Joke About Jamaica is the tenth track from the fourth The Hold Steady album Stay Positive, coming after Magazines and before Slapped Actress.

The title is a reference to a Led Zeppelin song.


They used to think it was so cute when she said dyer maker. All the boys knew it was a joke about Jamaica She'd always find a ride back home from the bar.

She used to feel so stupid when they'd talk about the music. Born into every single tune they used to hum against her lips. With their hands on her hips. They used kiss in the car.

Dancing days. Houses of the holy. Hot child in the city in the middle of the prairie. Flirting with the boys with all her charms.

First the laugh. Then the eyes. Then the touch him on the arms. The drinks never seemed to cost money. Saturday night was a runway that extended into Sunday. And sometimes Monday.

Back then it was beautiful. The boys were sweet and musical. The laser lights looked mystical. Messed up still felt magical.

Girls didn't seem so difficult. Boys didn't seem so typical. It was warm and white and wonderful. We were all invincible.

Tired eyes. Trampled under foot. Dazed and confused. C-c-c-c-Cocaine blues. She hasn't gotten any eye contact tonight.

The boys are getting younger and the bands are getting louder. The new girls are coming up like some white unopened flowers. She's pretty sure that's where their power is.

Back then it was unified. The punks, the skins, the greaser guys. Then one summer two kids died. One of them was crucified.

Now it's so competitive. The sleeplessness and sedatives. I know it sounds repetitive. Every show can't be a benefit.

We were kids in the crowd. Now we're dogs in this war.

We were wasps with new wings. Now we're bugs in the jar. We were hot soft and pure. Now we're scratched up in scars. We were counting carbs. Now we eat in our cars. The boys in the band they know they'll never be stars.

Back then they weren't quite convinced. Flyering and stickering. The front-row girls were posturing. We were all imagining.

Man, we had some massive nights. Some bashes and some bloody fights. Back before those two kids died.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.