Jackson Browne: "The Pretender" (Live From Home)

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Jackson Browne performs “The Pretender” for the 2020 Berklee School of Music Gala honoring Roger Brown

Filmed, recorded and mixed by Kevin Smith

From his album, The Pretender
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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

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

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 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
Though 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

Written by Jackson Browne
(Swallow Turn Music, ASCAP)

Swallow Turn Music is administrated by Drive Music Publishing

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