Song Lyric Sunday – Down in the Valley

This is much harder than I thought. I have so many songs on my playlist and as Spotify reminded me, my genre leans a lot toward stomp & holler music and much of my music tends toward surviving addiction or dealing with the pain of suicidal tendencies and what I would deem inspiration to work through it or just plain old screaming frustration at the state of the world/government/life in general. A lot of my music is foreign and well, translating the lyrics isn’t always easy. So for this week’s edition of Song Lyric Sunday, the challenge is a song with a title that starts with either the D or J.

So after perusing my playlist, I decided to choose a song from a relatively unknown (I believe) band, The Head and the Heart. I figure since I don’t want to start off Sunday with dark lyrics, I would choose a song to introduce a band you may not know. If this band is more known than I realize, I would love to know. My circle of acquaintances here in South Central PA have not heard them before.

The band members consist of Jonathan Russell, Charity Rose Thielen, Matt Gervais, Chris Zasche, Kenny Hensley, and Tyler Williams. The band formed in 2009 in Seattle, which we all know was an awesome place for new and different music to appear. I was fortunate enough to be living there when grunge made its way to the forefront and, through my then-husband, know some of the band members who ultimately made it big. As with many young wannabe musicians, many of the members of The Head and the Heart were transplants from other states to Washington.

Interestingly, this American Indie-Rock, folk band was formed through series of open mic nights at Seattle’s Conor Byrne pub (est. 1898), which was (or maybe still is) located in the Ballard neighborhood. I visited that pub once or twice long before this band was formed – back in my drinking days, as I lived in the neighboring neighborhood, Magnolia, which was just across the Ballard draw bridge. Actually, I believe most of these band members would have only been a few years old back then, or, dare I say, even born.

The song I choose, Down in the Valley, was released in 2011 from their self titled album, The Head and the Heart. The lyrics seem to describe life on the road as a musician and the sometimes yearning of a “normal” life. I read that the name of the band, The Head and the Heart, comes from the Head telling you to do one thing – the sane, mature thing. While the Heart begs you to follow it and your dreams. Very nice, but in the music industry, very difficult, I would think.

I wish I was a slave to an age-old trade
Like ridin’ around on railcars and workin’ long days

Lord have mercy on my rough and rowdy ways
Lord have mercy on my rough and rowdy ways

Call it one drink too many
Call it pride of a man
But it don’t make no difference if you sit or you stand

‘Cause they both end in trouble and start with a grin
Yeah they both end in trouble and start with a grin

We do it over and over and over again
We do it over and over and over again

Oh-oh
Oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh

Oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh

Oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh

I know there’s California, Oklahoma
And all of the places I ain’t ever been to but
Down in the valley with
Whiskey rivers
These are the places you will find me hidin’
These are the places I will always go
These are the places I will always go

I am on my way
I am on my way
I am on my way back to where I started

Oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh

Oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh

One more for the stars and their eyes in the walls
I hail your face and then, I saw you standing out

I saw your face in the crowd and you came out
You saw me crossing the valley and you came in

Look at the sign on the door and it reads to me
Just like the grass and the sign when you walked in

Oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh
Oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh

I am on my way
I am on my way
I am on my way back to where I started

California, Oklahoma
And all of the places I ain’t ever been to but
Down in the valley with
Whiskey rivers
These are the places you will find me hidin’
These are the places I will always go
These are the places I will always go

So I wish I was a slave to an age-old trade
Lord have mercy on my rough and rowdy ways

Published by SadiRose

Blogging gets the noise in my head out...at least for a little while. I use blogging to weed through all that noise and find the humor in each situation, even if it takes some time to find it. I am not selling anything, just sharing experiences as a mother, Amma, wife, paralegal, volunteer, Muslimah, sister, daughter, mother-in-law, woman.

3 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday – Down in the Valley

  1. Nice music SadiRose and I love the way you wrote about this song. I read that this song might be about lead singer Jonathan Russell doing what he wants in life while he travels around, but other things that he has no control over come into play and he always returns back to where his life used to be (the valley).

    Liked by 1 person

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