John Mellencamp – Cherry Bomb

One of my favorite John Mellencamp songs. Back when it was released I liked it because it was a catchy song. Now I like it more because I can relate to it about growing up. I will admit though…I always thought he said “That’s when a spoke was a spoke“… I thought what? Must be some crazy Indiana thing….then I thought…no that can’t be right…it must be “That’s when a smoke was a smoke“….Wrong again…it is… “That’s when a sport was a sport.

The prominence of the accordion and violin in this are usually not associated with Rock and Roll but it makes the song sound fresh. The song peaked at #8 in the Billboard 100, #5 in Canada, and #4 in New Zealand.

It was on the album The Lonesome Jubilee released in 1987. The album peaked at #6 in the Billboard Album Chart in 1987.

Cherry Bomb

Well I lived on the outskirts of town
In an eight room farmhouse, baby
When my brothers and friends were around
There was always somethin’ doin’
Had me a couple of real nice girlfriends
Stopped by to see me every once in a while
When I think back about those days
All I can do is sit and smile

That’s when a sport was a sport
And groovin’ was groovin’
And dancin’ meant everything
We were young and we were improvin’
Laughin’, laughin’ with our friends
Holdin’ hands meant somethin’, baby
Outside the club “Cherry Bomb”
Our hearts were really thumpin’
Say yeah yeah yeah
Say yeah yeah yeah

The winter days they last forever
But the weekends went by so quick
Went ridin’ around this little country town
We were goin’ nuts, girl, out in the sticks
One night, me with my big mouth
A couple guys had to put me in my place
When I see those guys these days
We just laugh and say do you remember when

That’s when a sport was a sport
And groovin’ was groovin’
And dancin’ meant everything
We were young and we were improvin’
Laughin’, laughin’ with our friends
Holdin’ hands meant somethin’, baby
Outside the club “Cherry Bomb”
Our hearts were really thumpin’
Say yeah yeah yeah
Say yeah yeah yeah

Say yeah yeah yeah
Say yeah yeah yeah

Seventeen has turned thirty-five
I’m surprised that we’re still livin’
If we’ve done any wrong
I hope that we’re forgiven
Got a few kids of my own
And some days I still don’t know what to do
I hope that they’re not laughing too loud
When they hear me talkin’
Like this to you

That’s when a sport was a sport
And groovin’ was groovin’
And dancin’ meant everything
We were young and we were improvin’
Laughin’, laughin’ with our friends
Holdin’ hands meant so much, baby
Outside the club “Cherry Bomb”
Our hearts were really thumpin’
Say yeah yeah yeah
Say yeah yeah yeah

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

30 thoughts on “John Mellencamp – Cherry Bomb”

      1. It did…I heard a few of the songs on the radio just for a little bit and then they were gone. I had a Mazda RX7 at the time and blasted that cassette…a great time!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Great song in every way. Sport is a sport though? I always figured for sure it was “a smoke was a smoke”… figured it was an oblique reference to kids back then rebelling by smoking cigarettes instead of various drugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I looked for every lyric page I could find…they all match which surprised me. He had a funny way of pronouncing it.
      Yep that is what I thought also about cigarettes.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve listened to and dug John Mellencamp for many years. While I also like his early straight rock stage, I think Mellencamp got even better when he transitioned into roots rock.

    “Lonesome Jubilee” is the album that started this long transition. In a way, it’s the best of both worlds, blending Mellencamp’s straight rock origins with country/roots-oriented influences.

    If I could only choose one of Mellencamp’s many albums, “Lonesome Jubilee” would be a top contender, along with “Rough Harvest” and “Sad Clowns & Hillbillies”.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I do like his roots rock also. `I would say Scarecrow and Big Daddy is mine. Big Daddy was different and I liked it. It didn’t have the hits the others had but I do like the album and the songsPop Singer and Jackie Brown.

      I saw him live in the 90s also…really good performer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve seen him twice, in the early 2000s and 3 years ago in the wake of “Sad Clowns & Hillbillies”, together with Carlene Carter and Emmylou Harris.

        While both shows were great, I liked the 2017 gig even more. I was really impressed with Emmylou Harris who opened up. Carlene Carter also did a solo set and joined John for tunes from Hillbillies.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I love Emmylou Harris and I like Carlene Carter…that had to be great. I like Emmylou’s music with Graham Parsons a lot…well anything she sings she does it well.

        Christian I know you are as big of a Beatles fan as me…Aphoristical turned me on to Emmylou’s cover of “For No One” a while back. Give it a listen man…it’s really good.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Wow, Harris’ cover of “For No One” is great – she’s got an almost angelical voice.

        In fact, one of the most beautiful covers I know is her version of Neil Young’s “After the Gold Rush”, together with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt. We discussed it before.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. That very well could be it because it was around the time…also Football had come out around this time also about steroids. I think 85 some football player came out with a book.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. off topic:
      Bailey has gone to town on Terrence Malick… He has seen 4 of his movies since you mentioned him…He liked Days of Heaven the best and he is about to start The Thin Red Line.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s