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#SLS — “Hey Jack Kerouac,” by 10,000 Maniacs

Jim Adams is the man-whose-name-begins-with-a-“J” host of Song Lyric Sunday.  Jim says:
This week we have the name prompts of Jack/John and hopefully this will fit everyone.

Here are the “rules”:
• Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not. If it does not fit, then please explain why you chose this song.
• Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
• Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
• Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
• Ping back to this post or place your link in the comments section below.
• Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
• Feel free to suggest future prompts.
• Have fun and enjoy the music.

A Sunny Bak photograph of 10,000 Maniacs, used in 1987 as a publicity shot for their double-platinum second Elektra album, In My Tribe, produced by Peter Asher (Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor et al.)

When, “In My Tribe” was released, I could not get enough of it. It stayed on the player for what seemed like months. It’s one of those albums you pore over the lyrics sheet of until you’ve learned every word, every note and nuance of while listening, until it becomes a part of your being. The songs are important. They have something to say. They are a warm breezy afternoon, lying on a chaise lounger by the pool on vaca, drinking bottomless tequila sunrises.

10,000 Maniacs is an American alternative rock band that was founded in 1981. They have released nine studio albums, six EPs and five live albums. They achieved their most significant success between 1987 and 1993, when they released four albums that charted in the top 50 in the US: In My Tribe (1987), Blind Man’s Zoo (1989), Our Time in Eden (1992) and the live album MTV Unplugged (1993). After the recording but before the release of MTV Unplugged, original lead singer and main songwriter Natalie Merchant left the band to pursue a solo career.

In My Tribe was released on July 27, 1987., It was their second major-label album and their first to achieve large-scale success. John Lombardo, Natalie Merchant’s songwriting partner on previous albums, left the band in 1986. Merchant began collaborating with the other members of the band, most notably with Rob Buck.

Hey Jack Kerouac is the 2nd cut on the album.

If you want to learn more about who Jack Kerouac was, go here.


Hey Jack Kerouac, I think of your mother
and the tears she cried, she cried for none other
than her little boy lost in our little world that hated
and that dared to drag him down. Her little boy courageous
who chose his words from mouths of babes got lost in the wood.
Hip flask slinging madman, steaming cafe flirts,
they all spoke through you.

Hey Jack, now for the tricky part,
when you were the brightest star who were the shadows?
Of the San Francisco beat boys you were the favorite.
Now they sit and rattle their bones and think of their blood stoned days.
You chose your words from mouths of babes got lost in the wood.
The hip flask slinging madman, steaming cafe flirts,
nights in Chinatown howling at night.

Allen baby, why so jaded?
Have the boys all grown up and their beauty faded?
Billy, what a saint they’ve made you,
just like Mary down in Mexico on All Souls’ Day.

You chose your words from mouths of babes got lost in the wood.
Cool junk booting madmen, street minded girls
in Harlem howling at night.
What a tear stained shock of the world,
you’ve gone away without saying goodbye.

Songwriters: Natalie Merchant / Natalie A Merchant / Robert Buck

36 thoughts on “#SLS — “Hey Jack Kerouac,” by 10,000 Maniacs

  1. I am pretty sure that Allen is Allen Ginsberg and that Billy is William S. Burroughs, but I am puzzled about Mary down in Mexico on All Souls’ Day. Natalie Merchant should have put Neil Cassady in this song. She has a lovely voice and you picked a winner here today Li.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not sure about Mary. Maybe I’ll use this song again next Sunday (j/k) It’s funny you should mention Neil as I was thinking that exact thing last night. Did you ever see that doc where Neil and a bunch of hippies traveled around in a hippy bus?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. p.s. I’m way late on SLS today as I played an online game with my kids from 11a-3p, got ready, then left for the cat shelter to volunteer. It’s the first time back at the shelter since mid-March. It’s nice to be getting back into a routine.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What song was 10,000 Maniacs famous for? I forgot it’s name.

    But love “Hey Jack Kerouac”. I always loved Natalie Merchant’s vocals and 10,000 Maniacs’ way of playing alt rock tunes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The song about the weather. “The color of the sky as far as I can see, is cold grey. I lift my head from the pillow and then, fall again. Glad you like the tune, Ai.


  3. This is a new one for me, though I’ve been aware of them for a long time. The song I remember most is “These are Days”. This one here has interesting lyrics, and as always I love her voice. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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