Henry's Songbook

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The Ballad Of Sam Stone

  • (John Prine)

    There's a hole in daddy's arm where all the money goes
    Jesus Christ died for nothing, I suppose
    Little pitchers have big ears, don't stop to count the years
    Sweet songs never last too long on broken radios

    Sam Stone came home to his wife and family
    After serving in the conflict overseas
    And the time he had served had shattered all his nerves
    And left a little shrapnel in his knee
    But morphine eased the pain, and the grass grew round his brain
    And gave him all the confidence he lacked
    With a Purple Heart, and a monkey on his back

    Sam Stone's welcome home didn't last too long
    He went to work when he'd spent his last dime
    So Sam took to stealing when he got that empty feeling
    For a hundred-dollar habit, without overtime
    But the gold flowed through his veins like a thousand railroad trains
    And eased his mind in the hours that he chose
    While his kids ran round wearing other people's clothes

    Sam Stone was alone when he popped his last balloon
    Climbing walls while sitting in a chair
    And he played his last request while the room just smelled like death
    With an overdose hovering in the air
    You see, life had lost its fun, there was nothing to be done
    But trade his house he'd borrowed on the G.I. bill
    For a flag-draped casket on the local heroes' hill

    (as sung by Iain MacKintosh)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • german [1979:] Ein beeindruckendes Lied über Drogensucht unter kriegsversehrten Vietnam- Soldaten. Es ist wenig bekannt, daß ein hoher Prozentsatz von ihnen erst süchtig wurde, nachdem sie im Krankenhaus behandelt wurden. (Notes Iain MacKintosh, 'Straight to the Point')

  • english [1991:] On Kennedy and the early development of the Vietnam War see Thomas C. Reeves, 'A Question of Character', 287ff

  • english [1993:] There's no one person who was the basis for Sam Stone, more like three or four people, like a couple of my buddies who came back from Vietnam and some of the guys I served with in the Army. At the time, all the other Vietnam songs were basic protest songs, made up to slap each other on the back like "yeah, this is the right cause". I don't remember any other songs that talked about the soldiers at all. I came up with the chorus first and decided I really liked the part about the "hole in Daddy's arm". I had this picture in my mind of this little girl, like little Orphan Annie, shaking her head back and forth while a rainbow of money goes into her dad's arm. I think I invented the character of Sam Stone as a story line just to get around to that chorus. (Notes John Prine, 'Anthology - Great Days')

Quelle: USA

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aktualisiert am 16.06.2002