Joan Baez, James McMurtry, Steve Earle We Can't Make It Here cover

We Can't Make It Here
by , &
Lyrics and Meaning


We Can't Make It Here Lyrics

Song Meaning
Verse 1
There's a Vietnam Vet with a cardboard sign
Sitting there by the left turn line
The flag on his wheelchair flapping in the breeze
One leg missing and both hands free
Verse 2
No one?s paying much mind to him
The V.A. budget?s just stretched so thin
And now there's more coming back from the Mideast war
We can't make it here anymore
Verse 3
And that big ol? building was the textile mill
That fed our kids and it paid our bills
But they turned us out and they closed the doors
'Cause we can't make it here anymore
Verse 4
You see those pallets piled up on the loading dock
They're just gonna sit there ?til they rot
?Cause there's nothing to ship, nothing to pack
Just busted concrete and rusted tracks
Verse 5
Empty storefronts around the square
There's a needle in the gutter and glass everywhere
You don't come down here unless you're looking to score
We can't make it here anymore
Verse 6
The bar?s still open but man it?s slow
The tip jar?s light and the register?s low
The bartender don't have much to say
The regular crowd gets thinner each day
Verse 7
Some have maxed out all their credit cards
Some are working two jobs and living in cars
Minimum wage won't pay for a roof, won't pay for a drink
If you gotta have proof just try it yourself Mr. C.E.O.
See how far 5.15 an hour will go
Take a part time job at one your stores
I bet you can't make it here anymore
Verse 8
And there's a high school girl with a bourgeois dream
Just like the pictures in the magazine
She found on the floor of the laundromat
A woman with kids can forget all that
Verse 9
If she comes up pregnant what'll she do
Forget the career and forget about school
Can she live on faith? Live on hope?
High on Jesus or hooked on dope
When it?s way too late to just say no
You can't make it here anymore
Verse 10
Now I'm stocking shirts in the Wal-Mart store
Just like the ones we made before
?Cept this one came from Singapore
I guess we can't make it here anymore
Verse 11
Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin
Or the shape of their eyes or the shape I'm in
Should I hate ?em for having our jobs today
No I hate the men sent the jobs away
Verse 12
I can see them all now, they haunt my dreams
All lily white and squeaky clean
They've never known want, they'll never know need
Their shit don't stink and their kids won't bleed
Their kids won't bleed in their damn little war
And we can't make it here anymore
Verse 13
Will I work for food, will I die for oil
Will kill for power and to us the spoils
The billionaires get to pay less tax
The working poor get to fall through the cracks
Verse 14
So let ?em eat jellybeans let ?em eat cake
Let ?em eat shit, whatever it takes
They can join the Air Force or join the Corps
If they can't make it here anymore
Verse 15
So that's how it is, that's what we got
If the president wants to admit it or not
You can read it in the paper, read it on the wall
Hear it on the wind if you're listening at all
Get out of that limo, look us in the eye
Call us on the cell phone tell us all why
Verse 16
In Dayton Ohio or Portland Maine
Or a cotton gin out on the great high plains
That's done closed down along with the school
And the hospital and the swimming pool
Verse 17
Dust devils dance in the noonday heat
There's rats in the alley and trash in the street
Gang graffiti on a boxcar door
We can't make it here anymore

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind


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