Jeffrey Lewis

Scowling Crackhead Ian

Jeffrey Lewis

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Scowling Crackhead Ian

F Am G D Dm Am 
F Am G A G Dm Am 

Scowling crackhead Ian 
I can't forget your face 
G                     Am 
You were a foul human being 
G        Am 
Way back on St. Mark's Place 
A white thug when we were both poor 
F       Am 
A life struggling for one quarter more 
Am       G 
In sixth grade that's what you'd mug me for 
G        Dm                         Am 
A switch blade pressed up to my jugular 
Am   F 
So I feared for my next 
Safe streets were few 
My nerves grew wrecked near the Second Avenue 
Am     G                               Am         G 
I soon learned how to steer clear of a crook or a crew 
And now I'm still here 
Dm               Am 
And look, so are you 

Forever you've been crackhead Ian 
F           Am 
It was your kid nickname if we spoke it 
Am          G            Am 
You were an insane human being 
G                Dm                       Am 
Whether you ever did or didn't really smoke it 

F Am G Gm G Am 

I'd know that tall thin bent-over stroll 
All sun burned and grim since ten or twelve years old 
Am       G 
I guess yesterday is gone 
      Dm    G 
Faces still intend our souls 
Dm                                         Am 
An I guess both our mom's places are still on rent control 
I was that wick, small, sad, sag, punier guy 
F          Am 
You was as big, tall and bad back in junior high 
No sight of someone's face has ever been scarier 
Dm                                             Am 
You'd come chase me from Street Fighter One or Space Harrier 

Hello again, crackhead Ian 
F       Am 
I still can't forget your foul face 
G               A 
My fellow human being 
G                              Dm             Am 
I know we're both still planted on St. Mark's Place 
Am              F 
We've lived our poor lives in close parallel 
F           Am 
Within this four or five blocks we both know so well 
Am            G                                  Am        G 
You must have grew up near the former theater or old gross hotel 
I'm sure you're aware of me here, but oh I can't tell 
It seems you never outgrew your little preteen rage 
I still see you look so mean though now we are middle-aged 
Am    G 
I was eavesdropping last year at you laughing to tell 
Dm                            Am 
About bashing some dude with a chair till he fell 
I slipped fast by you talking fear and our eyes would touch 
Drifting past by new mornings that it all changed so much 
I've never known your live story I'm sure it's rotten and tough 
Dm                                                     Am 
But how long before these roles for us have gotten old enough? 
You must've had it so rough kid 
Well I wonder 
Gm                          Am       G 
Forged by a tiny portion of love or fortune 
Goes lightning or goes thunder 

You're a bad one crackhead Ian 
A sad son and sunburned pig 
Am             G 
But of all the best kids seen downtown in our pre-teens 
It's just you and me left I think 
How long till you notice? 
How long until you shake my hand? 
G                            Am 
How long until we're old man neighbours? 
G          Dm                  Am 
Last tribesmen of the vanished plant 

We never even did exchange names 
You were an evil kid from Hades 
Am      G 
When we played these arcade games 
G         Dm                Am 
That made life great in the 80's 
Me and Ian 
Me and Ian 
G                                        Am 
Ryding into the night of an east-village dream 
G          Dm                          Am 
with these games in the street and the head and... 
F Am G Dm Am 
F Am G Am 
F Am G Am 

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