Jimmy

Jimmy worked all summer at the drive in selling tailgate liquor to boys with lacquered curls.
He was bad but not evil so he got along well with the Mexican girls.
Every night he’d write the name of a new Juanita  in the sand
but the only one to give it to him was his empty hand.

O Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy
O Jimmy

Three months later he is in Vietnam buying beer and rubbers for girls with lacquered curls.
He has eyes like a woman so he got along well with the Boom Boom girls.
At night he sits in trenches shooting flares into the sky.
Back in Houston, boys his age think they will never die.

O Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy
O Jimmy

With a boy named Spider from Baton Rouge, he is on patrol
an anger in their blood neither one of them tries hard to control.
They see a crippled farmer plowing with a crippled buffalo
lift their M-1’s and just let go.

O Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy
O Jimmy

Back in Houston it was night and the moon looked like a breast in space.
I had a pimple on my ear and was contemplating the ones on my face.
I was bored and skinny and I wanted to be the new Dylan, the new Reality.
Over campus a flare went up and I remembered Jimmy.

Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy
O Jimmy

When the war was over for Jimmy, once we got together.
He was drinking real heavy and his face looked like boot leather.
I had grown up too and come home to Jesus.
Jimmy said once when some Cong had passed he felt the presence of the Lord
but it didn’t last.
Jimmy’s eyes were ditches where children had died.
I knew anything I said would be a lie
to Jimmy.

Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy
O Jimmy

Forty years pass and I see Jimmy under a bridge.
He is laughing with drunks and whores handing them a sandwich.
There is a cross around his neck hung from a leather boot string.
In these cardboard cathedrals, Jimmy hears the angels sing.

O Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy
O Jimmy

There is a light in Jimmy’s eyes only the dead can see
a tattoo on his arm of a faded infinity.
Jimmy says he’s been saved by the blood of a crippled man
that everything he lost he has found in his empty hands.

Now the light in Jimmy’s eyes I can clearly see.
When I look in Jimmy’s face, I see what waits for me.
Everyone of us finds our own private Calvary
and when you climb down from that cross, then you’re truly free.

O Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy
O Jimmy

.

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