OTB Latenight – John Hiatt

I’d never heard of John Hiatt until I caught him on one of those Delta Airlines playlists in those days before iPods when people listened to whatever music was provided for them and damn well liked it. Given the timing, I was probably on my way back from my tour of duty in Germany and getting ready to start grad school. This was one of the selections:

Interestingly, it was the title track from Hiatt’s eleventh album. He’d soon have a breakout hit.


John Hiatt Perfectly Good Guitar lyrics

He threw one down from the top of the stairs
Beautiful women were standing everywhere
They all got wet when he smashed that thing
But off in the dark you could hear somebody sing
Oh it breaks my heart to see those stars
Smashing a perfectly good guitar
I don’t know who they think they are
Smashing a perfectly good guitar
It started back in 1963
His momma wouldn’t buy him that new red harmony
He settled for a sunburst with a crack
But he’s still trying to break his momma’s back
Oh it breaks my heart to see those stars
Smashing a perfectly good guitar
I don’t know who they think they are
Smashing a perfectly good guitar
He loved that guitar just like a girlfriend
But every good thing comes to an end
Now he just sits in his room all day
Whistling every note he ever played
There oughta be a law with no bail
Smash a guitar and you go to jail
With no chance for early parole
You don’t get out until you get some soul
Oh it breaks my heart to see those stars
Smashing a perfectly good guitar
I don’t know who they think they are
Smashing a perfectly good guitar
Late at night the end of the road
He wished he still had the old guitar to hold
He’d rock it like a baby in his arms
Never let it come to any harm
Oh it breaks my heart to see those stars
Smashing a perfectly good guitar
I don’t know who they think they are
Smashing a perfectly good
Good
Guitar

Also, what’s the deal with Internet lyrics sites? They’re an amazing resource for the most part but they’re invariably rife with misspellings. This was by far the best I found and even it required some cleanup.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Russ says:

    The sites are great sources, but I get the very distinct impression that virtually all the content is user-submitted. I usually compare the lyrics listed at different sites, and almost invariably find not just different spelling, but entirely different lyrics, as well.

    Mondegreen at 11 o’clock, captain.

  2. Timmer says:

    I’ll take a John Hiatt original version over any cover by any artist ever. It kills me that more people don’t know about him.