NO VACANCY (MERLE TRAVIS/CLIFFIE STONE) (1946)

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Right after World War II, the most popular sign all over the country was the 'No Vacancy' sign. Returning veterans and other people as well had a hard time finding a place to live. One night after playing a date, Cliffie Stone and I drove a couple of hundred miles from California looking for a motel to spend the night. Every motel we passed had a 'No Vacancy' sign, and this gave us the idea to write the song.
Merle Travis, interview, Nashville, TN, 8 Jul 1973 or telephone interview, 7 Sep 1973, reprinted in Dorothy Horstman, Sing Your Heart Out, Country Boy, New York, NY, 1976, p. 250

Recorded by Merle Travis, Capitol Single #258, May 1946
Lyrics as reprinted in Dorothy Horstman, Sing Your Heart Out, Country Boy, New York, NY, 1976, p. 250-251
© 1946 Hill and Range Songs, renewed 1975

All along the road of life I roam,
Lookin' for a place to call my own,
Not a fancy mansion or a bungalow for me.
Ev'rywhere I go I seem to find
Hangin' on the door that same old sign,
And my heart beats slower when I read on the door, "No Vacancy."

CHORUS: No Vacancy, No Vacancy --
All along the line it's the same old sign waitin' for me.
No Vacancy, No Vacancy --
And my heart beats slower when I read on the door,
"No Vacancy."

Not so long ago when the bullets screamed,
Many was the happy dream I dreamed
Of a little nest where I could rest when the world was free.
Now the mighty war over there is won,
Troubles and trials have just begun
As I face that terrible enemy sign, "No Vacancy."

Brother, if you live a life of ease,
Better take a moment on your knees;
Thank the Lord above for all His love, then think of me,
Livin' in a world of greed and hate,
Hoping ev'ry day the hand of fate
Will remove that sign that's a-hangin' on the door, "No Vacancy."

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