Song Lyric Sunday: Road Trips – ‘The Promised Land’

This week, Helen at This Thing Called Life One Word At A Time is looking for a road-trip song. There’s certainly no shortage to choose from and, as usual my thoughts turned first to the Grateful Dead – who for many years of touring seemed to be on a semi-permanent road trip themselves. They had their own songs about road trips (‘The Music Never Stopped’; ‘Black Throated Wind’) but this rock & roll classic was a staple crowd-pleaser to open or end a set.

This one’s for Chuck.

I left my home in Norfolk Virginia
California on my mind
I straddled that Greyhound
And rode into Raleigh
And on across Caroline
We had motor trouble that turn into a struggle
Halfway across Alabam’
And that hound broke down and left us all stranded
In downtown Birmingham

Right away I brought me a through train ticket
Ridin’ across Mississippi clean
And I was on that midnight flyer out of Birmingham
Smoking into New Orleans

Somebody help me get out of Louisiana
Just to help me get to Houston Town
There are people there who care a little about me
And they won’t let the poor boy down

Sure as you’re born brought me a silk suit
Put luggage in my hand
And I woke up high over Alberquerque
On a jet to the promised land

Working on a T-bone steak a la carte
Flying over to the golden state
Ah when the pilot told us in thirteen minutes
He would set us at the terminal gate

Swing low chariot come down easy
Taxi to the terminal zone
Cut your engines and cool your wings
And let me make it to the telephone

Los Angeles give me Norfolk Virginia
Tidewater four ten o nine
Tell the folks back home this is the promised land calling
And the poor boy is on the line

Lyrics by Chuck Berry

Song Lyric Sunday 9 April 2017

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