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John Hiatt
John Hiatt

Background information
Born August 20, 1952
Born place Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Genre(s) Americana
Heartland Rock
Years active 1972—present
Label(s) Geffen Records
Vanguard Records
MCA Records
Website Website

Music World  →  Lyrics  →  J  →  John Hiatt  →  Albums  →  Walk On

John Hiatt Album

Walk On (1995)
. . .

A moment of steel
A dry-eyed house
Did he say goodbye to you
Or did you kick him out
I know you're not afraid
To go alone
But this was a marriage of spirit, flesh, and bone

Now whatcha gonna do
When the planet shifts
Whatcha gonna do
Gonna slit your wrists
Bleed all over the milky way
The stars in your eyes look red today

Cry love, Cry love
The tears of an angel
The tears of a dove
Spilling all over, your heart from above
Cry Love, Cry Love

The trust of a woman in his hand
But he was a little boy, not a man
You loved him stronger than he could feel
Yeah he was wrapped up in himself like an orange peel
Now whatcha gonna do
With the booze and the blush
Whatcha gonna do
When there's no rush
Cop a little misery
At the corner store
Well' one day that train of pain won't stop no more


Throwning up ashes on the floor
If this is a lesson in love
Well what's it for?
The heart will remember
The burning fire
The next time you feel the flame
Of desire


Cry love, cry love, cry love

. . .

When that howling wind
Comes to carry you again
Just like your next of kin
You must go
To a far away place
Where you don't recognize one face
Don't unpack your old suitcase
Cause you must go

You must go and you must ramble
Through every briar and bramble
Till your life is in a shambles
Maybe then you will know
You were born to blunder
Born to wander, born to wonder
Even when you're six feet under
There's place
That you must go

It is something you done
Are you loyal to no one
Turn your back on the sun
And you must go
It it something she said
You keep this all up in your head
Now your face is turning red
And you must go


Love is in the air
You can smell it everywhere
Its in your clothes, it's in her hair
Ah, you better get out of there
It's gonna take a midnight train
To straighten out your winding brain
Like a snake in the rain
You must go


. . .

Someone called out to you
And it sounded just like crying
On a street where nobody
Even knows your name
Your mind was getting high on the sweet air
As your spirit was flying

Steam rising from the sidewalks
Of New Orleans after an evening rain
Steam rising from the sidewalks
After an evening rain

And it only made the heat
Feel like it was walking even closer
As you headed up St. Charles
To catch a streetcar named Desire
Young couple struggling in the doorway
Like he was trying to force her

In the distance you swore
You could hear them open fire
Tires squealing in the distance
As you heard them open fire

Walk on, walk on
Don't look back
Don't ask questions
Don't you try to understand
Walk on, walk on
Straight back down to your hotel room
Where she lies waiting for her man

You're so afraid you might be losing love
That is makes you worry
And you wonder if she's ever seen this
Kind of fear in you
And you think of that young couple
In the doorway
And it makes you hurry

You wonder what kind of fear
They might be living through
Yeah you wonder if
They saw that fear in you


. . .

Well she was a millionaire
Before she was fourteen
But there was an emptiness there
That to practically everyone else could be seen
She hit up on the drug of love
Though there was no hole in her arm
There was a hole some place else
About as big as dady 10.000 acre farm

Oh, she was dying for it
For all the world to see
Ah, she was as good as she could be

Well she had a baby at eighteen
Never finished high school
Her husband beat her for money and sex
Till that cadillac finally ran out of fuel
One disaster led to another
Down to her and her baby son
Born with a silver spoon in her mouth
Headed south now
Cause she was never born to run


Well her momma died last year
And her daddy he called her back home
But when he opened the door
He could not recognize
This spectre of hair and bone
But it was his own baby child
Though she looked like an old woman now
Well she lived ten lifetimes in five years
Anywhere that the law would allow

Yeah, she was good as she could be
Ah, she was good as she could be

. . .

Oh the river knows your name
And your tears falling like the rain
All around you suffering and pain
Oh the river knows your name

And the river hears you cry
As the lightning cracks the open sky
As your Momma sings a lullaby
Oh the river she knows why

Let the river wash you down
Beneath the surface
With a rushing sound
Like a freight train passing through a town
Let the river wash you down

Let the river take away
All the words
That you and I could never say
In the silence Darling let us pray
Let the river take it all away

Oh the river knows your name
From the Brazos to the Wabash
To the Seine
No two journeys
Are ever quite the same
But the river knows your name
Oh the river knows your name

. . .

You finally found the mainstream
In the middle of your life
You tapped into a vein
Of endless gold chains
Now you're locked up tight
Tearing down the middle of it
Splitting it right in half
Bobbing up and down the waves
Like a runaway slave
On a Huck Finn raft

Take your wife
Take your family
Take your gun
Running through the woods
And the burned out neighborhoods
Looking for someone
A member of your tribe
A Place you can hide
'Til the war has begun
'Cause in the fields before the flood
You'll be spilling blood
Like a native son

Where you gonna run to
There ain't no underground
If only you could fly
You'd cut across the sky
Like a rifle round
Oh, who are your people
And where is your homeland
'Cause they're dying side by side
At the river of pride
Where we tried to take a stand


In the fields before the flood
You'll be spilling blood
Like a native son

. . .

Could not get to sleep
It was on my wedding night
I was tangled in the sheets
And I was dreaming of a light
Pouring from her window
Coming up through the floor
Lifting up the darkness
Crashing through my kitchen door

Down to that old oak table
I went to take a look
And my whole life flashed before me
Just like a story book
She used to make me breakfast
Or sit around and talk
Have another cup of coffee
Or maybe take a little walk

Dust down a country road
Blowing int he wind
Behind an old truck load
Up before the rooster crowed
There's an old dog staring
At the dust down a country road

And that truck is going somewhere
I just can't be sure
When tomorrow's just the day
After all that's gone before
And I always thought of leaving
I never could stay too long
Now her memory's catching up
And our sweet dreams are all gone


If I had a bullet I'd put it in this gun
And I'd catch that old dog napping
And I'd shoot him before he runs
Cause he ain't much good for nothin'
Except staring at the dust
Lord I wonder what he's looking at
Sneaking up on us


. . .

I'm sitting on the toilet
With my sunglasses on
Wondering what you are up to
This hotel's got bathroom telephones
But I don't want to interrupt you
You might be painting your nails
With your hot curlers on
Each one a different color
Or listening to that Beach Boys sailing song
Sloop John B or another

Ethylene, my Ethylene
My love for you is just obscene
My deer you dress
My fish you clean
But you are nowhere to be seen
My Ethylene

Well you could bag your limit
With a bow and arrow
Yeah you could skin a cougar in the dark
Well I thought we were walking
Down the straight and narrow
How'd we ever drift so far apart

I took my eighteen wheels
On this road to nowhere
And you disappeared right up in the hills
Like smoke up a chimney
Girl, I go there
Yeah in my dreams I visit you still


Now some men will drive
To the edges of nothing
So they can take a peak at the great abyss
Some men avoid love
Like it was a plague or something
So they can leave the seat down
When they piss

I miss that crocheted thing
You kept on the Kleenex box
I miss my feet
On your cold linoleum floor
Sippin hot coffee
After makin love till daybreak
Well Ethylene a fool would ask for more


My Ethylene, my Ethylene, my Ethylene

. . .

Tonight I'm howling at a foreign moon
Might as well be a junkie's spoon
For all the light it's given me
Sinking in my misery

It's been forty days and forty nights
Darling since I held you tight
I walk the desert of my dreams
I got to get out of here before I scream

Too much take off, too much landing
No such love, no understanding

I can't wait baby till you're by my side
I can't wait baby though you know I've tried
I can't wait baby just one more ride
I can't wait till you're by my side

Could you crawl through your telephone
Girl I'm so tired of being alone
I'm talking to walls in my hotel room
Around the world in a sonic boom

Some close calls and some near misses
All I want is your sweet soul kisses


For all the noise on my hometown street
Little children playing at my feet
Well I would give my soul to be
Back in your arms in Tennessee

Too much take off, too much landing
No such love, no understanding

I can't wait baby till you're by my side
I can't wait though you know I've tried
I can't wait just one more ride
I can't wait, can't wait
Baby till you're by my side

I can't wait baby till your by my side
I can't wait though you know I've tried
I can't wait just one more ride
I can't wait till you're by my side

. . .

Oh what have you done with your life
Oh please don't tell me
Just shut up and go to work
Cause you're interrupting me

I won't represent the U.S.
In the summer olympics
My character's questionable
My life is a broken record

I'm shredding the document
I'm keeping my mouth shut
I'm running on radio silence
I'm letting the record speak
I'm shredding the document
The switchboard is lighting up
I'm not taking anymore calls
Well maybe from larry King

And I don't know who killed who
I'm having a sex change
To a woman who loves too much
My sister's a petty thief

I doctored the evidence
Yeah it was a cover up
I want to stay wrapped in my blanket
And never get out of bed


All rumor and innuendo
An Eagles reunion
The 20th century's closing
It's closing in on me

You know what my father said
Well I'm not going to tell you
Some words that I try to live by
It's none of your goddamn business


I'm shredding the document
The switchboard is lighting up
I'm not taking anymore calls
Well maybe from Oprah Winfrey

. . .

There's a dead girl's body
By the railroad track
She's waiting for a train
Jimmy left town like a fade to black
In his Camero in the rain

She wrote it down and burned it
Jimmy loves who knows who
Well he wasn't from around this town
And mister neither are you

She was listening into that Monon line
For the Wabash Cannonball
Put your head on the rail
And you can hear her whine
Just like a caterwaul

She wrote it down and burned it
She clutched it flaming to her chest
It said Jimmy loves cars
And Jimmy loves trains
Ah but Jimmy, Jimmy loves me best

There's a dead girl's body
By the railroad track
Waiting for a train
Well I guess Jimmy never did come back
In his Camaro in the rain

She wrote it down and burned it
Yeah the only way I know
You could still read some words
In the ashes there
But she could not watch him go

She wrote it down and burned it

. . .

These are the words
That cry out of me in the night
Like a buffalo herd
From a shotgun blast scattered in flight
I got a one track mind
Going down a one train line
Living on dreams half the time
Going West

I gotta pick up speed
Just to get what I need
The end of the line guaranteed
Your love is my rest

The coal catches fire
I'm down the wire in a flash
That big old smoke stack
Is belching out black smoke and ash
So sad to think of
Hurting the one you love
But surely that's what leaving does
You'd know best

I gotta pick up speed
Just to get what I need
The end of the line guaranteed
Your love is my rest
Your love is my rest

We pass through the land
Of Custer's last stand
And I grin
So this is where old Yellow Hair's
Ghost dance begins
I got the blood on my hands
Can't even live where I stand
I'm just a traveling man
Cursed or blessed

I gotta pick up speed
Just to get what I need
The end of the line guaranteed
Your love is my rest
Your love is my rest
Your love is my rest

. . .

Friend of mine
Has gone away
Like a light from yesterday
Lost in space
Somewhere they say
This friend of mine

He could sing
Like a child
A mother's dream
So sweet and mild
Or big and mean
Loud and wild
This friend of mine

His voice is still
Like the night
Rustling winds
Of angel's flight
Take him home
To the light
This friend of mine

This friend of mine

. . .

I wouldn't trade your sweetness
For all the sugar in the world
Girl, and I know you'll always be
The sweetest part of me
These bitter tears we've cried

All of the smack in Manhattan
Could not keep me high
Why do you do the things you do
To keep me loving you
Darlin' I don't know why

But you are my mile high
Oh my

An altered state of being
Is what everybody's looking for
Surely they see whenever you're around
My feet don't touch the ground
Baby come fly with me

You are my mile high
Oh my
Darlin' you are my mile high

Let's make this dance last forever
Please don't you ever say goodbye
Darlin' I want to stay this way
Tangled up in the sway
Until the day I die

You are my mile high
Oh my
Darlin' you are my mile high

. . .

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