Today’s random iTunes selection is a cut from Ron Sexsmith’s 1995 major-label debut, a self-titled collection of sweetly melodic soft rock songs.
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
I usually hear a Paul McCartney tone in Sexsmith’s voice, but in this song I hear a Rufus Wainwright quality.
Good day to you, and thank you for the info and lyrics. David Johansen just played Sexsmith singing his song, as part of this morning’s Mansion of Fun. For some reason, I was convinced that the other version I’d heard was by Rufus Wainright. I hear it so clearly in my mind’s juke box! After 30 min of googling, it’s clearly a figment, and false memory. It was great fun to find your post!