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Alice's Restaurant
Arlo Guthrie

This song is called Alice's Restaurant, and 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, and that's why I called the song Alice's


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

Now it all started two Thanksgivings ago, was on - 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

Fasha the dog. And livin' in the bell tower like that, they got a lot of

Room downstairs where the pews used to be in. 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 there, we found all the garbage in there, and we decided 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 across the

Dump saying, Closed on Thanksgiving. And we had never heard of a dump

Closed on Thanksgiving before, and with tears in our eyes we drove off

Into the sunset looking for another place to put the garbage.

We didn't find one. Until we came to a side road, and off the side of the

Side road there was another fifteen foot cliff and at the bottom of the

Cliff there was another pile of garbage. And we decided that one big pile

Is better than two little piles, and rather than bring that one up we

Decided to throw our's down.

That's what we did, and 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 an envelope at the bottom of a half a ton of

Garbage, and 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 speaking to Obie for about fourty-five minutes on the telephone we

Finally arrived at the truth of the matter and 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's 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's station.

Now friends, there was only one or two things that Obie coulda done at

The police station, and the first was he could have given us a medal for

Being so brave and honest on the telephone, which wasn't very likely, and

We didn't expect it, and the other thing was he could have bawled us out

And told us never to be seen driving garbage around the vicinity again,

Which is what we expected, but when we got to the police officer's 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 don't think I

Can pick up the garbage with these handcuffs on. He said, Shut up, kid.

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 tell you about the town of

Stockbridge, Massachusets, where this happened here, 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,

Being the biggest crime of the last fifty years, and everybody wanted to

Get in the newspaper story about it. And they was using up all kinds of

Cop equipment that they had hanging around the police officer's station.

They was taking plaster tire tracks, foot prints, dog smelling prints, and

They took twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy photographs with circles

And arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining 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 going to put

Us in the cell. Said, Kid, I'm going to put you in the cell, I want your

Wallet and your belt. And I said, Obie, I can understand you wanting 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 hangings. I

Said, Obie, did you think I was going to hang myself for littering?

Obie said he was making 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 out the - roll the

Toilet paper out the window, slide down the roll and have an escape. Obie

Was making sure, and it was about four or five hours later that Alice

(remember Alice? It'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 a 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 eight-by-ten

Colour glossy pictures with 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 eight-by-ten colour glossy

Pictures, and the judge walked in sat down with a seeing eye dog, and he

Sat down, we sat down. Obie looked at the seeing eye dog, and then at the

Twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows

And a paragraph on the back of each one, and looked at the seeing eye dog.

And then at twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles

And arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one and began to cry,

'cause Obie came to the realization that it was a typical case of American

Blind justice, and there wasn't nothing he could do about it, and the

Judge wasn't going to look at the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy

Pictures with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each

One explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against us. And

We was fined $50 and had to pick up the garbage in the snow, but that's not

What I came to tell you about.

Came to talk about the draft.

They got a building down New York City, it's called Whitehall Street,

Where you walk in, you get injected, inspected, detected, infected,

Neglected and selected. I went down to get my physical examination one

Day, and I walked in, I 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, man I wanted, I wanted

To feel like the all-, 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 o' mean nasty ugly things. And I waked in and sat down and they gave

Me a piece of paper, said, Kid, see the phsychiatrist, room 604.

And I went up there, I said, Shrink, I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I

Wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and

Guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill,

Kill, kill. And I started jumpin up and down yelling, kill, kill, and

He started jumpin up and down with me and we was both jumping up and down

Yelling, KILL, KILL. And the sargent 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 on 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 going through all kinds of mean nasty

Ugly things and I was just having a tough time there, and they was

Inspecting, injecting every single part of me, and they was leaving no

Part untouched. Proceeded through, and when I finally came to the see the

Last man, I walked in, walked in sat down after a whole big thing there,

And I walked up and 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 the Alice's Restaurant Massacre,

With full orchestration and five part harmony and stuff like that and all

The phenome... - and he stopped me right there and said, Kid, did you ever

Go to court?

And I proceeded to tell him the story of the twenty seven eight-by-ten

Colour glossy pictures with the circles and arrows and the paragraph on

The back of each one, and he stopped me right there and said, Kid, I want

You to go and sit down on that bench that says Group W.... Now kid!!

And I, I walked over to the, to the bench there, and there is, Group W's

Where they put you if you may not be moral enough to join the army after

Committing your special crime, and there was all kinds of mean nasty ugly

Looking people on the bench there. Mother rapers. Father stabbers. Father

Rapers! Father rapers sitting right there on the bench next to me! And

They was mean and nasty and ugly and horrible crime-type guys sitting on the

Bench next to me. And the meanest, ugliest, nastiest one, the meanest

Father raper of them all, was coming over to me and he was mean 'n' ugly

'n' nasty 'n' horrible and all kind of things and he sat down next to me

And said, Kid, whad'ya get? I said, I didn't get nothing, I had to pay

$50 and pick up the garbage. He said, What were you arrested for, kid?

And I said, Littering. And they all moved away from me on the bench

There, and the hairy eyeball and all kinds of mean nasty things, till I

Said, And creating a nuisance. And they all came back, shook my hand,

And we had a great time on the bench, talkin about crime, mother stabbing,

Father raping, all kinds of groovy things that we was talking about on the

Bench. And everything was fine, we was smoking cigarettes and all kinds of

Things, until the Sargeant 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-



Officer's-name-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-you-gotta-say, and talked for

Forty-five minutes and nobody understood a word that he said, but we had

Fun filling out the forms and playing with the pencils on the bench there,

And I filled out the massacre with the four part harmony, and wrote it

Down there, just like it was, and everything was fine and I put down the

Pencil, and I turned over the piece of paper, and there, 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:


I went over to the sargent, said, Sargeant, you got a lot a damn gall to

Ask me if I've rehabilitated myself, I mean, I mean, I mean that just, 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 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, and we're gonna send you 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

Singing you this song now is cause you may know somebody in a similar

Situation, or you may be in a similar situation, and if your in a

Situation like that there's only one thing you can do and that's 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, two people do it, in harmony,

They may think they're both faggots and they won't take either of them.

And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in

Singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. They may think it's an

Organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said

Fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and

Walking out. And friends they may thinks it's a movement.

And that's what it is, the Alice's Restaurant Anti-Massacre Movement, and

All you got to do to join is sing it the next time it come's around on the


With feeling. So we'll wait for it to come around on the guitar, here and

Sing it when it does. Here it comes.

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

That was horrible. If you want to end war and stuff you got to sing loud.

I've been singing this song now for twenty five minutes. I could sing it

For another twenty five minutes. I'm not proud... Or tired.

So we'll wait till it comes around again, and this time with four part

Harmony and feeling.

We're just waitin' for it to come around is what we're doing.

All right now.

You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant

Excepting Alice

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

Da da da da da da da dum

At Alice's Restaurant

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Lyrics by Arlo Guthrie

  1913 Massacre   A Little A This N That   Alice's Restaurant   Alice's Restaurant Massacre   Alice's Restaurant Massacree   Alice's Rock & Roll Restaurant   Alice's Rock & Roll Restaurant   All Over the World   All This Stuff Takes Time   Anytime   Bling Blang   Buffalo Gals   Buffalo Skinners   Carry Me Over   Children Of Abraham   Chilling of the Evening   City of New Orleans   Coming Into Los Angeles   Connection   Cooper's Lament   Cooper's Lament   Cowboy Song   Darkest Hour   Days Are Short   De Colores   Dead Or Alive   Deportees   Deportees (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)   Doors of Heaven   Drowning Man   Eli   Epilogue   Evangelina   Every Hand In The Land   Face Of Time   Fence Post Blues   Gabriel's Mother's Highway Ballad #16   Gabriel's Mother's Hiway Ballad #16 Blues   Gabriel's Mother's Highway Ballad #16   Garden Song   Gates of Eden   Give It All You Got   Grocery Blues   Guabi, Guabi   Gypsy Davey   Hard Times   Here We Are/Way Out In The Country   Here We Are\/Way Out In The Country   Highway In the Wind   Hobo's Lullaby   Hobo's Lullaby   I Could Be Singing   I Ride an Old Paint   I Ride On Old Pain   I Want To Be Around   I'll Be With You Tonight   I'm Changing My Name To Chrysler   I'm Going Home   I've Just Seen a Face   I'll Be With You Tonight   I'm Changing My Name To Chrysler   I'm Going Home   I've Just Seen A Face   If I Could Only Touch Your Life   If You Would Just Drop By   Introduction   Jacob's Ladder   Jacob's Ladder   Jamaica Farewell   John Looked Down   Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream   Last To Leave   Last Train   Lay Down Little Doggies   Lightning Bar Blues   Little Beggar Man   Little Beggarman   Living In the Country   Living Like a Legend   Lord Grenville   Lovesick Blues   Major Blues   Manzanillo Bay   Massachusetts   Me and My Goose   Meditation (Wave Upon Wave)   Miss the Mississippi and You   Moon Song   Mother The Queen Of My Heart   Motorcycle Song   My Creole Belle   My Front Pages   My Love   Mystic Journey   Nostalgia Rag   Now and Then   Ocean Crossing   Oh Mom   Oh, In The Morning   Oklahoma Hills   Oklahoma Nights   One Night   Patriot's Dream   Patriot's Dream   Percy's Song   Percy's Song   Power Of Love   Presidential Rag   Prologue   Ramblin' Round   Ramblin' Round   Red River Valley   Ridin' Down the Canyon   Ridin' Down The Canyon   Ring Around-A-Rosy Rag   Ring-Around-A-Rosy Rag   Ring-Around-A-Rosy-Rag   Running Down The Road   Russian Girls   Sailing Down This Golden River   Satellite   Shackels And Chains   Shackles and Chains   Slow Boat   Solo Le Pido A Dios   Somebody Turned On the Light   Someday   Stairs   Standing at the Threshold   Stealin'   Story of Reuben Clamzo & His Strange...   Story of Reuben Clamzo & His Strange...   Streets of Laredo   Telephone   Tennessee Stud   The City of New Orleans   The Gal I Left Behind   The Motorcycle Song   The Motorcycle Song (in album Arlo)   The Motorcycle Song (The Significance Of The Pickl...   The Motorcyle Song   The Pause of Mr. Claus   The Ross Perot Guide To Answering Embarassing Ques...   The Sinking of the Reuben James   This Land Is Your Land   This Troubled Mind of Mine   Try Me One More Time   Ukulele Lady   Uncle Jeff   Under Cover of Night   Underground   Unemployment Line   Union Maid   Utah Carroll   Valley To Pray   Victor Jara   Wabash Cannonball   Waimanalo Blues   Wake Up Dead   Walking Song   Wedding Song   Wheel of Fortune   When a Soldier Makes It Home   When I Get To The Border   When The Cactus Is In Bloom   When The Ship Comes In   Where Have All The Flowers Gone   Which Side   Won't Be Long   Won't Be Long   Woody's Rag/hard Work   Woody's Rag\/Hard Work   Woody's Rag/hard Work   World Away From Me   Wouldn't You Believe It   Wouldn't You Believe It   You and Me   You Are the Song

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