Tommy's Girlfriend 5:22

Lucky Mud
Michael McKinney BMI @ Southern Zen Music


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

Then 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"

Mud Music

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