“Alice’s Restaurant Massacree“, commonly known as “Alice’s Restaurant“, is a satirical talking blues song by singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie, released as the title track to his 1967 debut album Alice’s Restaurant. The song is a deadpan protest against the Vietnam War draft, in the form of a comically exaggerated but essentially true story from Guthrie’s own life: he is arrested and convicted of dumping trash illegally, which later leads to him being rejected by the draft board due to his criminal record of littering (and the way he reacted when the induction personnel brought it up). The title refers to a restaurant owned by one of Guthrie’s friends, which plays no role in the story aside from being the subject of the chorus.
The song was an inspiration for the 1969 film also named Alice’s Restaurant. The work has become Guthrie’s signature song and he has periodically re-released it with updated lyrics. In 2017, it was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or artistically significant”.