Live 06 Feb 2006 version
[Spoken intro:] Thank you. Thanks, I uh... I guess I'm not going to be announced because I think I'm supposed to be a surprise or something, you know. But, I personally, I personally am surprised, I thought this was gonna be a very small dinner and I was the only one playing. So I tend to be a bit on the reclusive side so it's.... But uh... tonight is kinda filled with resonance, I'm glad to be here with James and uh... Also the first gig I ever had after I made an album was opening in Pennsylvania for Cheech & Chong. So... But I'm glad to be here tonight for James. James to me was always uh... for me he was always an authentic southern voice. And uh... I guess you, you grew up in Massachusetts but you lived– you were born in Carolina, am I right? (James Taylor signals Springsteen that it's the other way around) The other way around? Thank god, that makes sense for my story here because, uh, it was always something deeply southern in James' voice. One night we played New York and he sand, uh, he sang "The River" and it was just uh... he just did such a beautiful thing with it. And, uh, besides being an incredible songwriter and, and musician, he's also the star of my all-time favorite films, "Two-Lane Blacktops". Uh was that– that was that the only one? There was never another one? That was it? That's a cool one though. That was a good one to choose. If you haven't see "Two-Lane Blacktop", see "Two-Lane Blacktop". He's, he's fabulous, you know. Alright, this is "Millworker".
My grandfather was a sailor, he blew in off the water
My father was a farmer, and I his only daughter
I took up with a no-good millworking man from Massachusetts
Who dies from too much whiskey, and leaves me these three faces to feed
Now millwork it ain't easy, millwork it ain't hard
Millwork it ain't nothing, but a boring fucking job
I'm waiting on my daydream to take me through the morning
And put me in my coffee break where I can eat my sandwich and remember
That it's me and my machine for the rest of the morning
And the rest of the afternoon, and the rest of my life
Now my mind begins to wander to the days back on the farm
I can see my daddy smiling, I can feel myself swinging on his arm
I hear my grandpop's stories of the storms out on Lake Erie
Where vessels and cargoes and fortunes and the lives of young sailors were lost
Yeah but it's me, it's my life's been wasted, and I have been the fool
To let this manufacturer use my body for a tool
I'll ride home in the evening staring at my hands
Swearing to my sorrow that a young girl ought to stand a better chance
So I may work your mills just as long as I am able
Though I'll never meet the man whose name is on the label
Still it's me and my machine for the rest of the morning
For the rest of the afternoon, and on and on, for the rest of my life
[Spoken outro:] Thank you. Thank you.
MILLWORKER is a song originally released by James Taylor in 1979. See the original James Taylor version for more details.
The above lyrics are for the live 06 Feb 2006 performance of MILLWORKER at Los Angeles Convention Center in, Los Angeles, CA, during the 2006 MusiCares Person Of The Year ceremony. James Taylor was that year's honoree. Bruce Springsteen played the song in a solo acoustic guitar and harmonica arrangement. "Bruce's version of 'Millworker' was a completely new and different take," James Taylor said. "Much more intense, pointing out the aspect that had to do with workers' conditions."
The ceremony was broadcast on TV and was later released on DVD (see the "Official Releases" below). The spoken intro was edited (the parts in bold were edited out) on the TV broadcast but was left intact on the DVD release.
In the spoken intro Springsteen references his 28 Oct 1972 show at West Chester College in West Chester, PA, when Bruce Springsteen opened for the second-billed acapella group The Persuasions and headlining comedy duo Cheech & Chong.
2006 MusiCares Person Of The Year ceremony was released on DVD on 03 Oct 2006.
MILLWORKER was performed off-tour on 06 Feb 2006 at Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, CA, during the 2006 MusiCares Person Of The Year ceremony.
Thanks Timmy Peterson (Terry at Greasy Lake) for the lyrics help.
Please contact me if you have a copy of the A Musicares Person Of The Year Tribute Honoring James Taylor DVD or HD-DVD. I am not 100% sure of the labels and catalog numbers. Any additions, comments, or corrections to this page are welcome. You can contact me via the below form or by email: . You will be credited. Thanks in advance.
List of available versions of MILLWORKER on this website:MILLWORKER [Live 06 Feb 2006 version]