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All The Little Places Around The Town

This song is by Greg Brown and appears on the live album One Night (1983).

Mary Beth is that fancy woman
Standing over there
The expression on her face
Is just like her underwear
Carefully chosen, easy to see through

2 a.m. when the game is up
Tempting to undo (?)
But dawn breaks on her sad smile
And I'll see you around
All the little places around the town

Gabriel was painter
A good one in his youth
Between poverty and a hustle
He chose a substitute

Tenure and a greenhouse
And little trips to Mexico
An affair with a deep-eyed girl
Every couple years or so

When he looks inside at what he hasn't done
He comes tumbling down
To all the little places around the town

The university poets
Buzz around in their little Japanese cars
They hit the parties for the out-of-towners
You don't see them much at the bars

All their thin and stiff little books
Not too much to say
Yaking at eachother in the APR (?)
While the years slip away
The horseman passes by the classroom scene
And a cold wind blows around
All the little places around the town

Julie and me we see eye to eye
When we stand toe to toe
And I surely will not soon forget
That day in her studio

The colors all got brighter
Than the corona of the sun
It's action painted while we moved it (?)
And still life when we was done

I'm always hoping I will run into her
When I'm out catting around
At all the little places around the town

The faculty wives they get gray and tattered
Like the books upon their shelves
They're sitting around by their big bay windows
Reading fiction about themselves

Dreading the hour when they hear
That well-heeled step once more
And see those sad eyes through the glasses
He bought at the professor eyeglass store

Couldn't she have shopped around a little longer
While she was out checking it out
At all the little places around the town?

Charley had a habit of going
Too many rounds with the wall
He's drinking to celebrate the spring
He's drinking to mourn the fall

He made it out to Colorado
When he got tired of the flat
I ain't too worried about that boy
He don't wear no cowboy hat

I sure miss him on these winter nights
When the blue snow settles down
On all the little places around the town

When you were here I never went
To any of these little joints
We spent all of our time outside
What else is the point

What else but the railroad tracks
Gleaming in the winter sun
What else but the spring graveyard
Showing the ghosts how it's done

But you left like everyone does
And I found myself going down
To all the little places around the town

Well the lights go red, the lights go green
Traffic moves on through
The lights go up, the lights go down
You get a flash of who's who

Who is true and who is one (?)
And who ain't really sure
Who has seen too many times
What they've already seen before

Who is free to come and go
And who will forever be bound
To all the little places
All these little places
All the little places around the town

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