The Canadian Sexsmith had never been to Lebanon, Tennessee, when he wrote this track. He was working as a delivery man and overheard a co-worker saying a package had come “all the way from Lebanon, Tennessee.” Liking the juxtaposition of the city and state name, he turned it into a song.
He paints a lovely picture of a small town where a person can go to reinvent himself.
Lebanon is a city of around 35,000 people in middle Tennessee. It is the birthplace of Cracker Barrel, which is still headquartered there.
From where I stand it’s as good a place as any
I don’t know anybody there
And nobody knows me
There’ll be a job in Lebanon, Tennessee
I’ll work on a farm, I’ll work in some factory
And I’ll buy myself a home down there
You can get one pretty cheap
Get off the bus on the border of town
Head in from the east
Walk into a bar take a seat in the corner
Be a man of mystery
Folks don’t treat you mean in Lebanon, Tennessee
But like a human being, they’ll take you in off the street
They’ll bring you in their home down there
And give you something to eat