Sheldon Allan Silverstein

(September 25, 1930 – May 10, 1999 / Chicago/ Illinois)

A Front Row Seat To Hear Ole Johnny Sing


Now you know some fellahs, they want fame and fortune
Yeah, and other fellahs they just wanna swing
But all I wanted all my life
Was a TV set and a truck and a wife
And a front row seat to hear ole Johnny sing.

Yeah the TV and the truck I got on credit.
And I got that girl with a little old Woolworth ring
And life was warm and life was sweet
But still, it was kinda incomplete
Without a front row seat to hear ole Johnny sing.

chorus:
Hey, John you walk the line,
Do 'Deelia' one more time
And when you do them Cottonfields
You warm this heart of mine.

So, one day I thought, Hey, I'm gonna do it!
(That's what I said)
So, I mortgaged the farm and pawned her wedding ring.
I sold the gold tooth out of my mouth
And jumped in the pickup and headed South.
For a front row seat to hear ole Johnny sing.

I hit Nashville cold and wet and hungry.
I said, 'I'm here, bring him on let him do his thing.'
But they told me down at the Old Pit Grill
I'd have to go all the way to Andersonville
For a front row seat to hear ole Jonny sing.

I found his house knocked on the door and it was opened
By a brown-haired girl and a baby with a teethin' ring.
I said 'I seen you somewhere before
but don't stand there and block the door
I want a front row seat to hear ole Johnny sing.'

(chorus)

She said I'd have to go down to The Opry
And the feller there said I'd have to wait till Spring.
He said, 'We've been sold out for months and months
And this poor insane fellah wants
A front row seat to hear ole Johnny sing.'

Well, he said a couple more things, and I started cryin'
And then he laughed at me and that's when I started to swing.
Well I bust through the doors in a roaring rage,
Crawled over the crowd till I reached the stage
For a front row seat to hear ole Johnny sing.

(chrous)

Then some crazy guard started shootin'
I shot back, and the next thing I know I was winged
and on the floor
When a guy in a voice kinda deep and low
Says, 'Boy that's a mighty long way to go
For a front row seat to hear ANYBODY sing.'

And I guess that judge, he weren't no music lover.
I got fifteen months but that don't mean a thing.
Cos' yesterday in the prison yard
A show come through and HAR! de HAR!
I had a front row seat to hear ole Johnny sing.

(chorus plus some typical Shel ranting and raving)

Submitted: Tuesday, April 06, 2010

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