madshutterbug (madshutterbug) wrote,

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It's Sort of a Non-Post, Eh?

I went looking about the house yesterday for these, because fatfred quoted part of it in their Happy Returns post. Yes, 'their', because sometimes it's very clear that it's Skippy posting, sometimes that it's Fred posting, and sometimes, well, it really is both of them kind of in chorus. At any rate, it is one of my favourite pieces by one of my favourite groups, and I first heard it at a time that proved to be somewhat pivotal.


Truckin' got my chips cashed in.
Keep truckin', like the do-dah man
Together, more or less in line, just keep truckin' on.

Arrows of neon and flashing marquees out on Main Street.
Chicago, New York, Detroit and it's all on the same street.
Your typical city involved in a typical daydream
Hang it up and see what tomorrow brings.

Dallas, got a soft machine;
Houston, too close to New Orleans;
New York's got the ways and means;
but just won't let you be, oh no.

Most of the cast that you meet on the streets speak of true love,
Most of the time they're sittin' and cryin' at home.
One of these days they know they better get goin'
Out of the door and down on the streets all alone.

Truckin', like the do-dah man.
Once told me "You've got to play your hand"
Sometimes your cards ain't worth a dime, if you don't lay'em down.

Sometimes the light's all shinin' on me;
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurs to me What a long, strange trip it's been.

What in the world ever became of sweet Jane?
She lost her sparkle, you know she isn't the same
Livin' on reds, vitamin C, and cocaine,
All a friend can say is "Ain't it a shame?"

Truckin', up to Buffalo.
Been thinkin', you got to mellow slow
Takes time, you pick a place to go, and just keep truckin' on.

Sittin' and starin' out of the hotel window.
Got a tip they're gonna kick the door in again
I'd like to get some sleep before I travel,
But if you got a warrant, I guess you're gonna come in.

Busted, down on Bourbon Street,
Set up, like a bowlin' pin.
Knocked down, it get's to wearin' thin. They just won't let you be, oh no.

You're sick of hangin' around and you'd like to travel;
Get tired of travelin' and you want to settle down.
I guess they can't revoke your soul for tryin',
Get out of the door and light out and look all around.

Sometimes the light's all shinin' on me;
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurs to me What a long, strange trip it's been.

Truckin', I'm a goin' home.
Whoa whoa baby, back where I belong,
Back home, sit down and patch my bones, and get back truckin' on.
Hey now get back truckin' home.


Now, before ending the cut I happen to think the line Sometimes your cards ain't worth a dime is actually 'worth a damn'. That, though, is based on hearing them live, and while I do remember hearing them live if you are at all familiar with Greatful Dead concerts, well, there are blurs in that memory...

I suppose this is all due to extreme introspection, and I doubt it matters to anyone but the introspec-or. In other words, me. I first heard this piece while A Federally Subsidised Tourist, with an old flame, in a transition period of our relationship. And, I'm currently reading Jimmy Buffett's book, A Pirate Looks At Fifty which is pretty much autobiographical, and a pun on the title of his song A Pirate Looks At Forty which is another of my favourites. I'm getting introspective about it because now, by that magic of measuring dates, I'm 56. What it brought home to me is this.

It is a very common thing to see, people getting pretty responsive about a birthday which is one of the Big Ohs. You know, the Big Three-Oh, Four-Oh, Five-Oh, and so forth. They're viewed as the big major transitions in life. Thing is, with possibly one exception (I was 20 when I enlisted to be a Federally Subsidised Tourist) all of my big transitions took place somewhen in between the Big-Ohs.

And yes, what a long, strange trip it's been.
Tags: hippie birdbaths, life, philosophy

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