Van Zandt, Townes - Sanitarium Blues Lyrics




The folks, they just can't take no more
Throw you in the back seat, slam the door
No stoppin' as down the road you go
Go not time to lose

Gigantic one way gate ahead
You're thinkin' man I'd as soon be dead
They decided to give you life instead
The sanitarium blues

Big ole nurse all dressed in white
Slaps you on a table in the middle of the night
Then he straps you down real tight
You're wonderin', what'd I do?

They hose you down, make sure you're clean
Wrap you up in hospital green
Shoot you full of Thorazine
The sanitarium blues

Could be TB or maybe a tumor
Eavesdropping on the doctors, listening to the rumors
Can't see your friends, hear the hum of the wheels
Hey my man, you know how it feels
Like the sanitarium blues

They upon some sunlit day
They figure there's no need for you to stay
They're pretty sure you can't be cyred
So they send you on your merry way

You hit the pavement, hang around
Nobody's on the outside to be found
You're just tryin' to stay above the ground
You start to thinkin', what's the use?
The sanitarium blues
The sanitarium blues





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Van Zandt, Townes Sanitarium Blues Comments
  1. Leah Monday

    Depth with meaning!
    lm

  2. Ask A Dying Guy

    Wow... First time hearing this track, also hearing Townes with back-up guitar drums and piano!! I'm in awe!
    I now can draw the comparison between Townes Van Zandt and Nick Cave.
    Both amazing unsung musical talents, and more in Nick Cave.
    Poet, Playwright, Author, Film Director and Producer, etc.. etc..

  3. Talkin Bout Nawlins

    When Townes was young they gave him shock therapy for depression.Its all the Drs knew back then.I heard this from the horses mouth by the way.

  4. Bigbagof Trees

    It’s 530 am, got 3 n a half hours till I check into rehab

  5. Paul Savage

    FUCK TEXAS and Electroshock Therapy! Protestants can go to HELL!! FUK TEXAS! Cheers to the Alamo!!

  6. Sublime Music Channel

    Nice to hear a minor chord / sequence in a song of his post-My Mother the Mountain, where there're a heap of them. It gives his songs the emotional range his work after "Mother" largely lacks, musically, though certainly not lyrically.

  7. drew michael

    its just an empty world that settles when your down..faith lands and the angels wings crumble into the dust of darkness.

  8. Bärbel Nitsche

    Sad man and sad song (...). Thanks a lot for posting .

  9. Trav Olta

    Townes Van Zandt and his music what a blessing. I wish I could've met this man and at least shaken his hand what an honor that would be.

    Talkin Bout Nawlins

    Been there done that.Townes always had a joke but he could be a hard mfer too.Depending on how long he'd been up and what he was drinking.His music damn sure lives on.Aint it Fun Being From Texas

  10. demian machado

    Its Knockin on Heavesn Door cover.

  11. Tim Miller

    Love this song!!!

  12. Vincenc Jakob

    Vor 39 Jahren, als ich aus D nach YU zum Militärdienst einberufen wurde, stand ich fasst vor einer solchen Institution wegen Heptanon und Wodka, man driftet einfach ab...

  13. Banana Trish

    Man what they did to him was fucking awful. I would rather be dead. No memories.

  14. Ryan Page

    Guns n' Roses background

    art defunk

    What a stupid comment!!

    art defunk

    Alan Gopaloodoo What a stupid comment

  15. odatmatt

    The folks - they just can't take no more
    Throw you in the back seat, slam the door
    No stoppin' as down the road you go
    Got not time to lose
    Gigantic one-way gate ahead
    You're thinkin', man, I'd as soon be dead
    They decided to give you life instead
    The sanitarium blues
    Big ol' nurse all dressed in white
    Slaps you on a table in the middle of the night
    Then he straps you down real tight
    You're wonderin', what'd I do?
    They hose you down, make sure you're clean
    Wrap you up in hospital green
    Shoot you full of Thorazine
    The sanitarium blues
    Could be TB or maybe a tumor
    Eavesdropping on the doctors, listening to the rumors
    Can't see your friends, hear the hum of the wheels
    Hey, my man, you know how it feels
    Like the sanitarium blues
    Then upon some sunlit day
    They figure there's no need for you to stay
    They're pretty sure you can't be cured
    So they send you on your merry way
    You hit the pavement, hang around
    Nobody's on the outside to be found
    You're just tryin' to stay above the ground
    You start to thinkin', what's the use?
    The sanitarium blues

  16. Mike Lewis

    Experience it. It's a tough life to live or to watch.

  17. Alpha Pool Services

    my old pals brothers and freinds James, Russ and Larry ,still missin ya man, sorry ya got let down by me

  18. RedJello090

    This song is EXACTLY what it feels like.

  19. UtterMost

    townes van zandt te voy a escuchar un poco mas para comprender por que el que subio los videos puso tantas canciones de voz

  20. marbelizer1

    Who carries the torch of real American country music these days besides Emmy Lou? Townes is an icon.

    Bonita Stjulienlepauvre

    Americana (rather than country)?

  21. Mark St. James

    Fucking guy man... He lived it and poured it out for us all... Like a can of frozen oj... Just add something... Water... Love... Salt and grease... Anyway... Thanks Thanks tvz... Thanks for that connection.... You'd have had a good time in the garage in Osborne...that said I trust you had your good times too... how you decided to leave this world... friendo... Must have been super tough for the survivors... A little selfish? I don't know... Was it maybe just that tough... I can appreciate... I would try to make it look like a fishing accident or something...
    Anyway Townes, much love... I like to think I feel that thing... Rest well with ol' Blaze... You guys chillin' right now and looking out for your people?
    Hope you are, along with the loved ones
    Thanks for the art, the song, the feel, the mood

    Sponsored by Jameson and herbs

    M

  22. noname given

    This is a weird thing to write about, and Townes rocks it. It takes a lot of empathy to write about this subject in this way. But if you assume that all things in life are equal outside of your own existence, then it makes sense.

    owlwhaleturtle

    That's because he really was a psychiatric patient. Don't think that is something anyone who hasn't been through it can imagine.

    Gareth Sheals

    He was given insulin shock therapy which put him into a coma and woke him up again and again and again... he lost all of his childhood memories. His mother said her biggest regret was allowing Townes to be given this “treatment.” Psychiatrists have fucked up way more people than they have helped.

  23. Ste Ruane

    Love this song

  24. Maxine Corrington

    Such beautiful pictures! Especially the one of Townes at the beginning.

  25. Douglas Goulding

    Had to leave my son off at one of these godawful places in the middle of the night when he was 12.  Five, again 5, doctors insisted it was necessary.  When he was 22 he got himself released and off every med they put him on and now lives an almost normal life.  He tends bar and waits tables.  All on his own.

    Robert Beck

    God bless you and your Son.

    owlwhaleturtle

    I am so glad to hear your son is well now. It gives me hope.

    Kit Ex

    Why o. Earth would you do that to a 12 year old boy? Sounds like someone else had the problem. Just calling it like I see it, like from behind the window bars of lonely desolation. Some of us make it in spite of all you, most don’t. Fewer still can turn that degradation into a song that lifts. “Why did you suffer?”
    “So I could write the song.”

    Paul Savage

    You're so kind... fuck the rest of his life.

    Trish McLemore

    I'm glad to hear it. 💕

  26. tripolar scholar

    townes helps me sleep

  27. Judson Clayto

    I feel like i've heard of this song, but have never read the lyrics... wow, its spot on... i can't believe places like that exist... drugs are illegal but these pills we're gonna give you are more toxic than what most folks get on the street, enjoy the ride, this ones on the state...

    Dan Scibek

    Judson Clayto almost in all cases are they more toxic I had to go do a diagnostic and evaluation place in Nebraska and those are the times and meds they want me on Thorazine Depakote the list goes on the funny thing is when you go there they ask what works for you and they decide to play guinea pig with you we can't give you that it wasn't like I was asking for opiates I just asking for my normal psych meds that I have been on for 20 years and 95% of the time they work but yeah when I first got there they come in and they strap you down so you can't move I've never shot up with Thorazine but other meds yes very unpleasant experience

  28. Jamie Byrne

    No hangovers in heaven for this great man i hope. RIP TVZ Hope you and Guy are gigging once again.......

    Jay

    Lol none of the heavens we imagined were built for men like this. Thanks for the laugh though.

  29. Alfred Øyna Fjermeros

    Lyrics
    The folks - they just can't take no more
    Throw you in the back seat, slam the door
    No stoppin' as down the road you go
    Got not time to lose

    Gigantic one-way gate ahead
    You're thinkin', man, I'd as soon be dead
    They decided to give you life instead
    The sanitarium blues

    Big ol' nurse all dressed in white
    Slaps you on a table in the middle of the night
    Then he straps you down real tight
    You're wonderin', what'd I do?

    They hose you down, make sure you're clean
    Wrap you up in hospital green
    Shoot you full of Thorazine
    The sanitarium blues

    Could be TB or maybe a tumor
    Eavesdropping on the doctors, listening to the rumors
    Can't see your friends, hear the hum of the wheels
    Hey, my man, you know how it feels
    Like the sanitarium blues

    Then upon some sunlit day
    They figure there's no need for you to stay
    They're pretty sure you can't be cured
    So they send you on your merry way

    You hit the pavement, hang around
    Nobody's on the outside to be found
    You're just tryin' to stay above the ground
    You start to thinkin', what's the use?
    The sanitarium blues

  30. don white

    rip brother

  31. Danny Ginnane-Gannon

    Written by a man who had Electro-Convulsive Shock Therapy.....

    Jimmy Wright

    Danny Ginnane-Gannon insulin shock therapy, equally cruel, but not the same.

    KingMinosxxvi

    actually insullin therapy is far worse than current ECT which is common and voluntarily used by outpatients often quite succesful ones to treat severe depression. ECT is perhaps not as benign as the medical establishment would have us believe. I talked to a shrink once who passed on that he had treated a surgeon with ect and that following the treatments the surgeon could well.... no longer work as a surgeon but that both the doctor and the patient (apparently) believed the treatment had saved her life. ICT is by all acounts a far more barbaric thing and actually was unaware that TVZ had had ict and not just a cruder form of ect than is used today.

    Patti Vanlandingham

    @KingMinosxxvi x

  32. WichitaRick

    RELEASED.
    A Great release .maybe a mind with some peace? "The Edge"
    A fine thread of sanity,with some hidden vanity,found after being released ,from paying your
    dues for the sanitarium blues. Rick

  33. RAMLIA1

    ❤️❤️❤️

  34. neonlittledog

    I would like to dedicate this song to my son ,that was locked up in the Pontiac State ,mental institution ,an shot himself dead ,just befor his 25th Birthday May he rest in peace.

    bealfeirste 2017

    So sorry for your pain my friend. Lost my hero, my cousin, that way many years ago after a spell in one of those places; shock treatment, thorazine the whole bit. Too young, gone but never forgotten.

    mma 1st

    God damn life is so hard sometimes

    Mak Roberts

    neonlittledog MAY YOUR BOY,BE
    IN GR8 COMPANY&YES...PEACE IS
    SOMETHING IM TRY SEND FOR
    YOUR SOUL( all these songs make
    Me cry, cuz of quality, some moreso
    As i taste the seed of memory for
    My dad/best frend( he's stoked you
    Are his dad❤️

    Titus Monk

    Man he have found peace in a burning sun ☀️

    tokyorose62

    .....no words.. just sending you my love

  35. Ed Word & The Misinformation Superhighway

    Awesome stuff. Our band's lead singer is very influenced by this music. Check it out if you get a chance. Peace!!

    Adam Nicholson

    Oh fuck off

    drew michael

    Ruled by selfish families that are perverts that what went wrong.

  36. Skwerrlly

    This song is one of his best,I think.It is a brutally honest description of Townes recollection of being institutionalized.I noticed that early on when his voice was still fairly decent,the instrumentals backing him were really cheesy and now here when his voice is shot someone finally decides to give him some decent backup!The short guitar solo is awesome.

    Lost Doggy

    Hahaha well said.

  37. ganyawee

    eff a church and best of luck with rehab, don't put much faith in crap like that

  38. Jethro Joshua

    knock knock heaven's [email protected]

    Talkin Bout Nawlins

    Jethro Joshua I would stand up on Bob Dylans coffee table in my cowboy boots and say Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter on the planet......Steve Earle

  39. schradeya

    If you don't already know: SWITCH IT TO HD when you hit play. Makes a world of difference in the sound quality.

  40. pappymcdamnit

    This literally made me laugh out loud

  41. pappymcdamnit

    I'm not an internet argue-er and I havent read any of the comments youre talking about, but, its pretty narrow minded, in my opinion, for you to say that one persons struggle is worse than the next's.

  42. Scott Stacy

    this is not Townes at all. I am convinced this is just a recording of him reading a poem he wrote about his experiences he had early in his life while he was in a Sanitarium in Texas ( I believe), and this music is something someone else made. This is not his music

  43. Ron Jeka

    Before the NDAA TPTB used this method to silence opposition and suppress the truth.

  44. luketdrifter2100

    @MrsLarnche Probably the best documentary I've ever seen

  45. Cheryl Larnche

    I think that we are lucky to be able to even hear this stuff. Townes was different - and as his mother said in her later life, the worst thing they ever did is put Townes in the sanitarium. I think his best friend Guy Clark said that Townes was brillant when he was high. GEt the DVD, Be Here To Love Me.

    Talkin Bout Nawlins

    Townes came from a family with money.The Van Zandt family from Van Zandt County Texas.Townes found out about the great Lightnin Hopkins as a youngster and that's where it all started.Townes didn't care about money.His music lives on.AINT IT FUN BEING FROM TEXAS!

  46. Jonathan Michael

    Thank you for posting this, kardalam.

  47. Barn Owl

    I first heard this song in a chapel in rehab... Jay

  48. Kegan Mahon

    I love this song, just not the overdubbing. I wish he had done an acoustic cover,,,it's such a harsh song; I like it as much as Porter Wagoner's cover of 'Committed to Parkview' and a little more than Johnny Cash's version of 'Hurt.'

    It's deep.

  49. pappymcdamnit

    Respond to this video...
    Called "A far cry from dead" he did with some band. This is the best song from it in my opinion, the rest are all just overdubs

  50. Bartosz Dabrowski

    Hi, what album is this from? It's great thanks for upload!