Saturday, June 16, 2007

Blogging for a Full Year Now

I was wondering what to do to commemorate or mark the day. Then, last night on Austin City Limits after some wimpy brit dude stumming his guitar limply and whining sensitively they brought out some real stuff.

JAMES McMURTRY is the real deal. Stark and harsh. Brutally true. The best part was at the end during the interview. The cute chick holding the microphone asked him why he wrote songs and with a complete lack of guile he said "So women would talk to me."

Vietnam Vet with a cardboard sign
Sitting there by the left turn line
Flag on the wheelchair flapping in the breeze
One leg missing, both hands free
No one's paying much mind to him
The V.A. budget's stretched so thin
And there's more comin' home from the Mideast war
We can't make it here anymore

That big ol' building was the textile mill
It fed our kids and it paid our bills
But they turned us out and they closed the doors
We can't make it here anymore

See all those pallets piled up on the loading dock
They're just gonna set there till they rot
'Cause there's nothing to ship, nothing to pack
Just busted concrete and rusted tracks
Empty storefronts around the square
There's a needle in the gutter and glass everywhere
You don't come down here 'less you're looking to score
We can't make it here anymore

The bar's still open but man it's slow
The tip jar's light and the register's low
The bartender don't have much to say
The regular crowd gets thinner each day

Some have maxed out all their credit cards
Some are working two jobs and living in cars
Minimum wage won't pay for a roof, won't pay for a drink
If you gotta have proof just try it yourself Mr. CEO
See how far 5.15 an hour will go
Take a part time job at one of your stores
Bet you can't make it here anymore

High school girl with a bourgeois dream
Just like the pictures in the magazine
She found on the floor of the laundromat
A woman with kids can forget all that
If she comes up pregnant what'll she do
Forget the career, forget about school
Can she live on faith? live on hope?
High on Jesus or hooked on dope
When it's way too late to just say no
You can't make it here anymore

Now I'm stocking shirts in the Wal-Mart store
Just like the ones we made before
'Cept this one came from Singapore
I guess we can't make it here anymore

Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin
Or the shape of their eyes or the shape I'm in
Should I hate 'em for having our jobs today
No I hate the men sent the jobs away
I can see them all now, they haunt my dreams
All lily white and squeaky clean
They've never known want, they'll never know need
Their shit don't stink and their kids won't bleed
Their kids won't bleed in the damn little war
And we can't make it here anymore

Will work for food
Will die for oil
Will kill for power and to us the spoils
The billionaires get to pay less tax
The working poor get to fall through the cracks
Let 'em eat jellybeans let 'em eat cake
Let 'em eat shit, whatever it takes
They can join the Air Force, or join the Corps
If they can't make it here anymore

And that's how it is
That's what we got
If the president wants to admit it or not
You can read it in the paper
Read it on the wall
Hear it on the wind
If you're listening at all
Get out of that limo
Look us in the eye
Call us on the cell phone
Tell us all why

In Dayton, Ohio
Or Portland, Maine
Or a cotton gin out on the great high plains
That's done closed down along with the school
And the hospital and the swimming pool
Dust devils dance in the noonday heat
There's rats in the alley
And trash in the street
Gang graffiti on a boxcar door
We can't make it here anymore

Music and lyrics © 2004 by James McMurtry



Blogger seventh sister said...

This song was supposedly the catalyst for Cindy Sheehan's camping in the ditch across from Bush's ranch.

You're right. He is the real deal.

7:57 AM  
Blogger Rez Dog said...

Happy blogiversary, MB, and congratulations on coming back on line. Thanks for all the intelligent thought I find here. And the music!

James McMurtry gets a fair amount of play on Whole Wheat Radio. I can always recognize that voice when his music comes on.

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Dark Wraith said...

It's been a whole year, now?!


It has.

Dear God. What happened to that year?!

The Dark Wraith is (almost) speechless... except to wish you many more of these blog anniversaries.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Sherry said...

congrats and happy happy.

i love the song. i wanna borrow it.

gret stuff, god!


9:26 AM  
Blogger konagod said...

Happy Blogiversary, my friend. In April 2006 on my birthday, we went to see James McMurtry play at the Farmer's Market -- for FREE. Very low key and casual. It was hot as fuck that day but worth every second. He's the real deal.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Sherry said...

i put it on mine and sent people over to here to read your blog. i try to share good things.

hope you don't mind.

9:35 AM  
Anonymous tata said...

Happy Blogiversary and Happy Bloomsday.

10:15 AM  
Blogger litbrit said...

Happy Bloggy Day!

And many happy returns.

I know what you mean about Where did the year go?, Dark Wraith. Let me know if you figure that out. :-)

6:44 AM  
Anonymous amish451 said...

We hope McMurtry's lyric finds an abundance of exposure ..the right should love it too ....
Happy returns on one blogyear

6:58 AM  
Anonymous horsedooty said...

happy blogiversary

yo soy Horsedooty!

6:32 AM  
Anonymous Melissa McEwan said...


My blogosphere wouldn't be the same without you.


7:04 AM  
Blogger JackGoff said...

Ditto that, Melissa! Keep bringing the awesome, MB! We love you muchly! 8^D

7:07 AM  
Blogger Mustang Bobby said...

From one MB to another, happy day, and thanks for all your insight, music, and truth.

7:34 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

thank you all so much for your kindness and patience as i have been growing and hopefully improving in this arena.

'specially thanks to the wraith, 'liss, and litbrit for their inspiriation, encouragement, guidance, and all around good thoughts.

confusion to the enemy!

8:10 AM  
Blogger creature said...

Congrats on year number 1! I look forward to a whole lot more.

8:18 AM  
Blogger maurinsky said...

Congratulations on your first year (of many, I hope) of blogging, and thank you for being my friend.

10:15 AM  
Blogger Phydeaux Speaks said...

Two days late, but congrats anyway, and thanks again for being the first (along with Dark Wraith) to blogroll me.

I always enjoy visiting your site!

10:39 AM  
Blogger BadTux said...

It's *just* been a year? Seems like more than that, at least content-wise, if not temporally. As for the improvement thingy, James McMurtry isn't the only real deal around here. I don't know what brought you to blogging, but some of us who read your stuff are glad that someone who's been there, done that, managed to somehow come out the other side alive, is here to share a few things with the rest of us.


1:13 PM  

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