• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies living kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Burra Maluca
stewards:
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Miles Flansburg
  • Devaka Cooray
garden masters:
  • Dave Burton
  • Anne Miller
  • Daron Williams
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • James Freyr
  • Bryant RedHawk

You can get anything you want ...  RSS feed

 
master pollinator
Posts: 665
Location: mountains of Tennessee
139
bee chicken homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hard to explain this particular holiday tradition. You kind of had to be there to completely understand. Maybe it is best described as being a goat yoga or Flying Spaghetti Monster type phenomenon. It just happened & then caught on. The evils of littering is a central part of the song so it's relevant to permies. Plus it's just fun. I have introduced many younger people to this Thanksgiving tradition over the years. They mostly enjoy it but don't quite get it. Then I introduce them to Tiny Tim tiptoeing through the tulips. At which point they usually go away completely bewildered. It will be available via some local radio stations on turkey day. Enjoy. Happy holidays all.

the background story



Alice's Restaurant Massacree
Arlo Guthrie

You can get anything you want at Alice's restaurant
You can get anything you want at Alice's restaurant
Walk right in, it's around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want at Alice's restaurant

This song is called "Alice's Restaurant
"It's about Alice, and the
Restaurant, but "Alice's Restaurant" is not the name of the restaurant,
That's just the name of the song
That's why I call the song "Alice's Restaurant."

Now it all started two Thanksgivings ago, two years ago, on Thanksgiving,
When my friend and I went up to visit Alice at the restaurant

But Alice doesn't live in the restaurant, she lives in the church nearby the
Restaurant, in the bell tower with her husband Ray and Facha, the dog

And livin' in the bell tower like that, they got a lot of room downstairs
Where the pews used to be, and havin' all that room (seein' as how they took
Out all the pews), they decided that they didn't have to take out their
Garbage for a long time.

We got up here and found all the garbage in there and we decided that it'd
Be a friendly gesture for us to take the garbage down to the city dump

So we took the half-a-ton of garbage, put it in the back of a red VW
Microbus, took shovels and rakes and implements of destruction, and headed
On toward the city dump. Well, we got there and there was a big sign and a
Chain across the dump sayin', "this dump is closed on Thanksgiving," and
We'd never heard of a dump closed on Thanksgiving before, and with tears in
Our eyes, we drove off into the sunset lookin' for another place to put the garbage

We didn't find one till we came to a side road, and off the side of the side
Road was another fifteen-foot cliff, and at the bottom of the cliff was
Another pile of garbage. And we decided that one big pile was better than
Two little piles, and rather than bring that one up, we decided to throw
Ours down. That's what we did

Drove back to the church, had a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat,
Went to sleep, and didn't get up until the next morning, when we got a phone
Call from Officer Obie. He said, "kid, we found your name on a envelope at
The bottom of a half a ton of garbage and I just wanted to know if you had
Any information about it"

And I said, "yes sir, Officer Obie, I cannot tell a lie. I put that envelope
Under that garbage." After speakin' to Obie for about forty-five minutes on
The telephone, we finally arrived at the truth of the matter and he said
That we had to go down and pick up the garbage, and also had to go down and
Speak to him at the Police Officer Station. So we got in the red VW microbus
With the shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed on
Toward the Police Officer Station

Now, friends, there was only one of two things that Obie could've done at
The Police Officer Station, and the first was that he could've given us a
Medal for bein' so brave and honest on the telephone (which wasn't very
Likely, and we didn't expect it), and the other thing was that he could've
Bawled us out and told us never to be seen drivin' garbage around in the
Vicinity again, which is what we expected

But when we got to the Police Officer Station, there was a third possibility
That we hadn't even counted upon, and we was both immediately arrested,
Handcuffed, and I said, "Obie, I can't pick up the garbage with these here
Handcuffs on." He said "shut up kid, and get in the back of the patrol car"

And that's what we did, sat in the back of the patrol car, and drove to
The quote scene of the crime unquote

I want to tell you 'bout the town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where this is
Happenin'. They got three stop signs, two police officers, and one police
Car, but when we got to the scene of the crime, there was five police
Officers and three police cars, bein' the biggest crime of the last fifty
Years and everybody wanted to get in the newspaper story about it

And they was usin' up all kinds of cop equipment that they had hangin'
Around the Police Officer Station. They was takin' plaster tire tracks,
Footprints, dog-smellin' prints and they took twenty-seven 8 x 10 colored
Glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of
Each one explainin' what each one was, to be used as evidence against us
Took pictures of the approach, the getaway, the northwest corner, the
Southwest corner
And that's not to mention the aerial photography!

After the ordeal, we went back to the jail. Obie said he was gonna put us in a cell

He said "kid, I'm gonna put you in a cell
I want your wallet and your belt"
I said, "Obie, I can understand your wantin' my wallet, so I don't have any
Money to spend in the cell, but what do you want my belt for?" and he said
"Kid, we don't want any hangin's
I said, "Obie, did you think I was gonna
Hang myself for litterin'?"

Obie said he was makin' sure, and, friends, Obie was, 'cause he took out the
Toilet seat so I couldn't hit myself over the head and drown, and he took
Out the toilet paper so I couldn't bend the bars, roll the toilet paper out
The window, slide down the roll and have an escape. Obie was makin' sure

It was about four or five hours later that Alice (remember Alice?
There's a song about Alice)
Alice came by and, with a few nasty words to Obie on the
Side, bailed us out of jail, and we went back to the church, had another
Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat, and didn't get up until the next
Morning, when we all had to go to court. We walked in, sat down, Obie came
In with the twenty-seven 8 times 10 colored glossy pictures with the circles and
Arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, sat down

Man came in, said, "All rise!" We all stood up, and Obie stood up with the
Twenty-seven 8 times 10 colored glossy pictures, and the judge walked in, sat
Down, with a seein' eye dog and he sat down. We sat down

Obie looked at the seein' eye dog then at the twenty-seven 8 x 10
Colored glossy pictures with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the
Back of each one and looked at the seein' eye dog and then at
The twenty-seven 8 x 10 colored glossy pictures with the circles and arrows
And a paragraph on the back of each on and began to cry

Because Obie came to the realization that it was a typical case of American
Blind justice, and there wasn't nothin' he could do about it, and the judge
Wasn't gonna look at the twenty-seven 8 by 10 colored glossy pictures with
The circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explainin'
What each one was, to be used as evidence against us

And we was fined fifty dollars and had to pick up the garbage in the snow

But that's not what I'm here to tell you about
I'm here to talk about the draft
They got a buildin' down in New York City called Whitehall Street, where you
Walk in, you get injected, inspected, detected, infected, neglected and selected!

I went down and got my physical examination one day, and I walked in, sat
Down (got good and drunk the night before, so I looked and felt my best when
I went in that morning, 'cause I wanted to look like the All-American Kid
From New York City. I wanted to feel like I wanted to be the
All-american Kid from New York), and I walked in, sat down, I was hung down
Brung down, hung up and all kinds of mean, nasty, ugly things

And I walked in, I sat down, they gave me a piece of paper that said "Kid
See the psychiatrist in room 604"

I went up there, I said, "Shrink, I want to kill. I want to kill! I want to see
Blood and gore and guts and veins in my teeth! Eat dead, burnt bodies! I
Mean Kill. Kill!"

And I started jumpin' up and down, yellin' "KILL! Kill!" and he started
Jumpin' up and down with me, and we was both jumpin' up and down, yellin'
"Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill!" and the sergeant came over, pinned a medal on me
Sent me down the hall, said "You're our boy". Didn't feel too good about it

Proceeded down the hall, gettin' more injections, inspections, detections
Neglections, and all kinds of stuff that they was doin' to me at the thing
There, and I was there for two hours three hours four hours I was
There for a long time goin' through all kinds of mean, nasty, ugly things
And I was just havin' a tough time there, and they was inspectin',
Injectin', every single part of me, and they was leavin' no part untouched!

Proceeded through, and I finally came to see the very last man. I walked in,
Sat down, after a whole big thing there. I walked up, and I said, "what do
You want?" He said, "kid, we only got one question, have you ever been
Arrested?"

And I proceeded to tell him the story of Alice's Restaurant Massacree with
Full orchestration and five-part harmony and stuff like that, and other phenomenon

He stopped me right there and said, "kid, have you ever been to court?" And
I proceeded to tell him the story of the twenty-seven 8 x 10 colored glossy
Pictures with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one

He stopped me right there and said, "kid, I want you to go over and sit down
On that bench that says 'Group W'"

And I walked over to the bench there, and there's Group W is where they
Put you if you may not be moral enough to join the army after committin'
Your special crime

There was all kinds of mean, nasty, ugly-lookin' people on the bench there
There was mother-rapers father-stabbers father-rapers!
Father-rapers sittin' right there on the bench next to me! And they was mean
And nasty and ugly and horrible and crime fightin' guys were sittin' there
On the bench, and the meanest, ugliest, nastiest one the meanest
Father-raper of them all was comin' over to me, and he was mean and
Ugly and nasty and horrible and all kinds of things, and he sat down next to
Me. He said, "Kid, what'd you get?"

I said, "I didn't get nothin'. I had to pay fifty dollars and pick up the garbage."

He said, "What were you arrested for, kid?" and I said, "litterin'"
And they all moved away from me on the bench there, with the hairy eyeball
And all kinds of mean, nasty things, till I said, "And creatin' a nuisance"
And they all came back, shook my hand, and we had a great time on the
Bench talkin' about crime, mother-stabbin', father-rapin', all kinds
Of groovy things that we was talkin' about on the bench, and everything was fine

We was smokin' cigarettes and all kinds of things, until the sergeant came
Over, had some paper in his hand, held it up and said
"Kids, this-piece-of-paper's-got-47-words-37-sentences-58-words-we-wanna-
Know-details-of-the-crime-time-of-the-crime-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-
You-gotta-say-pertaining-to-and-about-the-crime-I-want-to-know-arresting-
Officer's-name-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-you-gotta-say"

And he talked for forty-five minutes and nobody understood a word that he
Said

But we had fun fillin' out the forms and playin' with the pencils on the
Bench there

I filled out the Massacree with the four-part harmony. Wrote it down there
Just like it was and everything was fine. And I put down my pencil, and I
Turned over the piece of paper, and there on the other side in
The middle of the other side away from everything else on the other
Side in parentheses capital letters quotated read
The following words "kid, have you rehabilitated yourself?"

I went over to the sergeant. Said, "Sergeant, you got a lot of god-damned
Gall to ask me if I've rehabilitated myself! I mean I mean I
Mean that you send I'm sittin' here on the bench I mean I'm
Sittin' here on the Group W bench, 'cause you want to know if I'm moral
Enough to join the army, burn women, kids, houses and villages after bein' a
Litterbug"

He looked at me and said, "kid, we don't like your kind! We're gonna send
Your fingerprints off to Washington"!

And, friends, somewhere in Washington, enshrined in some little folder, is a
Study in black and white of my fingerprints

And the only reason I'm singin' you the song now is 'cause you may know
Somebody in a similar situation

Or you may be in a similar situation, and if you're in a situation like
That, there's only one thing you can do

Walk into the shrink wherever you are, just walk in, say, "Shrink, you
Can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant", and walk out

You know, if one person, just one person, does it, they may think he's
Really sick and they won't take him

And if two people do it, in harmony, they may think they're both (deleted the word used here to be nice) and
They won't take either of them

And if three people do it! Can you imagine three people walkin' in, singin'
A bar of "Alice's Restaurant" and walkin' out? They may think it's an
Organization!

And can you imagine fifty people a day? I said FIFTY people a day
Walkin' in, singin' a bar of "Alice's Restaurant" and walkin' out? Friends
They may think it's a Movement, and that's what it is THE Alices's
Restaurant anti-massacre movement! And all you gotta do to join is to
Sing it the next time it comes around on the guitar

With feelin'

You can get anything you want at Alice's restaurant
You can get anything you want at Alice's restaurant
Walk right in, it's around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want at Alice's restaurant
Songwriters: ARLO GUTHRIE
© THE BICYCLE MUSIC COMPANY
 
gardener
Posts: 1439
Location: SW Missouri
353
books building cat chicken food preservation fungi goat homestead cooking ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yay! I can sing most of that one!

Always a good song :)
 
pollinator
Posts: 1811
186
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The local station plays it every Thanksgiving.

Full disclosure.  I've only been arrested once in my life. It was for littering.....

It has meaning for me. Lol
 
Mike Barkley
master pollinator
Posts: 665
Location: mountains of Tennessee
139
bee chicken homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
KLBJ

Don't forget creating a public nuisance:)
 
Posts: 63
Location: Zone 7a, Paulden, AZ
4
chicken food preservation forest garden
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I love this song!!  It's family tradition here.  We always play it at least once on Thanksgiving.  Then we'll quote lines from it for at least a week, lol.  

Bonnie
 
Posts: 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Excepting Alice of course!
 
Posts: 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I started that tradition with my two boys when they were 7 and 5.  I hope my grand daughter will sing along this year.  
 
Posts: 37
Location: Vermont, USA (zone 4)
2
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One thing that I think is being lost in this thread is that Arlo Guthrie's iconic song is *not* about the evils of littering.  It is an anti-war ballad, and it addresses littering only in the sense that littering is a petty misdemeanor much like jay-walking, that was blown up into a mountain from a molehill by a small town cop.  This song is about the evils of war, and about the irony of a guy being judged too immoral to go kill people because he has a prior arrest for the minor infraction of littering.

No one is as anti-littering as I.  I wish that they would target littering and levy some substantial fines against those who do it, but that simply is not the point of this song.  In fact, to my knowledge, no song exists protesting littering.  Probably someone should write one.
 
wayne fajkus
pollinator
Posts: 1811
186
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I spent a night in jail from littering. Court date (after showing up each time) was moved 3 times. I had to call the bail bond every monday morning until the court date. After the court date i was on probation for 1 or 2 years.

Thank goodness i got that off my bucket list (getting arrested).
 
Pearl Sutton
gardener
Posts: 1439
Location: SW Missouri
353
books building cat chicken food preservation fungi goat homestead cooking ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Marci Sudlow wrote:
No one is as anti-littering as I.  I wish that they would target littering and levy some substantial fines against those who do it, but that simply is not the point of this song.  In fact, to my knowledge, no song exists protesting littering.  Probably someone should write one.



Oh, I know the point of the song, but was trying to not drag this into a banned to the cider press political mess.
I'd vote less for substantial fines and more for clean up crew for quite a while. Teach, not just punish randomly. And get something useful done at the same time. The house I had in NM had a windbreak line of bamboo, and the city built a park on the other side of it. The trash etc from the park ended up in my bamboo line, and codes cited ME for it. It wasn't MY trash!! It was on the other side of the windbreak! Why did I get in trouble for other people's messes?? Having litterbugs clean my bamboo line would have been nice. instead I had to clean up.

And I know an excellent song about trash, not littering specifically...


Happy Thanksgiving y'all, and don't dump the trash in a gulley, both because it's uncouth, and because Arlo has already made money off the song, I doubt anyone else would be able to!! :D

Except for Alice....
 
Posts: 6637
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
733
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Marci Sudlow wrote:One thing that I think is being lost in this thread is that Arlo Guthrie's iconic song is *not* about the evils of littering.  It is an anti-war ballad, and it addresses littering only in the sense that littering is a petty misdemeanor much like jay-walking, that was blown up into a mountain from a molehill by a small town cop.  This song is about the evils of war, and about the irony of a guy being judged too immoral to go kill people because he has a prior arrest for the minor infraction of littering.

No one is as anti-littering as I.  I wish that they would target littering and levy some substantial fines against those who do it, but that simply is not the point of this song.  In fact, to my knowledge, no song exists protesting littering.  Probably someone should write one.



Yes! Well said...

Arlo is a story teller supreme and is definitely speaking about the absurdity of the draft and war itself in this song

I'm happy it is still played once a year for any reason...




 
Mike Barkley
master pollinator
Posts: 665
Location: mountains of Tennessee
139
bee chicken homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Draft the litterbugs?
 
master pollinator
Posts: 2773
490
books cat chicken duck rabbit transportation trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It is always played on Thanksgiving, at noon on WBLM 102.9 here in Maine. I think they are online too.

Great song except once we had it as part of a CD collection as we toured all across Canada and the USA, and after about the 20th time, it was enough. I enjoy now though!
 
pollinator
Posts: 282
Location: North Carolina, USA Zone 7b
43
books chicken food preservation forest garden homestead wood heat woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Mike - this was never part of my family's tradition so it's a real blast from the past for me!   But I have lived faithfully by the memories of the war and the public service announcements of the 60's and 70's.   This is one of my old favorites

 
Mike Barkley
master pollinator
Posts: 665
Location: mountains of Tennessee
139
bee chicken homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Texas still plays that PSA once in a while as part of their "Don't mess with Texas" anti-littering campaign. They made several modern versions of it using famous TX personalities.

Remember the little girl with daisies ad? Happened to see that one again recently. Still powerful.

Happy Thanksgiving all. You can get anything you want ...
 
Marci Sudlow
Posts: 37
Location: Vermont, USA (zone 4)
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'd forgotten the "crying Indian" tv ads from the 60's/70's.  Thanks for posting, Susan.  Those ads did raise public awareness at the time, and together with some hefty fines being levied on litterers and warning signs on the highways, and in my state and neighboring ones returnable bottles/cans bills, littering was curbed for a time to a large degree.
 
Always look on the bright side of life. At least this ad is really tiny:
Grow a Salad in Your City Apartment E-book - By Rosemary Hansen
https://permies.com/t/98392/ebooks/Grow-Salad-City-Apartment-book
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!