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Artist/Band: Mary Chapin Carpenter
Lyrics for Song: John Doe No. 24
Lyrics for Album: Triple Feature [2010]



I was standing on this sidewalk in 1945

In Jacksonville, Illinois

When asked what my name was there came no reply

They said I was a deaf and sightless half-wit boy

But Lewis was my name though I could not say it

I was born and raised in New Orleans

My spirit was wild so I let the river take it

On a barge and a prayer upstream



They searched for a mother and they searched for a father

And they searched till they searched no more

The doctors put to rest their scientific tests

And they named me John Doe No. 24

And they all shook their heads in pity

For a world so silent and dark

Well there's no doubt that life's a mystery

But so too is the human heart



And it was my heart's own perfume

When the crape jasmoine bloomed on St. Charles Avenue

Though I couldn't hear the bells of the streetcars coming

By toeing the track I knew

And if I were an old man returning

With my satchel and porkpie hat

I'd hit every jazz joint on Bourbon

And I'd hit every one on Basin after that



The years kept passing as they passed me around

From one state ward to another

Like I was an orphaned shoe from the lost and found

Always missing the other

They gave me a harp last Christmas

And all the nurses took a dance

Lately I've been growing listless

I've been dreaming again of the past



I'm wandering down to the banks of the great big muddy

Where the shotgun houses stand

I am seven years old and I feel my daddy

Reach out for my hand

While I drew breath no-one missed me

So they won't on the day that I cease

Put a sprig of crape jasmine with me

To remind me of New Orleans



I was standing on this sidewalk in 1945

In Jacksonville, Illinois


Album Lyrics: Triple Feature [2010]


Mary Chapin Carpenter
"Triple Feature [2010]"


1. A Keeper For Every Flame
2. Can't Take Love For Granted
3. Come On Come On
4. Down at the Twist and Shout
5. Going Out Tonight
6. Halley Came to Jackson
7. He Thinks He'll Keep Her
8. House Of Cards
9. I Am A Town
10. I Feel Lucky
11. I Take My Chances
12. John Doe No. 24
13. Jubilee
14. Middle Ground
15. Not Too Much To Ask
16. Only A Dream
17. Outside Looking In
18. Passionate Kisses
19. Rhythm Of The Blues
20. Right Now
21. Shut Up And Kiss Me
22. Stones In The Road
23. Tender When I Want to Be
24. The Bug
25. The End Of My Pirate Days
26. The Hard Way
27. The Last Word
28. The Moon And St. Christopher
29. The More Things Change
30. This Is Love
31. Walking Through Fire
32. What You Didn't Say
33. When She's Gone
34. Where Time Stands Still
35. Why Walk When You Can Fly
36. You Win Again
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