Jerry Joseph

Jerry Joseph’s Panama

Jackmormons

Here’s one that’s quickly shaping up to be my favorite tune of the summer (right along side “Pay Me My Money Down”, which is undoubtedly my family song of the summer). Yeah I know, summer officially began on June 21st, but living in a place where it’s been over a hundred degrees for a month straight, summer kicks off a little early around here. When I walk outside in these sweet Arizona summer months, it often feels like Satan himself is holding a bus-sized blow dryer over my head, but hey, it’s still home, right? It’s not a complaint, just a fact. It’s worth living here for October through May.

The song comes to us courtesy of Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons. A previous post of mine featured “Climb to Safety”, a long, powerful jam with lyrics about the struggle of overcoming addiction. “Panama”, on the other hand, has a nice groove, a funky little guitar riff, and a definite summertime feel to it. I’ve got most of the lyrics pinned down (I can’t find them online, so I resorted to pen, paper, and a sensitive ear). Who can help me fill in the gaps?

At least you’re tryin’
everybody else down here keep buyin’
whatever’s at the going rate today
always gotta be about the chase.

Well my friend Spike
so sorry but it _________
put it on the table here today
So it’s gonna have to be okay.

In Panama, Panama
In Panama, Yeah
It’s gonna have to be okay
Baby gonna give it all away.

At least you’re thinkin’
everybody else here just keeps sinkin’
sinking in a wave of regret
and I don’t think the _______ is sinkin’ yet. [fin?]

In the dancing hall
Samy and Sandra Sandoval
a finger on the heartbeat of it all
_________ [spanish]

In Panama, Panama
In Panama, Yeah Yeah
Gonna have to be okay
Yeah they’re gonna love you more each day.

And then the question come up
are we wasting our time?
Is this the presence of God
or a presence of mind?

In Panama, Panama
In Panama, Yeah
Gonna have to be okay
gonna love you more each day.

Hangin’ over
Over and a hangin’ for a party [?]
Flying season’s getting started
You take it on a wing and get away.

And at least you’re flyin’
when everybody else down here just lyin’
What you gotta love about the crocodile
at least they gonna kill you with a smile.

In Panama, Panama
In Panama, Yeah
It’s gonna have to be okay
Yeah we’re gonna give it all away.

In Panama, Panama
In Panama, Yeah
gonna have to be okay
Yeah they’re gonna love you anyway.

Can you figure out who the character in the song might be? From the bridge lyrics (“and then the question come up…”), it sounds like it might be from the perspective of a missionary. Jerry Joseph spent time living in both Utah and Central America, so this makes sense. And these lyrics: “What you gotta love about the crocodile, at least they gonna kill you with a smile.” Do lyrics get any cooler than this?

Top to bottom, this is just a great song. I figure some people out there will enjoy it as much as I do.

From ‘Into the Lovely’ [Buy on eMusic | Amazon]

7 Comments

  • Andy in Colorado

    Good song. I too have added Pay Me My money Down to the family Ipod playlist fro our big summer road trip.

    Another good family favorite….Graceland by Paul Simon.

  • Kevin Heff

    Your post (which may be ancient) about Panama by Jerry joseph…I couldn’t agree more. One of the cooler songs I have heard in a while. I was just listening to it and the line “what you gotta love about the crocodile, at least they gonna kill you with a smile,” is one of the coolest lines I have heard since 60’s Dylan (“and I, I didn’t ask you for much, I never asked for your crutch, now don’t ask for mine,” being among the coolest). Glad to hear that someone else appreciates this guys much as I do. I went to Panama with my lady friend after I heard this song. One of the better songwriters in our generation and more people should know who he is.

  • Pablo

    Great song…lyrics might be:
    Well my friend Spike
    so sorry but it just a pony ride
    &
    …finger on the heartbeat of it all
    but I seen that Combutal (Surf spot in Panama)

    Maybe?

  • Acurtis420

    Thanks for these, even if i’m 5 years late.
    Lyric updates, Jerry changes some of the lyrics slightly from show to show.  Like drinkin’ to sinkin’.
    Well my friend Spikeso sorry but its just a pony ridebullets on the table here todaySo it’s gonna have to be okay.

    At least you’re thinkin’everybody else here just keeps drinkin’drinking in a wave of regretand I don’t think they finished sinkin’ yet
    Hangin’ overOver to the hangar for a party

    And at least you’re flyin’everybody else down heres just dyin’ 

  • spike

    well do you really want to know who the character in the song is? (on one level anyway…)

    pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…

    6 years later…anyone home?

    one love
    your friend spike

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