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Cry Cry Cry – Cold Misssouri Waters Lyrics 11 years ago
A death bed confessional made by 'smokejumper' Wagner Dodge about the events surrounding the Mann Gulch fire on August 5th, 1949. Dodge survived the fire with minor injuries but died 5 years later of Hodgkin's Disease.

This is an impressive storyteller's song written by James Keelaghan recounting true events (even though some specifics have been widely debated).

John Prine – The Great Compromise Lyrics 11 years ago
I truly wish I could see the humorous slant to this song. Unfortunately, I cannot.

I think the first verse is about how the country viewed itself before the Vietnam war; rushed to defend it and would sacrifice so much to see it to it's potential. The basic working class Americans who paid their taxes and were excited about the space program.

I think the chorus and second verse are about his service in the military and how he was proud to be a soldier before the Vietnam war.

The third verse, I believe, is his disdain for having to turn his back on the country that he loved so dearly to maintain personal integrity and principles.

The fourth verse, Hmmm.....It's not very clear to me if he's alluding to being forced out of the country for abandoning his duties and wishing he could come home, but I think that's what I'll go with for now.

John Prine – Sam Stone Lyrics 11 years ago
What an incredibly sad song.

"Sam" = Uncle Sam or military
"Stone" = Drug habit
Just my thoughts anyway.

Counting Crows – Rain King Lyrics 11 years ago
I get a feeling of a man struggling with salvation in this song. I can't say why exactly, nor can I decipher which particular parts I think represent either side of the line. So many references to him being in the middle of 2 warring factions. Him being the king but belonging "in the service of the queen", belonging "anywhere but inbetween".

A possible Jesus perspective, being of the flesh but called to a higher service. Particularly in the line "I can't go outside, I'm scared I might not make it home". I imagine what it would feel like to think that you are the messiah. The one to save all others IF you can maintain your integrity. A human, subject to all the temptations and opportunities for peril we experience daily, but knowing that your personal integrity is the hingpin for all the rest. What a heavy burden or blessing. One I'm sure at times would make you long for just being 'normal or average'.

A great song, however unsure I am of what it means exactly :) I also really like how he ended each chorus with those subtle differences: crying/thinking, lying/sinking, dying/drinking


Bruce Springsteen – Downbound Train Lyrics 11 years ago
A great representation of hard times in working class America. Struggling to stay afloat in a troubled economy and a relationship that's on the rocks, and eventually ends, our protagonist holds 3 different jobs during the course of this song. There are 3 mentions of "the rain" as well.

The second verse, I believe, is a dream sequence which crashes into the reality that his love has left when he hears the "long whistle whine".

I find it particularly depressing that in the end he's working on the very same railroad that carried his love out of his life.

Don McLean – American Pie Lyrics 11 years ago
I think it's really just about the British invasion and it's total domination of the American music scene.

Robert Earl Keen, Jr. – The Road Goes On Forever Lyrics 11 years ago
Just had to comment on what a great story-teller REK is. One of my favorite songs ever. Even though it doesn't require any deciphering, it takes you on a fantastic journey!

Jackson Browne – Daddy's Tune Lyrics 11 years ago
It takes a certain degree of wisdom to appreciate the wise. Life, in large, is an experiment of trial and error.

I think JB's father was also a club musician.

Jackson Browne – Rock Me On The Water Lyrics 11 years ago
Mostly straight forward and a great message.

I'm having some problems with the "Rock me on the water" and "I'll get down to the sea somehow" lines. I think the sister's are references to the Catholic church, possibly nuns (sister's of the SON perhaps). No clue on all the water mentioned unless is simply baptismal rebirth. "Fevered brow" could be his own temptations and feeling the heat himself.

Joan Osborne – St. Teresa Lyrics 11 years ago
Love this song. I think it's definitely a story of a drug addicted prostitute. "The corner" is probably a reference to the spot where she works."Climb" could mean she's come down and needs to get high again. "Dime" is a common drug reference.

"Baby" is another common drug reference. I think the "trash" is all the discarded packets (bags) drug users leave behind. "Street light" could be the lighter or candle used to cook the dope. "Dark and sweet as hash", probably tar heroin.

I think she's talking about her vein when she says "way down in the hollow", and "leaving so soon" could mean she's going to escape her troubles.

Perhaps I'm completely off base but that's about all I've come up with. The great things about songs is all the speculation concerning lyrics :)

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