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John Hiatt — Dust Down a Country Road
Album: Walk On
Avg rating:
6.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 489









Released: 1995
Length: 3:59
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Could not get to sleep
It was on my wedding night
I was tangled in the sheets
And I was dreaming of a light
Pouring from her window
Coming up through the floor
Lifting up the darkness
Crashing through my kitchen door

Down to that old oak table
I went to take a look
And my whole life flashed before me
Just like a story book
She used to make me breakfast
Or sit around and talk
Have another cup of coffee
Or maybe take a little walk

Chorus:
Dust down a country road
Blowing int he wind
Behind an old truck load
Up before the rooster crowed
There's an old dog staring
At the dust down a country road

And that truck is going somewhere
I just can't be sure
When tomorrow's just the day
After all that's gone before
And I always thought of leaving
I never could stay too long
Now her memory's catching up
And our sweet dreams are all gone

Chorus


If I had a bullet I'd put it in this gun
And I'd catch that old dog napping
And I'd shoot him before he runs
Cause he ain't much good for nothin'
Except staring at the dust
Lord I wonder what he's looking at
Sneaking up on us
Comments (63)add comment
It's a metaphor
Yeah but Mandolin solo, so all OK in the end.
Oh for Peta's sake! Lighten up people {#Cowboy} 
 Krakus wrote:
Song about shooting a dog, WTF?

 
M A T A P H O R E

Wake up
 meth8rhater wrote:

Yep... it's all about shooting a dog.  Call PETA!!

 


Tiresome 
 hschlossberg wrote:

Dunno what it's about, but listening to it is like listening to the yelps of a dog being shot.

 
The dog is anxiously waiting for the character's wife to come home. He watches for dust  on the country  road because it means someone is coming. The character is reminded of this every time  the dog is watching the dust when he knows his wife is not coming home but the dog doesn't......of course he won't shoot the dog but it is just one more thing that triggers memories for him every day.
 Krakus wrote:
Song about shooting a dog, WTF?

 
Dunno what it's about, but listening to it is like listening to the yelps of a dog being shot.
Man, I love this album!

It was my introduction to JH, so I suppose it has sentimental value to me. 
 Krakus wrote:
Song about shooting a dog, WTF?

 
Yep... it's all about shooting a dog.  Call PETA!!
 karljonasson wrote:
Every song on this album is a 10. The best songwriter in America at his creative peak.

 
I agree, great songwriter...but, try as I may, I don't find him very "musical."  I dont enjoy listening to him perform
.... although I like Mr Hiatt a lot this is certainly not one of his better tunes    {#Doh}
Song about shooting a dog, WTF?
 h8rhater wrote:

Cluelessness earns you a one.

 

Still, taking it out on your dog is WRONG
1 == PSD.
 h8rhater wrote:

Cluelessness earns you a one.
 
Is cluelessness a word?? Yes it's a word. But is it clueless? I dunno.
 danagle wrote:
I like John's sound and can generally appreciate this song, but the second he talks about maybe shooting his dog because he doesn't like the way it keeps looking down the road is when this song earned a one.

 
Cluelessness earns you a one.
Every song on this album is a 10. The best songwriter in America at his creative peak.
John played this at a recent show on his Mystic Pinball tour.  Part of the 'mandolin set'.  Very nice to hear - this is a JH favourite of mine.
You're really killing me Bill with your set this late Friday afternoon.  I am really finding it difficult to get any work done with this great music.
 Jelani wrote:
Who gave this guy permission to sing?!
 
I did ! {#Snooty}..got a problem with that ?  {#Cowboy}
 Proclivities wrote:

...a somewhat jarring transition, not too painful though.  Strangely repeated almost 2 years later, however.

 

repeated yet again almost 2 years later?? transition still jarred though.....
It's not about shooting a dog, I don't think. He's missing his lost wife, is uncertain about the future, and is thinking about shooting himself, the old dog that stands and stares.

All he does now is stand and watch and wait for something, sneaking up on him. The good memories are gone and he stares out at the stuff that's happened, but otherwise isn't much good. Tomorrow's just the day after all that's gone before...
—-
Could not get to sleep

Down to that old oak table
I went to take a look

She used to make me breakfast
Or sit around and talk

Have another cup of coffee
Or maybe take a little walk


There's an old dog staring
At the dust down a country road


When tomorrow's just the day
After all that's gone before
And I always thought of leaving
I never could stay too long
Now her memory's catching up
And our sweet dreams are all gone

If I had a bullet I'd put it in this gun
And I'd catch that old dog napping
And I'd shoot him before he runs
Cause he ain't much good for nothin'
Except staring at the dust
Lord I wonder what he's looking at
Sneaking up on us




love Hiatt ~ please don't play this out of Mazzy/Fade into You :)
 EssexTex wrote:


IT'S FRIDAY!.....WAHHHOOOOOOOO

 

No it's not
 mr.selfdestruct wrote:
I don't know, I guess this guy just isn't my cup of tea...
 
Try puttin' a little bourbon in it...


John Hiatt - "Dust down a country road" Live:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbhcXxW4y2U


 Papernapkin wrote:
The voice alone is a turn off. But killing his dog? Sad.
 
Metaphor escapes the ignorant and unwashed. 



IT'S FRIDAY!.....WAHHHOOOOOOOO

 garthwb wrote:


Dogs tend to look at something that catches their attention for as long as it takes them to work out what it is. We had three dogs on our farm, all of which would often stare at many things, sometimes for ages, as if in a reverie of sorts, then suddenly lose interest and look away... And if we had visitors, often we could tell by the dogs suddenly looking up and staring intently at the rising column of dust, until first one, and then all of them, would start barking. They would always hear the sound of the vehicle first, obviously, but even after the visitors had left, they would stare at the dust long after the vehicle had become too small to see... Almost as if they were fixing the visit in their memories.
 
I'm moved by your insight and comments. Are you sure you're not JH himself!? :-) Aptly said...thank you.

The voice alone is a turn off. But killing his dog? Sad.
I like John's sound and can generally appreciate this song, but the second he talks about maybe shooting his dog because he doesn't like the way it keeps looking down the road is when this song earned a one.

It sounds like he's being strangled? Did someone call 911? {#Eyes}
garthwb wrote:
Dogs tend to look at something that catches their attention for as long as it takes them to work out what it is. We had three dogs on our farm, all of which would often stare at many things, sometimes for ages, as if in a reverie of sorts, then suddenly lose interest and look away... And if we had visitors, often we could tell by the dogs suddenly looking up and staring intently at the rising column of dust, until first one, and then all of them, would start barking. They would always hear the sound of the vehicle first, obviously, but even after the visitors had left, they would stare at the dust long after the vehicle had become too small to see... Almost as if they were fixing the visit in their memories.
I didn't enjoy the song until I read this comment, and it all became clear. {#Cowboy}

Guy's got chops, too . . .

 shakitten wrote: (on May 27, 2007)
Ouch! I think that was the worst segue I ever heard Bill do. Mazzy Star to this was, like, painful....
 
...a somewhat jarring transition, not too painful though.  Strangely repeated almost 2 years later, however.

 xkolibuul wrote:
Same person who gave you permission to comment. Only, Hiatt makes better use of his bandwidth.
 
Ha Ha ....  amen to that .... Hiatt writes beautifully ..

OK, maybe it's not Hiatt's best work, but this is still a damn good song by a great artist.
This song belongs on the the same island as Pong and Space Invaders and the Hula Hoop. I don't know where that island is, but the sooner this song gets onto it and they test an atomic bomb on it .. the better. Garfrfdfs ... please make it stop!
Jelani wrote:
Who gave this guy permission to sing?!
I don't know, but they should be fined, or arrested, or something. All John Hiatt recordings should be locked up forever, and the key thrown away. :puke:
LaurieinTucson wrote:
Wow. Tell me more.
It was in Zimbabwe, a place filled with beauty and tragedy, to which I wish I could return... It needs our help, prayers, whatever... I wish you could go!
garthwb wrote:
...they would stare at the dust long after the vehicle had become too small to see... Almost as if they were fixing the visit in their memories.
Wow. Tell me more.
robinesque wrote:
"There's an old dog staring at the dust down a county road" This line doesn't ring true. My dog only stares at meaningful things, like food, or her master, or other dogs, or interesting sounds. When she's relaxed, she lies with her eyes half closed. "Staring" isn't the right word for that at all. "Lying in the dust" or "sleeping in the dust" maybe?
Dogs tend to look at something that catches their attention for as long as it takes them to work out what it is. We had three dogs on our farm, all of which would often stare at many things, sometimes for ages, as if in a reverie of sorts, then suddenly lose interest and look away... And if we had visitors, often we could tell by the dogs suddenly looking up and staring intently at the rising column of dust, until first one, and then all of them, would start barking. They would always hear the sound of the vehicle first, obviously, but even after the visitors had left, they would stare at the dust long after the vehicle had become too small to see... Almost as if they were fixing the visit in their memories.
robinesque wrote:
"There's an old dog staring at the dust down a county road" This line doesn't ring true. My dog only stares at meaningful things, like food, or her master, or other dogs, or interesting sounds. When she's relaxed, she lies with her eyes half closed. "Staring" isn't the right word for that at all. "Lying in the dust" or "sleeping in the dust" maybe?
:ask:
A fave of mine. :music: :music:
Same person who gave you permission to comment. Only, Hiatt makes better use of his bandwidth. Jelani wrote:
Who gave this guy permission to sing?!
Ouch! I think that was the worst segue I ever heard Bill do. Mazzy Star to this was, like, painful....
love the song, sentimentality and all! such is the craft of a nimble song writer
Who gave this guy permission to sing?!
robinesque wrote:
"There's an old dog staring at the dust down a county road" This line doesn't ring true. My dog only stares at meaningful things, like food, or her master, or other dogs, or interesting sounds. When she's relaxed, she lies with her eyes half closed. "Staring" isn't the right word for that at all. "Lying in the dust" or "sleeping in the dust" maybe?
Ummm, I think it isnt really the dust that the dog is looking at...it is instead that his master just drove down the road creating the dust. The dog is looking for him, but sees only dust.
Pedantic much? robinesque wrote:
"There's an old dog staring at the dust down a county road" This line doesn't ring true. My dog only stares at meaningful things, like food, or her master, or other dogs, or interesting sounds. When she's relaxed, she lies with her eyes half closed. "Staring" isn't the right word for that at all. "Lying in the dust" or "sleeping in the dust" maybe?
"There's an old dog staring at the dust down a county road" This line doesn't ring true. My dog only stares at meaningful things, like food, or her master, or other dogs, or interesting sounds. When she's relaxed, she lies with her eyes half closed. "Staring" isn't the right word for that at all. "Lying in the dust" or "sleeping in the dust" maybe?
tonyp2 wrote:
Over the past 15+ years, Hiatt has built a remarkable body of work. Similarities abound among the songs. That's one of the elements of longevity, ultimately. I love his work!
This is definitely a great Hiatt album, I'm a bit biased when it comes to his music however, since he's one of my all time faves. I just had to agree with this comment.
I can\'t think of too many bad songs that have a mandolin playing.
John Hiatt is a fantastic song writer. I could listen to his stuff all day.
I don\'t know, I guess this guy just isn\'t my cup of tea...
i smiled all the way through........ brought me back to traveling days in smoky mountains :cool:
Great Album!!
Wonderful song. I can never hear this one often enough. Definately my favourite off of this excellent Hiatt album.
Over the past 15+ years, Hiatt has built a remarkable body of work. Similarities abound among the songs. That\'s one of the elements of longevity, ultimately. I love his work!
Si senor!!!
Originally Posted by Johray63: Wow, what a lovely (sung) melody. This is a perfect example of a typical Hiatt song.
I agree with the perfect example part. It sounds like any one of a half dozen other songs. I like John Hiatt, but I sure wish he varied a bit more.
Wow, what a lovely (sung) melody. This is a perfect example of a typical Hiatt song.
Love this one. Great artist, great tune.