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Jackson Browne — The Pretender (live)
Album: solo acoustic
Avg rating:
7.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 732









Released: 2008
Length: 6:02
Plays (last 30 days): 1
I'm going to rent myself a house
In the shade of the freeway
I'm going to pack my lunch in the morning
And go to work each day
And when the evening rolls around
I'll go on home and lay my body down
And when the morning light comes streaming in
I'll get up and do it again
Amen

I want to know what became of the changes
We waited for love to bring
Were they only the fitful dreams
Of some greater awakening
I've been aware of the time going by
They say in the end it's the wink of an eye
And when the morning light comes streaming in
You'll get up and do it again
Amen

Caught between the longing for love
And the struggle for the legal tender
Where the sirens sing and the church bells ring
And the junkman pounds his fender
Where the veterans dream of the fight
Fast asleep at the traffic light
And the children solemnly wait for the ice cream vendor
Out into the cool of the evening strolls the Pretender
He knows that all his hopes and dreams begin and end there

Ah the laughter of the lovers as they run through the night
Leaving nothing for the others but to choose off and fight
And tear at the world with all their might
While the ships bearing their dreams sail out of sight

I'm going to find myself a girl
Who can show me what laughter means
And we'll fill in the missing colors
In each other's paint by number dreams
And then we'll put our dark glasses on
And we'll make love until our strength is gone
And when the morning light comes streaming in
We'll get up and do it again
Get it up again

I'm going to be a happy idiot
And struggle for the legal tender
Where the ads take aim and lay their claim
To the heart and the soul of the spender
And believe in whatever may lie
In those things that money can buy
Thought true love could have been a contender

Are you there?
Say a prayer for the Pretender
Who started out so young and strong
Only to surrender

Say a prayer for the pretender
Are you there for the pretender?
Say a prayer for the pretender
Comments (44)add comment
 h8rhater wrote:


You forgot to say, "to me".
 
Goes without saying, unless the poster is typing through a sock puppet.
 S-curvy wrote:
This so struggles.  It highest achievement was and will always be that it is known as only mediocre 70's pop.
 

You forgot to say, "to me".   Additionally, "pop" is a very mis-informed label for his work.

 Jackson Browne's music was exceptional 70's California Country/Rock.  He was a member of the Laurel Canyon scene that produced so many great works of art and, as such, he was among the progenitors  of an entire genre.  His music speaks to so many people then and now.
 Fiji5555 wrote:
Always liked Jackson Browne BUT his songs are 90% sadness to the max. Have two albums of his that stopped being played decades ago because of that.
 
When someone would put him on the turntable too early in the evening we would say; "too early to Browne out..." this guy mesmerized me for years.
Such a melancholy one
Desert island torture method choice: Waterboarding or Jackson Browne singing "struggle for the legal tender" in a loop? I'll take that waterboarding, and thank someone for it. 
 jmsmy wrote:
This song explains everything about what happened to the 60's generation.
 
 
...and every other "generation".
 
Whatever the heck a generation is, other than just another reflection of our never-ending tribalism.
This song explains everything about what happened to the 60's generation.
 
 kanabeanz@gmail.com wrote:
A great song...prefer the full album version though. How many start out young & strong...only to surrender?

 
all of us?
A great song...prefer the full album version though. How many start out young & strong...only to surrender?
This so struggles.  It highest achievement was and will always be that it is known as only mediocre 70's pop.
"and the junk man pounds his Fender."

My beloved roommate in college pointed out to me when we first heard this album that this lyric is autobiographical: Jackson, with his heroin problem, playing his guitar.

Then I knew something was up with this guy. I needed to pay attention.
 oldsaxon wrote:

If it's any consolation, I struggled for years but finally gave in to the longing for love and I ain't lookin back

 
363 more days.

ah-men. 
 Steely_D wrote:
Fk. Just as I was starting to pull myself out of my existential crisis, this comes on.

Caught between the longing for love
and the struggle for the legal tender.

Get up and do it again. Amen.

 
If it's any consolation, I struggled for years but finally gave in to the longing for love and I ain't lookin back
Fk. Just as I was starting to pull myself out of my existential crisis, this comes on.

Caught between the longing for love
and the struggle for the legal tender.

Get up and do it again. Amen.
 kcar wrote:

I'm not necessarily putting Billy Joel forward as an answer to your question but as I was listening to this song I thought back to Billy and his "Songs in the Attic." 

Was never a huge JB fan—maybe he didn't get as much play where I lived—but yes, this is great.  

 
I can totally see the comparison.  Songs in the Attic is a lost treasure. 
Masterful.
Beyond words. He is so pure and gifted and timeless.
Forty years on and he sings it note for note for note in pristine faithfulness.
He's brought me to tears over and over.
Are you there?
 Wilfrue wrote:
Great version of a great song. Is there another performer who can do so much going solo on his songs?

 
I'm not necessarily putting Billy Joel forward as an answer to your question but as I was listening to this song I thought back to Billy and his "Songs in the Attic." 

Was never a huge JB fan—maybe he didn't get as much play where I lived—but yes, this is great.  
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.
A great song, always loved it.  Have the original album on vinyl.  But this is ... wake me when (actually this set) its over.  {#Sleep}
Almost as much as the Beatles, this man has sung the tapestry of my life.  I LOVE Jackson Browne.
Briilliantly insightful lyrics...
The man can sing a ballad.
Great version of a great song. Is there another performer who can do so much going solo on his songs?
Eh, it's OK but i like the original better with the rest of the band.
OUTSTANDING version
 Jackson's best version by far...{#Clap}  say it!
Good timing!{#Laughing}
Saw him live yesterday, really nice concert.
Awesome band.
Awesome Jackson Browne....Awesome songs, hope somebody out there pays attention to his lyrics!{#Yes}
...while the ships / bearing their dreams / sail out of sight...
So fantastisch!
Like this SO much better than the studio version.
New Album is very good as well. Check out the two webcast from his performance on Letterman.
Always liked Jackson Browne BUT his songs are 90% sadness to the max. Have two albums of his that stopped being played decades ago because of that.
One of the best all round musicians of our lives since the 70's
Thanks Bill!
More like this please!!!
Nice!
If "For What It's Worth" is the theme song of the 60's

This is the theme song of the 70's
Good but....

Every time I hear the piano fills, I keep expecting to hear "Now the seats are all empty - let the roadies take the stage".

Still good though. 
More Jackson Browne please Bill!  You have 37 tracks in the library! {#Sunny}{#Good-vibes}{#Notworthy}
 xkolibuul wrote:

As opposed to the fans of the Tori Amos tune that just preceded this?

 

Well played, sir.


I think I slightly prefer the studio version of this song. The counterpoint between the slightly upbeat music and the melancholy lyrics works better than the straight melancholy here, IMO. 
 Hannio wrote:
And now for some music white folks like.

 
As opposed to the fans of the Tori Amos tune that just preceded this?
And now for some music white folks like.
Love this!  Thanks Bill!