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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


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-




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


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


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 faggots 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


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

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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 Rock & Roll Restaurant   Alice's 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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