

I've got two tickets to a midnight execution.
We'll hitchhike our way from Odessa to Houston
and when they turn on the chair
something's added to the air
when they turn on the chair
something's added to the air forever

(chorus)


Lyrics submitted by 3ric

Smith & Jones Forever song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThis song is a lament for the downtrodden members of impoverished America. Imagery evokes poor bums stealing items out of cars, using duct tape for shoes etc. The chorus of "Smith and Jones" forever evokes the sense of lost identity. Instead of having real names, these people will remain generic Smiths and Jones's, since no one in society tends to observe or care about them. The ending doesn't seem to fit the song, unless you consider the contrast here: where these bums have no identity, the execution of a wanted criminal is infused with identity. Everyone knows serial murderers and their respective executions are a huge media spectacle. The word choice of "got two tickets" and "hitchhike our way" evokes almost a feel-good road trip to see a concert. In this way, Berman points out the media's role in making death entertainment. This same media would never devote airtime to the unfortunate Smith or Jones on the street.
    couldBanyoneon March 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song. and the hole "american water" album. my favorite jews album. so many good lines. really paints a picture in your mind.
    dc berman rules.
    Akoladeon June 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou've said, "evokes" entirely too many times.

    But, yeah, it's a great song, and I agree with your interpretation.
    Yrtlzmoon May 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenten.wikipedia.org/wiki/…

    I wonder if this has anything to do with that.

    "According to Gettier, there are certain circumstances in which one does not have knowledge, even when all of the above conditions are met. Gettier proposed two thought experiments, which have come to be known as "Gettier cases", as counterexamples to the classical account of knowledge. One of the cases involves two men, Smith and Jones, who are awaiting the results of their applications for the same job. Each man has ten coins in his pocket. Smith has excellent reasons to believe that Jones will get the job and, furthermore, knows that Jones has ten coins in his pocket (he recently counted them). From this Smith infers, "the man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket." However, Smith is unaware that he has ten coins in his own pocket. Furthermore, Smith, not Jones, is going to get the job. While Smith has strong evidence to believe that Jones will get the job, he is wrong. Smith has a justified true belief that a man with ten coins in his pocket will get the job; however, according to Gettier, Smith does not know that a man with ten coins in his pocket will get the job, because Smith's belief is "...true in virtue of the number of coins in Smith's pocket, while Smith does not know how many coins are in Smith's pocket, and bases his belief...on a count of the coins in Jones's pocket, whom he falsely believes to be the man who will get the job."
    heroinhotwateron March 15, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlias Smith & Jones is a TV show from the 70s
    It's about two cowboy bank robbers who decide (for no apparent reason) to "turn straight."
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    Kurculeson April 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think Smith and Jones are the aliases adopted by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid when they're on the lam trying to set up in Paruguay or wherever it is in the movie...then they get killed by the police, so the part about execution made me always thing of Butch and Sundance, and the song does have a Americana/Western feel, with all the talk about moustaches and hitchhiking in Houston,
    fritteringon January 07, 2008   Link
  • -1
    General CommentSmith and Jones are also the names of the Men In Black. Coincidence?
    helsaboton October 09, 2006   Link
  • -1
    General CommentSmith and jones could also be a tribute to doctor who with "john smith" being the doctor's false name and his companion being named martha jones. they were the smith and jones era but getting to the song...
    one major trait of doctor and his companions is that they are "honest when no one's looking"... thats what the show kinda about. Martha can aslso summon the doctor with her cell phone because he flys around in a 1950's police box teliphone booth. the doctor always has a hook in the water waiting for trouble to arise and often wears disquises ... such as fake mustaches :D
    pankydoodleron July 14, 2011   Link

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