Song of the Week: River Road 2nd February 2010

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Sue Ellen
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Song of the Week: River Road 2nd February 2010

Postby Sue Ellen » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:42 am

River Road
from The Day After Everything Changed

There's a golden moon rising in the fields
A scarecrow highway…a back road
I'm lost, on empty….hungry for a meal
And the taste of a day not wasted
When I'm down
I let my wheels roll around
I come running to you
And I roll my windows down

(Chorus)
Would you like to know how it feels
To trade your wings in on some wheels
I've got the keys, let's take a ride
Stick your hand out the passenger side
Down the river road
Clear water flows
Down on the river road
It's where I wanna go
Down the river road

A moth in a porchlight…a red-curtained windowpane
Your eyes in the screen door…
They tell me all I need to know
You step out in the night air
And call me by my name
A cricket's cry…no alibis
Come run with me
Let's step out
We'll let the wheels roll around
I'll come running to you
And I'll roll my windows down

(Repeat chorus)

The river road….the river road…..the river road

Alrighty then. I do not have the talents or insights of most of the "analysts" who comment here, so I've had quite a bit of trepidation about this assignment. I do not have much in the way of discussion or analysis for these lyrics; I am simply sharing the images and memories this song has consistently evoked for me.

Until now, these have historically been my all-time favorite Ellis Paul lyrics:

Down in Houston on comes this woman with two kids and a bottle of booze,
And she cracked them both like match heads whenever they ventured too close to her fuse. (3000 miles)


My goodness, an entire biography in a single sentence. Brilliant. However, these lines have been eeking out a slight lead in my favorite lyrics psyche:

I'm lost, on empty….hungry for a meal
And the taste of a day not wasted


For me, the first verse takes me back in time to Margret's kitchen, in an old house in Claremont, New Hampshire, just at the apex where Pleasant Street splits...this song takes me through the always cold garage, onto the enclosed dusty/musty hallway with a porch on one side, and a lonely bedroom on the other, straight into my grandmother's kitchen...

Mmm, her kitchen was always filled with delicious smells. I recall that often my dad and I would end up there on a Saturday or a Sunday, after an early hike up Mt. Ascutney, just across the Connecticut River. I recall that we not infrequently ran down the mountain in order to make it in time for lunch (I come by my love of trail running quite honestly).

As a little girl, I would claim the little step stool at the back of the kitchen, next to the washing machine and listen to my grandmother's conversations as she bustled around the tiniest kitchen you can imagine, producing the most amazing feasts with the simplest of foods. In the summer, the back window was always open, and a soft breeze always seemed to be gently flowing...

I always felt well nourished at my grandmother's house, physically and emotionally...those days, the days that included visits there were never wasted.

Hmm. Not an analysis, just a glimpse of the memories that overtake me every time I hear this song.
"...I implore you, I entreat you, I challenge you to speak with conviction, to say what you believe, in a manner that bespeaks the determination with which you believe it, because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker, it is not enough these days to "question" authority, you have to speak with it, too."
Taylor Mali, "Like, You Know?"

paddyinthepub
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Re: Song of the Week: River Road 2nd February 2010

Postby paddyinthepub » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:21 am

Sue I really enjoyed that trek down the hill to grandma's kitchen and the tastes of a day not wasted. That line in particular should become household and used in all manner of motivation be it in the arena of education, business, or personal growth. Ellis Paul should make enough money for being the author of that line to refund all donations to all fans and supporters who pitched in to help make this album. It should be his calling card, really. Hey look, kids, there's Ellis Paul. He's the guy that sings the taste of a day not wasted. Go say hello. No mom. Go ahead. No Mom. Why not? I'm too embarrased. Ah hon. Life is short. Go ahead.
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

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Re: Song of the Week: River Road 2nd February 2010

Postby paddyinthepub » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:44 am

On the lyrics page where the song can be heard when you hit play the first line is slightly different where here on this youtube they match.

Is it golden moon or golden road, I wonder?

River Road youtube
River Road on lyrics/play

Course I should just get on with my day.... :D
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
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monicar
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Re: Song of the Week: River Road 2nd February 2010

Postby monicar » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:53 am

Sue Ellen, I give you an A++. I can't come anywhere near analyzing like some of these fine people do. Your memories are beautiful!

I find myself singing "and the taste of a day not wasted" quite often. Good way to start the day!

This song is definitely one of my favorites on the CD!

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KarenZ
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Re: Song of the Week: River Road 2nd February 2010

Postby KarenZ » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:37 pm

Hey everyone,

Sue Ellen, thanks so much for sharing the memories/feelings of what those lyrics evoke in you. Music speaks the language of the heart, for sure.

Paddy, I don't hear any difference between the two links you posted. I think both are the CD version, no?

It is interesting how we debate individual words. :) It seems to me that if we agree that the interpretation of a song's lyrics is personal.....that how we hear the words is personal too. I hear "The crickets cry, no alibis" so that's how I transcribed the lyrics. It's quite possible that EP is actually saying "The crickets cry their alibis". That makes sense too. However, the lyrics booklet says "The crickets cry, they're alibis." I suspect it's a typo since I can't seem to wrap my head around that meaning. But who knows? :)

This is such a rockin' country song from beginning to end. The visual imagery is a running video in my head. (I'm sure I've made that comment before.) I can just see it all playing out. I especially love the line (visual) of sticking one's hand out the passenger window....although as the evening progresses, I see a foot sticking out the window too. :-) And trading my wings in for some wheels sounds like great fun to me. :-)

KarenZ
"Some people are born to make great art and others are born to appreciate it. It is a kind of talent in itself, to be an audience, whether you are the spectator in the gallery or you are listening to the voice of the world's greatest soprano. Not everyone can be the artist. There have to be those who witness the art, who love and appreciate what they have been privileged to see." -- Ann Patchett in Bel Canto.

Richard + Jela
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Re: Song of the Week: River Road 2nd February 2010

Postby Richard + Jela » Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:03 pm

Music really is food for the soul. The slightest snippet can sometimes take us to places we think we've long forgotten about - love the story about Grandma's kitchen Sue Ellen.

The production on this song fits so well with the feel of it - that sense of freedom, of adventure and just being able to go........

I hear the line 'to trade your wings in on some wheels' but I see the converse - trading wheels for wings.

Flying free.

Jela

paddyinthepub
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Re: Song of the Week: River Road 2nd February 2010

Postby paddyinthepub » Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:42 pm

Karen ~ one of us is hearing things and maybe both. Actually now that I've gone back I don't hear the R sound at all...so moon it is. Either I'm losin it or the powers that be is havin a lil fun here....Ellis??? :P
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
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Patti
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Re: Song of the Week: River Road 2nd February 2010

Postby Patti » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:13 am

I had this song ,a different version , a different title "Where The River Rolls" on my computer from a down load a few years ago but it is no longer available ?? . I originally wanted to compare the song to see what the changes were.. but then realized why.. that was then this is now.. I do know I like this version better.. Trading wings for wheels and tasting days not wasted works for me... The whole album has a summer feel to it for me...(this song in particular) and summer always provides the best times and the best memories in my mind.. so this song is a keeper just the way it is... and uh..speaking of summer...bring it on... 8)

PS I've detoured from usual music tastes this week and have been thoroughly enjoying my new Pink CD.. Funhouse... I'm sure I can only take her in small doses but this CD is def. worth a listen..
"Embrace what you have in common, celebrate what sets you apart" Ellis Paul

Patti
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Re: Song of the Week: River Road 2nd February 2010

Postby Patti » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:18 am

PS Sue Ellen I meant to ask..is Claremont New Hampshire near Lake Sunapee?? If it is boy that would be something because some of those memories I alluded to took place right there too...
"Embrace what you have in common, celebrate what sets you apart" Ellis Paul

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KarenZ
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Re: Song of the Week: River Road 2nd February 2010

Postby KarenZ » Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:16 am

Patti, here's the lyrics I had transcribed from the "Where the River Rolls" download:

Where the River Rolls

Golden moon …rising in the fields
A scarecrow's highway …a backroad
I'm lost, on empty….I’m hungry for a meal
and the taste of a day not wasted
when I'm down
I let my wheels roll around
I come running to you

(Chorus)
will you
take the wheel
take the wheel
will you
lay your hands so I can feel
where the river rolls
is where the pilgrims go
where the river rolls
is where I want to go
take the wheel

A moth in a porchlight…a curtained windowpane
your eyes through a screen door…tell me
step out in the night air
you call me by my name
a cricket’s cry…an alibi
come run with me
step out
we'll let the wheels roll …around
I'm glad I found you

(Chorus 2)
will you
take the wheel
take the wheel
will you
lay your hands so I can feel
where the river rolls
where the pilgrims go
where the river rolls
cool water flows
where the river rolls
is where I want to go
river rolls…

river, river, river, river rolls…
river, river, river, river rolls…river rolls….

I have the song as an mp3 file so if you want me to send it to you, let me know.

Karen, the archivist :)
"Some people are born to make great art and others are born to appreciate it. It is a kind of talent in itself, to be an audience, whether you are the spectator in the gallery or you are listening to the voice of the world's greatest soprano. Not everyone can be the artist. There have to be those who witness the art, who love and appreciate what they have been privileged to see." -- Ann Patchett in Bel Canto.

paddyinthepub
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Re: Song of the Week: River Road 2nd February 2010

Postby paddyinthepub » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:24 am

WOW! I used to love that song when it was new and a quick question isn't it on one of the live releases in some form? I had NO IDEA that the song became River Road. Also, wasn't there a connection with the song to Ellis' newfound appreciation for the music of Ray Bonneville. Back to getting ready for the Blizzard heading our way. "Weather advisory one for the diary, it's windy and cold, so stay off the road" Sure makes me long for Washington DC 5/91 where the lucky ones if they're out tonight will see cherry blossoms blooming. Hang on tight, ya'll. Stay warm.
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

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Re: Song of the Week: River Road 2nd February 2010

Postby KarenZ » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:54 am

Paddy,

"Where River Rolls" was on MySpace for a while, but it never made it to any official live release. I quick check of the Ellis Paul Archives website shows that he performed it at the Tin Angel in May 2006 and at Cabin Concerts in March 2006. :)

KarenZ
"Some people are born to make great art and others are born to appreciate it. It is a kind of talent in itself, to be an audience, whether you are the spectator in the gallery or you are listening to the voice of the world's greatest soprano. Not everyone can be the artist. There have to be those who witness the art, who love and appreciate what they have been privileged to see." -- Ann Patchett in Bel Canto.


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