Townes Van Zandt - Talkin' Karate Blues Lyrics




Well, I ain't very big for twenty-one
And it seems like I never could have any good clean fun
Cause every time I'd go outside some great big ol' bully'd come along
He'd hit me in the face and he'd knock me to the ground
And he'd start kickin' me all around
And that ain't exactly fair, friends, that's wrong.

So I got me a paper the other night
And I crawled up on the sofa and I turned on the light
And flipped through the pages till I found the classified ads.
Said, "take karate from Lee Hung Chow;
Man, make your first appointment now
This course is guaranteed to make you bad."

Well, the next day I drove to the address
And by the Japanese design I was really impressed
It looked like a regular house of the rising sun
I walked inside, I was all alone
I had a nervous feeling down in my bones
I was kind of sorry I'd ever even come

Then a giant Jap came through the door
He must have been at least about seven foot four
And he looked like he's prone to easy aggrevation.
He said, "Lee Hung Chow, ah kee dung"
That's japanese for fee fie foo fum
I tried to explain my entire situation.

He said, "number one course, Yankee, self defence,
Two hundred dollars and twenty five cents";
I said "what's the twenty five cents for? " and he said, "repairs."
I said, "repairs to what? ", and he said "to you"
And I thought to myself "man, that won't do"
Felt about a half inch tall underneath that ol' slanted stare

Ah, you think he was yella...

I said, "I believe I better go check another place"
He said hostile, "Yankee don't like my race"
I said, "now, there's a mistake, man, and that's true;
I've been for you you Japanese all along
You Japanese just can't do no wrong
And I thought you got a mighty dirty deal in World War II"

Well, he grabbed me by the hand and he gave a heave
I figured there's a pretty good time to leave
Before he had a chance to do me any definite harm.
But my plan worked out in the end, you see,
Now no bully is gonna pick on me
Who's gonna hit a fellow with just one arm?





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Townes Van Zandt Talkin' Karate Blues Comments
  1. Matthew Ovens

    Remind anyone of "Alice's restaurant"?

  2. ex0ja

    feels a little bit racist lol

    Claude H.

    It is a bit racist, Konstantin. “Jap” is a slur, and the portrayal of the Japanese man is a stereotype. It’s still a funny and good song, though.

    Webb Hiaasen

    @Claude H. It's a funny song and all but tbh it's a little outdated

    Evan Reigns

    You feel like a little bitch

    The Grinderman

    @Konstantin Georgiev I could understand if you were to say that we can't always judge works by our modern day standard and the words used in this song were not abnormal given the historical context. But to deny that it is racist whatsoever just means you're clearly racist yourself.

    Konstantin Georgiev

    @The Grinderman the person who wrote this song is not racist. He is anti-racist. He brutally mocks KKK in a song. A non-racist person does not imply racism when he writes his songs. Stop looking for racism in every single thing! Is Casper the friendly ghost a racist cartoon?

  3. Mulch

    don't eat meat

  4. Joe Clark

    They sure don't make them like this any more.

  5. Leela2001

    oh god this is hilarious! i was beat up today, this made me feel better

  6. Leonard Hilley

    my favorite