[Female voice: I'm totally fucked up. I can barely speak. I'm totally fucked up.
They gave me so many drugs. But, uh...I'm gonna be here...

[Beck speaks]Alright, what we're talkin about here is...is kind of a...it's a heartland
feeling...like, uh, Mellencamp, you know, kind of a Mellen feeling. Ok, what you
gotta get together is a... some...a heartland folk singer. Uh, we're gonna need a real
quick... Uh, John Cougar Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seeger...that type of
feel. A Mellen feeling. You know, real, uh, powerful, approving music, uh...of a
heartland quality, uh, just powerful straight-forward music. And if you can't get just
the right type of feeling, find someone who will pass and change them.]

old man Johnson got his head in his hand
makin' his way across state in a fiddlin' band
with hair all down in his eyes
and the microphone all covered with flies
when he gets done playin', goes back to his room
climbs in the bed in his cowboy boots
and he picks up a magazine, turns on the tv
lights a cigar as he's fallin' asleep

well he's only a person
who doesn't know shit
yea, nothin' happenin'
that's about it


well little rosanna came from texarkana
had fourteen dollars wrapped in a bandana
came into town not lookin' for much
well she found a hound dog and she named him Dutch
she got a job at the arcade takin' quarters
but she was never too good at takin' orders
so one night she stopped givin' out change
she kicked the boss in the shin and unplugged the games

she's only a person
who doesn't know shit
nothin' happenin'
that's about it
ooo ooo, yea yea yea

sam got canned at the cannery
she punched out the clock that night
his knuckle was bleeding as he walked home
he was cold and he had a headache
well his wife was cookin canned beans
he took out all the money out of his jeans
and he set it on fire in the kitchen sink
as his wife handed him a drink

he was only a person
who didn't know shit
nothin' happenin'
that's about it

oh yeah
wooo ooo ooo

smiley was lookin' for handouts
sleepin' in an abandoned lighthouse
down at the mini-mall shakin' his hat
washin' windows with his bare hand
he found a sports car with the keys
in the ignition it just seemed so easy
he took a joyride, drove it into a hedge
came out with the steering wheel wrapped around his head

well he's only a person
who doesn't know shit
nothin' happenin'
that's about it

ooo ooo yea

well janie was born in a small town
everybody just standin' around
they had bingo games and the raffle
everybody chewin' tobacco
well she grew up kinda restless
all her boyfriends wanted to be dentists
well, she got a job at the truck stop
and she got old fast and never did what she wanted

she's only a person
who doesn't know shit
nothin' happenin'
that's about it

yea yea yea....oh yea, etc.

Lyrics submitted by Ice

Heartland Feeling song meanings
Add your thoughts


sort form View by:
  • 0
    General Commentthis song really has a Mellen feel about it, HAHA
    Heckletonon May 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this is probably my favorite beck song, he's a mighty good leader being a close second
    M. Sucabaon May 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA song that is both hilarious and tragic at the same time, as it narrates the life story of so many who will end up like those in this song. Nothin' happenin'...that's about it.
    YanYan108on May 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentcheck out a larry sanders episode where he plays this song it's hilarious! great song!
    Tune2dchoonon January 17, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy God I love this song! The 'nothin happenin.... that's about it..." part is my favorite. I love Beck, and more people should know this song, because this is probably one of the best songs from his career. The older, the better in some cases with Beck. The really rare stuff is really good. Not well known enough.
    sarahmhmyeahon July 30, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationSam is the only one who is talked about in the past tense.

    he was only a person
    who didn't know shit

    was rather than is, didnt rather than doesnt.

    So the question is, did getting fired at the cannery make him realize his shitty life and he then went on to become more than a "person who doesnt know shit"

    or, did he kill himself?
    manbaby17on September 04, 2012   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top