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Oct. 24, 2020

Ode to Singer Songwriter Justin Townes Earle

Ode to Singer Songwriter Justin Townes Earle

Singer-Songwriter Justin Townes Earle was a Nashville, Tennessee native who understood Flint, Michigan perfectly.

Justin never played a gig in Flint, but he was eager to find his way to a stage in the Flint area. He died before he had his opportunity.

Townes-Earle penned the song “Flint City Shake” that encapsulates the history and importance of Flint, Michigan to America.  The people of the City of Flint lost a great advocate in Justin Townes Earle. He stood up for working-class America and for social and economic justice.

Townes-Earle understood what the people of Flint gave to America over the decades, and his words are a great tribute to Flint’s legacy. Justin Townes Earle was a singer, musician, entertainer, and music historian.

Below are a few of the lyrics to “Flint City Shake It” to demonstrate what Townes-Earle knew about the people of Flint.

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Lyrics Written by: Justin Townes Earle

Detroit rock, baby that's a fact

If anybody says different, better get back Jack

Well, you've gotta be tough but there's a good time to be had

I'd like to think everybody here knows that

So let's talk about a place that you might not know  Just a little further on up the road

Well you know about meat, baby, let's get down to the bones

Tell you 'bout a place that really made America roll

Flint City shake it (Flint City shake it) Flint City shake it (Flint City shake it)

Let 'em all know (let 'em all know) Let 'em all know (let 'em all know)

Detroit rock but Flint City roll

Now the truth is, we ain't what we used to be

Whole lotta trouble come to our streets

The only one to blame is GMC

If you don't know, baby, let me tell you how

I mean we built Buick cars, GM trucks Chevy engines, AC sparkplugs

Built planes for the war back in '41

Every piece straight from the ground on up

Then trouble comes in '86

With this son of a bitch named Roger Smith

Cut our throat with a stroke of a fountain pen

We're knocked down but we're gonna get up again

Flint City shake it (Flint City shake it) Flint City shake it (Flint City shake it)

Let 'em all know (let 'em all know) Let 'em all know (let 'em all know)

Detroit rock but Flint City roll (roll)

Well, there ain't no work, and everybody's hurtin'

It's been that way for a while

They ain't got us licked just yet

Flint City knows how to have a good time

Well, we might be poor and we might be rough

We're just good people down on our luck

And you know it seems nobody cares about us

We just ain't the kind to give up

Flint City shake it (Flint City shake it) Flint City shake it (Flint City shake it)

Let 'em all know (let 'em all know) Let 'em all know (let 'em all know)

Detroit rock but Flint City roll (roll)

Detroit rock but Flint City roll

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