Candyland

  James McMurtry 1992
Columbia
 
   

1 _Where's Johnny

6   Don't Waste Away

 2   Vague Directions

7   Good Life

 3   Hands Like Rain

8   Save Yourself
 4   Safe Side 9   Storekeeper
 5   Candyland 10 Dusty Pages
   
Thanks to DB Cooper for trancscribing 1, 2, 5 and 10
Thanks
to Scott for trancscribing 3 through 8
Thanks to Latenorther for trancscribing 4, 6 and 7
 





1 Where's Johnny
 

Young Johnny, he really had a way
He did his homework on the school bus
And he always got an A
And the girls liked Johnny
More than anyone 'cept maybe Elton John
Later on in high school
He couldn't keep his red suspenders on

(chorus)
Oh where's Johnny has he gone away
Oh where's Johnny will he be back someday

He had a room full of trophies
From the track meets and the tennis games he'd win
He was a full-blown whiz kid
Bound to be a Renaissance man
Then he went on off to college
Got his head stuck in a different state of mind
When they asked him was it alcohol?
He told them it was nothing of the kind
Just life … just life, mom

(chorus)

But Johnny's alright he just turned out his lights
They'd have paid it no mind had he not been so bright
He opened up his eyes and he snapped out of the groove
He saw both sides of everything and found he could not
move

Johnny moved home
Now he reads a lot of poetry and plays
He'll sit out in the backyard
And not say a word to anyone for days
And his folks gave up
They no longer even bother getting through
He's thirty-odd years old
They must have figured there's just so much you can do

His mother keeps his pictures
In the scrapbook in the drawer with her pearls
She polishes the trophies
That he won back when they thought he'd save the world
Back when the girls liked Johnny
More than anyone 'cept maybe Elton John
She wonders where's her little boy
With the braces and the red suspenders gone
Just life …


 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
       
2

Vague Directions


This place you say you're looking for
That's a place I used to know
Don't know the number of the road
But I can tell you how to go

Head on down 'till the pavement ends
Used to go back there now and then
I Used to know it like the back of my hand
When I was just a boy

This place you say you're looking for
It's a good ways off the track
It'd take a quarter tank of Firechief
Just getting there and back

And of course there wasn't no pavement then
Once you got yourself around that bend
There wasn't nothing but the whistling wind
When I was just a boy

(chorus)
And the light shines long ago
On the cold December snow
And the river runs on through the (golden) past
I can see it in the bottom of the (whiskey) glass

Ain't seen you around here before
You kin to someone I know
What was your mama's name
Before she moved away

Did she tell you about that place up there
Did she show you how to curl that hair
A grown man would have never dared
When I was just a boy

(chorus)

Just like yesterday

This place you say you're looking for
Might have washed out with the rain
It Might not be there anymore
It Might not be the same

But if you find it won't you let me know
If I weren't so poorly I'd surely go
Don't you know I used to love it so
When I was just a boy

(chorus)


 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
       
3

Hands Like Rain


Slowly crawling 'cross the floor
Comes a shadow through the window
From the house next door
And the dust specks dancing
In the last of the light
One more evening passing

She walked on tiptoes
On a gravel bar
Wet skin pale as the evening star
The North Platte winding like a silver eel
Hands like rain on August fields

(chorus)
Hands like rain
Falling soft
To ease the drought inside
As memory fades
Not much remains
But hands like rain

Now I stand on stiff legs
And I clutch the cane
And I search the sky for a sign of rain
As if it matters
As if it makes a damn
Just an old man's habit

Down the street
The schoolboys play
Dime novel heroes from another day
Who now are nothing more than faceless names
And a nameless face with hands like rain

(chorus)

We'd run by night
And we'd hide by day
So the papers used to say
On stolen horses and borrowed time
Dancing girls and brandy wine

I can hear them calling
They're calling me
I can here them calling
But I still can't see

(chorus)

Life and legend are an awkward pair
And there ain't much magic anywhere
Except in moments we can't often steal
Hands like rain on August fields

(chorus)

 
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
       
4 Safe Side

Down in Piedras Negras you gotta watch yourself
There's a whole lotta hungry people lookin to share some wealth
And when the oilfield's busted and the peso takes a dive
Stay off the side streets if you wanna come back alive

Yo no busca nada I'm just standin here
Mindin my own business, gonna get back outta here

Back to the safe side
Back to the safe side

And at the base of the barstool there's a drain in the floor
You better not go in there, if you don't know what that's for
It's no place to take your lady, she'll get the evil eye
Sizin up their prospects, sharpin up their knives

No me gusta nada, yo no queiro ver
Once I get across this river, never gonna go back there

Stayin on the safe side
Stayin on the safe side

Yo no fuma mota yo no quiero ver
Once I getacross this river, never gonna go back there

Up in San Antonio all the pretty people know
They better stay off of the west side where the black tar flows
They hide in their sheltered enclaves up around Olmos Park
They got their own policeman so they can stay out way past dark

Back down in Piedras Negras, the children play with dirt
We keep our pistols loaded so we don't get hurt
No importa a nadie, it's always been that way
Never gonna get no different, long as we got our say

Stay on the safe side
Stay on the safe side

No me gusta nada, it's always been that way
Never gonna get no different long as we got our way

Stay on the safe side
Stay on the safe side
Stay on the safe side
Stay on the safe side


 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
       
 5 Candyland

 

Ugly pictures on the wall
Traffic outbound slowing to a crawl
Evening papers on the manicured lawns
It never ceases it just goes on and on
The people next door don't mind at all
They've got 'em a spiked fence ten feet tall

(chorus)
In the candyland
In the candyland

Gray squirrel running down the telephone wire
Kids around the poolside screaming like cats on fire
Cats on fire chasing after the ice cream van
But that circus music's got to be hell on the ice
cream man
He clips his roach and he hauls his load
Taking his half out of the middle of the road

(chorus x2)

The heels grow tall and the skirts hang low
There could be something here but they just won't let
it show

(chorus)

Same old neighborhood with a colder feel
Just the curbs and drains left over from the new deal
Smooth young faces on the TV news
And They can read copy they don't have to be real
Thinking back on the finer days
Remembering the pendulum swings both ways

Chorus (repeat to fade)

 

 
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
       
6 Don't Waste Away

Is that smile for me?
Did You come by it honestly?
Can I show you around?
Can I help you tear your fences down?
'Cause I know you foster few illusions, suffer no fools
You don't leave much to chance
But you're out past the breakers, driftin fast
I can see it at a glance

You've been a long time locked inside
Long time all alone at night
Prisoner of wisdom, prisoner of pride
Don't just waste away
Don't just waste away

Is that smile for me?
Have you kept it hidden consciously?
Just like an old time movie queen
Always noticed, rarely seen
And I got no answers, no magic cures
And I got no plans
But I know the darkness that haunts your eyes
And I know those tremblin hands

You've been a long time locked inside
Long time all alone at night
Prisoner of wisdom, prisoner of pride
Don't just waste away
Don't just waste away

You've been a long time locked inside
Long time all alone at night
Prisoner of wisdom, passion, and pride
Don't just waste away
Don't just waste away

 
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
         


7 Good Life

 
Got two cars and a chainlink fence
Got insurance for accidents
Nevermind what I don't know
I dream of places I won't ever go

But I lead a good life
Yeah, I lead a good life

'N every Sunday we're out at the lake
Teachin the kids how to jump the wake
We drag em on two skis they kick one loose
They don't know it, they hadn't got a clue

That they lead a good life
Yeah, they lead a good life
Don't complain to me
We're alright far as I can see
Keep it to yourself
Take that garbage somewhere else

Yeah, we lead a good life
You know, we lead a good life
Don't complain to me
We're alright far as I can see
Keep it to yourself

Grandpa died back in '85, now they won't let Grandma drive
Bankers took everything he made
He lost his fingers to a Bush Hog blade
But he led a good life (he told me so)
Yeah, he led a good life

I've had about enough of you
Tryin to tell us what to do
We're gonna do just what we please
Sell it all to the Japanese
So we can lead a good life
So we can lead a good life...


 
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
       
8 Save Yourself

You couldn't get what you were after
After all was said and done
Amid the echoes of the screams and the laughter
Cracking the blinds to the noonday sun
Running out of room, tugging at the tether
Old desires on the closet shelf
You read between the lines until the lines ran
together
Somehow had to save yourself

chorus
'Cause it don't come back once it's gone
Now you wonder why you had to wait so long
Wasn't no sense being where you don't belong
Got to save yourself

Now your bad boy runs you ragged
But the nice guy bores you flat to tears
He sends you flowers and birthday cards
He tries so hard and he's out of here
'Cause it's all you can handle just to stay okay
You don't need nobody's pain
You've got no room for baggage
Passengers must now de-plane

chorus
'Cause it don't come back once it's gone
Now you wonder why you had to wait so long
Wasn't no sense being where you don't belong
Got to save yourself

Your new job keeps you busy
The old car runs alright
The hot wind off the concrete
Sometimes keeps you up at night
The lights go off in the building
And you're sitting there alone
'Cause the girls and boys you run with
Have all up and gone home
So you're sifting through the ashes
Getting way down dark and deep
You've got your life all figured out
But you still don't get much sleep

chorus
'Cause it don't come back once it's gone
Now you wonder why you had to wait so long
Wasn't no sense being where you don't belong
Got to save yourself


 
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
       
9 Storekeeper
 

chorus
No shoes, no shirt, no service
Reads the sign on the front screen door
Your friends 011 moke me nervous
You best keep 'em out of my store

I don't moke no bones about it
I don't need your barefoot blues
I con damn sure do without it
I keep a good shine on my shoes

You've used up all your credit
My patience all ran out
And it'll lake two months of pay days
To settle your account

So get them fools up off my front step
And get 'em out of here
I don't need that kind of business
Do I moke myself clear
Don't think I don't know it
You been stealin' me blind
You thought I wouldn't notice
Or you thought I wouldn't mind

But you've run out of excuses
Son you're wastin' my lime
Get your face on out the front door
Toke it down the line

chorus


 
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
         
10 Dusty Pages

So get that hurt look off your face
No need to be alarmed
I was only trying not to lose my place
I didn't mean no harm
This place we've come to
It's a brand-new world
With a whole new set of rules
And I'm not complaining
And I ain't enraged
Just a bit confused

chorus
Would you be my friend through the ages
Watch the decades drifting by
And read to me from dusty pages
All the echoes of our lives

You'd fold the napkins, sitting on the stairs
Through the afternoon
I'd sit there watching till you'd stack the chairs
From across the room

I kept your letters in my life
Kept them safe and sound
And I read back through them once in a while
When there's no one else around

chorus