Sunday, December 9, 2012

Master Storyteller: 5 Stories from Tom Petty's 'Highway Companion'

'I'm passing sleeping cities, fading by degrees, not believing all I see to be so, I'm flying over backyards, country homes and ranches, watching life between the branches below...I'm moving on alone over ground that no one owns, past statues that atone for my sins, there's a guard on every door, and a drink on every floor, overflowing with a thousand amens...You're rolling up the carpet of your father's two-room mansion, no headroom for expansion no more, and there's a corner of the floor, they're telling you its yours, you're confident, but not really sure..And it's hard to say, who you are these days, but you run on anyway, don't you baby? You keep running for another place, to find that saving grace, don't you baby?' - 'Saving Grace'

'Headed back down south, gonna see my daddy's mistress, gonna buy back her forgiveness, pay off every witness, one more time down south, sell the family headstones, drag a bag of dry bones, make good on my back loans...Sleep late down south, look up my former mentors, live off Yankee winters, be a landlord and a renter..create myself down south, impress all the women, pretend I'm Samuel Clemens, wear seersucker and white linens...Spanish moss down south, find the heroes of my childhood, who now can do me no good, carve their names in a ghost down south, spirits cross the dead fields, mosquitoes hit the windshield, all documents remain sealed..So if I come to your door, let me sleep on your floor, I'll give you all I have, and a little more.' - 'Down South'

'There's a shadow on the moon tonight, I swear I see your face, up there with the satellites, looking down from outerspace, me, I'm drifting home again, headlights in my eyes, fighting sleep with windows down, worn out from long goodbyes...You offered up no history when you blew into town, you remain a mystery, no information found..I speed dial the judgment call, the near miss hit the ground, the new king hides behind the stone, refusing to be crowned...High tide rumbles, PCH, my tire's losing track, helicopter circling, wiping overhead, now I sit and count the days, and try to fill my time, there's a shadow on the moon tonight, the dollar gets a dime..Night driver, drifting home again, night driver, drifting home again.' - 'Night Driver'

'Save a dream for me, the words hang in the air, her demons take the dare, above the lonely feather circles to the ground, the house don't make a sound...Green and gray and auburn, sliding down the sky, the devil winks an eye, a figure in the doorway, shouldering the blame, a saint without a name...The king and queen are loaded, falling off to sleep, the ground begins to creep, rockets in the tail lights, red burns into night, rolling out of sight...Turn this car around, turn this car around, I'm goin back.' - 'Turn This Car Around'

Well, they raised that horse to be a jumper, he was owned by a mid-west bible thumper, his preacher was a Louisiana drummer, took all winter to get through the summer, the fieldhand hit the swtich and stumbled, outside the big engine roared and rumbled, the stolen horse spooked and tumbled, she didn't speak for a week, just kinda mumbled...He was caught up in a lie he half-believed, found her hiding high in the family tree, washed his hands and put across his knee, she said, Daddy you been a mother to me...ankle deep in love, ankle deep in love.' - 'Ankle Deep'

(All songs written by Tom Petty, from Highway Companion, Tom Petty, 2006)

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