She came from Providence, the one in Rhode Island, where the Old World shadows hang heavy in the air.
She packed her hopes and dreams like a refugee. Just as her father came across the sea.
She heard about a place, people were smiling. They spoke about the Red Man’s way, and how they loved the land.
They came from everywhere to the Great Divide. Seeking a place to stand or a place to hide.
Down in the crowded bars, out for a good time. Can’t wait to tell you all what it’s like up there.
They called it paradise; I don’t know why. Somebody laid the mountains low while the town got high.
Then the chilly winds blew down across the desert. Through the canyons of the coast, to the Malibu.
Where the pretty people play, hungry for power. To light their neon way and give them things to do.
Some rich men came and raped the land. Nobody caught ‘em. Put up a bunch of ugly boxes, and Jesus, people bought ‘em.
They called it paradise, the place to be. They watched the hazy sun sinking in the sea.
You can leave it all behind and sail to Lahaina.
Just like the missionaries did so many years ago. They even brought a neon sign: “Jesus is coming.”
They brought the white man’s burden down. They brought the white man’s reign.
Who will provide the grand design? What is yours and what is mine? ‘Cause there is no more new frontier. We have got to make it here.
We satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds in the name of destiny, and the in the name of God.
And you can see them there on Sunday morning. They stand up and sing about what it’s like up there.
They call it paradise; I don’t know why. You call someplace paradise, kiss it goodbye.