Bicycle Diaries: Paradise

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27.12.07

Paradise


I was a counselor at Boy Scout camp in upstate New York for over a decade. When I first started in the mid-70s (!) there were a couple of senior counselors who played guitar. In addition to being ultra-cool to a 16 year old geek such as myself, they played a lot of old-timey songs at our campfires. One of my absolute favorites was John Prine's Paradise. So here it is...

When I was a child my family would travel
Down to Western Kentucky where my parents were born
And there's a backwards old town that's often remembered
So many times that my memories are worn.

Chorus:

And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County
Down by the Green River where Paradise lay
Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking
Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away

Well, sometimes we'd travel right down the Green River
To the abandoned old prison down by Adrie Hill
Where the air smelled like snakes and we'd shoot with our pistols
But empty pop bottles was all we would kill.

Repeat Chorus

Then the coal company came with the world's largest shovel
And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land
Well, they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken
Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man.

Repeat Chorus

When I die let my ashes float down the Green River
Let my soul roll on up to the Rochester dam
I'll be halfway to Heaven with Paradise waitin'
Just five miles away from wherever I am.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Ron said...

This song strikes. Very nice.

27/12/07 15:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come rickety-rackety shaky-town. Who can knock Wakpominee Staff down? Nobody! Nobody! Yea Nobody! I wish I had video of you leading the Mo-squi-to cheer or Boyd and Ricks doing Henry and Liza. Hey, are you Woody Wiley's son?

29/12/07 09:15  
Blogger Da' Square Wheelman, said...

Brian in PA???? How the hell did you end up there & how the hell are you?

E-D-W-A-R-D-C-L-A-R-K ... Slave Driver!!!!

29/12/07 12:08  

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