Pink Houses

Album: Uh-Huh (1983)
Charted: 8
  • There's a black man with a black cat
    Living in a black neighborhood
    He's got an interstate running' through his front yard
    You know, he thinks, he's got it so good
    And there's a woman in the kitchen cleaning' up evening slop
    And he looks at her and says:
    "Hey darling, I can remember when you could stop a clock"

    Oh but ain't that America, for you and me
    Ain't that America, we're something to see baby
    Ain't that America, home of the free, yeah
    Little pink houses for you and me, oh for you and me

    Well there's a young man in a T-shirt
    Listenin' to a rock 'n' roll station
    He's got a greasy hair, greasy smile
    He says: "Lord, this must be my destination"
    'Cause they told me, when I was younger
    Sayin' "Boy, you're gonna be president"
    But just like everything else, those old crazy dreams
    Just kinda came and went

    Oh but ain't that America, for you and me
    Ain't that America, we're something to see baby
    Ain't that America, home of the free, yeah
    Little pink houses, for you and me, oh baby for you and me

    Well there's people and more people
    What do they know, know, know
    Go to work in some high rise
    And vacation down at the Gulf of Mexico
    Ooo yeah

    And there's winners, and there's losers
    But they ain't no big deal
    'Cause the simple man baby pays the thrills,
    The bills and the pills that kill

    Oh but ain't that America, for you and me
    Ain't that America, we're something to see baby
    Ain't that America, home of the free, yeah
    Little pink houses for you and me, ooo, ooo yeah

    Ain't that America, for you and me
    Ain't that America, hey we're something to see baby
    Ain't that America, oh the home of the free,
    Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
    Little pink houses babe for you and me, ooo yeah ooo yeahWriter/s: John Mellencamp
    Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind
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Comments: 18

  • Markantney from Biloxi, MsIf there's a BETTER opening verse than,

    "There's a black man with a black cat
    Livin' in a black neighborhood
    He's got an interstate
    Runnin' through his front yard
    You know he thinks that he's got it so good."

    I can't name it.

    Mellencamp draws you in early and never lets you go on this song. One from my High School days. I think it's his best song by far and that's sayin' something about his catalog of hits.
  • Leo from Westminster 1, MdPink Houses is anything but an affirmation of so-called "Traditional American values! Only John Mellencamp has the bravery and balls to look America right between the red, white and blue eyes because the American dream is a nightmare and a myth. From Reagan to Obama, the backbone of America is broken! We wage our own wars of terror because the kids of America are undercut by racism, despair and hopelessness-a feeling of absolute everyday reality and it's sad and heartbreaking. To paraphrase Mellencamp's angry writing voice, the dream vanishes as quickly as it came. Johnny is a very sad Meowing Cat! -Ain't that America for you and me!
  • Allison from Wabash, InMellencamp as I'm sure a lot of you guys know, started out doing a lot of shows in Bloomington. My aunt went to IU at that time, and she happen to be a regular for his shows. She had told me that Mellencamp would come and talk to a lot of his fans after shows to get to know them a little more and market himself because he wasn't so popular at the time. He talked to my aunt a little, and had asked her where she was from. She answered with Wabash, IN. She told me that he kind of looked at her for a second, and said "I have driven through Wabash quite a few times. I got my inspiration for "Pink Houses" by driving through that town." Surprised because my aunt along with my mom and her other sisters lived in a pink house at the time, told him where she lived to see if that was the same house he was talking about, and he told her that her house was one of the houses that he was talking about. It is now called The Love Bug, and is turquoise. It's on Stitt street off of St. Rd 15. I'm sure that there were a lot of pink houses that he became aware of after he started writing the song, but that was just a story that was passed down to me. I thought it was interesting, and love sharing it with my friends.
  • Jeff from Kingston, TnNo matter where you are from in the U.S. this song speaks to everyone. Great americana lyrics set up visualizations in your mind. Currently when John sings this in concert he brings a fan on stage to sing the ending starting at "well theres people and more people"
    Classic.
  • Brian from Boston, MaI always felt John Mellencamp was underrated. For some reason or another it is not"cool"to listen to him. To those critics I say that John has great songwriting ability a skill that seems to be lacking in a lot of todays pop stars. How many of todays "pop" stars could actually go on stage with just an acoustic guitar and get through even one song. The music industry needs more musicians not more singers that can't write a song or play an instrument. Why do you think that the biggest selling live acts are not always the acts with the top 40 songs. The reason why is because without all the electronics of a studio behind them most of todays pop stars couldn't get through one song on stage.
  • Oldpink from New Castle, InMellencamp is from and still lives in southern Indiana, in Monroe county.
    I have always loved this song, and the album it is on is also terrific.
    He celebrates being American without making you want to puke.
    You know, the whole "warts and all" narrative.
  • Oldpink from New Castle, InMellencamp is from and still lives in southern Indiana, in Monroe county.
    I have always loved this song, and the album it is on is also terrific.
    He celebrates being American without making you want to puke.
    You know, the whole "warts and all" narrative.
  • Matt from Austin, InThis video was shot in to counties in Indiana; Jackson, and Scott sounties. I live just 20 minutes from where he grew up. The house in the begining is just around the corner (it is still there), and the gas station in the video no longer exists but it was in the middle of the town. The field of flowers is right out of town and the other gas station where they all are danceing in in a town called Uniontown, Austin is where the "Pink house" is at, and the train scenes ar taken at a town called Crothersville. Also, just to clear up the stories it was I-70 and actually it was repainted, but this also has a duel meaning because I-65 runs through Austin,Crothersville, and Seymour(Mellencam's home town). If any one has any questions just Email me at ukblueandwhite@hotmail.com
  • Mitch from Philadelphia, PaEveryone has a song that stands out among the thousands as that pivotal tune that makes you think: Yeah, that's me. I get it. This guy is singin' this for me. I felt that way driving around my no-where's-ville little town in 1984, and I just thought John Mellencamp was "it". And I still do.

    I think it should be our National Anthem, too.

    For everywhere I've been, for all I've got.. for all I've ever wanted - I've still got my "little pink house", and someone who loves me. It may suck at times - but aw, then aint we got it so good? Yeah, Yeah.. America ain't perfect.

    But we can lay claim to John Mellencamp - and I'm one proud American for that, alone.

  • Mark from Ascension Island,south AtlantiOne of Mellencamp's best, I can't decide between this and "Check it out" for my favorites
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaWow. Scott has a very good idea. I wanna do that too.
  • John from Millersville, MdWes, all I can say is Amen.
  • Scott from St. Louis, MoWhen I am President, this will be our National Anthem.
  • Wes from Springfield, Va"Mellencamp either surmised or found out later that the man lost part of his property when this highway was built." "Mellencamp was so struck by the utter despair of the man that he wrote the song in tribute." Yeah, okay, except that he was probably paid over market value for the property by the state. Of course, what with the recent Supreme Court ruling about eminent domain, I suspect little pink houses are about to get bulldozed into the ground all across the United States a lot more frequently.
  • Scott from Chicago, IlThis is as americana as ANYTHING any has ever done shy of john fogerty..how fitting that they are touring tegether the summer of '05
  • Deborah from Houston, TxIt was my house that was the original "pink house" for the contest. My husband and I had fixed up a delapidated four-room farmhouse on five acres west of Bloominginton, IN. MTV bought the house and taped the promotional video there. We were surprised that the landfill was such a surprise since the realtor that MTV used was John's ex-wife who lived in Bloomington. She should have known about the landfill. However, we love to tell this story to our friends. Most people our age remember the contests that MTV ran in the beginning years.
  • Pat from Las Vegas, NvI remember that the "pink house" actually overlooked I-70 on the near east side of Indianapolis, and was swiftly repainted to some other color after this song became a hit. Otherwise, David's story rings true.
  • David from Toledo, OhAn Indianapolis disc jockey told me the story of Mellencamp's inspiration for this song.
    He was driving on I 465, the belt that encircles Indianapolis. His eyes met the eyes of a black man who was sitting on the porch of his pink house. Mellencamp either surmised or found out later that the man lost part of his property when this highway was built. This is the origin of the line, "He's got an interstate running through his front yard."
    Mellencamp was so struck by the utter despair of the man that he wrote the song in tribute.
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