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Dwight Yoakam And Buck Owens performs "Streets of Bakersfield", live on Hee Haw.

Dwight Yoakam And Buck Owens performs "Streets of Bakersfield", live on Hee Haw.

"Streets of Bakersfield" is a 1973 song written by Homer Joy and popularized by Buck Owens. In 1988, Owens recorded a duet version with country singer Dwight Yoakam, which became one of Yoakam's first No. 1 Hot Country Singles hits.

The song details the journey of the narrator, told in first person, to Bakersfield, saying "I came here looking for something | I couldn't find anywhere else | I don't want to be nobody | Just want a chance to be myself" and "I've done a thousand miles of thumbing | And I've wore blisters on my heels | trying to find me something better | here on the streets of Bakersfield". (Both of these stanzas came from Homer Joy's experience in Bakersfield leading up to him writing the song). The chorus (originally a poke at the studio producer) says, "You don't know me but you don't like me | You say you care less how I feel | But how many of you that sit and judge me | Ever walk the streets of Bakersfield?".

The second half of the song details an incident in San Francisco where the narrator is arrested and has to spend a night in jail, presumably for vagrancy. During the night that he was incarcerated, the police throw a drunk man in the narrator's jail cell. While he was passed out, the narrator takes $15 from the drunk man, leaving him his watch and his old house key, saying "I don't like folks thinking that I'd steal | Then I thanked him as he was sleeping | and I headed out for Bakersfield" (whether or not this was something that actually happened to Joy is unknown).

Dwight Yoakam and Buck Owens - Streets of Bakersfield lyrics

 

(Dwight)

I came here looking for something

I couldn't find anywhere else

Hey, I'm not trying to be nobody

Just want a chance to be myself

(Buck)

I've done a thousand miles of thumbin'

I've worn holes in both my heels

Trying to find me something better

Here On the streets of Bakersfield

Chorus: (Dwight & Buck)

You don't know me, but you don't like me

You say you care less how I feel

But how many of you that sit and judge me

Have ever walked the streets of Bakersfield?

--- Instrumental ---

(Dwight)

Spent sometime in San Francisco

I Spent a night there in the can

They threw this drunk man in my jail cell

I Took fifteen dollars from that man

(Buck)

Left him my watch and my old house key

Don't want folks thinkin' that I'd steal

Then I thanked him as I was leaving, and

I headed out for Bakersfield

Chorus: (Dwight & Buck)

You don't know me, but you don't like me

You say you care less how I feel

But how many of you that sit and judge me

Have ever walked the streets of Bakersfield?

Hey You don't know me, but you don't like me

You say you care less how I feel

But how many of you that sit and judge me

Have walked the streets of Bakersfield?

(Dwight)

How many of you that sit and judge me

(Dwight & Buck)

Have ever walked the streets of Bakersfield?..



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