Who Sang Lawless Avenues? Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne Lives in the Balance cover art
publisher: ©Jackson Browne/Swallow Turn Music/Night Kitchen Music/Open Window Music
writers: Jackson Browne, Jorge Calderon
release date: 1986-4-30
genres: Rock
styles: Pop Rock
length: 5:40
producer: Jackson Browne
membranophone: Jim Keltner
lead vocals: Jackson Browne
engineer: James Geddes
background vocals: Jorge Calderón
guitar: Danny Kortchmar, Waddy Wachtel and David Lindley
congas: Walfredo de los Reyes
bass guitar: Jorge Calderón
synthesizer & organ: Jai Winding
writer: Jorge Calderón, Jackson Browne
Papa hit him, Mama kissed him
Made him go to Catechism
With the sisters in their black and white
And all the time those city streets
Were teaching him another kind of wisdom
When to run and when to fight
Up at the playground after school
Listening to tales of the prison system
And those lawless avenues

Dawn on a half darkened street
A child's footsteps repeat
And something there turns them
Down those lawless avenues

Silent Joe went down so bad
He was the strongest fighter the avenues had
Stabbed in the chest he went down swinging
Someone from some other part of town
No one even seen it coming down
And you don't hear no church bells ringing
And in the violent night the police light
Sweeps across the lots and the yards
Following those lawless avenues

Down on a half darkened street
Armies advance and retreat
And struggle to take control
From those lawless avenues

Manuelito's sister Rosa
Ran away with a surfer from Hermosa
Manuelito, cuida a Rosa
Hay mira como estan las cosas
(Manuelito take care of Rosa
Look at how things are)

But who could blame her after she saw
Every boy die who could have gotten close to her
Rosa es joven you solo quiere
Ver la belleza del mundo
(Rosa is young and only wants
To see the beauty of the world)

Manuel said
"You gotta fight for what you want in this life"
Just before they shipped him overseas to 'Nam
Otra guerra sin razon
Otra guerra sin fin, sin honor
(Another war without reason
Another war without end, without honor

And she was fighting to understand
When they shipped Manuelito's body home
All she heard was one more shot
Echoing down lawless avenues

Hoy amigo, tal igual como ayer
La lucha en el barrio no cambia
Nuestros hijos son los que han de crecer
Por ley de la calle, viviendo entre abrazos
Why chingazos
(Today my friend, just like yesterday
The struggle in the barrio doesn't change
Our children are the ones to grow up
By the law of the street
Living between hugs and blows)

Down on a half darkened street
Fathers' and sons' lives repeat
And something there turns them
Down those lawless avenues

En el calor de la calle
(In the heat of the street)
Buscan valor en la calle
(Looking for valor in the street)
Hasta final de la calle
(Till the end of the street)

CD 1
  • 1 For America
  • 2 Soldier of Plenty
  • 3 In the Shape of a Heart
  • 4 Candy
  • 5 Lawless Avenues
  • 6 Lives in the Balance
  • 7 Till I Go Down
  • 8 Black and White