Tommy's Girlfriend

05:34
Lucky Mud
0000-00-00
Mike McKinney

Story

I've been playing music a long time, and I've watched a lot of girls/women give in and give up. So many obstacles in this business - a lot more stumbling blocks for them. That's where this story came from. I heard an interview with Suzy Boggus once about driving alone from gig to gig, crying her eyes out wondering 'what the hell am I doing?' Tommy's Girlfriend came out of all of this.

Lyrics

Linda and Tommy lived in a cheap duplex She wrote folk songs on the backs of his canceled checks Said it helped her focus on the value of her words Tommy worked days then and he came home tired Had cold beer and sandwiches out in the backyard While she sang the sweetest songs he'd ever heard She was young and fragile and she held on tight And she loved Tommy with all her heart and soul But he heard her pacing through the house at night And she played guitar so soft and quiet As she whispered out her songs of the open road He knew the time would come when she wouldn't need him anymore And even before the fight started He knew how it would end She said, "You know my name is Linda Charlotte Caulfield But everybody here just calls me Tommy's Girlfriend" Well, his heart got hurt And he got mad He said, "So what the hell is wrong with that?" She said, "It's not enough, Tommy" And he said, "Then why the hell don't you just leave?" She said, "You're right, just look at me This isn't where I want to be There's so much to do I don't know where to begin Because I promised myself a long time ago That I wouldn't stop before I became somebody Not just somebody's girlfriend" She knocked the dust of this town right off her shoes Just like Jesus said to do And she caught a Trailways bus headed West on I-10 And as she gave herself up to fate The only thing that mattered when she left the state Was that she left it as Linda Charlotte Caulfield And not as Tommy's girlfriend She made mistakes She screwed around She wound up down and out in towns Whose cruel facades Forced her to question every choice she'd ever made She went up north to the ice and snow Where the Spring was 28 below And she wound up in South Texas Where even in the Winter It's a hundred in the shade She slept alone when she wanted to She slept with men on purpose, too When passion made her toss All caution to the wind But everything she did She did as Linda Charlotte Caulfield Things she never could've done as Tommy's girlfriend She got beat up pretty bad in Beaumont, Texas By a Yankee In Justin boots and a Stetson hat Who said he was from Nashville And he promised her the moon And he wound up taking everything she had But she waited tables And bought a new guitar And some clothes And a leather pack And she kept working until she'd saved enough For an old Chevy truck with a camper shell on the back And she kept writing songs And she got better And she sang them in taverns and played for the veterans In the VFW posts along the interstate And the days and weeks and months passed by As she played for tips And played for pride And learned to handle men And get a percentage of the gate She'd play all night then drive til dawn Then eat a bite and then drive on jThen stop and write another song before turning in And, maybe, somewhere along the way She'd stop and think about the days When she was Tommy's girlfriend She became a hell of a singer with a retinue A Silver Eagle bus and a full road crew And two gold records and a Grammy and a movie deal But it didn't come easy or overnight Or without a struggle Or without a fight Or without a lot of learning About what is, and isn't real I tend bar in a place with five pool tables And a big screen TV that's hooked up to cable And I've read every word that's been written About her rise to fame I mix drinks for the locals and I try To read the Satellite Weekly And the TV Guide And I make a circle with a pen when I find her name And every time she comes on the screen Someone in the bar leans over and says, "Hey, Tommy, ain't that your old girlfriend?" I just laugh and close my eyes And as my heart swells up with pride for her, I say, "Hell, no, that's Linda Charlotte Caulfield"

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  • Jul 2
    Americana Cafe Sunday at Roberts Hall,  Lynn Haven
     

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