Warren Zevon – Lawyers, Guns and Money

This song is on the great album Excitable Boy released in 1978. The album peaked at #8 in the Billboard 100. it was Zevon’s highest-ranking album.

Zevon once stated in an interview that this was based on a true story. Zevon and his manager were partying in Mexico when the “party” decided to take to the road and it looked liked it was “about to hit the fan.” Zevon’s manager feigned a phone call: “Send lawyers.” Zevon jumped in: “And guns… and money.”

I’ve always liked Zevon’s dark songs with a sense of humor. Warren Zevon’s universe contains a lot of colorful characters.

From Songfacts

This is about a troubled youth visiting Cuba who writes home to his father for help.

The reference to “I’m hiding in Honduras” may refer to the short exile of famous American short story writer O. Henry (Will Porter). In 1894, while working as a bank teller in Austin, Texas, Porter embezzled $5,000. He fled to New Orleansand then Honduras to avoid prosecution. At that time, US companies began their major export of Bananas from Honduras to the US, so the New Orleans-Honduras route was a well traveled one. Porter stayed in Honduras 11 months but returned to Austin to be near his terminally ill wife. He was arrested an served time in jail. 

 This was used as the theme song for producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s short-lived TV series Justice.

Lawyers, Guns and Money

I went home with a waitress the way I always do
How was I to know she was with the Russians, too?

I was gambling in Havana, I took a little risk
Send lawyers, guns, and money
Dad, get me out of this, hiya!

An innocent bystander
Somehow I got stuck between a rock and a hard place
And I’m down on my luck
Yes, I’m down on my luck
Well, I’m down on my luck

I’m hiding in Honduras, I’m a desperate man
Send lawyers, guns, and money
The shit has hit the fan

Send lawyers, guns, and money
Send lawyers, guns, and money

Send lawyers, guns, and money, hiya!
Send lawyers, guns, and money, ow!