Half Way Home

My last post about the hurricanes reminded me of a song that I wrote back when I was in what I might call my Kris Kristofferson phase. I was outlaw country, I guess, and had a lot of friends who were bikers and truck drivers. At the same time, my grandmother was suffering greatly from Alzheimer’s and the way that it affected her mind and robbed her of her memories really had a profound impact on me.

In the spoken intro to the demo version of this song there’s little spoken word thing … “I started out writing this song for older people, who start losing track of things, their memories … and then I thought it was perhaps about young people, some of them friends of mine, who experimented with one thing or another and didn’t make it all the way back from wherever it was they had gotten themselves to…”

At some point, I really considered trying to get Merle Haggard or David Allan Coe to record this.

The shadow on the road is getting longer
And the moonlight just won’t help me find my way
Silence on the radio and it is growing stronger
3 a.m. and no more songs to play

Been down this road so often in the springtime
But the winter hides my memory locked in chains
And the road rolls ‘neath my wheels like some old sweet rhyme
When the words are gone, just melody remains

I’ve tried to make it back to you one more time
But the road is now a lost trail that I roam
So fare thee well, for I can’t tell
The highway from the chrome
Guess I’ll only make it half way home

For many years this road’s been friend and lover
And the silver lines have led me to your smile
But tonight my mind is tired and can’t recover
The memory of that last familiar mile

The light that you left on I’m sure is burning
And the walk up to your door is straight and clean
But I can’t see past this dark road’s gentle turning
And I’m riding on between daylight and dream

I’ve tried to make it back to you one more time
But the road is now a lost trail that I roam
So fare thee well, for I can’t tell
The concrete from the chrome
Guess I’m only coming half way home

The shadow on the road goes on for ages
There’s no way now of telling where to go
And my map seems to be missing all its pages
How I’ll make it home I just don’t know.

1996

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