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Author Topic: Walk Tall - changed lyric  (Read 9516 times)
buzzincousin
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« on: December 29, 2011, 11:32:50 pm »

Why did John change the fist verse of Walk Tall this tour?
It went from
"So be careful of those killing in Jesus' name; he don't believe in killing at all."
To
"And I wish you all a long sideline and the strength to walk tall."

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walktall2010
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2011, 11:41:13 pm »

It is "long sight line" not "sideline." it was changed to "long sight line" for the single version because the Jesus line was too controversial for radio and they would never play it. Sadly, they never played it even with the altered lyric - a shame because it's one of his best songs.
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bradsanders56
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2011, 05:53:12 am »

It's just too bad radio isn't what it used to be. I agree Walk Tall would have been a bigger hit in 1989. I too really like that song.
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marilynb
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« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2011, 03:31:50 pm »

it truly is a shame that the lyrics were changed. im surprised john even did this. i worked with the christian media and of course there wouldnt of been no problem if it were played and even to this day.  but that was years ago. this song is a good song. and its true radio isnt like it was back in my "hippy Jesus Christ Superstar" days (we were called Jesus Freaks lol). there was a lot of spiritual rock songs put out, but that is what was going on then. but one thing that i hear john say "dont kiss ass" and im wondering.
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sheilafarmer
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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2011, 09:33:28 pm »

Walk Tall orginal verson is on Words & Music: John Mellencamp's Greatest Hits which came out in 2004. There are two versions of the song. The album version has the lyrics "So be careful of those killing in Jesus' name/ He don't believe in killing at all." The single version that was released to radio replaces those lines with: "And I wish you all along the sidelines/ And the strength to walk tall." Mellencamp said the record company asked him to provide less controversial lyrics for the version sent out to radio stations to give the song a better chance of getting airplay. It is also changed on music video as well.

I agree that it is a shame that John changed it, I liked the orginal verson better.
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buzzincousin
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« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2012, 03:13:35 pm »

Thanks for the responses though I'm disappointed to hear John changed the lyric under pressure. 
"So be careful of those killing in Jesus' name; he don't believe in killing at all" is (or 'was; I guess) one of my favorite lines ever by John.
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walktall2010
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« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2012, 03:27:59 pm »

Interestingly, John sang the "long sight line" lyric when he played the song live during the No Better Than This Tour.
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