Last Trip To Tulsa

Album: Neil Young (1969)
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  • Well, I used to drive a cab,
    you know
    I heard a siren scream
    Pulled over to the corner
    And I fell into a dream
    There were
    two men eating pennies
    And three young girls who cried
    The West coast is falling,
    I see rocks in the sky.
    The preacher took his bible
    And laid it on the stool.
    He said: with
    the congregation running,
    Why should I play the fool?

    Well, I used to be a woman,
    you know
    I took you for a ride,
    I let you fly my airplane
    It looked good for your pride.
    'Cause you're
    the kind of man you know
    Who likes what he says.
    I wonder what's it's like
    To be so far over my head.
    Well, the lady made the wedding
    And she brought along the ring.
    She got down on her knees
    And said: Let's
    get on with this thing.

    Well, I used to be a folk singer
    Keeping managers alive,
    When you saw me on a corner
    And told me I was jive.
    So I unlocked your mind, you know
    To see what I could see.
    If you guarantee the postage,
    I'll mail you back the key.
    Well I woke up in the morning
    With an arrow through my nose
    There was an Indian in the corner
    Tryin' on my clothes.

    Well, I used to be asleep
    you know
    With blankets on my bed.
    I stayed there for a while
    'Til they discovered I was dead.
    The coroner was friendly
    And I liked him quite a lot.
    If I hadn't 've been a woman
    I guess I'd never have been caught.
    They gave me back my house and car
    And nothing more was said.

    Well, I was driving
    down the freeway
    When my car ran out of gas.
    Pulled over to the station
    But I was afraid to ask.
    The servicemen were yellow
    And the gasoline was green.
    Although I knew I couldn't
    I thought that I was gonna scream.
    That was on my last trip to Tulsa
    Just before the snow.
    If you ever need a ride there,
    Be sure to let me know.

    I was chopping down a palm tree
    When a friend dropped by to ask
    If I would feel less lonely
    If he helped me swing the axe.
    I said: No, it's
    not a case of being lonely
    We have here,
    I've been working on this palm tree
    For eighty seven years
    I said: No, it's
    not a case of being lonely
    We have here,
    I've been working on this palm tree
    For eighty seven years
    He said: Go get lost!
    And walked towards his Cadillac.
    I chopped down the palm tree
    And it landed on his back.

Comments: 1

  • Dick Turpin from Easy StreetThis song could be about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

    Consider this:

    Neil Young mentions a sirens screaming. Check. The exceptional brutality of the massacre centers around the fact that airplanes were used to drop explosives on these businesses, setting them ablaze. Sirens as in air raid siren, sirens as in firetruck sirens, ambulance sirens, police sirens.

    He mentions pennies. Check. The massacre happened in what was called "Black Wall Street", a prosperous financial district owned and operated by many of the black citizens of Tulsa. See?

    He mentions three young girls crying. Check.

    He mentions an airplane. Check. (see above)

    And there's a lot more I could say but I don't really feel like it right now.

    But maybe I'm just making false connections - it might not have anything to do with that. Whatever. Shut up.
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