James McMurtry, We Can't Make It Here Lyrics

We Can't Make It Here Lyrics

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James McMurtry - We Can't Make It Here Lyrics


Thereís a Vietnam Vet with a cardboard sign
Sitting there by the left turn line
Flag on his wheelchair flapping in the breeze
One leg missing and both hands free
No oneís paying much mind to him
The V.A. budgetís just stretched so thin
And now thereís more coming back from the Mideast war
We canít make it here anymore


That big olí building was the textile mill that fed our kids and it paid our bills
But they turned us out and they closed the doors
We canít make it here anymore


See those pallets piled up on the loading dock
Theyíre just gonna sit there Ďtil they rot
ĎCause thereís nothing to ship, nothing to pack
Just busted concrete and rusted tracks
Empty storefronts around the square
Thereís a needle in the gutter and glass everywhere
You donít come down here unless youíre looking to score
We canít make it here anymore

The barís still open but man itís slow
The tip jarís light and the registerís low
The bartender donít have much to say
The regular crowd gets thinner each day
Some have maxed out all their credit cards
Some are working two jobs and living in cars
Minimum wage wonít pay for a roof, wonít pay for a drink
If you gotta have proof just try it yourself Mr. CEO
See how far $5.15 an hour will go
Take a part time job at one your stores
Bet you canít make it here anymore

Thereís a high school girl with a bourgeois dream
Just like the pictures in the magazine
She found on the floor of the laundromatA woman with kids can forget all that
If she comes up pregnant whatíll she do
Forget the career, forget about school
Can she live on faith? Live on hope?
High on Jesus or hooked on dope
When itís way too late to just say no
You canít make it here anymore

Now Iím stocking shirts in the Wal-Mart store
Just like the ones we made before
Ď Cept this one came from Singapore
I guess we canít make it here anymore

Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin
Or the shape of their eyes or the shape Iím in
Should I hate Ďem for having our jobs today
No I hate the men sent the jobs away
I can see them all now, they haunt my dreams
All lily white and squeaky clean
Theyíve never known want, theyíll never know need
Their shit donít stink and their kids wonít bleed
Their kids wonít bleed in their damn little war
And we canít make it here anymore

Will work for food will die for oil
Will kill for power and to us the spoils
The billionaires get to pay less tax
The working poor get to fall through the cracks
So let Ďem eat jellybeans let Ďem eat cake
Let Ďem eat shit, whatever it takes
They can join the Air Force, or join the Corps
If they canít make it here anymore

So thatís how it is, thatís what we got
If the president wants to admit it or not
You can read it in the paper, read it on the wall
Hear it on the wind if youíre listening at all
Get out of that limo, look us in the eye
Call us on the cell phone tell us all why

In Dayton Ohio or Portland Maine
Or a cotton gin out on the great high plains
Thatís done closed down along with the school
And the hospital and the swimming pool
Dust devils dance in the noonday heat
Thereís rats in the alley and trash in the street
Gang graffiti on a boxcar door
We canít make it here anymore


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