Subterranean Homesick Blues

The Walkmen

Johnny's in the basement mixing up the medicine
I'm on the pavement thinking about the government
The man in the trench coat, badge out, laid off
Says he's got a bad cough, wants to get it paid off

Look out, kid, it's something you did
God knows when, but you're doing it again
You better duck down the alleyway, looking for a new friend
The man in the coonskin cap by the big pen
Wants eleven dollar bills, you only got ten

Maggie comes fleet foot, face full of black soot
Talking that the heat put plants in the bed but
The phone's tapped anyway, Maggie says that many say
They must bust in early May, orders from the D.A.

Look out, kid, don't matter what you did
Walk on your tiptoes, don't try No Doz
Better stay away from those that carry around a fire hose
Keep a clean nose, watch the plainclothes
You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

Get sick, get well, hang around the inkwell
Ring bell, hard to tell if anything is gonna sell
Try hard, get barred, get back, write braille
Get jailed, jump bail, join the army if you fail

Look out, kid, you're gonna get hit
By losers, cheaters, six-time users
Hanging 'round the theaters
Girl by the whirlpool's looking for a new fool
Don't follow leaders, watch the parking meters

Get born, keep warm, short pants, romance
Learn to dance, get dressed, get blessed, try to be a success
Please her, please him, buy gifts, don't steal, don't lift
Twenty years of schooling and they put you on the day shift

Look out, kid, they keep it all hid
Better jump down a manhole, light yourself a candle
Don't wear sandals, try to avoid the scandals
Don't want to be a bum, you better chew gum
The pump don't work 'cause the vandals took the handles