Arlo Guthrie - Percy's Song Lyrics

Bad news, bad news, come to me where I sleep
Turn, turn, turn again
Sayin' one of my friends is in trouble deep
Turn, turn, to the wind and the rain

Tell me the trouble, tell me once to my ears
Turn, turn, turn again
Joliet prison for ninety-nine years
Turn, turn, to the wind and the rain

A crash on the highway
threw a car into a field
Turn, turn, turn again
There were four people killed
And he was at the wheel
Turn, turn, to the wind and the rain

But I knew him as well
As I know my own self
Turn, turn, turn again
And he wouldn't harm a life
That belonged to someone else
Turn, turn, to the wind and the rain

That may be so said the judge
From the side of his mouth
Turn, turn, turn again
But the witness who saw it
He left little doubt
Turn, turn, to the wind and the rain

He may, he may have
A sentence to server
Turn, turn, turn again
But ninety-nine years
He just does not deserve
Turn, turn, to the wind and the rain

Too late, too late, for his case it is sealed
Turn, turn, turn again
A sentence, it is passed
And it can not be repealed
Turn, turn, to the wind and the rain

But he ain't no criminal
And his crime it is none
Turn, turn, turn again
And what happened to him
Could have happened to anyone
Turn, turn, to the wind and the rain

At that the judge jumped forward
And his face it did freeze
Turn, turn, turn again
Sayin' would you kindly leave
My office now please
Turn, turn, to the wind and the rain

I squinted my eyes and I stood up slow
Turn, turn, turn again
With no other choice except for me to go
Turn, turn, to the wind and the rain

I walked down the hall
And I heard his door slam
Turn, turn, turn again
I walked down the stairs
But I did not understand
Turn, turn, to the wind and the rain

And I played my guitar
Through the night and through the day
Turn, turn, turn again
But the only tune
That my guitar would play was oh how cruel
The Wind and the rain

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Arlo Guthrie Percy's Song Comments
  1. Linda Foppiano Foris

    Oh, How cruel, the wind & the rain! Great song

  2. Chris Wildman

    Wonderful. Thanks for posting

  3. 7YAYA7

    Woody must smile in his grave. Maybe he would have said : well done, young guys ? Who knows ?

  4. Brayden Collins

    Doesn’t hold a candle to bobs version

  5. Duke Sweden

    This is one of the few songs in regular rotation on the NYC rock stations back in the 60's, that never made it to the "classic Rock" stations of today. As a result I can listen to this and be transported back to the 60's, instead of to the Walmart where I last heard a song like "Ramblin' Man".

  6. Jamie Wesson

    the tune is a song called two sisters so its not really a dylan orginal

    Andrew Stuart Brown

    That's the story of folk. The melodies are ancient and are the basis of many many songs.Percy's song is as original as any folk song can be. As original as Hard Rain and Bob Dylan's dream and any of the others that are centuries old.

    n n

    yes, of course the melody and the chorus are trad, but the lyrics are Dylan's. Not as macabre as the twa sisters but haunting nonetheless.

  7. J Ramos

    Haven't heard this version in over 20 years. So sad. Still love it, though.

  8. David Juffet

    BTW, actually it's not David; I'm his wife, Karen.

  9. David Juffet

    Love Arlo! I used to see him every year from 1969 onward. Best of all was the Phil. Folk Festival (which was way out in the country on some guys farm. He was about 18 yrs old.

  10. Miyuki Shijisha

    My favorite version by far.

  11. Rafik Hamidouche

    second best version for me (after bob dylan's version)

  12. Bart Shore


  13. Vicky Millen

    Great story in Dylan's Cronicles about going to Woody's for lyrics he directed him to get from Woody's house. A young Arlo was there and he left without the lyrics and years later Billy Bragg and Wilco release an album. If only Dlyan got hold of them first

  14. Le Ménestrel

    Splendid version of this famous dylan's song!

  15. Barry Zerden

    it's great to hear arlo's version of this, one of my favorite, songs.  thnx for posting !

  16. mywishLE

    Ever heard the Fairport Convention version?
    Bye the way Bob's versions are always the best. Period.

    GL AnnapolisTeam

    I feel like this album is a good companion to Dylan's "New Morning" album. I believe they came out around the same time. "NM"
    is one of the few Dylan albums I owned at one point. That's a good one too!

    Miyuki Shijisha

    The City of New Orleans'

    Gil Chasin

    Miyuki Shijisha Great Steve Goodman song!

    Stephen Whittle

    Dylan penned such a belting song that performers of many different styles could excel in performing it.

  17. John Burns

    One of the saddest songs ever.

    richard lozano

    don't listen to the words. I think it's the happiest

  18. hollydee65

    the whole album was one of those albums I listened to it over and over..had to go out and buy it again....every song was so good 

  19. SportsReporters

    My favorite Arlo tune on my favorite Arlo album. Washington County is a classic.

    Miyuki Shijisha

    I also have this great album, BUT maybe my fav from Arlo is 'City of New Orleans'....all great music.

  20. steve Barr

    album is washington county its an ace album tok me right back cheers

  21. orsie200

    Love this!
    Joliet Prison for 99 years!

  22. Johnny Hotrocks

    One of my earliest memories of hearing music...must have been about 3 or 4 years old...playing on my dad's 8 track in the car :)

  23. Steve Roberts

    The absolute best cover of Bob Dylan's "Percy's Song". If you really want to hear Bob Dylan songs done right, listen to Arlo Guthrie and Joan Baez. They both do Dylan better than Dylan.

    David Topping

    fairport convention's far better

  24. GlenAnne99

    Yep, this is nice! Thanks for sharing, Cj :)