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"Carmelita" is is a song composed by Warren Zevon. He is known to have recorded a couple of demo versions and it was covered as far back as 1972 by Murray Mclaughlin before Zevon included it on his 1976 album, Warren Zevon.

About the Song Edit

The song is ostensibly about a heroin addicted writer in love with a Mexican girl, but, as with many songs on Warren Zevon, it might be more accurate to say that it is about Los Angeles than about the character in question.

Covers Edit

Linda Ronstadt recorded a slightly altered version of the song on her 1977 album, Simple Dreams. Rondstadt's version includes an alternate lyric that has Ronstadt pawning her "Smith & Wesson" as opposed to Zevon's "Smith Corona" thus re-casting our hero from writer to outlaw. In a version released on Preludes: Rare and Unreleased Recordings, Zevon also sings about pawning a Smith & Wesson.

Another cover version of the song was released in 1992 by Tejano music legend Flaco Jimenez and country singer Dwight Yoakam on the album Partners.

G.G. Allin covered this song as well. He turned away from his typical hard hitting punk to do a rather serene cover. The song can be found on the album Carnival of Excess and in an acoustic version on the soundtrack to Todd Phillips' 1994 documentary Hated. In the film Allin can be seen playing the song solo on his western guitar. He keeps Rondstat's lyric about the Smith & Wesson, and changes the lyrics from "playing solitaire with my pearl handled deck" to "playing Russian Roulette with my pearl-handled gun".

Willy DeVille covered the song on his 2002 album Acoustic Trio Live in Berlin.

Counting Crows also released a cover version of this song as part of a Warren Zevon tribute in 1999.

The song was also featured on The Wildhearts covers album Stop Us If You've Heard This One Before Vol 1. This version, sung by Wildhearts bassist Scott Sorry, features the altered lyric "I pawned my Gibson Thunderbird".

Michael Todd, bassist for Coheed and Cambria played a cover version of this song before one of their Neverender tour shows. Claudio Sanchez sang back up vocals. Mic said it was a song that got him through rehab. He was there for heroin addiction.

Song Lyrics Edit

Note: the text of this song's lyrics is not under the same copyright license as the wiki's encyclopedic text, it is used under fair use/dealing.

Carmelita-Inspired

Song inspired fan art

I hear Mariachi static on my radio

And the tubes they glow in the dark

And I'm there with her in Ensenada

And I'm here in Echo Park


Carmelita hold me tighter

I think I'm sinking down

And I'm all strung out on heroin

On the outskirts of town


Well, I'm sittin' here playing solitaire

With my pearl-handled deck

The county won't give me no more methadone

And they cut off your welfare check


Carmelita hold me tighter

I think I'm sinking down

And I'm all strung out on heroin

On the outskirts of town


Well, I pawned my Smith Corona

And I went to meet my man

He hangs out down on Alvarado Street

By the Pioneer chicken stand

Carmelita hold me tighter

I think I'm sinking down

And I'm all strung out on heroin

On the outskirts of town


Carmelita hold me tighter

I think I'm sinking down

And I'm all strung out on heroin

On the outskirts of town

Alternate Lyrics Edit

Well, I pawned my Smith & Wesson

- Linda Ronstadt cover, Preludes version, "Carmelita 1974 Demo" (Warren Zevon - Collectors Edition)


Every time I hear the siren(s) blow (wail)

You know I almost have the (a) heart attack

And your big Samoan boyfriend

Says he's going to come and break my back

- Preludes version, "Carmelita 1974 Demo" (Warren Zevon - Collectors Edition), some concert performances (such as The Offender Meets the Pretender)


Well, I'm sittin' here playing Russian Roulette with my pearl-handled gun

-G.G. Allin Cover

See Also Edit

External Links Edit

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