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The Great Compromise

John Prine
Language: English



[1971]
Lyrics & Music by John Prine
Album: Diamonds in the Rough [1972]

The theme of this song is the disillusionment of the country during the Vietnam War era. As in the liner notes to his 1993 anthology "Great Days" Prine wrote: "The idea I had in mind was that America was this girl -you used to take to drive-in movies. And then when you went to get some popcorn, she turned around and screwed some guy in foreign sports car. I really love America. I just don't know how to get there anymore…"
I knew a girl who was almost a lady
She had a way with all the men in her life
Every inch of her blossomed in beauty
And she was born on the fourth of July..

Well she lived in an aluminum house trailer
And she worked in a juke box saloon
And she spent all the money I give her
Just to see the old man in the moon.

I used to sleep at the foot of Old Glory
And awake in the dawn's early light
But much to my surprise
When I opened my eyes
I was a victim of the great compromise..

Well we'd go out on Saturday evenings
To the drive-in on Route 41
And it was there that I first suspected
That she was doin' what she'd already done.

She said "Johnny won't you get me some popcorn"
And she knew I had to walk pretty far
And as soon as I passed through the moonlight
She hopped into a foreign sports car..

I used to sleep at the foot of old glory
And awake in the dawn's early light
But much to my surprise
When I opened my eyes
I was a victim of the great compromise.

Well you know I could have beat up that fellow
But it was her that had hopped into his car
Many times I'd fought to protect her
But this time she was goin' too far.

Now some folks they call me a coward
'Cause I left her at the drive-in that night
But I'd rather have names thrown at me
Than to fight for a thing that ain't right.

I used to sleep at the foot of old glory
And awake in the dawn's early light
But much to my surprise
When I opened my eyes
I was a victim of the great compromise.

Now she writes all the fellows love letters
Saying: "Greetings, come and see me real soon"
And they go and line up in the barroom
And spend the night in that sick woman's room

But sometimes I get awful lonesome
And I wish she was my girl instead
But she won't let me live with her
And she makes me live in my head.

I used to sleep at the foot of old glory
And awake in the dawn's early light
But much to my surprise
When I opened my eyes
I was a victim of the great compromise.

Contributed by giorgio - 2010/3/3 - 09:28



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