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Shawn Colvin — Wichita Skyline
Album: A Few Small Repairs
Avg rating:
6.8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 776









Released: 1996
Length: 3:21
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Down at the train they go to Independence every day
But anywhere else now seems like a million miles away
And I must have been high to believe that i would ever leave
Now im just a flat fine line like the Wichita Skyline

I rode on the airstream across the great lonesome afternoon
I wished hard enough to hurt, drove fast enough to catch the moon
But i must have been dreamin' again 'cause there's nothing around the bend
Except for that flat fine line, the Wichita skyline

As far as Salina I can get that good station from LaRue
I'm searching the dial while I'm Scanning the sky for a patch of blue
And I watch that black clouds roll in chasing me back again
Back to the Flat Fine Line, the Wichita skyline.

Wichita Skyline (x2)
Comments (111)add comment
 idiot_wind wrote:
I've been to Wichita a few times. The skyline ain't much. 

Is Shawn easily impressed? 
 
Not an attempt to be dismissive:

I'm sure Ms Colvin has seen many big-city skylines.  The last line: Back to the Fine Flat Line, the Wichita skyline, must refer to something personally important.

I live in Atlanta, and have lived in Boston, Tampa, and NYC.  I would guess each of those towns has a more impressive skyline than Wichita.  But you know, there's a soft spot in my heart for the skyline of Idaho Falls.  If I could write songs ...
I've been to Wichita a few times. The skyline ain't much. 

Is Shawn easily impressed? 
I too grew up in Wichita....a great place to grow up and leave!  Her acoustic live version is better but she mispronounces Salina (sal-eye-na) in both versions. 
 Larrygrrl wrote:
I'm from Wichita... she really captured the melancholy of flatness, isolation & big sky.

 Wichita Skyline
 
Couldn't be "she really captured the longing for flatness, isolation & big sky"?
 

colt4x5 wrote:
 Tana wrote:
I don't understand why the overall rating for this song isn't higher. It's a gorgeous piece - lovely songwriting and Shawn's voice is perfect on it. Plus, it has a little country flavor that might appeal to people beyond the regular fan base. I think it might be Shawn Colvin's best song ever.


 
 Agreed, wholeheartedly.

 
Couldn't have said it better. This is a stand out track on a masterpiece of an album.
Oh my.Did I detect a subtle Glen Campbell tribute riff?Sweet.
I'm from Wichita...she really captured the melancholy of flatness, isolation & big sky.
 Wichita Skyline
 Tana wrote:
I don't understand why the overall rating for this song isn't higher. It's a gorgeous piece - lovely songwriting and Shawn's voice is perfect on it. Plus, it has a little country flavor that might appeal to people beyond the regular fan base. I think it might be Shawn Colvin's best song ever.


 
 Agreed, wholeheartedly.


 Cynaera wrote:

Well, and maybe I'll just make a special trip to Denver. I have twelve cats and a brother who needs care sometimes, but maybe the fates will give me a care-giver for all my obligations. If that happens, I'll get a partner, gas up the Sidekick, load it with a survival kit, and go for it.

Love you, cohifi. Kindred spirit.


 
I would have loved to have met you...
Pretty pretty song. I haven't head this in a very long time.
I don't understand why the overall rating for this song isn't higher. It's a gorgeous piece - lovely songwriting and Shawn's voice is perfect on it. Plus, it has a little country flavor that might appeal to people beyond the regular fan base. I think it might be Shawn Colvin's best song ever.
 planet_lizard wrote:
Can you imagine a song called 'Coventry Skyline'? It ain't going to happen, not unless it's taking the piss.
 
For inspiration to songwriters: A Coventry skyline:

Coventry skyline
 laozilover wrote:

  When I got this album, I would just let it play through and repeat all week long in my car...
 
This, in particular, is a great tune for cruising down the highway.
 cohifi wrote:

Well shoot, maybe you'll pass thru Denver on yours way to kansas !  RPeers are welcome here, too!  {#High-five}
 
Well, and maybe I'll just make a special trip to Denver. I have twelve cats and a brother who needs care sometimes, but maybe the fates will give me a care-giver for all my obligations. If that happens, I'll get a partner, gas up the Sidekick, load it with a survival kit, and go for it.

Love you, cohifi. Kindred spirit.

 Cynaera wrote:
This turned into quite an informative and interesting thread about travel.  Thanks, all - you've made me want to go out and see the country in which I live. I've had residences in Nevada, Californja and Oregon, and have been to Canada and a few of the western U.S. states, but there's so much out there yet to see and experience. I feel like I've been glued to this rut in my road... It might be time to get free and be "an air-conditioned gypsy!" {#Motor}
 
Well shoot, maybe you'll pass thru Denver on yours way to kansas !  RPeers are welcome here, too!  {#High-five}
This turned into quite an informative and interesting thread about travel.  Thanks, all - you've made me want to go out and see the country in which I live. I've had residences in Nevada, Californja and Oregon, and have been to Canada and a few of the western U.S. states, but there's so much out there yet to see and experience. I feel like I've been glued to this rut in my road... It might be time to get free and be "an air-conditioned gypsy!" {#Motor}
 laozilover wrote:

  When I got this album, I would just let it play through and repeat all week long in my car...
 
Same here! This song and Facts about Jimmy - couldn't get enough.

 Jeff09 wrote:
Love this album...
 
  When I got this album, I would just let it play through and repeat all week long in my car...


Love this album...
Add some porcupine, full moon, shawn......and viola'!
Beautiful song, but she doesn't pronounce "Salina" right. 
 -relayer- wrote:

For some reason, Pat and Lyle just don't get on the playlist here. Pity... *edit* as soon as I post this, Last Train Home comes on. bravo!!
 
Can you make that happen again?

Ricki, Kaki, Shawn....ah life is GOOD!
 rockinmeg wrote:
I love this song, and this whole disc - thanks for playing Shawn!
 
I second this! {#Dance}

Excellent Colvin song. Especially love that git-tar!
 planet_lizard wrote:
Why is that American songs have so many references to places? It's much more uncommon in British music. Can you imagine a song called 'Coventry Skyline'? It ain't going to happen, not unless it's taking the piss. Is it because you've got more places over there?

A mate said once "well they've got more geography and we've got more history". Discuss.

 
In a concert awhile back (in Ohio) Shawn said she wrote this song about the midwest because the rest of America doesn't pay much attention to the region.

I read an interview of Jon Anderson who said that in the early days of Yes they thought if they wrote a song with an American city prominently placed in the lyric it would have a good chance to be a hit.  At the time Simon and Garfunkel, of whom Anderson was a fan, were very successful doing just that.  Nice melody + American city = hit. 



 Businessgypsy wrote:

In the US, one hundred years is a long time. In England, one hundred miles is a long way. The size, varied geography and extremely diverse populations are hard for anyone to put into perspective until they have poked around a bit - preferably at road level.

A typical observation: why can't we have great trains like Germany? Germany is the size of the smallish US state of Wisconsin. The US does have the largest train system in the world, there's just so much more here to cover that it presents a very different problem. That being said I hope we can move towards that end - but it will not happen quickly due to scale.

Returning to your original question, there are not only more places, but more kinds of easily accessible places in the US in any other single political unit on the planet. This engenders flavors and styles of living that create strong regional affections and a desire among those of us infected with wanderlust to sample freely. Places become markers for memories, relationships and life passages.

I live in extreme Southwest Florida (coconut trees and manatees), but spend summers in Northwestern Oregon (Mountains, waterfalls, rocky coasts). I'm from the New Orleans area (history, humidity, food and music) and am currently dating a woman in New Mexico (green chilies, pinon pine scented air, Native American/Hispanic culture). 3,500 miles between my bases, and my old dog and I do it on the back roads every year in about ten days. We're trying to stretch that to two months, but things take time. All along the way, people and places create memories, longings and (in the hands of talented songwriters) music. Please come visit.



 
What a FANTASTIC post!  I was raised in upstate NY (small town, lotsa snow, fall foliage that is heart-breakingly beautiful, many gray days); moved to San Francisco (cosmopolitan, blue skies, European in flavor), then to Virginia Beach (hot, humid, military base, beaches), then time in Ohio (a lot like NY), Kansas (flat, midwest, tornados), Texas (7 miles from Mexico) and back to California.  I LOVE to travel, and love music that takes me places.

planet_lizard wrote:
Why is that American songs have so many references to places? It's much more uncommon in British music. Can you imagine a song called 'Coventry Skyline'? It ain't going to happen, not unless it's taking the piss. Is it because you've got more places over there?

A mate said once "well they've got more geography and we've got more history". Discuss.


In the US, one hundred years is a long time. In England, one hundred miles is a long way. The size, varied geography and extremely diverse populations are hard for anyone to put into perspective until they have poked around a bit - preferably at road level.

A typical observation: why can't we have great trains like Germany? Germany is the size of the smallish US state of Wisconsin. The US does have the largest train system in the world, there's just so much more here to cover that it presents a very different problem. That being said I hope we can move towards that end - but it will not happen quickly due to scale.

Returning to your original question, there are not only more places, but more kinds of easily accessible places in the US in any other single political unit on the planet. This engenders flavors and styles of living that create strong regional affections and a desire among those of us infected with wanderlust to sample freely. Places become markers for memories, relationships and life passages.

I live in extreme Southwest Florida (coconut trees and manatees), but spend summers in Northwestern Oregon (Mountains, waterfalls, rocky coasts). I'm from the New Orleans area (history, humidity, food and music) and am currently dating a woman in New Mexico (green chilies, pinon pine scented air, Native American/Hispanic culture). 3,500 miles between my bases, and my old dog and I do it on the back roads every year in about ten days. We're trying to stretch that to two months, but things take time. All along the way, people and places create memories, longings and (in the hands of talented songwriters) music. Please come visit.



ah, her grammy days....this album was good, but the pre-grammy Shawn was brilliant.
I love this song, and this whole disc - thanks for playing Shawn!
Thanks for playing Shawn!   I love this LP.

haha the eyeball on the cover makes me see goofy....not the real Goofy, just goofy.  (Yeah, that's right, Goofy is real)
 evansdad wrote:
How about "London Calling"? Or "Penny Lane"?
 
OK - how many more can you do? A great time-wasting exercise.

BTW - this theory extends beyond the track titles - it's the same throughout lyrics in general I think.


 planet_lizard wrote:
Why is that American songs have so many references to places? It's much more uncommon in British music. Can you imagine a song called 'Coventry Skyline'? It ain't going to happen. Is it because you've got more geography over there?
 

How about "London Calling"? Or "Penny Lane"?
 planet_lizard wrote:
Why is that American songs have so many references to places? It's much more uncommon in British music. Can you imagine a song called 'Coventry Skyline'? It ain't going to happen. Is it because you've got more geography over there?
 
I have no idea, but it's a fascinating question. I'd love to hear someone's explanation.

 cdt105 wrote:
Nice sample from Glen Campbell's Wichita Lineman..

Bill and Rebecca, if you're reading - is that in the playlist? It would be great to hear it again {#Smile}

The Playlist shows:

Artist Song Title Album

Glen Campbell Gentle On My Mind Gentle On My Mind

 



Why is that American songs have so many references to places? It's much more uncommon in British music. Can you imagine a song called 'Coventry Skyline'? It ain't going to happen, not unless it's taking the piss. Is it because you've got more places over there?

A mate said once "well they've got more geography and we've got more history". Discuss.

My favorite Colvin song  {#Clap}
Nice sample from Glen Campbell's Wichita Lineman..

Bill and Rebecca, if you're reading - is that in the playlist? It would be great to hear it again {#Smile}
Not my favourite track of hers, but infinitely preferable to a great many performers within this genre, Shawn has real talent to burn.
 cutterjudd wrote:
Its sad that one needs something external to get inspired. I always thought that inspiration came from within.

That's an interesting debate, one which Freud and Jung even differed on.  I guess that depends on which definition of "inspiration" you prefer.  The word "inspired" literally means "breathed upon" and originally inferred some sort of divine "voice" or mystical "wind".
  It certainly shouldn't be considered "sad" that someone "needs something external" for inspiration.  All forms of Creativity (art, music, literature, etc.) are, to some extent, derived from external stimuli.  To me, it's the Creativity that is within, and then it aroused by some notion, fancy, or inspiration.  Anyhow, I do like this song.

 laozilover wrote:
Damn!  I love this song!!  
 
you are not alone!

{#Meditate}

Damn!  I love this song!!  
EssexTex wrote:
Christ, give me Wichita over London anyday whichta Falls...whichever Wichita will do
You wouldn't say that if you lived in Wichita,Ks....no music scene at all!
Dorky, says my wife. A bad female version of Glenn Campbell. And she married a dork, so she knows.
BKardon wrote:
As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls
For some reason, Pat and Lyle just don't get on the playlist here. Pity... *edit* as soon as I post this, Last Train Home comes on. bravo!!
thelester wrote:
Terrific album. Beautiful song about a rather uninspiring place.
Its sad that one needs something external to get inspired. I always thought that inspiration came from within.
As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls
No, Shawn's been around just as long as those two. Consistently good work, but her first CD, Steady On, is still my favorite one. CoYoT51 wrote:
I thought she was Alison Krauss, or Lisa Loeb... no? I do like this kind of voices... Please, help me recognizing them...
sunnysoul03 wrote:
Shawn Colvin - Wichita Skyline Bruce Cockburn - The Whole Night Sky Robbie Robertson - Showdown At Big Sky The Church - Under The Milky Way You're so clever..
Works for me!
I thought she was Alison Krauss, or Lisa Loeb... no? I do like this kind of voices... Please, help me recognizing them...
joshfm wrote:
That album cover creeps me out. Hope it doesn't ruin the song for me.
That's done by an artist named Julie Speed. I love her stuff. Really weird and, yeah, kindof creepy. And there I was thinking artists were only supposed to paint pretty stuff.
Terrific album. Beautiful song about a rather uninspiring place.
Christ, give me Wichita over London anyday whichta Falls...whichever Wichita will do
joshfm wrote:
That album cover creeps me out. Hope it doesn't ruin the song for me.
Reminds me of an X-Files episode.
Love the train whistles......
kaz wrote:
You're the first rude Leo I've encountered, did you enter your birthdate incorrectly?
Reality check: Was that rude? If so, I'm in BIG trouble ... then again, I'm a crab. :cheesygrin:
:good-vibes: Damn! I love this whole album! Has great connections for me! :biggrin:
laramieu wrote:
Yes it does, thank you.
And if you look for "Wichita" in the newest version of Microsoft Office's ClipArt, there are at least two buildings from the skyline in there :) They need to put in Keeper of the Plains, though.
sunnysoul03 wrote:
Shawn Colvin - Wichita Skyline Bruce Cockburn - The Whole Night Sky Robbie Robertson - Showdown At Big Sky The Church - Under The Milky Way You're so clever..
You're the first rude Leo I've encountered, did you enter your birthdate incorrectly?
gormeister wrote:
wichita has a skyline?
Yes it does, thank you.
wichita has a skyline?
One of my favorite songs and singers of all time! She just takes you there!
Shawn Colvin - Wichita Skyline Bruce Cockburn - The Whole Night Sky Robbie Robertson - Showdown At Big Sky The Church - Under The Milky Way You're so clever..
Matt_Naas wrote:
HEY! I'm in Wichita now, it's currently raining, and this song hits home... Wichita is a lovely place, but it isn't home :motor:
It is for some of us. :cowboy:
That album cover creeps me out. Hope it doesn't ruin the song for me.
Only 6.7? Come on, people! Shawn Colvin's last couple of albums, and especially her most recent one, haven't been great, but she remains an outstanding singer-songwriter. I'm still partial to Fat City, but she may be at her peak on this album.
Love ya Shawn!
Mari wrote:
Shawn can do no Wrong :jump: well, nothin' that a few small repairs wouldn't fix!
Oh Really!?!!? Then I guess she's not much fun on a date. :cheesygrin:
Shawn can do no Wrong :jump: well, nothin' that a few small repairs wouldn't fix!
Having recently driven down through Witchita, Oklahoma City, Amarillo... This song is very fitting...
one of my favorite songs by her.
gadfly wrote:
what ever happend to soy bomb?
I think he is in hell or back in Michigan where he came from.
I'd know that voice anywhere, Fat city?
wonderful!!!!!
Is it my imagination, or is this a slightly different version than the one on the album?
I bought this CD used in a music shop I think it was Waco TX for $5.00.Best five I've spent I a long time.My ten year old daugter loves the CD....
rah wrote:
the album cover hurts my eyeballs.
Yes, mine too. I like the song though!
Shawn paints a vivid picture - love it!
the album cover hurts my eyeballs.
A wonderful way to start the work day. This song completely takes me away from the office, which is where I wish I was. :angel:
Tastefully twangy. Love it.
HEY! I'm in Wichita now, it's currently raining, and this song hits home... Wichita is a lovely place, but it isn't home :motor:
I love that guitar break... Twangy dark prairie sky chords.
what ever happend to soy bomb?
Again, nice to hear Shawn on here, but I'd love to hear something off Fat City or Steady On as well. Still a likeable tune.
Ah I see what you are doing Bill. This comment probably only makes sense in connection with todays playlist.
Totally does not suck this lovely, moonlit evening as I prepare to sat farewell to my love. And even probably last night! :lol:
boring
slawjam wrote:
Saw Shawn in Arizona at the Chandler Cotton Festival (?) a few years back...
I'll say it again...this is why we read the comments. Very cool, slawjam, though I KNOW Chandler ain't (temperature). :wave: Always a fan of Ms. Colvin...seen her many times.
Beautiful, now that's more like it!
ladyj wrote:
Parts of this song reminded me of Glen Campbells Wichita Lineman then I looked at the title and wondered if it was suppose to? I'm so confused :drunk: Good song though.
Saw Shawn in Arizona at the Chandler Cotton Festival (?) a few years back - she told a long story about this song, and how John Leventhal (producer and guitarist extraordinaire) wanted to do a tribute to Jimmy Webb (who wrote all those great songs) and Glen Campbell (who performed them). So they wrote this song, and did the instrumentation in tribute to those great songs, including that coolio baritone guitar solo. So the reference was definitely intentional. She also told about having trouble rhyming Salina (which she originally thought was pronounced "Sa-line-a" and not "Sa-leen-a") and all she came up with was vagina. Hey, it was her story!
Shawn is coming to Red Butte Gardens with John Hiatt. Can't wait!
I never tire of this album, a gem from start to finish. Can't go wrong with Shawn Colvin.
always liked this song, and the cd is strong all the way thru.
Shawn Colvin really is a very talented singer / songwriter, and this is a perfect example of that. More Shawn Colvin!
Thanks Shawn for singing about my town!
SKY's the limit, huh Bill?
I like this song...it has a nice groove 8)
ohhh, if only this were to be followed up by Jacksonville Skyline by Whiskeytown, i would be so so happy... or better yet, let's replace this one with the other, huh? can we?
:yawn:
I've seen this song in the playlist, but this is the first time I've heard it. Thanks Shawn for putting Wichita on the musical map.
Actually, Wichita has a pretty cool skyline. We have a new Science Center/Children's Museum called Exploration Place which was designed by Moshe Safde (sp?) https://www.exploration.org/ There are numerous Richardsonian Revival limestone buildings by Proudfoot and Bird which add charm and our big exhibit/convention center, Century II, designed by disciples of Frank Lloyd Wright. Our symbol of the city, "the Keeper of the Plains, a 44 foot sculpture of a Native American just celebrated its 30th birthday.
One of my favorite SC songs. I had the pleasure of seeing her perform this song live back in 1996 or so. She must have been going through a really rough time personally because she seemed really depressed (I seem to remember reading something about a divorce...). Also very interesting because she has set off my gaydar for years. :ask: I saw her perform live once before in a very small venue (when she was much happier) and I must say it was one of the best shows I've seen in a long while. Shawn Colvin is GREAT!
briandel wrote:
Wichita has a skyline?
A little bit. It'd be a little more if they'd ever finished the second half of the Epic Center. Too bad, I guess.
Parts of this song reminded me of Glen Campbells Wichita Lineman then I looked at the title and wondered if it was suppose to? I'm so confused :drunk: Good song though.
Wichita has a skyline?
Brad_Eleven wrote:
Hey, everybody--I just heard Shawn Colvin!!!! I'd heard of her, I'd even tried to hear her ... I'd heard other people talk about having heard her, and just how fine a pleasure it was, but I'd written it off as one of those "oh, well, not for me and my experience" things. In fact, I was pretty danged resigned about the matter. Sometimes, I felt cheated: "Why should everybody else get to rave about the experience that just doesn't happen for me?" Then I got it. Just now. This song. Oh, it was worth the wait. Well ... did she play it?
Nope! :x But even so, awesome show!! I love her voice and her style. And for a 47 year old woman, she looks amazing. Massive respect for this lady.
Hey, everybody--I just heard Shawn Colvin!!!! I'd heard of her, I'd even tried to hear her ... I'd heard other people talk about having heard her, and just how fine a pleasure it was, but I'd written it off as one of those "oh, well, not for me and my experience" things. In fact, I was pretty danged resigned about the matter. Sometimes, I felt cheated: "Why should everybody else get to rave about the experience that just doesn't happen for me?" Then I got it. Just now. This song. Oh, it was worth the wait. gypsy222 wrote:
This is the one SC song I am hoping to hear when I see her for the first time on 10/14 - a truly beautiful song! Play more!
Well ... did she play it?
This is the one SC song I am hoping to hear when I see her for the first time on 10/14 - a truly beautiful song! Play more!
I love this song...would fit great in RP playlist.....PLEASE PLAY!