Isaac Hayes – By the Time I Get to Phoenix Lyrics

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Awwwwwwwww, yeah
Mmmmmmm, hmmmmmm, hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

I'm talking about the power of love now
I'm gonna tell you what love can do
You know, when they say love makes the world go round
That's the truth
Love can make you or break you
It can make you laugh or make you cry
It can make you happy or sad
Aw, it can hurt real bad
In a case of jealousy, love can make you mad. Oh, yeah
Now everybody, everybody's got it's own thing
Everybody's got it's way of doing a thing
Now we should attempt to do a tune that is very popular
It was written by one of the great young songwriters of today
Now, I don't know what he was thinking about or what inspired him to write this tune, but it's a deep tune
There's a deep meaning to this tune, because it shows you what the power of love can do
Now I should attempt to do it my way, my own interpretation of it
Like I said, everybody's got it's own thing
I'm gonna bring it on down to Soulsville
Now I want you to bear along with me for a few minutes while I set it up
Now I want your imagination
I want you to travel with me
Oh, come on, come on, come on

This young man was raised in the hills of Tennessee
When he reached the age of maturity, he moved to the West Coast
And he fell in love when he got out there to this young girl
Aw, man, she was out of sight. She was bad
And then they started dating and then the inevitable: became engaged and got married
Mmmmmmm, hmmmmmm, hmmmm
They were happily married. That's right they lived in L.A
Aw, aw. The power of love was upon them
But you see, girls, I don't mean to come down on you
But this man loved this woman so...He can really say love is blind
He can see no wrong. No, no, no
He worked every day and sometimes he'd pull overtime, double time, triple time
He bought everything this woman's heart desires
Everything that he could wreak and streak
He spent his last dime on women because he loved her
And you know, girls, you can take love and kindness sometime for weakness, and she took it for granted
She said, "I got a fool and I know I got a fool, but I got a good thing."
Yeah, she was standing on the corner, you understand, meeting with her friends
She would go to the beauty salon, get her hair fixed
She'd go shopping and she would brag about her good thing she's got
Yeah. And she took doubt on it
See, ain't nobody gonna believe what to tell him no way, fool
Aw, yeah, girls, you would love that sometimes
But one day, one day, the old boy got sick and he had to come home
I don't have to tell you what he found
Oh, yeah, it hurt him so bad
He said, "Baby...Mama, why?" That's all he could say
That's all he could say. He was hurt
But she said, "Aw. Go on fool, you're doing it, but the man wasn't doing it, but that's the only excuse you can give him."
He said, "Mama, I can't take it. I got to leave you. I'm gonna leave you."
He packed his rags, you understand, and started out the door
And when he reached the driveway, you understand, he went there begging just like Tyrone Davis
And he said, "Oh, Mama, Mama, Mama, can I change, oh, my mind."
You see, the power of love was upon him and then he came back. Oh, yes he did
When she tried to straighten up, she said she was gonna straighten up
She got a little job to help him out with the bills too, but that was just a sham, because he found it again and again, and seven times he left this woman and seven times he came back
Aw, but you know, the heart can take so much
That's right. You can kick a dog around for so long and he'll get tired. He'll turn
And he taken all that he could stand
In the eighth time that this went down, he said, "Mama, I got to go."
With tears in his eyes, he said, "I'm gonna leave you, baby."
He said, "I ain't coming back."
He said, "I'm leaving my heart right here, but I got to go, you see, cause this man can't take no more."
She didn't believe it
He packed his clothes
He got in his 1965 Ford and started out
Three times he started to turn back before he reached the outskirts of the city, but he kept on going
Oh, I don't wanna go, but I got to leave you, Mama
And he's going down on the highway
I guess it was around 3:30 in the morning
He could not hardly see the road with tears in his eyes
That's right, he was crying
They were meeting in his tears
He could not hardly see the sign that went on the sign of the road
It read the next town is 125 miles away
And these bitter words came into his mind. He said...

By the time I get to Phoenix, she'll be rising
Oh, she'll find a note I left hanging on the door
She'll laugh when she reads the part that says I'm leaving. Oh, yes she will. Why?
Cause I left that girl so many times before. Oh

By the time I make Albuquerque, she'll be working
And she'll probably stop at lunch just to give her, her sweet good thing a call
And ohhh, she'll hear, oh, oh, the phone keeps right on ringing and ringing and ringing and ringing, oh, and ringing off the wall. Mama, Mama, that's all

And by the time I get to Oklahoma, she'll be sleeping
She'll turn softly in her restless sleep, call my name out low
And ohhhh, then she'll cry just to think I-I-I-I-I-I would really leave her
But time after time after time and time and again
I tried to tell her so
But she wasn't a believer, oh, and she did know
Oh, that I-I-I-I-I would really go
She didn't believe I would really go. Oh no
I hate to leave you, baby. Yes I do
I really, really, really hate to go
Oh yeah, but this heart of mine just can't take no more
I-I-I-I-I-I-I've taken all that I could stand
You should've known what you were doing to the man
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
You see, when I left, baby, I left a good piece of my heart. Oh, yeah
You know, you know, you know, you know you took, baby
You know you...You know you took the greatest part. Oh, yeah
I don't know how I'm gonna make it, oh no, but I got to go
I'm gonna miss all the sweet loving and the good times
But the good times weren't as heavy, aw, as the bad times. Oh, yeah
You really, really put the hurt on me. Yes you did
I'm a prisoner of your love and I just--I just won't ever be free, oh no
So it's bye-bye. Oh, Mama, Mama, bye-bye
Oh, bye-bye. Oh, bye-bye, baby, bye-bye
It's too late for you to cry
You had a good thing, oh, and you abused it. Yes you did. Yes you did
You had a good heart, oh, and you misused it. Oh, yeah
You were sweet to me, yes you were
But on the other hand, you were real cold, cold, cold, cold
You just kept me, oh
You kept me hanging on. Yes you did
Oh, oh, you kept me hanging on
You kept me begging, begging
You kept me begging to do right
You kept me pacing the floor at night. Oh yeah
But I love you. God knows that I love you, baby
Ahh, yeah. I'll always love you, yeah

(Instrumental break)

Raindrops of water beating under my chin
You can look at me and tell all the pain I'm in
Aw, yeah. Aw, yeah. I'm gonna moan now
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, mmmmmmmmmm, hmmmmm. Mmmmmmm, hmmmmm

(Instrumental break to finale)

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