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James McMurtry — Walk Between the Raindrops
Album: Walk Between the Raindrops
Avg rating:
6.7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 847









Released: 1998
Length: 3:21
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Don't know what's gotten into you
Must be something in your genes
About this time I was crazy, too
And most times in between

But I survived to live another day
I might have learned a trick or two
So just remember when your old and your gray
Some of what I taught to you

Stay alive inside, don't be a stranger
Keep a line open to the folks back home
Don't run and hide when everything changes
Walk between the raindrops dry as a bone

You're laying low, staying outta sight
Hanging out in your room
You're up all night by the monitor's light
And sleeping through the afternoon

Well, I won't tell you how you gotta be
You're old enough to make a choice
It's just that in between all the words on the screen
I doubt you'll ever hear a human voice

Stay alive inside, don't be a stranger
Keep a line open to the outside world
Don't run and hide when everything changes
Walk between the raindrops smooth as a pearl

You're at that age and you know it all
And you're not even hearing what I say
Knowing better never kept me outta trouble
I don't care I'm gonna tell you anyway

Stay alive inside, don't be a stranger
Keep a line open to the folks back home
Don't run and hide when everything changes
Walk between the raindrops dry as a bone

Stay alive inside, don't be a stranger
Keep a line open to the folks back home
Don't run and hide when everything changes
Walk between the raindrops dry as a bone
Walk between the raindrops dry as a bone
Walk between the raindrops dry as a bone
Comments (122)add comment
He jams out all these songs live. Never miss him on stage.
I love these lyrics.

But it's McMurtry so of course I do.
Commencement address. 
I like the idea of a song of (presumably) a father talking to his (presumed) teenage son.  Could be either gender but it just seems like he is addressing a male.  It is simple and positive, and he knows the son won't listen anyway.  I was fortunate that my son listened to me as a teen.  I just wish I had something profound to say.
 h8rhater wrote:

Banal:  So lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring.

The number of times you have used the word in your song comments: 11

You sir, resemble your comment.

 
Touche' !

McMurtry is brilliant. Those that can't grasp this deserve our scorn. 
 Cynaera wrote:
I haven't read other comments because I already did that on another McMurtry song, and it depressed me. Instead, I'll just post my thoughts.  James McMurtry does some absolutely wonderful stuff. "Level-land" (which reminds me of the wistful/desperate theme of "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" for some inexplicable reason), for one.  I think my muse is not in synch with other peoples' muses, because he likes James McMurtry's music and whenever I hear one of McMurtry's songs, I feel compelled to write.  When one is trying to make an eventual living at writing, every little bit helps.{#Sunny}

 
{#Sunny}  keep shining that beautiful light
This song is overdue for comment. Most seem negative... I think its catchy and the lyrics are pretty good (standard McMurtry). Glad to hear it every now and again.
{#Stop}
Good stuff!
 Blastcat900 wrote:

I disagree, this song is silly dribble. He might have other, better songs, I wouldn't know. But this one is banal.

 


I can understand people not liking it or overlooking it, but it's not banal.


"You're at that age 
And you know it all 
And you're not even hearing what I say
Knowing better never kept me outta trouble
I don't care I'm gonna tell you anyway"

That's limning out two cranky irascible, understandable people and their relationship prefectly, in 32 words,  I love how the older guy knows the young one won't listen but is salty enough to say it anyway.  Good, thoughtful stuff. 

I can understand people not liking the flavor of his music or his voice (although I can listen to his best stuff for hours, personally), but this guy just writes great lyrics, again and again. 
{#Yell}  Bill, play Donald Fagen ( The Nightfly) - he makes a superb job of "Walk between the Raindrops"  {#Dance}
 joelbb wrote:
This is banal.

 
Banal:  So lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring.

The number of times you have used the word in your song comments: 11

You sir, resemble your comment.
This is banal.
More I hear of James the more I like his sound.
Boring....
I like a lot of James McMurtry's stuff. "We Can't Make It Here Anymore" for example. Also have seen him live, puts on a good show.

The first time I had to use the PSD button !!! And thank god it works !!!
 Cynaera wrote:

Normally, I'd just write you off as a troll, but you used a couple of bi-syllable words, so I feel I should gently correct you. McMurtry is nowhere NEAR "middle of the road."  He's also not a hick. He's traveled the country extensively, observed the conditions, and been very verbal regarding the deplorable conditions in some places - hence his lyrics.

If you view this song as "nonsense," I hope you'll give his other work a listen. Otherwise, as far as I'm concerned, you have nothing credible to say.

Yes, I'm harsh.  No, I'm not sorry.

 
I disagree, this song is silly dribble. He might have other, better songs, I wouldn't know. But this one is banal.
Must've heard this so many times on RP over the years, and just realised I'd completely neglected to come here and give it an 8 :)
 Cynaera wrote:
I haven't read other comments because I already did that on another McMurtry song, and it depressed me. Instead, I'll just post my thoughts.  James McMurtry does some absolutely wonderful stuff. "Level-land" (which reminds me of the wistful/desperate theme of "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" for some inexplicable reason), for one.  I think my muse is not in synch with other peoples' muses, because he likes James McMurtry's music and whenever I hear one of McMurtry's songs, I feel compelled to write.  When one is trying to make an eventual living at writing, every little bit helps.{#Sunny}
 
That movie was filmed in Manor (MAY-nor) Texas, not far from Austin. Manor was a common destination/rest stop on our bike rides back in the day. It was funny to see 'our' little town on the big screen, hardly changed for the movie. They did repave the road though, that was very nice for us. The courthouse in the movie is in Lockhart Texas.

 redmachine wrote:
middle of the road hick nonsense.
 
Normally, I'd just write you off as a troll, but you used a couple of bi-syllable words, so I feel I should gently correct you. McMurtry is nowhere NEAR "middle of the road."  He's also not a hick. He's traveled the country extensively, observed the conditions, and been very verbal regarding the deplorable conditions in some places - hence his lyrics.

If you view this song as "nonsense," I hope you'll give his other work a listen. Otherwise, as far as I'm concerned, you have nothing credible to say.

Yes, I'm harsh.  No, I'm not sorry.

i would just like to add that this is second JM tune I've heard on RP today.   Thank YOu  {#Angel}
Sounds like this guy could be Jimmy Buffet's neighbor.
middle of the road hick nonsense.
I saw James McMurtry at the Stone Mountain Arts Center, in Brownfield, ME. Outstanding venue, fantastic show. I felt he was singing right to me all night. Maybe cause I was one of the few in the joint who knew all the lyrics. No complaints about his live act in an intimate venue like SMAC.
 cc_rider wrote:

... Billy Joe Shaver, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Toni Price, Patty Griffin, Nanci Griffith, Roky Erickson, Blaze Foley... we can do this all day.

The Flatlanders (Jimmie, Joe and Butch) put out their first album around 1972. The established 'country music scene' hated it. They released their sophomore effort some thirty years later. Didn't wanna rush into anything, I guess.
 
I'll add Lucinda Williams (honorary Texan), Robert Earl Keene and Carolyn Wonderland —

James McMurtry - great writer, but a little less than awesome live performer - like Dylan.  For the live show — church of Joe Ely. 
He's obviously one of those people who can say something with simple words that seems, with closer listening, to resonate with depth and experience. I definitely want to hear more.
 guitarwhisperer wrote:
Always been a fan of this waaay underappreciated singer-songwriter. One reason he's so little known is that he's only active in fits and starts. He doesn't help his own cause much — don't think he cares much about fame or success. Another great Texas singer-songwriter... something in the water down there. (Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Guy CLark, Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, the list goes on and on...)
 
... Billy Joe Shaver, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Toni Price, Patty Griffin, Nanci Griffith, Roky Erickson, Blaze Foley... we can do this all day.

The Flatlanders (Jimmie, Joe and Butch) put out their first album around 1972. The established 'country music scene' hated it. They released their sophomore effort some thirty years later. Didn't wanna rush into anything, I guess.


Pleasant song... That's about it.


 Laptopdog wrote:
cobalt789 wrote: Who gave this guy permission to sing?


Who gave you permission to comment?
 

Zing!
I haven't read other comments because I already did that on another McMurtry song, and it depressed me. Instead, I'll just post my thoughts.  James McMurtry does some absolutely wonderful stuff. "Level-land" (which reminds me of the wistful/desperate theme of "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" for some inexplicable reason), for one.  I think my muse is not in synch with other peoples' muses, because he likes James McMurtry's music and whenever I hear one of McMurtry's songs, I feel compelled to write.  When one is trying to make an eventual living at writing, every little bit helps.{#Sunny}
The master, as always, put it very nicely!
 
Excelsior wrote:
This guy is incredibly boring.  Nothing to see (or hear) here, move along.
 


James McBlah...does niente for me. 
Ohhhh, Miami!

Oops, wrong tune.
Yeah , that's right we do.   we want to hear it ALL!!
 
toterola wrote:

It's called "eclectic programming", friend.

There's always been a strong current of country/bluegrass in the West-coast rock music scene.

From The Flying Burrito Brothers to The Dead. The whole San Francisco scene in the '60s was infused with country (Country Joe, Doug Sahm, Jerry Garcia, et al.).

So, we like a little country flavor, now and again.

Especially from long-haired, loud-mouthed, anti-Fascist types like Larry McMurtry's boy, James. {#Cowboy}
 


Nice to read some deservedly negative comments about this artist for a change.
Well, thats 3 and a half minutes i wont get back
 jjbix wrote:

neither the dude or his music do it for me, just plain boring!  Not as good as his daddy . . another kid riding poppa's coat tails . . .



 

Amen brother...easily my least favorite artist on RP!
Sounds like a Talking Heads song.......and that's not a compliment.
 jjbix wrote:

neither the dude or his music do it for me, just plain boring!  Not as good as his daddy . . another kid riding poppa's coat tails . . .



 
Daddy is pretty good with a story, effective with a heartwarming cliche of a characer,  and utterly pedestrian with a sentence.  The kid is at least Pop's equal.  At least.

 canadapaul wrote:


Me too: with a tinge of Lou Reed on a happy day
 
Lou Reed had a happy day? When?! Does a plaque mark the spot where the happiness was committed? This is the most meaningful post I've ever read on RP...{#Propeller}

Probably James' most "up" song in his whole repertoire.  Most of his songs have a very hard, witty bite to them.  Saw James at his regular show at the Continental Club last week in Austin, with Jon Dee Graham opening.  A couple of amazing singer/songwriters there, with very impressive backing bands as well. 

neither the dude or his music do it for me, just plain boring!  Not as good as his daddy . . another kid riding poppa's coat tails . . .



 joanie wrote:
Is this morphing into a country station? Sure seems like it lately.
 
It's called "eclectic programming", friend.

There's always been a strong current of country/bluegrass in the West-coast rock music scene.

From The Flying Burrito Brothers to The Dead. The whole San Francisco scene in the '60s was infused with country (Country Joe, Doug Sahm, Jerry Garcia, et al.).

So, we like a little country flavor, now and again.

Especially from long-haired, loud-mouthed, anti-Fascist types like Larry McMurtry's boy, James. {#Cowboy}
Is this morphing into a country station? Sure seems like it lately.
Relatively dull.  Meh.  Good background music, I guess, but it doesn't jump out at me at all.
 GChevy410 wrote:

I used to agree, but I was wrong.  He is a fantastic Lyricist, and has a very chill  way about him that can be boring if you are in the wrong frame of mind.

 
I am in the wrong frame of mind right now.  Hope I'll get better

EssexTex wrote:
Really good, love his lyrics....poetic genius....not at all boring.{#Clap}


definitely agree ... {#Daisy}
never heard this before.  diggin it!!  thanks RP, again, for introducing me to something cool.

{#Bananajam}

 Excelsior wrote:
This guy is incredibly boring.  Nothing to see (or hear) here, move along.
 
I used to agree, but I was wrong.  He is a fantastic Lyricist, and has a very chill  way about him that can be boring if you are in the wrong frame of mind.

Our most literate songwriter - I've always enjoyed his works and "Choctaw Bingo" is my partner's favorite song.
Love this!
 dcdog wrote:
Sounds like this song was written with an adolescent child in mind.
 
I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that!
Really good, love his lyrics....poetic genius....not at all boring.{#Clap}
This guy is incredibly boring.  Nothing to see (or hear) here, move along.
good pick me up song - reminds me of Leo Kottke a bit.
cobalt789 wrote:
Who gave this guy permission to sing?
Who gave you permission to comment?
There's a woman in our office who's quite tall--graceful and elegant to boot. Whenever we get caught in the rain, a frequent occurrence on the East coast, we give her the umbrella because she's taller and the drops hit her first. The rest of us try and walk between the raindrops... :propeller:
McMurtry's musical influences are interesting and I'm sure they colored his music. Since his dad is James McMurtry who wrote The Last Picture Show and Lonesome Dove, I find most the song lyrics strike close to home since I'm from Texas and most of both his dad's and his writings (literature and musical lyrics) are Texas based.
Sounds like this song was written with an adolescent child in mind.
eastcoast wrote:
I hear David Byrne...
Me too: with a tinge of Lou Reed on a happy day
vorkosigan wrote:
Wow. Not every day I turn on RP and instantly hear something that makes me smile. Thanks!
I agree, long life with RP
Wow. Not every day I turn on RP and instantly hear something that makes me smile. Thanks!
Not his best, but good. What a talented family. Larry wrote many things, but The Desert Rose is achingly beautiful.
He played at Penn St University this passed winter and I missed the show. It was in a small theater. Yes I'm an Ass. Love this Guy.
Que Que C'est...
:bounce: :umbrella: :bounce: all-around great
bokey wrote:
I've never heard this guy before.This is OK.
He's the son of the guy who wrote ''Lonesome Dove'' and ''The Last Picture Show.'' Hangs out in Austin a lot.
I hear David Byrne...
A lot of people need to hear the message in this song. :)
Killer lyrics -- "...walk between the raindrops, smooth as a pearl..." -- there's some good advice.
DownHomeGirl wrote:
I just love this guy :cheers:
Ditto! :cheers:
I've never heard this guy before. This is OK.
Nice hat!
UltraNurd wrote:
As a World of Warcraft player, this song seem to be about my addiction...
That stuff is dangerous! Repent! Heed the advice of ol'James and step away from it before it is too late!!! :stop: :crashcomp:
Why not investigate James McMurtry further? Others like him are great on an album called something like Great Texas Singer-Songwriters, on Sugar Hill Records.
I had never heard this before, but I absolutely love it!
As a World of Warcraft player, this song seem to be about my addiction...
Bill doesn't play Fagen's Walk between the Raindrops - one of the finest songs ever recorded!!! This one is a 2 in comparison.
Baby_M wrote:
Cute. Delightful. Gotta love it. Follow it up with Walter Fagin's very different "Walk Between the Raindrops" and I'll be in awe.
Don't you mean Donald Fagen? The other half is Walter Brecker so I can see how you might come to that name.
Whirlpool wrote:
The title walk between the raindrops earns this a ten.
In that case you might like Donald Fagan's song of the same title, featuring one time members of Paul Shaffer's "Late Night" Letterman band (Hiram Bullock, Will Lee, and I could have sworn Paul Shaffer was listed in the credits for this song, too, but can't confirm online).
Thistle wrote:
your kidding me....Am I the only person who thought this guy sounded exactly like Warren Zevon?
What I got was more like a peppy Lou Reed.
The title walk between the raindrops earns this a ten.
Thistle wrote:
your kidding me....Am I the only person who thought this guy sounded exactly like Warren Zevon?
No, I think so too.
I know it's really not about the raindrops ... but it's still perfect for our dark & stormy night this evening. Brightens things up a bit. :jump:
Cute. Delightful. Gotta love it. Follow it up with Walter Fagin's very different "Walk Between the Raindrops" and I'll be in awe.
Thanks for the new music (to my ears)!!!! :bounce: :whistle: :clap: :jump:
This is exactly what I needed to hear right now. Thanks! :music:
smokinsean wrote:
...great real life lyrics... S.
indeed! :nodhead:
Thanks for making me discover this exquisite tune! :clap:
First time I've heard this song... I dig it :)
...great real life lyrics... S.
Interesting transition, I think I like this :)
OMG! A McMurtry song other than Choctaw Bingo!! Who thought I would live this long.... :cheers:
I like this
I just love this guy :cheers:
Always been a fan of this waaay underappreciated singer-songwriter. One reason he's so little known is that he's only active in fits and starts. He doesn't help his own cause much -- don't think he cares much about fame or success. Another great Texas singer-songwriter... something in the water down there. (Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Guy CLark, Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, the list goes on and on...)
People make the connection with his father but his momma is also a professeor of English at the University of Richmond in Va. Sat next to her at his concert in a little place in WVa. where he spent some summers growing up, about 100 people lot of friends and family in what could have been a church basement. She had her ear plugs ready. He rocked ,a poet and gituar slinger see him before the crash and burn
Roverfish wrote:
Tasty! David Byrne meets Lou Reed.
That's exactly what I was thinking. Your comment gives me that Twilight-zone / X-files feeling... Please don't mention Elvis at this point ;-)
Good stuff... lets hear some more. Wasn't this guy's dad a somewhat well known writer?
with two kids out and one left I know what the man sez he is very good, I like the one about the dead aunt. takes me back to days in the outback.
First hearing of this cut for me. Intro made me wonder, "Is this some Greatful Dead track I've missed?"
Tasty! David Byrne meets Lou Reed.
your kidding me....Am I the only person who thought this guy sounded exactly like Warren Zevon?
Saw him play acoustic to the walls in a bar in Albany, NY a number of years ago. What a shame - very underappreciated artist for the quality of his work.
aaaahhhh...someone at RP heard my wish for James. You like me, you really like me...
Originally Posted by rmurray248: Wow - I hadn't thought about that LP for ages - now I'll have to give it a spin. Thanks. (Wonder if there's an MP3 version anywhere that could be uploaded?) Good McMurtry tune also, BTW.
Will give that upload(Donald Fagen's "Walk Between Raindrops") a shot.....
James McMurtry is one of the most gifted wordsmiths out there. I highly recommend any of his releases. Top Notch.
Really love this song. Great lyric in the "positive contribution to general mental health" sense and I love McMurtry's voice, which yeah does sound a bit like Lou Reed, but fresh, young, and if the lyric is his, with his head screwed on right.Don't know what Lou is doing these days (guess that's easy enough to check out). Hope he's as well and content. :hug: :clap: :bounce: :clap: :bounce: :clap:
I\'ve never heard a Lou Reed song that had this much meaning. But maybe that\'s just me.
thought it was Lou Reed. good stuff.
Cool song...just heard for the first time. Almost thought it was Talking Heads. I like the smooth, yet not perfect voice of the singer. ~ Mark
Good one - Cute! :p
LOVE this song ... great guitar and the lyrics are a swift description of my daily grind (...sitting all night by the monitor\'s light) which is alleviated a LOT by RP btw ... :clap:
More McMurtry :clap:
I hope I can remember this song in a decade or so when my daughter will need to hear it.
Originally Posted by Antigone: Oooh, good comparison. McMurtry actually sounds a little like Lou Reed, doesn't he? I love this song.
I actually thought this was Lou Reed for a few seconds, until I realized that the guy could actually sing. ;)
Originally Posted by Johray63: People like Dylan and Lou Reed got that as well.
Oooh, good comparison. McMurtry actually sounds a little like Lou Reed, doesn't he? I love this song.
This guy is the son of Larry McMurtry, the \"Lonesome Dove\" author...IIRC.
Originally Posted by lily33: it would be cool to hear the Donald Fagen song of the same title. completely different song, but still very good.
Wow - I hadn't thought about that LP for ages - now I'll have to give it a spin. Thanks. (Wonder if there's an MP3 version anywhere that could be uploaded?) Good McMurtry tune also, BTW.