Released on Places I’ve Been, 2008, backed by Johnny Harper (electric guitar), Marty Holland (electric bass), and John Hall (drums). Mayne contributed both resophonic guitar and pedal steel, and the fine mouth harp was played by Gary Smith.

Mitch Greenhill and I played some gigs in England and Italy in 1982, and just getting to Europe meant a lot to me. On the other hand, it didn’t feel as exotic as I thought it might. In a sense it’s ironic that of all my own compositions this one best reflects my love of American urban blues.


This song is now available as performed in 1986 by Mitch Greenhill & Mayne Smith and originally released on a cassette tape titled Back Where We've Never Been. The same all-live duo performances (no overdubs, no extra personnel) are now rereleased on a CD (GSCD02). See the CDs AVAILABLE page for more information.

 

I have loafed in London, I have rambled ‘round in Rome
I have loafed in London, I have rambled ‘round in Rome
But Oakland, California, is the place I call my home

I take my Dobro and my toothbrush, take a ride on a DC-10
Take my Dobro and my toothbrush, take a ride on a DC-10
And it takes me ‘cross the ocean, someplace I’ve never been
      (and it brings me back again)

Flight attendant, flight attendant tell how long ‘til we land
Flight attendant, flight attendant tell how long ‘til we land
I been shut inside this airplane ‘bout as long as I can stand
      (like a salmon in a sardine can)

CHORUS 1
Now there are so many ways that you can skin a cat
And there’s a lot don’t skin ‘em if it comes to that
There’s people talk like prophets but they act like fools
And one’s man’s jive is some other guy’s Golden Rule

(Instrumentals on the 12-bar verse structure.)

CHORUS 2
You got to go away so you can get back home
And find out what you’re missing, darlin’, while you’re gone
You can cross that ocean to an older place
But when you look in the mirror you’re still gonna see that same old face

Now when you come to Oakland, go down San Pablo Avenue
When you come to Oakland, go down San Pablo Avenue
Down under London’s bridges they are sleeping on cardboard, too

 
 
       
    By Mayne Smith, 1983 © Hillgreen Music <www.folkloreproductions.com/publishing.html>