A Waitress’ Life

“I was readin’ about Lee Iacocca – how he had to take, like, a two million dollar pay cut and I was feelin’ pretty bad for him. Figure he probably has to buy his underwear at Sears now or somethin’. You know, clippin’ those Pizza Pit coupons. But then I started thinkin’ about who the real heroes in the world are. So I wrote this song for this waitress in Alaska.”

-Introduction from a live performance on 23 June 1988




I sling the meatloaf and I pour the Joe,
Down at “Sammy’s Sixteen Wheel Oasis.”
It’s gear-jammers and gypsies who come,
Just to go bring some grief into a waitress’ life.

I suffer the pinch on the fanny each night.
And I scrape the gristle and the fat.
I fell in love with a gypsy one night,
And I’m ever since paying for that.
And sometimes my life’s like that interstate highway,
It’s lonely, it’s cold, hard and flat.

Well Bobby’s my baby – he’s the son of the gypsy,
Ah the gypsy – that son of a bitch.
He’s prob’ly out ridin’ fences, or fishin’ the North Sea,
Or dreaming of striking it rich.

But in Bobby I see all the good things.
He’s my sunshine, my last second chance.
I see the beauty I saw in the Gypsy,
The night of the Legion Hall dance.
So I go to church every Sunday and pray
Bobby never knows truck stop romance.

My mother and father live down in Nebraska –
That’s ten thousand tables from here.
They sometimes send money and ask how Alaska,
Is treating their sweet Gueniviere.

They send me the news of old boyfriends,
Who are married or drinking or dead.
I’d like to send them baby pictures of Bobby,
But I mail off some postcards instead.
‘Cause I cannot go home as a failure to mother and father,
Guess I’m thick in the head.

It’s two-thirty am and I’m walking on razors,
Even the midnight sunshine has gone home.
And all these fifty cent tippers think they’re doin’ me favors.
I’m sure Hell’s made out of coffee and chrome.

Well I could be strippin’ for oilers up north,
But I thank God I’d choke on my pride.
I could fall back on the welfare to get there,
But I’d sooner wash out with the cold, Artic tide.
So each night at this time I promise myself,
I’ll survive this long and lonesome ride.

‘Cause I sling the meatloaf and I pour the Joe,
Down at “Sammy’s Sixteen Wheel Oasis.”
It’s gear-jammers and Gypsies who come,
Just to go bring some grief into a waitress’ life.

 

“A Waitress’ Life” appears on Don’t Be Afraid, Faith is a Muscle, Live at the Pres House and The Medicine Tribute.


Note: in later recordings and performances, the truck stop became “Andy’s Eighteen Wheel Oasis.”


© and ℗ 1989, 1998, 2001, 2012 Marques Bovre