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Mary Lou’s the song!

 

 

Dana Clark

Like many other SIU students before her, Dana Clark found a certain connection with Mary Lou’s. So she decided to write a song.

 

 The Story Behind The Song

Dana Clark was just an undergraduate student at Southern Illinois University when she learned about this small restaurant by the railroad tracks. She recalled the place being packed and Mary Lou herself talking a mile a minute to all the customers while working behind the counter. It did not take Dana long to figure out that she had stumbled upon something special.

“I realized right then that she was a truly unique phenomenon, and a few years later the song practically wrote itself,” she said. ” I had to cut back on the verses in order to fit it onto a recording!”

When the song was recorded for her album “New Shoes,” Dana was living in Chicago at the time but she saved a copy for Mary Lou. The next time she came back to Carbondale, Mary Lou had the local radio station play the song the moment she arrived. “I had my guitar with me, and after a big Mary Lou meal, I stood up on the end of the counter and sang the song, with the whole place singing along with me.,” she remembered.

Dana is still making music to this day. For more, please log on to      www.lewisandclarkmusic.com.

 

Mary Lou’s
By Dana Clark     Written July 16, 1978
Copyright Dana Clark 1979
Out one night to shake my blues
I headed down to Mary Lou’s
A greasy spoon that was second to none
Get a bite to eat and have a little fun
There was soup on the stove and pie on the shelf
And there was good old Mary Lou herself
Over by the griddle just raisin’ hell
With a job to do and a story to tell
CHORUS:  Mary Lou-ooo-ooo-ooo
Real home cookin’ like your mama’s best
Real good lookin’ as you might have guessed
Mary Lou
She’d be doing so much you just couldn’t keep up
Frying bacon and eggs, filling coffee cups
Cooking forty-three meals at the very same time
Clearing off the counter, making change for a dime
She’d keep a dozen conversation going all at once
Listen to your troubles as she cooked your lunch
Balance eighteen orders in the palm of her hand
Give you all you could eat ’til it was all you could stand
CHORUS: Mary Lou-ooo-ooo-ooo
Swear ya gone to heaven after just one bite
Guaranteed to give a dying man an appetite
Mary Lou
Well, it wasn’t very long ’til we observed
She began to get the recognition she deserved
Barbara Walters came to town to do an interview
And there was Mary Lou on the five o’clock news
On her birthday Jimmy Carter helped her celebrate
By proclaiming it a national holiday
They put her in the latest book of Who’s Who
Gave her the Nobel Prize for her chicken stew
CHORUS: Mary Lou-ooo-ooo-ooo
Real home cookin’ like your mama’s best
Real good lookin’ as you might have guessed
Mary Lou-ooo-ooo-ooo
Swear ya gone to heaven after just one bite
Guaranteed to give a dying man an appetite
Mary Lou
Still early every morning you will find her there
But you’ll be lucky if you find yourself a chair
She’ll be over by the griddle just raisin’ hell
With a job to do and a story to tell
CHORUS: Mary Lou-ooo-ooo-ooo
Real home cookin’ like your mama’s best
Real good lookin’ as you might have guessed
Mary Lou-ooo-ooo-ooo
Swear ya gone to heaven after just one bite
Guaranteed to give a dying man an appetite
Got more fire than a stick of dynamite
Mary Lou, Mary Lou