It Goes Back

It goes back
It goes back
To the completely senseless babble of the three stooges
It goes back.

The ravings of the Marx Brothers
To Laurel and Hardy
And the foreign legion
To the old holy
Warning the hot bloods
That Ramadan is near

It goes back
To the Werewolf of London
Distinguished doctor in his velour smoking jacket
Smoking his pipe over a lamp lit poem on botany
Suddenly hairs begin to grow on his hands
His cat hisses, slips out into the night

It goes back
To Lamont Cranston
So cool, so sure
Suddenly becoming the frantic Shadow
Going, “Wee, ha, ha, ha!”
In the alleys of New York

It goes back to Captain Easy, Wash Tubbs
Screaming with ecstasy over a can of creamed peaches
It goes back to Wimpy lookin’ cross eyed for a juicy hamburger like they don’t make anymore
It goes back to King Kong, with huge tender eyes for Fay Wray
To dear old Basil Rathbone

It goes back to the glee of America
To the honesty of America
To the honesty of old time grafters in straw hats
To the funny spitelessness of old big fisted America
Like Big Boy Williams saying, “Ooh, eee, ahhh!”
In a movie about MAC trucks

It goes back to Clark Gable
His dirty smile
His confident leer

This America was invested with wild self-believing
And all this had begun to disappear around the end of World War II
So many great guys were dead
And suddenly, it began to emerge again
The hipsters began to appear, gliding around
“Crazy, Man.”


Words by Jack Keroac

Voice by David Byrne

Music written and produced by David Byrne and Tomandandy

Bass - Ken Rich

Percussion - John Arucci

Trumpet - Ronnie Buttacavoli

Engineered by Jerry Grottus

Recorded I I/95 at Tomandandy Studios, NYC

Words excerpted from On the Origins of the Beat Generation, from the book Good, Blonde & Others by Jack Kerouac, © 1993 Grey Fox Press, San Francisco Courtesy of the estate of Jack Kerouac. Special thanks John Sampas & Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc.

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