Song Of The Day 8/26/2014: Blackfoot - "Left Turn On A Red Light"



Southern Rock Week: There are tons of rock and country songs about traveling. Rambling, if you will. And you probably are. Certainly some of the appeal of songs about being somewhere other than where you're from comes from the nomadic nature of touring musicians across the granite scaffolds of the American interstate system. There are lots of wonders to be absorbed. For example, gas stations big enough to accommodate large trucks. Some of these gas stations even have Wendy's counters inside, and you can buy a cassette of George Jones' greatest hits for $8. They also have showers. I personally would think twice about getting in one of those, but should the ravaging of miles begin to chip away at your comfort and a roadside motel is out of the question for whatever reason, you can go ahead and take your chances in the showers. I forget whether they provide towels.

Rambling is also the easiest -- I did not say "best" -- reason to give for abandoning a lover you might have taken on the night before. The singer pretends to make his escape out of a convoluted display of protection for the one-night stand he's leaving behind; i.e., "I was born to keep moving, if you stay with me I'll only run away and break your heart, and if you leave your life behind and make the decision to come with me you're in for a virtual conveyor belt of little comfort, inane talk radio and greasy food, and I haven't even told you about the showers yet." So the road, as it's called, represents both liberty and bondage, the questionable belief that one must remain on said road to arrive at their final paradisiacal destination which, you've probably realized by now, they'll never find. But stay on the road they do, because as much as it chips and etches away at one's soul, it still beats living in a subdivision.

Even with the above facetiousness, there are a couple of "road" songs I like more than others, and one of them is "Left Turn On a Red Light" by Blackfoot, a Jacksonville aggregate you might remember for their minor hit "Highway Song." This song speaks to me because it dispenses with the romance of the road right up front (it can't be that romantic 'cause he's on a Greyhound), and the singer is revisited by memories of a failed or broken relationship, or maybe one that never had a chance to begin with. And he's sick of the goddamn road, too: "I don't know where I am / And I really don't give a damn / This crazy life of mine will soon be gone." So on top of all of that, a hastened sense of mortality. Not everyone's impressed with a Wendy's being inside a giant gas station for trucks. I've no idea why, but they aren't.


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