Straight Into the Light

Straight into the Light

When I came up with the phrase, “in my daddy’s rented Cadillac” — I knew the Caddy would have to come to a violent end, hopefully along with the presumably rich and spoiled young protagonist.

Without doubt, the more interesting part of this story — who this young wastrel is/was, what he did to warrant (what increasingly seemed like it would have to be) a fiery demise, who he’d be thinking about in those final moments, who he’d leave behind — all of that got left out of this song.

All that’s left is a kind of man and the road saga of a compulsive drive on a spooky night culminating in… the end of the song.

Internet Archive page for this recording
previous AYoS version November 02, 2005


When I left the high school dance
in my daddy’s rented Cadillac
I didn’t know what trouble was
I didn’t know there was no way back

The moon was a hole in the night sky
heaven knows who was looking in
The night was a hole in my life
and I didn’t know I was falling in

I made it past dead man’s curve
and the cliff at the top of the hill
I glided deftly through the hairpin turns
past the old graveyard that’s not quite full

I drove up that twisted mountain road
straight up into the night
Now I was totally all alone
drving through a hole in my life

My heart was pounding but my hands were dry
The engine was throbbing and the gears whined
My mind was racing at the speed of light
and my knuckles on the wheels glowed ghostly white

My life was the road and the road was my life
as it twisted and turned into the night
The road was the world and the world was night
as I rounded the bend and drove straight into the light

My eyes were shadows in the back of my brain
My mind was unravelling and my soul was in flames
The car was gone I was cut loose in space
Dogs from heaven laughed in my face

I was spinning I was falling I was going down
fallilng through a world without light or sound
I was watching from a hill from far away
when the Caddy hit the gas truck —
great balls of flame!

Copyright 1981
T.K. Major


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