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Unreleased 3: Society's Child

One-Armed Johnny

Janis Ian

There’s nobody in the back room
‘cepting one-armed Johnny Wills
and his gal come up from Oklahoma way
She just got in this morning
but he didn’t meet the train
‘cause he’d left something behind
and I guess it’s hard to drive
with a wooden arm you buy on the GI Bill

Making love was easy when the lights were out
He don’t have to try to please her now
Ain’t somebody crying like a baby back in there
Close your eyes and ears
There’s nothing for you hear
‘cept a one-armed Johnny bringing up the rear

Bad dreams. Mornings. Coffee milk or tea?
Wonder what’s the good in being home
What have you got for me?
I’m back from overseas
Checking out the Sunday paper
Monday feeling like a beggar
Looking like the Great American Dream

Making love is easy when the lights are out
He don’t have to try to please her now
Ain’t somebody crying like a baby back in there
Close your eyes and ears
There’s nothing for you hear
‘cept a one-armed Johnny bringing up the rear

Love burns quick with passion from the movie show
Tears burn the eyelids when they’re closed
and wood burns quick, with kerosene
Now, there’s nothing left
but ashes to be swept
That’s it for the Great American Dream

Making love is easy when the lights are out
He don’t have to try to please her now
Ain’t somebody crying like a baby back in there
Close your eyes and ears
There’s nothing living here
‘cept a one-armed Johnny bringing up the rear

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