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Track 7 of Dan Bern/Bernstein's New American Language could be read as the singer/songwriter's retort to The world breaks everyone. It's a quiet, beautiful song, full of hope, which comes as quite a relief following the despair of the two tracks preceding it, "Turning Over" and "Black Tornado". Bernstein used this song to end his last concert before going into the studio to record N. A. L. (August 5, 2000 at Java Joe's in San Diego): apparently he thought it'd gone over well enough to make it onto the album, for which I'm glad.


I have a friend
Sits in his office
Where he's had his big success
Now he cries all day
He says the Internet
Is stealing his royalties
Talks of his glory days
I say no one cares about your glory days

Backroads New Mexico
There's an old abandoned church
Windows boarded up
Never sees a coat of paint
Sometimes I drive by and dream
Of hearing the preacher preach
But it's a dragstrip for the kids
You can hear their tires screech

Don't let your heart
Get broken by this world

Don't let your heart
Get broken
At the bottom of the ocean
You might find a pearl

Don't let your heart
Get broken by this world

Drop by Albuquerque sometime
When you need to
I'll sing you an Albuquerque Lullaby. . . .

So baby when I close my eyes
You know it's you I see
You know I'm pulling for you
As you go on your way
Don't ever hesitate
To say what's goin' on
Ain't nothin black and white
Always some new place to turn

Don't let your heart
Get broken by this world. . .

---Words and music by Dan Bern/Bernstein;
(lyrics freely available at Bern/stein's official website, http://www.danbern.com and reproduced here by permission from the webmistress):

Afterthoughts: "Don't let your heart/ Get broken by this world" is one of three song quote slogans being sold as bumper stickers promoting New American Language; the others are "Who's goin my way?" and "Alaska Highway", both from the song "Alaska Highway". And the line "No one cares about your glory days" is almost definitely a reference to the Bruce Springsteen song "Glory Days", and as such begs a comparison between the two tunes, since Dan's been compared to The Boss in the past, and has been known to take shots at the latter from time to time.

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