Captain Chaos

Best lyric on Western Stars?

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2 minutes ago, Jerseyfornia said:

No. Its much simpler than that. The cemetery is "down the five" from where he lives.

But then why would the boots be in the whispering grasses.

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1 minute ago, The_Magic Rat said:

But then why would the boots be in the whispering grasses.

Because he'd be dead and buried in the cemetery, meaning the boots they buried him in would eventually be empty.

He's just saying he woke up just glad to still be alive.

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Just now, Jerseyfornia said:

Because he'd be dead and buried in the cemetery, meaning the boots they buried him in would eventually be empty.

He's just saying he woke up just glad to still be alive.

I get that bit. 

Its just the imagery of, empty boots within the grasses rather than under the grasses that conjures some sort of incident for me.

 

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Down the five at Forest Lawn...

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1 hour ago, Jerseyfornia said:

That verse and the verse about the gearhead are the two that make the song real for me. Most of you know I spent a considerable number of years wandering the country, hitchhiking so I had high expectations for this song; so high that I was disappointed on first listen. I suppose because the more traumatic encounters I had on the road are what form the bones of my own stories, I expected something more from the song. It's those two verses that brought me around about it because they both show the hitcher doing what any good hitcher does, making conversation the driver would find agreeable. This song is like most of my days out on the road, just a series of short rides that have little real impact on the driver or the hitchhiker.

When he sings about riding on top of the world with the trucker, I love that, too. It's not only that he's sitting high above the road in that rig, but that catching rides with long-haul truckers is the ideal ride. They are usually travelling a long way, they're generous about feeding strays and they are likely to have some work for you, offer you some nap time in the sleeper and even get on the CB and try to find you another ride when they let you out. When I listen to the song, that trucker is driving the only big rig it could possibly be...a huge Western Star.

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i do love big trucks and ive been very fortunate to have had a ride in quite a number of them

do you have those road signs as you come into a town that say

no engine breaking please 

me and gary always make the big.noise to each other :lol:

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5 minutes ago, Daisey Jeep said:

do you have those road signs as you come into a town that say

They say "Trucks No Jake Brakes" or "Avoid Using Engine Brakes" and other similar commands.

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1 minute ago, Jerseyfornia said:

They say "Trucks No Jake Brakes" or "Avoid Using Engine Brakes" and other similar commands.

jake brakes ...

ill tuck that away for future use 

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@Jerseyfornia I love the fact that you are here to explain all this to an English girl with absolutely no knowledge of hitch hiking, the dessert, any of it really. 

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6 minutes ago, Daisey Jeep said:

jake brakes ...

ill tuck that away for future use 

It's become the generic term for a compression release engine brake, but it refers to the design by Jacob Vehicle Systems.

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4 minutes ago, Ann Jones said:

@Jerseyfornia I love the fact that you are here to explain all this to an English girl with absolutely no knowledge of hitch hiking, the dessert, any of it really. 

I think you're fibbing about never having dessert.

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3 minutes ago, Jerseyfornia said:

I think you're fibbing about never having dessert.

i never know what im.spelling or reading sometimes it its a desert or a dessert ???

fb7c9edd3d81c65aa3d68526d97991e3.jpg

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1 minute ago, Daisey Jeep said:

i never know what im.spelling or reading sometimes it its a desert or a dessert ???

fb7c9edd3d81c65aa3d68526d97991e3.jpg

That definitely qualifies as both!

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Every cake has its thorns.

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4 hours ago, Tom-Joad said:

Family man gives me a ride
Got his pregnant Sally at his side
Yes indeed, sir, children are a gift
Thank you kindly for the lift

 

I didn’t give it a lot of thought at first but now I really like this. I can easily imagine Sally’s husband tapping away about the joy of having kids and a family. I can see the protagonist being polite because he needs the lift. But, really, what would the protagonist know about children being a gift? If he does have any, how long must it have been when he last saw them? And was that his choice as the song seems to indicate? Or is he just fooling himself? If he doesn’t have kids, how does he feel about it? We don’t get know because all he says is a very polite “yes indeed, sir, children are a gift”, forced smile and trying to sound as believable as he can.

The hitch-hiker is young.  That's quite explicit.  The guy in the "souped-up '72 wants to show a kid just what this thing'll do", and the truck driver calls him "son".  So I don't think he sounds like someone who's got a wife and family somewhere.  If he did, I feel there would be a hint of it in the lyrics. 
I agree with JF, he's just being polite, making conversation in an empathetic way.  He does the same with the "gearhead" : " Thank you, pal, she sure can fly".

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33 minutes ago, Rizla said:

The hitch-hiker is young.  That's quite explicit.  The guy in the "souped-up '72 wants to show a kid just what this thing'll do", and the truck driver calls him "son".  So I don't think he sounds like someone who's got a wife and family somewhere.  If he did, I feel there would be a hint of it in the lyrics. 
I agree with JF, he's just being polite, making conversation in an empathetic way.  He does the same with the "gearhead" : " Thank you, pal, she sure can fly".

I see what you mean but I don’t think it’s that clear cut. The “kid” and “son” references could just be a hint of condescension.

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4 minutes ago, Tom-Joad said:

I see what you mean but I don’t think it’s that clear cut. The “kid” and “son” references could just be a hint of condescension.

"Son" only tells us that the trucker is a fair bit older than him, I grant you that.  But I don't think anyone would refer to a mature person as "kid".  This is definitely a young man, and that's one reason why it's the opening song.

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If one thing in my experience settles the youthfulness of the hitchhiker for me, it's the family man picking him up. Most men with their wife in the car are more likely to pick up a kid than a grown, road weathered man. A kid seems much less dangerous to the average Joneses. When I was the youngest one on a crowded ramp, I always got a ride before the men did. If there was a girl or a kid younger than I looked, they'd get picked up first.

None of the brief descriptions of the rides in the song hint at a situation where the driver is being condescending. They're all friendly rides.

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1 hour ago, Rizla said:

"Son" only tells us that the trucker is a fair bit older than him, I grant you that.  But I don't think anyone would refer to a mature person as "kid".  This is definitely a young man, and that's one reason why it's the opening song.

Exactly.  

The hitchhiker seems to be on the young(er/ish) side.  And as you’ve pointed out, MM seems like an old(er/ish) man lost in a bittersweet memory.  

The album, as others have said, and I agree, is his journey.  

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The Wayfarer is the hitchhiker when he's older. I read in one review that the first two tracks were songs about the same kind of character. Same kind? I think it's the same guy.

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18 hours ago, Paolo's Circus Story said:

Yeah I'm enjoying hearing certain lyrics and making random connections to other Bruce songs. Another one in "Moonlight Motel" was, "Last night I dreamed of you, my lover, and the wind blew through the window and blew off the covers, of my lonely bed, I woke to something you said, that it's better to have loved, yeah it's better to have loved" and based purely on "last night I dreamed" I thought "maybe this is the protagonist from "Point Blank" speaking. 

All because of the lyric "Once I dreamed we were together again baby you and me, back home in those old clubs the way we used to be". Like you said, it's class having great lyrics to talk about. It's been so many years, we should be allowed to overthink them :lol:

That whole verse (and the end) in Moonlight Motel is very similar in content to the dream sequence verse in Downbound Train, only instead of breaking down and crying, he pours a shot of whisky onto the parking lot. 

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2 hours ago, Dr. Zoom said:

That whole verse (and the end) in Moonlight Motel is very similar in content to the dream sequence verse in Downbound Train, only instead of breaking down and crying, he pours a shot of whisky onto the parking lot. 

Difference is, in DT their "love went bad" and she left him.  In MM I think they've been together until her death.

From the tone of his voice (rather than the lyrics) I don't get the impression that she's recently died. He's sad but he sounds like he's had time to accept it, it's not raw grief.

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5 minutes ago, Rizla said:

Difference is, in DT their "love went bad" and she left him.  In MM I think they've been together until her death.

From the tone of his voice (rather than the lyrics) I don't get the impression that she's recently died. He's sad but he sounds like he's had time to accept it, it's not raw grief.

That 's very possible, but on both songs, the singer's been left. I find the MM "version" of this much more realistic and sadder.

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9 minutes ago, Rizla said:

Difference is, in DT their "love went bad" and she left him.  In MM I think they've been together until her death.

From the tone of his voice (rather than the lyrics) I don't get the impression that she's recently died. He's sad but he sounds like he's had time to accept it, it's not raw grief.

Yes, I think he's had time to come to terms with her death. He's only reminded of their life, their lives, together when he ends up driving down that lonely road leading to the Moonlight Motel. Because, when he gets there, he discovers that the Motel has died too, drained of all life and colour. But the memories live on - as they do when someone leaves you for good. So, in that empty parking lot, he thinks of younger, happier, lazier, hazier days. And for that he is grateful.

It's such a remarkably rich, layered song.

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On 6/16/2019 at 8:57 AM, Silvia said:

For some weird reason I like:

Coyote with someone's Chihuahua in it's teeth skitters 'cross my veranda in the night

Also the description of the empty pool, a superb metaphor for the emotional void.

Now the pool's filled with empty, eight-foot deep

Great lyrics throughout the album in abundance...

For a man who loves dogs he sure likes to kill them off.  I'm still feeling sad about the  dead dog in a ditch getting poked with a stick , the one legged dog and now this picture is stuck in my head.  It's a dog eat dog world out here son.  

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