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Jim’s Song

first time he came to Seattle he was ridin’ in a box car
he was a little bit dishevelled, he didn’t even have his guitar
Vietnam was in the mirror, he was tryin’ to make it fade
just another lost soul in life’s forlorn parade

next time he came to town he was wearin’ a clean pair of pants
and he was not alone this time, for life had taken quite a chance
he had a wife and family, children one and two
and they gonna make a go of it, that’s what they were gonna do

and the wheel goes round and round
sun goes up and down
and you’ll know when it’s time to settle down

so he wore his best dressed and he showed up to work on time
and she got the kids to school and they save up every dime
they had pancakes with water for supper and cigarettes for tea
and life was good, just the way it oughtta be

but still there was that edge that just would not blunt
his tongue could be a razor whether he wanted it to or not
they say the truth will set you free but it’ll also get you fired
and that’s when he got inspired

and the wheel goes round and round
sun goes up and down
and you’ll know when it’s time to settle down

so he took his guitar and he went downtown and he started to sing
and autumn turned into winter and winter turned into spring
and his voice got stronger and the songs began to soar
and he found what he was lookin’ for

and he sang about politics and he sang about love
and there was nothin’ so low down that a song could not rise above
and he sang to make you laugh and he sang to make you cry
and he sang because a song could not tell a lie

and the wheel goes round and round
sun goes up and down
and you’ll know when it’s time to settle down

then one day America went to war against Iraq
and every nightmare he ever had came back
for every veteran of every foreign war
there just was no sleeping anymore

and when the streets filled up with people he was out there too
he did everything he could think of to do
sometimes he even thought he could stop it with a song
if he could just get everybody to sing along

but history is a cannonball and it just keeps rollin’
and you can’t unring that bell when that bell starts tollin’
and there’s only so much that anyone can take
we just didn’t know how hard his heart would actually break

and the wheel goes round and round
sun goes up and down
and you’ll know when it’s time to settle down

he came a long way from that dirty box car
to a wife and a family and a song and a guitar
from an anonymous shadow on a downtown street
to bein’ someone that almost anybody would want to meet

he left a big hole when he took his final ride
big enough to put the whole wide world inside
and so many people can to pay their last respects
that they ain’t even finished yet

somebody said, and it’s a word to the wise
you can mourn if you have to but you better organize
sharpen up your tongue to come out swingin’
‘cause you never know when you might have to start singin’

and the world goes round and round
sun goes up and down
and you’ll know when it’s time to settle down

yes, the world goes round and round
sun goes up and down
and you’ll know when it’s time to settle down

settle down