it may surprise most of you that i am a huge john mellencamp fan (tho’ it shouldn’t, i like any music that is real and true and well done). ‘pink houses’ is one of my all time favorite tracks. the sound of a broken heart (it’s hardest i think when your country disappoints you) and the sound of someone challenging the status quo.
theres a black man with a black cat
living in a black neighbourhood
he’s got an interstate runnin through his front yard
you know, he think, that hes got it so good
nd theres a woman in the kitchen cleanin up the evening slop
and he looks at her and says: hey darling, i can remember when you could stop a clock
and before anyone comments that this is a pro-america (fuck yea!) kind of song, it’s not. mellencamp always gets a bad wrap for shit like that. his songs aren’t really the patriotic anthems some think they are. more often than not, they reflect the side of america i think most people forget about.
well theres a young man in a t-shirt
listening to a rockin rollin station
he’s got a greasy hair, greasy smile
he says: lord, this must be my destination
cuz they told me, when i was younger
boy, youre gonna be president
but just like everyting else, those old crazy dreams
just kinda came and went
pink houses is a beautiful tune that really reflects the change that was happening in america in the early 80’s (my god, is it really 25 years old?!) – the country had taken a decidedly major change to regan america. people on the outskirts were often forgotten.
well theres 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
and theres winners, and theres losers
but they aint no big deal
cuz the simple man baby pays for the thrills, the bills and the pills that kill
mellencamp never forgets those people.
oh but aint that america for you and me
aint that america were someting to see baby
aint that america, home of the free
little pink houses for you and me