There's a black man with a black cat
Living in a black neighborhood
He's got an interstate running' through his front yard
You know, he thinks, he's got it so good
And there's a woman in the kitchen cleaning' up evening slop
And he looks at her and says:
"Hey darling, I can remember when you could stop a clock"

Oh but ain't that America, for you and me
Ain't that America, we're something to see baby
Ain't that America, home of the free, yeah
Little pink houses for you and me, oh for you and me

Well there's a young man in a T-shirt
Listenin' to a rock 'n' roll station
He's got a greasy hair, greasy smile
He says: "Lord, this must be my destination"
'Cause they told me, when I was younger
Sayin' "Boy, you're gonna be president"
But just like everything else, those old crazy dreams
Just kinda came and went

Oh but ain't that America, for you and me
Ain't that America, we're something to see baby
Ain't that America, home of the free, yeah
Little pink houses, for you and me, oh baby for you and me

Well there's people and more people
What do they know, know, know
Go to work in some high rise
And vacation down at the Gulf of Mexico
Ooo yeah

And there's winners, and there's losers
But they ain't no big deal
'Cause the simple man baby pays the thrills,
The bills and the pills that kill

Oh but ain't that America, for you and me
Ain't that America, we're something to see baby
Ain't that America, home of the free, yeah
Little pink houses for you and me, ooo, ooo yeah

Ain't that America, for you and me
Ain't that America, hey we're something to see baby
Ain't that America, oh the home of the free,
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Little pink houses babe for you and me, ooo yeah ooo yeah

Lyrics submitted by numb, edited by Dynamight

Pink Houses Lyrics as written by John Mellencamp

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Pink Houses song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentRonald Reagan asked to use this as a campaign song in '84...Mellencamp said no one in hell.

    I think Reagan should have read the verses.
    UnpopularPoeton January 13, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is about how there comes a time in your life when you realize you're too old to be a dreamer. Where you realize that you can no longer be anything you want to be.
    cubbyblueson August 15, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it's asking us to reevaluate the American Dream. Maybe that it isn't what we thought it was.
    Smokleron October 16, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song should be recognized as one of the best songs in rock & roll. Wonderfully written and performed, and one of my all-time favorites. I agree with all the above comments, but can anyone comment of the significance of "pink houses"?
    kickstart71on January 20, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe term "Pink Houses", refers to just that, pink houses. I lived in one for the first year of my life from 1954 to 55'. They were low-cost houses (which my parents refered to as the "projects") that were bulit in the late 40s' and early 50s' for all the new growing families most of which were military returning home from the war. (BABY BOOMERS) I would go back there with my parents to visit there old friends till I was 10-12 years old, and YES, ALL the houses were painted pink. Not a bright "shocking pink" but pink nontheless. I'm not sure why pink was the color of choice in the midwest but there you have it.
    twiseon February 22, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti live in indianapolis, a hoosier just like john...and you drive down interstate 65 to downtown indy, and when you drive down I65 to downtown Indianapolis, you can see where the neighborhood roads just cut from where I65 was built, always reminds me of this song and the first couple of lines.
    weetoddit311on June 29, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGreat song, but the line about his wife being able to stop a clock always seemed a bit of a back-handed compliment and funny to me - like you had a face that could stop a clock?
    daherbieon July 26, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAnd there's winners and there's losers
    But they ain't no big deal

    i dont like this line. everyone is equal.

    i do love the message of this song tho.
    america aint so great. especially when it cums to economic inequality. it is my opinion that people cannot be equal without economic, social, and political equality. i guess u can call me a communist.

    as far as "And there's winners and there's losers
    But they ain't no big deal" i think that mellencamp is referring to the fact that rich people have it made, complete fuckups have dug their own graves. and it is the workers who keep america going but also have to slave every day
    ThinkSolutionson May 07, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPink Houses are also the name of projects in Brooklyn. I'm not sure if that was what Mr. Mellencamp was referring to, but it could fit the theme of the song as well. I like when songs get the meaning across, but leave some room for interpretation.
    lyricallydeliciouson May 12, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationAs we celebrate Independence Day, I think America has to be reexamined and reevaluated. The ideas that our founders espoused are now old-fashioned. What was one was the truth-it's no anything but! America is full of hypocrisy and lies. Even with Obama in Office, America will Never Be a more perfect union! John Mellencamp understands this fact better than anyone in Rock. To Paraphrase his Midwest Guitar Friend Madonna, Nobody's Perfect. In angry heartland classic rocker Pink Houses, Mellencamp angrily writes about inequality-how the American people don't have it so good after all. The Indiana Hoosier Kitty Cat is angry and enraged!-Meow!-Mellencamp rages "Ain't That America for You and Me!"-as if things will never change! What's most shocking is the hopelessness on the sad rocker. The truth hurts. As his Meowing Cat voice gets angrier and sadder, Johnny Rebel just cries in Sad and Enraged Indiana Tears. The Pink House then is a stoic symbol that hard times are gonna be with us always-but we Americans just have to keep going to make America better. There is still hope. Mellencamp knows it. I know it. We all know it! Ain't that America for you and me! Happy Fourth!
    rabbitbunnyon July 02, 2012   Link

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