LAWLESS AVENUES

Testo di Jackson Browne

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Papa hit him, Mama kissed him Made him go to Catechism With the sisters in their black and white And all the time those city streets Were teaching him another kind of wisdom When to run and when to fight Up at the playground after school Listening to tales of the prison system And those lawless avenues Dawn on a half darkened street A child's footsteps repeat And something there turns them Down those lawless avenues Silent Joe went down so bad He was the strongest fighter the avenues had Stabbed in the chest--he went down swinging Someone from some other part of town No one even seen it coming down And you don't hear no church bells ringing And in the violent night the police light Sweeps across the lots and the yards Following those lawless avenues Down on a half darkened street Armies advance and retreat And struggle to take control From those lawless avenues Manuelito's sister Rosa Ran away with a surfer from Hermosa Manuelito, cuida a Rosa, Hay mira como estan las cosas! (Manuelito take care of Rosa --Look at how things are) But who could blame her after she saw Every boy die who could have gotten close to her Rosa es joven u solo quiere ver la belleza del mundo (Rosa is young and only wants To see the beauty of the world) Manuel said-- "You gotta fight for what you want in this life" Just before they shipped him overseas to 'Nam Otra guerra sin razon Otra guerra sin fin, sin honor (Another war without reason, Another war without end, without honor) And she was fighting to understand When they shipped Manuelito's body home All she heard was one more shot Echoing down lawless avenues Hoy amigo, tal igual como ayer, La lucha en el barrio no cambia Nuestros hijos son los que han de crecer Por ley de la calle, viviendo entre abrazos Y chingazos (Today my friend, just like yesterday, The struggle in the barrio doesn't change. Our children are the ones to grow up By the law of the street Living between hugs and blows) Down on a half darkened street Fathers' and sons' lives repeat And something there turns them Down those lawless avenues En el calor de la calle (In the heat of the street) Buscan valor en la calle (Looking for valor in the street) Hasta final de la calle (Till the end of the street)