Dead On Arrival

Written by: 
J. Martyn
29 Oct 1976

Died on a plane, no pain, got nowhere to go
Broken black days you talked to the radio
Man by your side says he's trying to understand
But you're sick to your soul 'cause you know that he don't give a damn

You know that all he
Wants you to be
All he
Wants you to be
All he wants is just a heavy young man

Too young for small time, you're big time in no time at all
Buying your time everywhere, you make time for them all
Man by your side brings you here for just one more show
But you're dead on arrival, fast faded and nowhere to go

And all he
Wants you to be
All he
Wants you to be
All he wants is just a heavy young man
- Heavy young man

Round about Memphis they come round and give you a shake
But you're up and away, you had all any man could take
It's dead on arrival, child and it's such a shame
There's nobody else in this world but yourself to blame

For all you
Wanted to be
All you
Wanted to be
All you wanted was a heavy young man
- Ah just heavy young man.

John Martyn 1976 (A song for Paul)
These lyrics, with their original credit, appear on one of the pages of the booklet that accompanies the [double vinyl] Paul Kossoff compilation album Blue Soul (Island PKSP 100, 1986). Instead of 'Round about Memphis', these say 'Just about Texas'.
Paul Kossoff lived from 1950-1976 and died on a plane from heart failure.

Ian Barnett made the following transcription of a live tape version from a 1976 concert in Nottingham, England.

Dead On Arrival

Died in a plane, no pain, nowhere to go;
You go back playing songs on the radio.
You're dead on arrival, child, and it's such a shame,
But there's nobody else in the world but yourself to blame.

And all you
Ever wanted
To be was a
Heavy young man.

Somebody says: 'Go west, young man, go west.'
You keep on travelling 'til your head can't find no rest.
The man on your case says he's trying to understand.
You're sick to your soul 'cause you know that he don't give a damn.

And all he
Wants you
To be is a
Heavy young man.

Too young for small time, you're big time in no time at all.
Buying your time everywhere, you make time for them all.
The man by your side bangs your head for just one more show;
But you're dead on arrival, fast fade and nowhere to go.

And all you
Ever wanted
To be was a
Heavy young man.

So the 1979 rehearsal version omits the second verse and has another last verse.

style="display:block"
data-ad-client="ca-pub-8904165292215586"
data-ad-slot="2276471579"
data-ad-format="auto">