Tweeter And The Monkey Man

Lyrics: Bob Dylan, Tom Petty
Music: Bob Dylan, Tom Petty

Sung by Ross James with Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band in 2014.

Tweeter and the Monkey Man were hard up for cash
They stayed up all night selling cocaine and hash
To an undercover cop who had a sister named Jan
For reasons unexplained she loved the Monkey Man

Tweeter was a boy scout before she went to Vietnam
And found out the hard way nobody gives a damn
They knew that they found freedom just across the Jersey line
So they hopped into a stolen car, took Highway 99

And the walls came down
All the way to hell
Never saw them when they're standing
Never saw them when they fell

The undercover cop never liked the Monkey Man
Even back in childhood he wanted to see him in the can
Jan got married at fourteen to a racketeer named Bill
She made secret calls to the Monkey Man from a mansion on the hill

It was out on Thunder Road, Tweeter at the wheel
They crashed into paradise, they could hear them tires squeal
The undercover cop pulled up and said everyone of you's a liar
If you don't surrender now, it's gonna go down to the wire

And the walls came down
All the way to hell
Never saw them when they're standing
Never saw them when they fell

An ambulance rolled up, a state trooper close behind
Tweeter took his gun away and messed up his mind
The undercover cop was left tied up to a tree
Near the souvenir stand by the old abandoned factory

Next day the undercover cop was hot in pursuit
He was taking the whole thing personal, he didn't care about the loot
Jan had told him many times it was you to me who taught
In Jersey anythings legal as long as you don't get caught

And the walls came down
All the way to hell
Never saw them when they're standing
Never saw them when they fell

Someplace by Rahway prison they ran out of gas
The undercover cop had cornered them said boy, you didn't think that this could last
Jan jumped out of bed said there's someplace I gotta go
She took a gun out of the drawer and said it's best if you don't know

The undercover cop was found face down in a field
The Monkey Man was on the river bridge using Tweeter as a shield
Jan said to the Monkey Man, I'm not fooled by Tweeter's curl
I knew him long before he ever became a Jersey girl

And the walls came down
All the way to hell
Never saw them when they're standing
Never saw them when they fell

Now the town of Jersey City is quieting down again
I'm sitting in a gambling club called the Lion's Den
The TV set was blown up, every bit of it is gone
Ever since the nightly news show that the Monkey Man was on

I guess I'll go to Florida and get myself some sun
There ain't no more opportunity here, everything's been done
Sometimes I think of Tweeter, sometime I think of Jan
Sometimes I don't think about nothing but the Monkey Man

And the walls came down
All the way to hell
Never saw them when they're standing
Never saw them when they fell

And the walls came down
All the way to hell
Never saw them when they're standing
Never saw them when they fell
Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     1988 Traveling Wiburys Volume 1 Traveling Wiburys