Saturday, February 11, 2017

On My Way

This is for SpinTunes 12 round 2. The challenge was “Write a quintessential road trip song”. Well, that could mean just about anything. It’s entirely dependent on what the listener thinks is a classic road trip song. One of the contestants has already opined that the perfect road trip song has already been written, and it's Weird Al's "The Biggest Ball Of Twine In Minnesota". Personally, I don't know about that. A lot of it depends on whether you think a "road trip song" is a song ABOUT a road trip, or it's a song to be PLAYED ON a road trip.

It's a huge difference. A song played on a road trip can be played over and over and over again. For us in our youth it would be something like Jackson Browne’s “Running on Empty”, which was literally stuck in the cassette deck of Mike Hoover’s car. Seriously. We either listened to Jackson Browne in that car or nothing at all.

And while Weird Al's song is fine novelty song about a road trip, as far as road trip songs go it's also the auditory equivalent of a porcupine pillow. You'd go insane. That goes for just about any novelty song, even the Muppet's "Moving Right Along" (though it has far more replay value).

So what do we think is a fine road trip song? "Running on Empty", for one, and Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again". Also, Eddie Rabbitt's "Drivin' My Life Away" hits pretty close to perfect for me. It's got a really great two-step beat and clever story and lyrics, and it could be played on a continuous loop. Just about any Country driving song would do the trick.

So we're not doing novelty this round. And we're pulling it down to grass roots. This song isn't a story song. It’s simply a long-haul trucker keeping time and pining on his way home. I'm not going to explain anything after the song, because that's all there is to it. When I pondered over the lyrics and told William it would be Bluegrass, he told me, "Yeah, that's what I had in mind, but I wasn't going to say."

On My Way
William Hoover 

There's a grassy knoll I've been dreaming to
And a fountain not too far away
I dream I’m lyin’ there with you
Cause I'm leaving today
I'm on my way.

There's a cool water summer on my mind
And a breeze blowing over the bay
I’ve always got you on my mind
Now I’m rollin’ your way
I'm on my way.

There's a moon in the river staring at me
From the eye in the glare of a wave
And I don't even know where that river is going
And I don't really care anyway
I'm on my way.

There's a shady tree I've been thinking of
And a sunset to follow that day
I’ll always think of you, my love
I'm leaving today
I'm on my way.

[Instrumental pre-chorus]

[Reprise Chorus]
On my way
And soon I'll be home to stay
Ain't gonna stray
Forever on my way.

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