Putnam County Lyrics

by Tom Waits

I guess things were always kinda quiet around Putnam County
Kinda shy and sleepy as it clung to the skirts of the 2-lane
That was stretched out like an asphalt dance floor
Where all the old timers in bib jeans and store bought boots
Were hunkerin' down in the dirt to lie about their lives
And the places that they'd been
And they suck on Coca Colas and be spittin' days work
Until the moon was a stray dog on the ridge and
And the taverns would be swollen until the naked eye of 2 A.M.

And the Stratocaster slung over the Burger meister Beer Guts
Swizzle stick legs jackknifed over naughahyde stools
And the witch hazel spread out over the linoleum floors
Pedal pushers stretched out over midriff bulge
And the coiffed brunette curls over Maybelline eyes
Wearing Prince Machiavelli, Estee Lauder, smells so sweet
And I elbowed up at the counter with mixed feelings over mixed drinks
As Bubba and the Roadmasters moaned in pool hall concentration
And, and knit their brows to cover the entire
Hank Williams songbook whether you like it not

And the Old National register was singing to the tune of
57 dollars and 57 cents
And then its last call, one more game of 8 ball
Bernice will be putting the chairs on the tables
Someone come in say "Hey man, anyone got
Any Jumper Cables, is that a 6 or 12 volt?"
And all the studs in town would toss 'em down
And claim to fame as they stomped their feet
Yeah, boastin' about being able to get more ass than a toilet seat

And the GMC's and the Straight 8 Fords were coughin' and wheezin'
And they perculated as they tossed the gravel underneath the fenders
Weave home a wet, slick anaconda of a 2-lane
Tire irons and a crowbars a-rattlin', with a tool box and a pony saddle
You're grinding gears, shiftin' into first
Yeah and that goddamn tranny's just gettin' worse
With the melodies of 'See ya laters' and screwdrivers on carburettors
Talkin' shop about money to loan and palominos and strawberry roans

See you tomorrow, hello to the Mrs.
With money to borrow and goodnight kisses
As the radio spit out Charlie Rich
Man and he sure can sing that son of a bitch
And you weave home, yeah, weavin' home
Leavin' the little joint winking in the dark, warm, narcotic American night
Beneath a pin cushion sky, it's home to toast and honey

Gotta startup the Ford, yeah, your lunch money's right over there
On the drainin' board, and the toilet's runnin'
Ah, Christ shake the handle and the telephone's ringin'
It's Mrs Randal and where the hell are my goddamn sandals?
What do you mean the dog chewed up my left foot?
With the porcelain poodles and the glass swans
Staring down from the knick knack shelf
And the parent permission slips for the kids' field trips
And a pair of Muckalucks scraping across the shag carpet

And the impending squint of first light
And it that lurked behind a weeping marquee in downtown Putnam
And they'd be pullin' up any minute now
Just like a bastard amber, velveeta yellow cab
On a rainy corner and be blowin' its horn, in every window in town