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This piece was published in 1966.

I was 16 and that's what I grew on.

And trouble's still coming every day...


Ray Collins (lead vocals, harmonica, tambourine, finger cymbals, bobby pin, tweezers)
Jimmy Carl Black (drums)
Roy Estrada (bass, guitarron, boy soprano)
Elliot Ingber (lead guitar, rhythm guitar)

Well I'm about to get UPSET
From watchin' my TV
Been checkin' out the news
Until my eyeballs fail to see
I mean they say that every day
Is just another rotten mess
And when it's gonna change, my friends
Is anybody's guess

So I'm watchin' and I'm waitin'
Hopin' for the best
Even think I'll go to prayin'
Every time I hear 'em sayin'
That there's no way to delay
That trouble comin' every day
No way to delay
That trouble comin' every day

Wednesday I watched the riot...
I seen the cops out on the street
Watched 'em throwin' rocks and stuff
And chokin' in the heat
Listened to reports
About the whisky passin' 'round
Seen the smoke & fire
And the market burnin' down
Watched while everybody
On his street would take a turn
To stomp and smash and bash and crash
And slash and bust and burn

And I'm watchin' and I'm waitin'
Hopin' for the best
Even think I'll go to prayin'
Every time I hear 'em sayin'
That there's no way to delay
That trouble comin' every day
No way to delay
That trouble comin' every day

Well you can cool it,
You can heat it...
'Cause, baby, I don't need it...
Take your TV tube and eat it
'N all that phony stuff on sports
'N all THOSE unconfirmed reports
You know I watched that rotten box
Until my head began to hurt
From checkin' out the way
The newsmen say they get the dirt
Before the guys on channel so-and-so
And further they assert
That any show they'll interrupt
To bring you news if it comes up
They say that if the place blows up
They'll be the first to tell
Because the boys they got downtown
Are workin' hard and doin' swell,
And if anybody gets the news
Before it hits the street,
They say that no one blabs it faster
Their coverage can't be beat

And if another woman driver
Gets machine-gunned from her seat
They'll send some joker with a brownie
And you'll see it all complete

So I'm watchin' and I'm waitin'
Hopin' for the best
Even think I'll go to prayin'
Every time I hear 'em sayin'
That there's no way to delay
That trouble comin' every day
No way to delay
That trouble comin' every day

Hey you know something people
I'm not black
But there's a whole lots a times
I wish I could say I'm not white

Well, I seen the fires burnin'
And the local people turnin'
On the merchants and the shops
Who used to sell their brooms and mops
And every other household item
Watched the mob just turn and bite 'em
And they say it served 'em right
Because a few of them are white,
And it's the same across the nation
Black & white discrimination
They're yellin' "You can't understand me!"
And all the other crap they hand me
In the papers and TV
'N all that mass stupidity
That seems to grow more every day
Each time you hear some nitwit say
He wants to go and do you in
Because the color of your skin
Just don't appeal to him
(No matter if it's black or white)
Because he's out for blood tonight
You know we gotta sit around at home
And watch this thing begin
But I bet there won't be many left
To see it really end
'Cause the fire in the street
Ain't like the fire in my heart
And in the eyes of all these people
Don't you know that this could start
On any street in any town
In any state if any clown
Decides that now's the time to fight
For some ideal he thinks is right
And if a million more agree
There ain't no great society
As it applies to you and me
Our country isn't free
And the law refuses to see
If all that you can ever be
Is just a lousy janitor
Unless your uncle owns a store
You know that five in every four
WON'T amount TO nothin' more
THAN watch the rats go across the floor
And make up songs about being poor
Blow you harmonica son!

Views: 96


Replies to This Discussion

I'm a decade younger than you, so I listened to his later stuff, mid to late 70s.  Those were the days.

Trust me, at 16 this stuff was corrosive.

Can't believe how this is still pertinent.

Because not too many years went by, certainly not enough for human beings to have changed :-)

Can't believe how this is still pertinent.


You're not alone. Every now and then someone pops out to make the same point. My bad, I've seen an excellent article on Trouble Every Day not long ago, but I didn't bookmark it and can't locate it anymore. It would have been very appropriate here.

Zappa was the man. Can't remember the album, but I remember lyrics."Billy was a mountain, Ethyl was a tree growing out of his shoulder." Heh.

Small world. I f*cking love Frank Zappa.

@Adriana, I would have thought you were too young to be listening to Zappa in the '70's.

Do I sound that immature? LOLZ
No, no, not at all! You just have so much exuberance! Not old and cranky like me :)

Frank was still just as poetic in 1981!


Frank Zappa

Dumb all over


From the album You are what you is, 1981, (Bark 2-Barking PW2-37537)

Whoever we are
Wherever we're from
We shoulda noticed by now
Our behavior is dumb
And if our chances
Expect to improve
It's gonna take a lot more
Than tryin' to remove
The other race
Or the other whatever
From the face
Of the planet altogether

They call it THE EARTH
Which is a dumb kinda name
But they named it right
'Cause we behave the same...
*We are dumb all over*
Dumb all over,
Yes we are
Dumb all over,
Near 'n far
Dumb all over,
Black 'n white
People, we is not wrapped tight

Nurds on the left
Nurds on the right
Religous fanatics
On the air every night
Sayin' the Bible
Tells the story
Makes the details
Sound real gory
'Bout what to do
If the geeks over there
Don't believe in the book
We got over here

You can't run a race
Without no feet
'N pretty soon
There won't be no street
For dummies to jog on
Or doggies to dog on
Religous fanatics
Can make it be all gone
(I mean it won't blow up
'N disappear
It'll just look ugly
For a thousand years...)

You can't run a country
By a book of religion
Not by a heap
Or a lump or a smidgeon
Of foolish rules
Of ancient date
Designed to make
You all feel great
While you fold, spindle
And mutilate
Those unbelievers
From a neighboring state

Hooray! That's great
Two legs ain't bad
Unless there's a crate
They ship the parts
To mama in
For souvenirs: two ears *(Get Down!)*
Not his, not hers, *(but what the hey?)*
The Good Book says:
*("It gotta be that way!")*
But their book says:
With whips 'n chains
'N hand grenades..."*
Have another and another
Our God says:
*"There ain't no other!"*
Our God says
*"It's all okay!"*
Our God says
*"This is the way!"*

It says in the book:
*"Burn 'n destroy...*
*'N repent, 'n redeem*
*'N revenge, 'n deploy*
*'N rumble thee forth*
*To the land of the unbelieving scum on
the other side*
*'Cause they don't go for what's in the
*'N that makes 'em BAD*
*So verily we must choppeth them up*
*And stompeth them down*
*Or rent a nice French bomb*
*To poof them out of existance
*While leaving their real estate just where
we need it*
*To use again*
*For temples in which to praise
*("Cause he can really take care of

And when his humble TV servant
With humble white hair
And humble glasses
And a nice brown suit
And maybe a blond wife who takes
phone calls
Tells us our God says
It's okay to do this stuff
Then we gotta do it,
'Cause if we don't do it,
We ain't gwine up to *hebbin!*
(Depending on which book you're using
at the time...Can't use theirs... it don't work's all lies...Gotta use mine...)
Ain't that right?
That's what they say
Every night...
Every day...
Hey, we can't really be dumb
If we're just following *God's Orders*
Hey, let's get serious...
God knows what he's doin'
He wrote this book here
An' the book says:
*He made us all to be just like Him,"
If we're dumb...
Then God is dumb...
*(An' maybe even a little ugly on the side)*

Frank Zappa is DA MAN! :-)

If you have 40 minutes and are high as a kite. Great stuff.

And of course, "Call any Vegetable." Friggin great.


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