This is not a murder ballad.
It’s a song about a long-haul trucker coming to the realization that his marriage is over. He thinks about it when he drives. He thinks about it when he lies awake in the sleeper in the back of the cab. And he prays about it in a little church on the way home. Simple, hunh?
That’s what I thought.
But I had to stop performing it because people kept coming up afterwards and saying, “Man that’s dark. It’s so seething and brink-of-violence. So, how does he kill her?”
And… as I read the lyrics now, they may be vague but, yeah, depending on how you read them, they could also be a bit ominous. But, really, what I had in mind was a guy simply breaking out of that thrall of indecision… just before you finally give up on someone you were positive would change your world. Not that, you know, I was ever such a sap. But people have been…
Ever think of all the great songs that started with the phrase “wake up”?
Yeah… well, I just checked, and, as of today, four of the songs so far (out of 71 songs since September 22) from A Year of Songs have the words “wake up” in the first 3 words of the song — and one more has “woke up.”
Don’t ask me why. If I had to guess, I’d say I was subconsciously on a quest to come up with a line with the classic elegance of “Woke up this morning / got myself a beer” (Jim Morrison) — which, I’ve always felt, pretty much sez it all.
Wake up pretty baby tell me what the
hell is going on … I been
on the road for 19 days
and you act like I ain’t been gone
I been thinkin’ ’bout the days
when we thought our love was true
[but] I been thinking my forever
might be better off without you
Driving 16 hours a day
gives you lots of time to think
I been thinking bout a lot of things
that could drive ya to the brink
I been thinkin’ ’bout the days…
the truck stop sign is flashing
through the window of the cab
I wake up sweating
from that same old dream I have
I been dreamin’ ’bout the days…
the little church was quiet
on a Tuesday afternoon
I sat and thought about us
until I knew what I had to do
(C)1998, TK Major