Turnpike Tom Lyrics

First time I met old Turnpike Tom
Sittin' in a diner in Bloomington
He said "Are you going my way?"
He had a sleeping bag and his hat was torn
And both his thumbs were two feet long
From years of hitchin' on the hi-way
He said "Mister, won't you give me a ride
I'm a wanted man lookin' for a place to hide"
Oh, we finished the coffee and we got in the car
We drove off and hadn't gone far
When Tom began to tell me his sad story...

He said "Long around 1942
Buddy, I robbed a bank in Kalamazoo
Just to get enough money to marry my true darlin'
But she died when she heard what I had done
And ever since I've been on the run
Standing on the hi-ways a callin'
A callin' mister won't you give me a ride
I'm a wanted man lookin' for a place to hide"
Said "Now I'm gettin' old and ready to die
Too tired to run and too sick to try
And soon I'll be hitchin' upstairs in the skyway..."

Oh, play that again...

He said "I can't pay you for the ride
Just once before I die
I'd like to do somebody a favor"
And out of his pocket came a rusty old key
Along with a map and he give 'em to me
And said "Here's an end to all your labor"

"Way down in Greensboro, Tennessee
In the back of Rusty's Roadside Cabaret
There's 20, 000 in unmarked green
The money I stole that's in the machine
That hangs on the wall in Rusty's Roadside men's room"

So, three nights later at Rusty's door
I had a beer and then I had one more
Then I headed for the treasure
Just like old Turnpike Tom had said
The machine was under a sign which read
Sanitary 3-for-a-quarter
So I took out the key and I broke the lock
There to my bewilderment and shock
I found a sign which read "You've just been had
In a sanitary way by Turnpike Tom
The outlaw with the fastest sense of humor"

And if you meet someone with a troubled mind
Well, just give him the key and feed him the line
And tell him his days will soon be better

Yes, and mister, you've been taken for a ride
There ain't nothin' but fools gold here inside
Oh, the real gold, that's inside us all
Remember that you only fall for
Lies and stories when you really want to

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Songwriter(s): Steve Goodman
Record Label(s): 1999 Buddha Records
Official lyrics by

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