Sixty Thousand More

I was driving down the highway
Where I spend half my life
When I saw another scene
That always cuts me like a knife
Some flowers, wreaths and crosses
Laid out for the deceased
And a note from his pretty girlfriend
Saying, Johnny, rest in peace
He won’t be playing football now
Nobody will keep score
And next year there will be sixty thousand more

He had just looked down for a moment
To find something he had lost
Never guessing that that moment
Would have such a cost
The road ahead was curving
And the sun was on the rise
Right above the tree line
It caught him in the eyes
Right here in America
You want to know what lies in store
And next year there will be sixty thousand more

His dad was washing dishes
In the kitchen all alone
When he heard the ringing
And he picked up the phone
It was a policeman
He said I have some awful news
I’ll see you at the funeral
I’ll be with you in the pews
He hung up the telephone
And crumpled to the floor
And next year there will be sixty thousand more

It’s the world that we live in
All covered up with tar
Spending half our lives
Behind the wheel of a car
So roll your dice, America
And gamble on your fate
You can start the engine
But you can’t pick the date
It’s not a plague, it’s not a famine
And they say it’s not a war
And next year there will be sixty thousand more

“Sixty Thousand More” appears on the 2003 Soundclick album, Beyond the Mall.

One of the most popular ways to die young is in a traffic accident.  Cars are dangerous, and they inevitably kill a lot of people.  When the teenage son of a friend of a friend died in a car accident on the way to his high school football practice one morning, I wrote this song.

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