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The Motorcycle Song (The Significance Of The Pickle)
Arlo Guthrie

I don’t want a pickle
I just want to ride on my motor-cicle
And I don’t want a tickle
I’d rather ride on my motor-cicle
And I don’t want to die
I just want to ride on my motor-cy-cle

You know it’s been about 12 years now, that I’ve been singin’ this dumb song
You know it’s amazin’, it’s amazin’ that somebody can get away with singin’ a song this dumb for that long

But you know, hey you know what’s more amazin’ than that is that , uh somebody can make a livin’ singin’ a song this dumb

But that’s America.
You know I told everything there was to tell about it
When I wrote it, how come, why, what for
But you know the one thing, that I always used to neglect to explain, was the significance of the pickle

There was a time I was ridin’ my bike
I was going down a mountain road
I was doin’ 150 miles an hour
On one side of the mountain road there was a mountain
And on the other side, there was nothin’
There was just a cliff in the air
But I wasn’t payin’ attention you know
I was just driving down the road

All of a sudden by accident
A string broke off my guitar
It broke you know right there
Went flying across the road that way
Wrapped itself around a yield sign
Well the sign didn’t break
It didn’t come out the ground
And the string stayed wrapped around it
Stayed in the other end of my guitar
Held onto my guitar with one hand
I held onto the bike with the other

I made a sharp turn off the road
Luckily I didn’t go into the mountain
I went over the cliff
I was doin’ 150 miles an hour sideways
And 500 feet down at the same time
Hey, I was lookin’ for the cops
Cuz’ you know
Hey I knew that it, it was illegal

Well, I knew that that was it
I knew I didn’t have long to live in this world
And in my last remaining seconds in the world
I knew it was my obligation to write one last farewell song to the world

Took out a piece of paper
I pulled out a pen
And it didn’t write
I, I had to put another ink cartridge in it
I sat back and I thought a while
And it come to me
It come like a flash
Like a vision burnt across the clouds

I just wrote it down
I learnt it right away

I don’t want a pickle
Just want to ride on my motor-cicle
And I don’t want a tickle
I’d rather ride on my motor-cicle
And I don’t want to die
I just want to ride on my motor-cy-cle

Hey, I, you know
I knew it wasn’t the best song I ever wrote
But I didn’t have time to change it

But you know the most amazin’ thing was that I didn’t die
I landed on the top of a police car….and it died

I come into town, I come into town at a screamin’ 175 miles an hour
Singing my new motorcycle song
I stopped out front of the deli
And out in front of the deli was a man eating the most tremendous pickle
A pickle the size of four pregnant watermelons
Just a huge monster pickle

He walked up to me, pushed the pickle in my face and started asking me questions
It was about the same time I noticed the pickle in my face
I noticed a cord hangin’ from the long end of the pickle
Goin’ up his sleeve down his shirt, into his pants and shoes
Out into a briefcase he had near his feet

I knew it wasn’t an ordinary pickle
But it was about the same time I noticed the cord hangin’ out of the pickle
That a four foot cop arrived with a five foot gun
A cop that one time musta been around six foot three
But was met at the bottom of a mountain
By a flyin’, singin’ writin’ weirdo freak

He walked up and with one tremendous hand
He grabbed the pickle away from the other guy
He threw it, a hundred feet, straight up in the air
And while the pickle was half way between going up and coming down
He took out his gun and put a three inch bullet hole
Right through the long end of the pickle
It started comin’ back down
He stuck out his foot
He caught the pickle on his big toe
And balancing the pickle on his big toe
He reached his huge hand into his little pocket
Pulled out a 10 foot ticket
He borrowed my pen
He wrote it up
Then he rolled it up
And stuffed it in the bullet hole in the middle of the pickle
Took the pickle with the ticket
And shoved it down my throat

It was at that very moment that the pickle with the ticket was goin’ down my throat
That I knew for sure that, that I didn’t want a pickle

I don’t want a pickle
Just want to ride on my motor-cicle
And I don’t want a tickle
I’d rather ride on my motor-cicle
And I don’t want to die
Just want to ride on my motor-cy-cle


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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 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 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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