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Starkville City Jail Lyrics

from At San Quentin

"Starkville City Jail" is track #5 on the album At San Quentin. It was written by Johnny Cash.
"Starkville City Jail" is track #5 on the album At San Quentin. It was written by Johnny Cash.

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They put this microphone down here near my guitar
Heh, let it all hang out
I thought my guitar was out of tune at first
You sorry son of a..
It is out of tune
Is that right?
Terry, is that right?
Will you tune this son bitch for me?
Got all kinds of songs, here's one called "A boy named sue"
You want to hear that one?
You want to hear "a boy named sue"?
I do too. I'm anxious to hear it
I don't know how in the hell it's gonna sound. I'm anxious to hear it
Does that camera block your view right there, is that alright?
You want me to leave it there?
Just gonna put it there then
Where in the hell is my guitar? Oh, here it is
(Where's Luther Johnny?)
We're sorry to say, the Luther passed away seven months ago
After being with us for 13 years. Luther Perkins
And uh, the fella that is playing the guitar with us now is doing a wonderful job
'Course nobody can really replace Luther.
How about one big cheer for Luther Perkins

Yeah, I had a song called San Quentin, I was going to do
Where's my....hey, in my kit back in there where I've got all my dope
I mean, where I got all my things

There's a, there's a, there's a little red notebook back there
Would somebody, would one of the guards bring it to me
Somebody bring it to me, bring me the red notebook, and I will uh..

Hey, that, that briefcase back there of mine, you know,
That's got all the songs I stole in it

Telling it like it is, ain't I? Alright

Wrote a song yesterday. I try.
It takes a lot of imagination to write a sometimes to write a song
And to really, to really put something into it
Where somebody else can understand it and feel it .
Well we've been in several prisons
San Quentin, and Folsom prison, and the Starkville Mississippi jail
An El Paso jail. And uh.
You wouldn't believe it, one night I got in jail in Starkville Mississippi
For picking flowers.
I was walking down the street. I may sing heaven for you a little bit later
I was walking down the street....what?
Excuse me I couldn't hear you I was talking
I was walking down the street, and uh
You know, going to get me some cigarettes or something
'Bout two in the morning, after a show. I think it was
Anyway, I reached down and picked a dandelion here and a daisy there as I went along
And this car pulls up.
Said, get it the hell in here boy, what are you doing?
Said, I'm just picking flowers
Well,thirty six dollars for picking flowers and a night in jail (goddamn)
You can't hardly win can ya, goddamn
No telling what they'd do if you pull an apple or something
Well I'd like to do this song on behalf of all you guys in San Quentin
To kinda get back at whoever you want to out there
In my case, I'd like to get back at the fella down in Starkville Mississippi
That still has my thirty six dollars

Well, I left my motel room, down at the Starkville Motel,
The town had gone to sleep and I was feelin' fairly well.
I strolled along the sidewalk 'neath the sweet magnolia trees;

I was whistlin', pickin' flowers, swayin' in the southern breeze.
I found myself surrounded; one policeman said: "That's him.
Come along, wild flower child. Don't you know that it's two a.m."

They're bound to get you.
'Cause they got a curfew.
And you go to the Starkville City jail.

Well, they threw me in the car and started driving into town;
I said: "What the hell did I do?"
And he said: "Shut up and sit down."

Well, they emptied out my pockets, took my pills and guitar picks.
I said: "Wait, my name is..." "Ah, shut up."
Well, I sure was in a fix.

The sergeant put me in a cell, then he went home for the night;
I said: "Come back here, you so and so;
I ain't bein' treated right."

Well, they're bound to get you.
'Cause they got a curfew.
And you go to the Starkville City jail.

I started pacin' back and forth, and now and then I'd yell,
And kick my forty dollar shoes against the steel floor of my cell.
I'd walk awhile and kick awhile, and all night nobody came.

Then I sadly remembered that they didn't even take my name.
At 8 a.m. they let me out, I said: "Gimme them things of mine!"
They gave me a sneer and a guitar pick, and a yellow dandelion.

They're bound to get you.
'Cause they got a curfew.
And you go to the Starkville City jail.
And you go to the Starkville City jail.

Songwriters
JOHNNY CASH

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Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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