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John Mellencamp's "The Lonesome Jubilee" contains some of the best music he has ever writen.

Unfortunately, at that point in his career, his lyrics could be insanely stupid.

Take "Hotdogs & Hamburgers." The music is great. But if I hear Mr. Cougar correctly, he is comparing the choice to discriminate against Native Americans — or to not discriminate against Indians — to the choice between eating hot dogs or hamburgers. What?

While that is particularly egregrious, I still don't understand Bruce Springsteen's song "Johnny 99" of his "Nebraska" album. During that song, the title character kills a nightclerk. Later, during the title character's sentencing (he receives a death sentence, he tells the judge, "So if you can take a man's life for the thoughts that's in his head, then sit back in that chair and think it over judge one more time and let `em shave off my hair and put me on that killin' line." No, I don't think the judge sentenced you to death for the thoughts in your head. He sentenced you to death because you killed a guy.

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