The Box Tops

Daddy was a simple man, just a red dirt Georgia farmer
And his momma spent her short life havin' kids and balin' hay
He had fifteen years and an ache inside to wander
So he hopped a freight in Waycross and wound up in L.A.

Lord, the cold nights had no pity on a Waycross, Georgia farm boy
Most days he went hungry then the summer came
He met a girl known on the strip as Francisco's Mabel Joy
Destitution's child born of an L.A. street called "Shame"

Growin' up came quietly in the arms of Mabel Joy
Laughter found their mornings brought meaning to his life
The night before she left sleep came and left that
Waycross, Georgia boy with dreams of Georgia cotton and a California wife

Sunday morning found him standin' 'neath the red light at her door
Right cross sent him reelin' put him face down on the floor
In the place of Mabel Joy he found a merchant mad marine
Who growled, "Your Georgia neck is red but sunny, you're still green"

He turned twenty-one in a grey rock federal prison
The old judge had no mercy for a Waycross, Georgia boy
Starin' at those four grey walls in silence he would listen
To that midnight freight he knew would take him back to Mabel Joy

Morning found him standin' 'neath the red light at her door
With a bullet in his side, he cried, "Have you seen Mabel Joy?"
Stunned and shaken someone said, "Why she's not here no more
She left this house four years today, they say she's lookin' for some Georgia farm boy."


The Box Tops were an American band of the 60s that combined soul and rock music into a popular sound epitomized by their famous single "The Letter". The band was fronted by teenaged singer Alex Chilton, and for their studio recordings after "The Letter", consisted solely of Chilton and Memphis studio musicians. For live performances, Chilton was joined by Tom Boggs (drums), Rick Allen (bass), Gary Talley (guitar), and Bill Cunningham (organ). A popular original member before their first hit was Larry Spillman (drums). ... Read More