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Warren Zevon — Carmelita
Album: Warren Zevon
Avg rating:
7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1122









Released: 1976
Length: 3:30
Plays (last 30 days): 1
I hear Mariachi static on my radio
And the tubes they glow in the dark
And I'm there with her in Ensenada
And I'm here in Echo Park

Carmelita hold me tighter
I think I'm sinking down
And I'm all strung out on heroin
On the outskirts of town

Well, I'm sittin' here playing solitaire
With my pearl-handled deck
The county won't give me no more methadone
And they cut off your welfare check

Carmelita hold me tighter
I think I'm sinking down
And I'm all strung out on heroin
On the outskirts of town

Well, I pawned my Smith Corona
And I went to meet my man
He hangs out down on Alvarado Street
By the Pioneer chicken stand

Carmelita hold me tighter
I think I'm sinking down
And I'm all strung out on heroin
On the outskirts of town

Carmelita hold me tighter
I think I'm sinking down
And I'm all strung out on heroin
On the outskirts of town
Comments (191)add comment
 darshan wrote:

I pawned my smith-corona...


Sure sounds like he knew of which he spoke.
I saw Warren Zevon in the National (Boxing) Stadium in Dublin (Ireland) in c.1980 with my friend Sean. When not being used for boxing the statium was used for small rock concerts. It's now a mosque.
Just Mr. Zevon and his guitars. Unplugged long before unplugged was a thing. Some of the people there were not happy and made it clear. 
It didn't bother Warren or me (or Sean).
Music is music and Warren was Warren. Excellent. 
I wish I'd bought the programme. 
I wonder how Sean is. He moved away. Haven't spoken to him in best part of forty years.
It's hard to believe he's been gone for 18 years. But then when you get old as fuck time really flies...miss you Warren.
 forge wrote:

Curse him for becoming so awesome and then dying. I don't mean that.

Curse all of us for not embracing him more closely before he went away.



Not quite all of us, but I know what you mean. 
basically a typical sad El Paso style Country Song except for the protoganists drug of choice
Bought this out of curiosity and enjoyed it the more I listened to it. This song is one of the best on the album.
I pawned my smith-corona...
 wildmanfromSB wrote:
I loved this guys music the very first note from the very first song until the very end.  Trouble with Zevon is that he was a major asshole.   VERY abusive person in every way imaginable until about fifteen years before he died.  His father was some kind of gangster wanna be.  I cannot remember the name of the book but there is a really good anecdotal history of the guy featuring dozens of famous musicians and friends and like that telling their stories about him.  I still love the guy and so did the people he abused. 
 
The book is called “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”. It’s a great read, but also difficult. The man had some demons to contend with. 
 Emwolb wrote:
One of my favorite WZ songs, right up there with "I was in the house when the house burned down"
 
Was that the house that Frank (from Tom Waits "Frank's Wild Years") torched...?-)

Tony in NJ
W.A.S.T.E.
 wildmanfromSB wrote:
I loved this guys music the very first note from the very first song until the very end.  Trouble with Zevon is that he was a major asshole.   VERY abusive person in every way imaginable until about fifteen years before he died.  His father was some kind of gangster wanna be.  I cannot remember the name of the book but there is a really good anecdotal history of the guy featuring dozens of famous musicians and friends and like that telling their stories about him.  I still love the guy and so did the people he abused. 
 
One more thing about Warren.... on his last appearance on Letterman, just weeks before he died, he told the audience   ENJOY  EVERY SANDWICH.  I  have always thought that some of the best advice I ever heard!
I loved this guys music the very first note from the very first song until the very end.  Trouble with Zevon is that he was a major asshole.   VERY abusive person in every way imaginable until about fifteen years before he died.  His father was some kind of gangster wanna be.  I cannot remember the name of the book but there is a really good anecdotal history of the guy featuring dozens of famous musicians and friends and like that telling their stories about him.  I still love the guy and so did the people he abused. 
Really miss Warren, still listen to him all the time. This is a sweet one for sure.
thanks for playing the great Warren Zevon.  Enjoy Every Sandwich! 
Just awesome
One of the all time greats doing one of his all time greats.  Each line is pure gold.  
It ain't no snowblind friend....
Just heard Lyle Lovette "The Road to Ensenada" now Warren Zevon "Carmelita" now you need JJ Cale's Tijuana!
 
great back up band,

lyrics make me grateful for my blessings!
dos Ensenada songs.  perhaps a sign I should return?
Warren Zevon's self-titled album that this song was originally from, is really a somewhat lost classic. It had lots of great players on it, and Bonnie Raitt, Lowell George, Jackson Browne, Stevie Nicks, and a great song cycle....one of my all-time favorites. It even had members of the Eagles relegated to their best use- as back ground singers ;)
Nope, this is beautiful, desperate stuff.
Ronstadts vers better, imho
 Cynaera wrote:
Warren Zevon will forever be a 10 for me. I'll exclude "Werewolves of London."  RIP, Mr. Zevon - thank you for the legacy of music, and for Jordan, who seems to have inherited your wicked sense of the macabre, and your comedic timing.  I miss you, my friend.
 
miss you so much, Cynaera...

everybody in my homeless camp loves this song... 
 scraig wrote:
Did Warren just say a Pioneer Chicken stand? Good memories right there:

 

 


Was that before chicken became mystery meat?
I miss Warren....a great American Poet, and story teller.
 
 scraig wrote:
Did Warren just say a Pioneer Chicken stand? Good memories right there:

 

 

the real deal, Alvarado st.
One of my favorite WZ songs, right up there with "I was in the house when the house burned down"

Love Warren.  He can sure paint a picture.

 
 Ramenoodler wrote:
I don't exactly like this song, but it's interesting to hear, It's quite the audioscape.

It's kind of depressing, honestly. Strung out on smack, county done cut off the methadone.

Hard times. 
 

if you knew waren, you would understand, echo park............funky pair-a-dice.............
sooooooo fine....... i love Dwight yokum's take also great tune.
This song is playing in the background of the diner scene in the movie Looper. Interesting to think about what it says about the themes & details of the movie.
 Moak wrote:
Really digging the Mexico/SW theme - let's keep going.
 
I was just thinking the same thing...Bills on a Roll
 d-don wrote:
It's all about storytelling in song writing, and Zevon was one of the best. I love this song and miss that guy.
 
My thoughts exactly.  RIP Warren  {#Sunny}
I don't exactly like this song, but it's interesting to hear, It's quite the audioscape.

It's kind of depressing, honestly. Strung out on smack, county done cut off the methadone.

Hard times. 
Really digging the Mexico/SW theme - let's keep going.
I'm sorry. Zevon does very little for me.
Another nice cover
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0cmMehxkz8
I knew this song from when Linda Ronstad covered it - Zevon's version is so much better
It's all about storytelling in song writing, and Zevon was one of the best. I love this song and miss that guy.
 pamohearn wrote:
{#Sunny}   There is no peer to Zevon. Wondrous!
 
I'm ashamed to say that w/ the exception of "Werewolves of London" I did not appreciate this artist until he was gone. 
this cut is terrific.
 hschlossberg wrote:
Sucko-barfo.  What's next? Margaritaville?!?
 
Apparently some fellow listeners get a strong positive feeling when listening to this. I don't get it, either.
{#Sunny}   There is no peer to Zevon. Wondrous!
Did Warren just say a Pioneer Chicken stand? Good memories right there:

 
 Cynaera wrote:
Warren Zevon will forever be a 10 for me. I'll exclude "Werewolves of London."  RIP, Mr. Zevon - thank you for the legacy of music, and for Jordan, who seems to have inherited your wicked sense of the macabre, and your comedic timing.  I miss you, my friend.
 
We miss you too.
Possibly the best Zevon he ever left us. RIP, Warren.
 madaxeman wrote:
Truly superb.
 
superbly true
Sucko-barfo.  What's next? Margaritaville?!?
TRULY HORRIBLE!
Truly superb.
"I'm sittin' here playin' solitare with my pearl-handled deck"

Brilliant line.
Rock in Peace, Mr. Zevon.

And for the rest of us? 'Enjoy Every Sandwich'.
 lemonfergie wrote:
Ahhh Warren.... so dark, so casual about it... I love!
 
Come to Broome and hear Steven Pigram sing around town (17,000 souls) any time like this.......(or better)
More Ensenada is always good. I love the Baja.
Ahhh Warren.... so dark, so casual about it... I love!
This as follow-up to Lyle Lovett's Road to Ensenada makes both songs grow... Nice catch.
Love that chorus line...
This is like Cheeseburger in Paradise, but much much darker.
I miss Warren Zevon.
Country at its best...ahh
this is a lovely song.  sounds a hell of a lot like "Desolation Row" though.
 hencini wrote:


Ah, don't be so hard on "Werewolves".  Some people think it's a novelty song— far from it.  No novelty song has teeth like that (pardon the pun).  Go check out some of the live and demo versions he's done ("I saw a werewolf trying to buy a used car in Del Mar / It was a bloody red Coupe de Ville").  They'll give you a whole new appreciation for the song.  The version with just him and the piano on Learning to Flinch— playing "Werewolves of London" in *London*— is so brilliant.  Warren is the evil Billy Joel.  : )
 
Thank you, hencini - I believe I shall check out the live and demo versions - more to love!  I remember Warren saying that he regretted writing "Werewolves..." because whenever he tried to play something current and viable (to him), the audiences would yell for "Werewolves," and he didn't want to be recognized just for that one song.  I think he worried needlessly, but now I can't tell him that...


 baltimorelovejoy wrote:
Forgive me, but I doubt someone "strung out on heroin" would be able to play an instrument and sing a song this coherently. And if the audience doesn't believe what you're singing, you've lost 'em.

 
The song is Warren's portrayal of a character. The character might not be able to sing or speak coherently, but Warren could—and he had to, or there's no song for the rest of us to listen to. It's called "artistic license."

RIP, miss you.
this song just tears me apart.  9 -> 10
 Businessgypsy wrote:
 baltimorelovejoy wrote:
Forgive me, but I doubt someone "strung out on heroin" would be able to play an instrument and sing a song this coherently. And if the audience doesn't believe what you're singing, you've lost 'em.
Oh, how I wish I did not know that is not true. I long to be naive, and for those I love to be well.

 
If the user has been using regularly a long time, most people can't even tell. They are lucid, hold down good jobs, but always at risk of an unintentional overdose.

 baltimorelovejoy wrote:
Forgive me, but I doubt someone "strung out on heroin" would be able to play an instrument and sing a song this coherently. And if the audience doesn't believe what you're singing, you've lost 'em.
Oh, how I wish I did not know that is not true. I long to be naive, and for those I love to be well.

Yes!!  Love the transition from Road to Ensenada and Carmelita!! 

WZ is a genius.

Edit: Wow.  Looks like I'm the last two people to comment on this song... : )

Edit 2: Aaaaand three of the last four... Someone needs a new hobby...

 Cynaera wrote:
Warren Zevon will forever be a 10 for me. I'll exclude "Werewolves of London."  RIP, Mr. Zevon - thank you for the legacy of music, and for Jordan, who seems to have inherited your wicked sense of the macabre, and your comedic timing.  I miss you, my friend.
 

Ah, don't be so hard on "Werewolves".  Some people think it's a novelty song— far from it.  No novelty song has teeth like that (pardon the pun).  Go check out some of the live and demo versions he's done ("I saw a werewolf trying to buy a used car in Del Mar / It was a bloody red Coupe de Ville").  They'll give you a whole new appreciation for the song.  The version with just him and the piano on Learning to Flinch— playing "Werewolves of London" in *London*— is so brilliant.  Warren is the evil Billy Joel.  : )
From the AMG site:

He learned to play piano, focusing primarily on classical material before a disintegrating home life led him into pop music

ha.


Godlike does not even do this jusice.  Such a beautiful song.  Such a lyricist.  In the same vein as "Desperados Under the Eaves". 
Ah, Warren...sure do miss you.  Thanks for leaving us these gems.
A wonderful song, and nice Ensenada twin-spin {#Mrgreen} Good soundtrack music.

Remember to enjoy every sandwich.

 Cynaera wrote:
Warren Zevon will forever be a 10 for me. I'll exclude "Werewolves of London."  RIP, Mr. Zevon - thank you for the legacy of music, and for Jordan, who seems to have inherited your wicked sense of the macabre, and your comedic timing.  I miss you, my friend.
 
Hey now, Werewolves is a great song, even tho it's been overexposed.  It's a pity that commercial radio only ever played that song when playing Zevon.

Curse him for becoming so awesome and then dying. I don't mean that.

Curse all of us for not embracing him more closely before he went away.
Warren Zevon will forever be a 10 for me. I'll exclude "Werewolves of London."  RIP, Mr. Zevon - thank you for the legacy of music, and for Jordan, who seems to have inherited your wicked sense of the macabre, and your comedic timing.  I miss you, my friend.
If only Warren had access to your expertise at song-craft before he stumbled into such ill advised waters.


 
thatch wrote:

The harsh lyrics do not go along with the melody.
 


I like Dwight Yoakum's version...
I remember Pioneer Chicken.
 tipper wrote:
What a ghastly racket.
 
Now now Mrs. Gore.  Just because Al and you ain't together anymore, no need to get grumpy.

 Businessgypsy wrote:
Enjoy every sandwich.
 
Amen.

<3 <3 <3 Warren


What a ghastly racket.
 PopKombo wrote:
Another great song, an excellent counter point to "Dance the Night Away" by the Mavericks played earlier in this set.  Why can't I get the best radio station in the known universe on my car stereo?
 
smartphone?
download the app....plug into your radio.
bada boom bada bing

 thatch wrote:

The harsh lyrics do not go along with the melody.

 
Delicious incongruity.


 baltimorelovejoy wrote:
Forgive me, but I doubt someone "strung out on heroin" would be able to play an instrument and sing a song this coherently. And if the audience doesn't believe what you're singing, you've lost 'em.

 
Never heard of Kurt Cobain, Steve Earle, or Joe Ely, have you?


 Decoy wrote:
why do I discover musicians and songs so long after they are relevant, or dead?
 
I get your gist. Just wanted to add that "relevant" doesn't always mean "current" (and vice versa). Some artists don't become generally relevant until after they're dead!

why do I discover musicians and songs so long after they are relevant, or dead?
 baltimorelovejoy wrote:
Forgive me, but I doubt someone "strung out on heroin" would be able to play an instrument and sing a song this coherently. And if the audience doesn't believe what you're singing, you've lost 'em.

 
The harsh lyrics do not go along with the melody.

Another great song, an excellent counter point to "Dance the Night Away" by the Mavericks played earlier in this set.  Why can't I get the best radio station in the known universe on my car stereo?
 nerakdon wrote:

+1
 
+2
 crockydile wrote:
One of the only songs of his that does send me immediately to the MUTE button. Maybe he should have stuck with western ballads.

Zevon is the best example of famous and beloved mediocrity I can think of. {#Rolleyes}
 
Mediocrity? Judging from most of the comments here, the respect his fellow musicians gave him, and legions of intelligent fans around the world, methinks you and your opinion are a very small minority indeed.
One of the only songs of his that does send me immediately to the MUTE button. Maybe he should have stuck with western ballads.

Zevon is the best example of famous and beloved mediocrity I can think of. {#Rolleyes}
 lwilkinson wrote:
Makes me homesick for the Rio Grande Valley.
 
+1
Love just about everything that Warren ever did.  This always reminds me of Ry Cooder's soundtrack work on the Jack Nicholson movie "The Border".
Makes me homesick for the Rio Grande Valley.
                  {#Notworthy}
Enjoy every sandwich.
 annersjen wrote:

Actually it's thought that his lung cancer was caused by asbestos inhalation, not his pre-sobriety life-style. Just fyi

 
True, but the pre-sobriety lifestyle didn't do him any favors.

In any event, a great talent who died too soon.

One of WZ's best for sure.  R.I.P.
 annersjen wrote:

Actually it's thought that his lung cancer was caused by asbestos inhalation, not his pre-sobriety life-style. Just fyi

 
This is true.  He also didn't see a doctor for 20 years.

Underappreciated, but a great artist notwithstanding.  {#Dancingbanana}
 jameyp wrote:
great song, but I actually prefer Dwight Yoakum's version better~
 
Out of the whole Zevon catalog, I prefer only two alternate versions of his songs to Zevon's own: Dwight's version of this song from the Flaco Jimenez album "Partners", and Linda Ronstadt's version of "Poor, Poor Pitiful Me" from her album "Simple Dreams".

Warren was a true "individual", unapologetic to the end. His "Werewolves of London" album ranks among my all-time Top 10, and always will.

God bless and rest easy. {#Wave}
Like too many others, Zevon is a great talent from my generation, that I never got around to really listening to until their careers had faded or they had passed.  I am fortunate someone was hanging around him with a sound recorder.  I had no idea what I was missing.    
 keller1 wrote:
The problem with that whole "Live hard, die young" thing is the dying young part.

 
Actually it's thought that his lung cancer was caused by asbestos inhalation, not his pre-sobriety life-style. Just fyi

great song, but I actually prefer Dwight Yoakum's version better~
Warren Zevon, the album that this was originally one, has just been remastered and released with bonus songs. Major improvement in the sound and an incredible album in its own right.
 Jamunca wrote:

So this guy had other songs than the werewolf tune? Who knew.


 

I've been meaning to upload Nighttime at the Switching Yard, which is a balls out rocker with a smokin band, and my favorite Zevon tune.

The problem with that whole "Live hard, die young" thing is the dying young part.

A great artist who is sincerely missed.  Hope he is getting some sleep now.
I remember when he first came out.  He was genius.
 Magnus wrote:
Saw him at a small nightclub in Redondo Beach, CA about 15 years ago. He was great then and he's even better now. He's an American treasure. If you ever have the chance to see the documentary of the making of his final album you should take the time..it's well worth it.
 

Second the motion - it's a great, though sad, documentary.
Forgive me, but I doubt someone "strung out on heroin" would be able to play an instrument and sing a song this coherently. And if the audience doesn't believe what you're singing, you've lost 'em.

This sound is cheesier than the Wensleydale Creamery, and the lyrics belong in a C&W number. Not one of Warren's best, IMO.
 KevDog wrote:
I am going to miss Warren so much. What a talent.

 

So it's 2008 and Warren's long gone. So are you going to miss him, or do you miss him already?

 Jamunca wrote:

So this guy had other songs than the werewolf tune? Who knew.




 

Evidently not you. The man was a UNIQUE, MAJOR talent, whose songs have been covered by countless others.
For eample, Linda Ronstadt covered Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me and Carmelita, among others. And Bob Dylan used a line from a Warren Zevon song, Accidentally like a Martyr, to name a recent LP of his: Time Out of Mind. Kindly do your home work before proffering your opinion.
 Honeyman wrote:
If there was anybody not familiar with him and wondering why Warren Zevon is regarded with the esteem he is, just listen to this song.

RIP Warren.

 

Agreed...too much association for most ot there with the lone werewolf tune.

Carmelita is fantastic.  Even more poignant was his parting shot "Keep me in your Heart for a while".  That songs slays me everytime...heard him do it live and there wasn't a dry eye in the house.  Great songwriter.

Carmelita was my daughter's lullabye when she was a baby along with Joni Mitchell's Carey - she still has wonderful taste in music and an appreciation for the absurd.  ps, Bill, thanks for the new font/color options in the song comments section!!!


 Jamunca wrote:

So this guy had other songs than the werewolf tune? Who knew.




 
Lots of us! {#Yes}

So this guy had other songs than the werewolf tune? Who knew.


Like a really skeevy Jimmy Buffett! {#Lol}
leathepea wrote:
Wasn't this in a movie?
"G.G. Allin covered this song as well. He turned away from his typical hard hitting punk to do a rather serene cover. The song can be found on the album Carnival of Excess and in an acoustic version on the soundtrack to Todd Phillips' 1994 documentary Hated. In the film Allin can be seen playing the song solo on his western guitar. He keeps Rondstat's lyric about the Smith & Wesson, and changes the lyrics from "playing solitaire with my pearl handled deck" to "playing Russian Roulette with my pearl-handled gun".
~ Wikipedia (click here) Zevon's songs have been used on television, too, everything from Route 66 (the 1983 revival) to Boston Legal and Californication.