Long Distance Salvation: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska

by Various Artists

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about

In January 1982, holed up in his spare bedroom with nothing but an acoustic guitar, harmonica, and a 4-track cassette recorder, Bruce Springsteen recorded an American folk masterpiece. Now, 30 years later, a new generation of songwriters pay tribute to 'Nebraska'...

For more information, please visit longdistancesalvation.com

PART OF THE PROCEEDS BENEFIT PROJECT BREAD (www.projectbread.org)

credits

released 20 September 2012

Thanks to all the people that helped make this project a reality - without your time, enthusiasm and support this wouldn't have been possible. In particular Steve Legare, Naseem Khuri, Pete Weiss, Kyle Matteson, Adam Sharp for help and guidance. And Mallory Brown, who put up with Nebraska playing on repeat for the past year and tolerated my nonstop talking about project for nearly as long.

And of course, a special thanks to all of the artists who dedicated so much time and effort to the project.

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Track Name: The Wooden Sky - Nebraska
I saw her standin' on her front lawn just twirlin' her baton
Me and her went for a ride sir and ten innocent people died

From the town of Lincoln Nebraska with a sawed off .410 on my lap
Through to the badlands of Wyoming I killed everything in my path

I can't say that I'm sorry for the things that we done
At least for a little while sir me and her we had us some fun

The jury brought in a guilty verdict and the judge he sentenced me to death
Midnight in a prison storeroom with leather straps across my chest

Sheriff when the man pulls that switch sir and snaps my poor head back
You make sure my pretty baby is sittin' right there on my lap

They declared me unfit to live said into that great void my soul'd be hurled
They wanted to know why I did what I did
Well sir I guess there's just a meanness in this world
Track Name: Juniper Tar - Atlantic City
Well they blew up the chicken man in Philly last night now they blew up his house too
Down on the boardwalk they're gettin' ready for a fight gonna see what them racket boys can do

Now there's trouble busin' in from outta state and the D.A. can't get no relief
Gonna be a rumble out on the promenade and the gamblin' commission's hangin' on by the skin of its teeth

CHORUS
Well now everything dies baby that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
Put your makeup on fix your hair up pretty
And meet me tonight in Atlantic City

Well I got a job and tried to put my money away
But I got debts that no honest man can pay
So I drew what I had from the Central Trust
And I bought us two tickets on that Coast City bus

CHORUS

Now our luck may have died and our love may be cold but with you forever I'll stay
We're goin' out where the sand's turnin' to gold so put on your stockin's baby 'cause the night's getting cold
And everything dies baby that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back

Now I been lookin' for a job but it's hard to find
Down here it's just winners and losers and don't get caught on the wrong side of that line
Well I'm tired of comin' out on the losin' end
So honey last night I met this guy and I'm gonna do a little favor for him
Well I guess everything dies baby that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
Put your hair up nice and set up pretty
and meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Track Name: Joe Purdy & Garrison Starr - Mansion On The Hill
There's a place out on the edge of town sir
Risin' above the factories and the fields
Now ever since I was a child I can remember that mansion on the hill

In the day you can see the children playing
On the road that leads to those gates of hardened steel
Steel gates that completely surround sir the mansion on the hill

At night my daddy'd take me and we'd ride through the streets of a town so silent and still
Park on a back road along the highway side
Look up at that mansion on the hill

In the summer all the lights would shine there'd be music playin' people laughin' all the time
Me and my sister we'd hide out in the tall corn fields
Sit and listen to the mansion on the hill

Tonight down here in Linden Town I watch the cars rushin' by home from the mill
There's a beautiful full moon rising above the mansion on the hill
Track Name: Spirit Family Reunion - Johnny 99
Well they closed down the auto plant in Mahwah late that month
Ralph went out lookin' for a job but he couldn't find none
He came home too drunk from mixin'Tanqueray and wine
He got a gun shot a night clerk now they call'm Johnny 99

Down in the part of town where when you hit a red light you don't stop
Johnny's wavin' his gun around and threatenin' to blow his top
When an off duty cop snuck up on him from behind
Out in front of the Club Tip Top they slapped the cuffs on Johnny 99

Well the city supplied a public defender but the judge was Mean John Brown
He came into the courtroom and stared young Johnny down
Well the evidence is clear gonna let the sentence son fit the crime
Prison for 98 and a year and we'll call it even Johnny 99

A fistfight broke out in the courtroom they had to drag Johnny's girl away
His mama stood up and shouted "Judge don't take my boy this way"
Well son you got a statement you'd like to make
Before the bailiff comes to forever take you away

Now judge judge I had debts no honest man could pay
The bank was holdin' my mortgage and they was takin' my house away
Now I ain't sayin' that makes me an innocent man
But it was more 'n all this that put that gun in my hand

Well your honor I do believe I'd be better off dead
And if you can take a man's life for the thoughts that's in his head
Then won't you sit back in that chair and think it over judge one more time
And let 'em shave off my hair and put me on that execution line
Track Name: Joe Pug - Highway Patrolman
My name is Joe Roberts I work for the state
I'm a sergeant out of Perrineville barracks number 8
I always done an honest job as honest as I could
I got a brother named Franky and Franky ain't no good

Now ever since we was young kids it's been the same come down
I get a call over the radio Franky's in trouble downtown
Well if it was any other man, I'd put him straight away
But when it's your brother sometimes you look the other way

Me and Franky laughin' and drinkin' nothin' feels better than blood on blood
Takin' turns dancin' with Maria as the band played "Night of the Johnstown Flood"

I catch him when he's strayin' like any brother would
Man turns his back on his family well he just ain't no good

Well Franky went in the army back in 1965 I got a farm deferment, settled down, took Maria for my wife
But them wheat prices kept on droppin' till it was like we were gettin' robbed
Franky came home in '68, and me, I took this job

Yea we're laughin' and drinkin' nothin' feels better than blood on blood
Takin' turns dancin' with Maria as the band played "Night of the Johnstown Flood"
I catch him when he's strayin', teach him how to walk that line
Man turns his back on his family he ain't no friend of mine

Well the night was like any other, I got a call 'bout quarter to nine
There was trouble in a roadhouse out on the Michigan line
There was a kid lyin' on the floor lookin' bad bleedin' hard from his head there was a girl cryin' at a table and it was Frank, they said
Well I went out and I jumped in my car and I hit the lights
Well I must of done one hundred and ten through Michigan county that night

It was out at the crossroads, down round Willow bank
Seen a Buick with Ohio plates behind the wheel was Frank
Well I chased him through them county roads till a sign said Canadian border five miles from here
I pulled over the side of the highway and watched his taillights disappear

Me and Franky laughin' and drinkin'
Nothin' feels better than blood on blood
Takin' turns dancin' with Maria as the band played "Night of the Johnstown Flood"
I catch him when he's strayin' like any brother would
Man turns his back on his family well he just ain't no good
Track Name: Jonah Tolchin - State Trooper
New Jersey Turnpike ridin' on a wet night 'neath the refinery's glow, out where the great black rivers flow
License, registration, I ain't got none but I got a clear conscience
'Bout the things that I done
Mister state trooper, please don't stop me
Please don't stop me, please don't stop me

Maybe you got a kid, maybe you got a pretty wife the only thing that I got's been both'rin' me my whole life
Mister state trooper, please don't stop me
Please don't stop me, please don't stop me

In the wee wee hours your mind gets hazy, radio relay towers lead me to my baby
Radio's jammed up with talk show stations
It's just talk, talk, talk, talk, till you lose your patience
Mister state trooper, please don't stop me

Hey, somebody out there, listen to my last prayer
Hiho silver-o, deliver me from nowhere
Track Name: Strand of Oaks - Used Cars
My little sister's in the front seat with an ice cream cone
My ma's in the black seat sittin' all alone
As my pa steers her slow out of the lot for a test drive down Michigan Avenue

Now, my ma, she fingers her wedding band
And watches the salesman stare at my old man's hands
He's tellin' us all 'bout the break he'd give us if he could, but he just can't
Well if I could, I swear I know just what I'd do

Now, mister, the day the lottery I win I ain't ever gonna ride in no used car again

Now, the neighbors come from near and far
As we pull up in our brand new used car
I wish he'd just hit the gas and let out a cry and tell 'em all they can kiss our asses goodbye

My dad, he sweats the same job from mornin' to morn
Me, I walk home on the same dirty streets where I was born
Up the block I can hear my little sister in the front seat blowin' that horn
The sounds echoin' all down Michigan Avenue

Now, mister, the day my numbers comes in I ain't ever gonna ride in no used car again
Track Name: Trampled By Turtles - Open All Night
Well, I had the carburetor, baby, cleaned and checked with her line blown out she's hummin' like a turbojet
Propped her up in the backyard on concrete blocks for a new clutch plate and a new set of shocks
Took her down to the carwash, check the plugs and points
Well, I'm goin' out tonight. I'm gonna rock that joint

Early north Jersey industrial skyline I'm a all-set cobra jet creepin' through the nighttime
Gotta find a gas station, gotta find a payphone this turnpike sure is spooky at night when you're all alone
Gotta hit the gas, baby. I'm running late, this New Jersey in the mornin' like a lunar landscape

Now, the boss don't dig me, so he put me on the nightshift
It's an all night run to get back to where my baby lives
In the wee wee hours your mind gets hazy radio relay towers, won't you lead me to my baby?
Underneath the overpass, trooper hits his party light switch
Goodnight good luck one two power shift

I met Wanda when she was employed behind the counter at route 60 Bob's Big Boy Fried Chicken on the front seat, she's sittin' in my lap
We're wipin' our fingers on a Texaco roadmap
I remember Wanda up on scrap metal hill with them big brown eyes that make your heart stand still

Well, at five a.m., oil pressure's sinkin' fast
I make a pit stop, wipe the windshield, check the gas
Gotta call my baby on the telephone
Let her know that her daddy's comin' on home
Sit tight, little mama, I'm comin' 'round I got three more hours, but I'm coverin' ground

Your eyes get itchy in the wee wee hours sun's just a red ball risin' over them refinery towers
Radio's jammed up with gospel stations lost souls callin' long distance salvation
Hey, mister deejay, woncha hear my last prayer hey, ho, rock'n'roll, deliver me from nowhere
Track Name: David Wax - My Father's House
Last night I dreamed that I was a child out where the pines grow wild and tall
I was trying to make it home through the forest before the darkness falls

I heard the wind rustling through the trees and ghostly voices rose from the fields
I ran with my heart pounding down that broken path
With the devil snappin' at my heels

I broke through the trees, and there in the night
My father's house stood shining hard and bright the branches and brambles tore my clothes and scratched my arms
But I ran till I fell, shaking in his arms

I awoke and I imagined the hard things that pulled us apart
Will never again, sir, tear us from each other's hearts
I got dressed, and to that house I did ride from out on the road, I could see its windows shining in light

I walked up the steps and stood on the porch a woman I didn't recognize came and spoke to me through a chained door
I told her my story, and who I'd come for
She said "I'm sorry, son, but no one by that name lives here anymore"

My father's house shines hard and bright it stands like a beacon calling me in the night
Calling and calling, so cold and alone
Shining 'cross this dark highway where our sins lie unatoned
Track Name: Adam Arcuragi - Reason To Believe
Seen a man standin' over a dead dog lyin' by the highway in a ditch
He's lookin' down kinda puzzled pokin' that dog with a stick
Got his car door flung open he's standin' out on highway 31
Like if he stood there long enough that dog'd get up and run
Struck me kinda funny seem kinda funny sir to me
Still at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe

Now Mary Lou loved Johnny with a love mean and true
She said "Baby I'll work for you every day and bring my money home to you"
One day he up and left her and ever since that
She waits down at the end of that dirt road for young Johnny to come back
Struck me kinda funny seemed kind of funny sir to me
How at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe

Take a baby to the river Kyle William they called him
Wash the baby in the water take away little Kyle's sin
In a whitewash shotgun shack an old man passes away take his body to the graveyard and over him they pray Lord won't you tell us
tell us what does it mean
Still at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe

Congregation gathers down by the riverside
Preacher stands with his Bible groom stands waitin' for his bride
Congregation gone and the sun sets behind a weepin' willow tree
Groom stands alone and watches the river rush on so effortlessly
Wonderin' where can his baby be still at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe
Track Name: Kingsley Flood - Bonus: Shut Out The Light
The runway rushed up at him as he felt the wheels touch down
He stood out on the blacktop and took a taxi into town
He got out down on Main Street and went into a local bar
He bought a drink and found a seat in a corner off the dark
Well she called up her mama to make sure the kids were out of the house
She checked herself out in the dining room mirror
And undid an extra button on her blouse
He felt her lying next to him, the clock said 4:00 am
He was staring at the ceiling
He couldn't move his hands

CHORUS
Oh mama mama mama come quick
I've got the shakes and I'm gonna be sick
Throw your arms around me in the cold dark night
Hey now mama don't shut out the light
Don't you shut out the light
Don't you shut out the light
Don't you shut out the light
Don't you shut out the light

Well on his porch they stretched a banner that said "Johnny Welcome Home"
Bobby pulled his Ford out of the garage and they polished up the chrome
His mama said "Johnny oh Johnny, I'm so glad to have you back with me"
His pa said he was sure they'd give him his job back down at the factory

CHORUS

Well deep in a dark forest, a forest filled with rain
Beyond a stretch of Maryland pines there's a river without a name
In the cold black water Johnson Lineir stands
He stares across the lights of the city and dreams of where he's been

CHORUS
Track Name: Kyle Morton (Typhoon) & Danielle Sullivan (Wild Ones) - Bonus: Atlantic City
Well they blew up the chicken man in Philly last night now they blew up his house too
Down on the boardwalk they're gettin' ready for a fight gonna see what them racket boys can do

Now there's trouble busin' in from outta state and the D.A. can't get no relief
Gonna be a rumble out on the promenade and the gamblin' commission's hangin' on by the skin of its teeth

CHORUS
Well now everything dies baby that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
Put your makeup on fix your hair up pretty
And meet me tonight in Atlantic City

Well I got a job and tried to put my money away
But I got debts that no honest man can pay
So I drew what I had from the Central Trust
And I bought us two tickets on that Coast City bus

CHORUS

Now our luck may have died and our love may be cold but with you forever I'll stay
We're goin' out where the sand's turnin' to gold so put on your stockin's baby 'cause the night's getting cold
And everything dies baby that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back

Now I been lookin' for a job but it's hard to find
Down here it's just winners and losers and don't get caught on the wrong side of that line
Well I'm tired of comin' out on the losin' end
So honey last night I met this guy and I'm gonna do a little favor for him
Well I guess everything dies baby that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
Put your hair up nice and set up pretty
and meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Track Name: Joe Fletcher - Bonus: Pink Cadillac
You may think I'm foolish
For the foolish things I do
You may wonder how come I love you
When you get on my nerves like you do
Well baby you know you bug me
There ain't no secret 'bout that
Well come on over here and hug me
Baby I'll spill the facts
Well honey it ain't your money
'Cause baby I got plenty of that
I love you for your pink Cadillac
Crushed velvet seats
Riding in the back
Oozing down the street
Waving to the girls
Feeling out of sight
Spending all my money
On a Saturday night
Honey I just wonder what you do there in back
Of your pink Cadillac
Pink Cadillac

Well now way back in the Bible
Temptations always come along
There's always somebody tempting
Somebody into doing something they know is wrong
Well they tempt you, man, with silver
And they tempt you, sir, with gold
And they tempt you with the pleasures
That the flesh does surely hold
They say Eve tempted Adam with an apple
But man I ain't going for that
I know it was her pink Cadillac
Crushed velvet seats
Riding in the back
Oozing down the street
Waving to the girls
Feeling out of sight
Spending all my money
On a Saturday night
Honey I just wonder what it feels like in the back
Of your pink Cadillac
Now some folks say it's too big
And uses too much gas
Some folks say it's too old
And that it goes too fast
But my love is bigger than a Honda
It's bigger than a Subaru
Hey man there's only one thing
And one car that will do
Anyway we don't have to drive it
Honey we can park it out in back
And have a party in your pink Cadillac
Track Name: Roadside Graves - Bonus: Downbound Train
I had a job, I had a girl
I had something going mister in this world
I got laid off down at the lumber yard
Our love went bad, times got hard
Now I work down at the carwash
Where all it ever does is rain
Don't you feel like you're a rider on a downbound train

She just said "Joe I gotta go
We had it once we ain't got it any more"
She packed her bags left me behind
She bought a ticket on the Central Line
Nights as I sleep, I hear that whistle whining
I feel her kiss in the misty rain
And I feel like I'm a rider on a downbound train

Last night I heard your voice
You were crying, crying, you were so alone
You said your love had never died
You were waiting for me at home
Put on my jacket, I ran through the woods
I ran till I thought my chest would explode
There in the clearing, beyond the highway
In the moonlight, our wedding house shone
I rushed through the yard, I burst through the front door
My head pounding hard, up the stairs I climbed
The room was dark, our bed was empty
Then I heard that long whistle whine
And I dropped to my knees, hung my head and cried

Now I swing a sledge hammer on a railroad gang
Knocking down them cross ties, working in the rain
Now don't it feel like you're a rider on a downbound train