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What’s In The Words: John Mellencamp’s “Jackie Brown”

John Mellencamp

John Mellencamp (Dave Hogan/Getty Images)

Is this your wife, Jackie Brown?
With sad blue eyes, walking on eggshells so you don’t see her frown.
Is this your family, Jackie Brown?

I once heard[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”] John Mellencamp [/lastfm]say that his song, “Jackie Brown,” was the best telling of a poor man’s story that’s ever been committed to song. If I put my mind to it, I could probably find a [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Woody Guthrie[/lastfm] song up to the challenge, but it wouldn’t change the fact that “Jackie Brown” hits me in the heart every time I hear it.

A poorly educated man, living in a shack, dreaming of a better life whose final testament says he’s “another desperate man who took himself out”.

Maybe it is the best song of its kind ever written.

Read the full lyrics.

See more What’s in the Words.

  • RainbowRay



  • Macadocious1

    I read through the lyrics and thought about them. I will go and listen to the song, because I feel like I need to now. Unless I change my mind later, upon further review, I would have to say I don’t agree. Yes, it is a sad song, but there is no redemption here. There isn’t anything I’ve learned. My heart bleeds and bleeds, with no hope of a tournequet. Maybe I’m missing something. My vote for the most meaningful song is Cats in the Cradle. Not only peformed well by Mr. Chapin, but Mr. Steven’s lyrics tear at my soul each and every time. And they tear at YOUR soul too. Unless, you are not a son and have never known your father…then, I would say your soul is well intact.

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