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The Waterboys — Long Strange Golden Road
Album: Modern Blues
Avg rating:
7.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 4224









Released: 2015
Length: 10:15
Plays (last 30 days): 2
I was longing to be wooed
I was ready to be humbled
by the words that you had written
by the syllables you mumbled

Yeah, I was ready in my heart
to have my heart invaded
by the fervor of your passion
yes, I came to be persuaded

But when I heard your ragged voice
something switched in my perception
and I knew I was the victim
of a beautiful deception

All my once exact beliefs
like tangled threads unraveled
I walked out stunned and liberated
and so began my travels

Keep the river on your right
and the highway at your shoulder
and the front line in your sights, Pioneer
keep your eye on the road
remember what you told her
this is all in code, my dear

"You better get yourself a coat"
said the handsome taxi driver
and he sighed like seven bridges
like a natural-born survivor

As we drove into the night
I could feel the forest jangling
all the choices laid before me
and their consequences dangling

We came upon a stricken ship
that must have once been splendid
the captain as he died said
"Boys, our revels now have ended"

I heard a wild holy band
playing jazz that was outrageous
that recalled the days of rapture
when our love was still young and contagious

Keep the river on your right
and the highway at your shoulder
and the front line in your sights, Pioneer
keep your eye on the road
remember what you told her
this is all in code, my dear

In a dim-lit motel room
two sad lovers were discoursing
on the dignity of exile
and the merits of divorcing

She said "All certainty is gone"
but he leapt up, still denying
cried, "I won't believe the flame I lit
is dead or even dying"

She left him drooling in the dust
and with rucksack packed begun her
bitter journey to the border
which is where I wooed and won her

She was Aphrodite, Helen, Thetis
Eve among the satyrs
she was Venus in a v-neck sweater
she was all that ever mattered

Keep the river on your right
and the highway at your shoulder
and the front line in your sights, Pioneer
keep your eye on the road
remember what you told her
this is all in code, my dear

Like Dean Moriarty's ghost
I came in quest of secret knowledge
in the winter of my journey
to a crumbling Druid college

There I read the books of lore
and contemplated in seclusion
but I took my leave embittered
still in love with my illusions

In the drizzling Irish rain
as a tender dawn was breaking
in a doorway I stood spellbound by
the ancient music they were making

I took my breakfast with the gods
on a blushing summer morning
to a wind blew them all away
I had misread every warning...

Keep the river on your right
and the highway at your shoulder
and the front line in your sights, Pioneer
keep your eye on the road
remember what you told her
this is all in code, my dear


Under cold electric light
I watched the scenes mutating
like an old-time frontier ballad
or a carousel rotating

As if in a moment from a film
with astonishing precision
the camera zooms in closer
and a figure comes into vision

I'm in Tokyo; it's dawn
and it's raining hallelujahs
down the bright-lit neon canyons
along the sidewalks of Shibuya

I'm trying to take a stance
and rise above my contradictions
but I'm just a bunch of words in pants
most of those are fiction

Keep the river on your right
and the highway at your shoulder
and the front line in your sights, Pioneer
keep your eye on the road
remember what you told her
this is all in code, my dear

Keep the river on your right
and the highway at your shoulder
and the front line in your sights, Pioneer
keep your eye on the road
remember what you told her
this is all in code, my dear
Comments (374)add comment
 kingart wrote:

This track deserves a higher rating. It's strange, epic, engaging, and the last couple minutes are high octane. Let's go, RPers, plug it in. 



I'm going to go ahead and *totally* agree. Great riffs! And really cool, trippy lyrics. Very cool stuff. Good call, @kingart!
If Dylan had accomplished (well. spiritually anyway) a progression into the 2020's.
 unclehud wrote:
She was Aphrodite, Helen, Thetis
Eve among the satyrs
she was Venus in a v-neck sweater
she was all that ever mattered

If I had a dollar for every woman I've known who met that description ....
You’d be broke!

 festivaldalaphil wrote:

Always love to hear this track from the Waterboys!!!!




Yes.  EXCELLENT TUNE!!
 festivaldalaphil wrote:

Always love to hear this track from the Waterboys!!!!


& even better to hear it live!! 
Always love to hear this track from the Waterboys!!!!
 ziggytrix wrote:

"We can't bust heads like we used to, but we have our ways. One trick is to tell 'em stories that don't go anywhere - like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. Give me five bees for a quarter, you'd say.

Now where were we? Oh yeah: the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn't have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones..."



I think of this post every time I hear the song because it's so on point. 
 


Kind of a 2000's "American Pie".  Crazy, make what you want of it lyrics.
Pretty cool indeed!
-John


I freakin LOVE this song. Get's me everytime it comes on here (not enough!) and in my own playlists. Epic road trip song, excellent playing in the bone phones while riding singletrack in the PNW and just lifts me up working renovations. 

SOLID 10
 theirongiant wrote:

I haven't always listened that closely to this track until today. The Dylan-esque word-smithery is really impressive. The song tells a clear story with a series of vignettes, each containing their own internal rhyming schemes that are consistent and clever. Each vignette evokes strong images of the real and metaphorical variety.



This. Exactly.
And if one reads some interviews regarding this song, it's the author coming to grips with his former path of Christianity.  
 kingart wrote:

This track deserves a higher rating. It's strange, epic, engaging, and the last couple minutes are high octane. Let's go, RPers, plug it in. 



10
This song is fantastic!
One of the best songs ever. Not long enough! Keep playing it (please)
(increasingly) on repeat since I heard it live two months ago. Wonderfully done, Waterboys! 
She was Aphrodite, Helen, Thetis
Eve among the satyrs
she was Venus in a v-neck sweater
she was all that ever mattered

If I had a dollar for every woman I've known who met that description ....
The more I hear this one, the higher I rate this one. I'm going to buy the album just for this track.
toooooo muchhhh  longgggggggggggggggggggggggggg
bastaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa  pietaaaaaaaaaaa
JEEEZ!!! I hate this song.  Make it stop!!

I wish I had the PSD button on my app but I don’t.

so MUTE it is!!  A solid -5 for me.
This definitely caught my ear by surprise. This song rocks! I wonder what else they have like this. Great drive to it.
I reckon Mike was good for a few more stanzas too.....cracking 10 from me...great build up to end as well. Love to see it live
Toe tapping brilliant. Love it.
Know exactly the feeling, the landscape, the horizon on the Long Strange Golden Road. Well done, boys!
highly impressive songwriting!!!
so boring
compared to their earlier classics
 timmus wrote:

20 stanzas not counting the chorus, and a time of over 10 minutes... this is way too long.  If you're going for an epic song it's probably ok, but this isn't it.

It's the folk ethic - I refer you to Fred Wedlock's excellent (self)parody The Folker
especially the lyric 
'In "Sir Patrick Spens" I clean forgot the forty-second verse
So I sang the twenty-seventh, twice as loud and in reverse
And no one noticed'
Loved this song from the beginning (5 years on RP)

Loving it right now!!
 timmus wrote:

20 stanzas not counting the chorus, and a time of over 10 minutes... this is way too long.  If you're going for an epic song it's probably ok, but this isn't it.



7 .1 out of 3 200 plus ratings hmmm you could be in the minority! 
20 stanzas not counting the chorus, and a time of over 10 minutes... this is way too long.  If you're going for an epic song it's probably ok, but this isn't it.
I just checked on The Waterboys albums - I had lost touch with them.
They released an album in each of these years: 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2017, 2015).
Wow, they've been busy - I got some listening and catching up to do :)
After listening to our intrepid DJ comment about whether the song was too long or not, I took a peek at the website.  
10 minutes long!  It didn't feel like 10 minutes.  
In fact, I thought the organ solo at the end needed to go on a bit longer.
Way too long Bill sorry
 kingart wrote:

This track deserves a higher rating. It's strange, epic, engaging, and the last couple minutes are high octane. Let's go, RPers, plug it in. 




Nah.
It's 10 minutes long.  
Good length to hit the water closet or 
order a triple whisky neat from the bartender ......and
enjoy as you will

Got this one at a 7
 kingart wrote:

This track deserves a higher rating. It's strange, epic, engaging, and the last couple minutes are high octane. Let's go, RPers, plug it in. 




I rated it high but I don't care what the overall rating is. Why bother what other people think about a track I like?
I haven't always listened that closely to this track until today. The Dylan-esque word-smithery is really impressive. The song tells a clear story with a series of vignettes, each containing their own internal rhyming schemes that are consistent and clever. Each vignette evokes strong images of the real and metaphorical variety.
 kingart wrote:

This track deserves a higher rating. It's strange, epic, engaging, and the last couple minutes are high octane. Let's go, RPers, plug it in. 



I did!  
Will it ever end?
i got it

its the album cover

ha
i dont know

theres some dylan vibe here
 NewFee wrote:

This track has gotten under my skin. My most listened-to song on Spotify two years running. Always something new to discovery. Ambitious, playful, magnificent, flawed.

Thank you Mike Scott.

- Just a guy with a bunch of words, in pants




It's been said that words are just thoughts with clothes on. I guess that would include pants!
 Ihatethissong wrote:

rock and roll poetry



Even though it doesn't seem to even be a story, it has some of the best written stanzas ever! And a great beat with passionate singing and great solos!
Bumped up my rating just for the mention of Shibuya.
 redart wrote:
Sort of Dylanesque with it multitude of lyrics and verses, but with a "turn it up to 11" ass kicking tempo    



Highway 61: Longer,Stranger,and more Golden!


not bad
 PeterMcClelland wrote:

Come on people this is the Waterboys It’s what they do

no, it is totally Mike Scott...

updated. stand by my earlier comment but will say it's the best tune on the album. actually liked the Waterboys better with Karl Wallinger
Good tune, but not great.
Still in love with my illusions
"In a dim-lit motel room
two sad lovers were discoursing
on the dignity of exile
and the merits of divorcing"

Yeah, I can identify with this particular conversation. 
Such exhuberance!
Not sure exact moment when it got tedious, but it sure is now.
When the students surpass the teacher.
Neil Young Harvest Moon
 PeterMcClelland wrote:

Come on people this is the Waterboys It’s what they do

liked them better with Karl Wallanger...

Started out thinking ho hum, just ok. But it keeps going and growing on you then the lyrics catch you and the next thing I know I’m giving it a solid 8
Mike Scott...what can one say?  Genius...

Oh, and the organ in this track soars...
Singing seems overly annunciated and is mixed over the instruments.
Come on people this is the Waterboys It’s what they do
 ziggytrix wrote:

"We can't bust heads like we used to, but we have our ways. One trick is to tell 'em stories that don't go anywhere - like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. Give me five bees for a quarter, you'd say.

Now where were we? Oh yeah: the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn't have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones..."



thank you grandpa Simpson
 kingart wrote:

This track deserves a higher rating. It's strange, epic, engaging, and the last couple minutes are high octane. Let's go, RPers, plug it in. 



got to see them 2 yrs back,  here in Eugene. A real treat! flicking bic! lol 
 kingart wrote:

This track deserves a higher rating. It's strange, epic, engaging, and the last couple minutes are high octane. Let's go, RPers, plug it in. 




 Ben_Smedley wrote:

10 10 10

Lyrics are incorrect here

I took my breakfast with the gods
on a blushing summer morning
to a wind blew them all away
without a moment's warning



till the wind blew them all away,

I had misread every warning.....

and I did too......

What a line...crikey!




Everything is GREAT in this song !
Could you replay' it please? Im not sure to understand the subject, but this song is so great. It's funny, Mike Scott sings like Graham Parker on thi song, he must have sung drunk!
When I first heard this song, I was not enjoying it at all.  About 2/3 of the way in I really began to enjoy the story telling..... or the song just beat me into submission 
Sounds a bit like Dylan. I’m with some other commenters in that I bumped this up to a 9. Some others think it’s boring/pretentious/too long but then that’s what some Dylan songs are like as well. I say please keep playing this Bill.
This song is long enough for me to retask & take the opportunity to comment about what pretentious, drudgery songwriting sounds like.

The one thing this song is NOT is short enough.
10 10 10

Lyrics are incorrect here

I took my breakfast with the gods
on a blushing summer morning
to a wind blew them all away
without a moment's warning



till the wind blew them all away,

I had misread every warning.....

and I did too......

What a line...crikey!
Long, long, long strange and golden road but not particularly strange and more grey than golden.
 Roguewarer wrote:
Pleae
Make
It
End!!!


Please press PSD. Bill's made it easy to skip songs that get on your tits, so there's no reason to be such a grump. If you submit yourself to such torture you're being masochistic.
"I'm just a bunch of words in pants" - a great phrase :o)

This is proper minstrelsy, telling a long story, as minstrels have been doing for millennia. 
 Roguewarer wrote:

I might have mentioned this before, but:
END THIS INTERMINABLY LONG DRIVEL ALREADY!

and yet.... MORE verses. Just. Stop, dude!

Jeez! Boring, repetitive, pretentious, and mock-rock.
Blech! -1


"Jeez!" PSD dude!
I might have mentioned this before, but:
END THIS INTERMINABLY LONG DRIVEL ALREADY!

and yet.... MORE verses. Just. Stop, dude!

Jeez! Boring, repetitive, pretentious, and mock-rock.
Blech! -1
Just bumped this from 8 --> 9. Probably be a 10 on next listen. They strike me as a great band to see live.  Thanks for the introduction, and LLRP! I think this warrants another donation to a very worthwhile cause!
 kingart wrote:

This track deserves a higher rating. It's strange, epic, engaging, and the last couple minutes are high octane. Let's go, RPers, plug it in. 



I for one find it quite boring, like some Tom Petty visiting Scotland. Not as boring as Tom Petty though, at least this tune has some progression.
 ziggytrix wrote:

"We can't bust heads like we used to, but we have our ways. One trick is to tell 'em stories that don't go anywhere - like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. Give me five bees for a quarter, you'd say.

Now where were we? Oh yeah: the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn't have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones..."



spot on, brutha. hilarious.  how on earth did he remember all of those lyrics for a gig?  amazing and impressive.
 Audiacity wrote:

Every time this song comes on, I rate it a little higher. The lyrics are just so fun and ridiculous. Every line sounds like something your crazy grandfather might say in a given evening. When I find myself singing along to this one, I seek that same passion within myself!


Yes, I'm with you here. It's crazy, like someone wrote the lyrics during a manic episode aided with a bit of acid but it's a goddamned fun crazy. 
Nope... not a 9..... GODLIKE!  10 all the way!
Forced me to download the album. It’s all good.
they really know how to make song with catchy rythm , like "fishermans's blues"
ok,  the song is a little bit repetitive but it's good, and it lasts .... so where is the problem ?
Fashioned its own peerless, special place in the sucko barfo universe
This is just unbearable! Have these guys heard of composition, harmony... I am sorry, but 1 with distinction!
Pleae
Make
It
End!!!
Every time this song comes on, I rate it a little higher. The lyrics are just so fun and ridiculous. Every line sounds like something your crazy grandfather might say in a given evening. When I find myself singing along to this one, I seek that same passion within myself!
The song is 20 verses & 1 chorus too long.
🤮
Love this song, it appeared on shuffle on my music player years ago and reenergised my love of The Waterboys.  Even better live!

Just wish it kept on going......
 dandueck07 wrote:
I just applied the lyrics to Trump and his supporters.  What a mind trip that set me on

I still love the song, however!
 

Funny... for me it brought up ANTIFA Soyboys. I guess it is subjective...
 jimlandwehr2582 wrote:
The lyrics are genius. Love this tune. 
 

The haters out there just cant decode it...Sad for them...
Quite Dylanesque, with a few strains of Tom Petty’s DNA?
How does he remember all the lyrics?
 optinout.ii wrote:
Lots of words interestingly put together.  And he admits, he is just a bunch of words in pants. 
 
and my dear, this is all in code.

The Hammond B3 organ makes this tune for me.
 dandueck07 wrote:
I just applied the lyrics to Trump and his supporters.  What a mind trip that set me on

I still love the song, however!
 
The first stanza at least - ugh.


 kingart wrote:
This track deserves a higher rating. It's strange, epic, engaging, and the last couple minutes are high octane. Let's go, RPers, plug it in. 
 
I gave it an 8, I love it in general. It would be 9 if it was 3 min shorter.
can't beat this
I just applied the lyrics to Trump and his supporters.  What a mind trip that set me on

I still love the song, however!
11 outta 10
Very underrated 
suuuuper song
 grhorn wrote:
what is this song about?
 
About learning to love one's partner when the relationship moves into old age.
Seriously, this is an 11, over the top. I have to crank it up no matter what I'm doing. And I came into this century thinking I didn't like The Waterboys. Time to dig back.
what is this song about?
This must be some of the strangest lyrics ever written, but I like it. 8 -> 9!

10
 skibbenr wrote:


I wish I could delete your emoji but I just don't see that option here. So why not just skip instead of subjecting us to your lame stinker of a comment?
 
Why not? 
1) I can’t skip ahead on Tune-in
2) I’m part of “us.”
3) You can always choose NOT to comment or provide a music-related counter criticism
4) it’s called “free speech” and not everyone has the same likes/dislikes..

Any other questions?
 Grammarcop wrote:
Interminable.
 
And that song crescendo is not nearly long enough...  
-1,000!
4 years ago I said this song was about 8 mins too long.  It still is.  pxd
 flatop wrote:
your right  "genius"  ...if the  author of the lyrics was   4 years old  jimlandwehr2582 wrote:
The lyrics are genius. Love this tune. 
 

 
Man, you must hang out with some spectacular four year olds, I don't know any who know about this stuff:

She was Aphrodite, Helen, Thetis
Eve among the satyrs
she was Venus in a v-neck sweater
she was all that ever mattered

 kbs wrote:

Comment attached to the wrong song? I can't see (hear) the connection...
 
You can't hear the spitting lisp, a la Sylvester? Thufferin' Thuccotash!

I still like it, it's just funny.
c.
I thought I liked the waterboys, now I'm not so sure.
Not really liking this song too much.
One Bruce Springsteen is enough, thank you.
your right  "genius"  ...if the  author of the lyrics was   4 years old  jimlandwehr2582 wrote:
The lyrics are genius. Love this tune. 
 

  1983  : This used to be a good band  
now:   cheesy  cliche  packed   music  
shame on you Mike Scott 
 Jelani wrote:
 
 
Here: (- - - 1)!!

ugh! What a turd. He’s got that dopey “raspy” delivery. Mock rock junk.
Is there a minus one for this?
I had to go to the nine on ‘‘on this one
9
 skibbenr wrote:


I wish I could delete your emoji but I just don't see that option here. So why not just skip instead of subjecting us to your lame stinker of a comment?
 
Ok, skinbenr, from now on, let’s ALL just post positive comments about EVERY song — and only the ones YOU like...especially the lame ones like THIS turd.

Or you COULD just roll with the flow and let others posit their views without you getting butt-hurt about it.

and yet... the song persists as I type this witty retort. Ooo! A guitar solo among the “BOOM-CHICK-BOOM-CHICK” drone. 

smh

Mike, Brother Paul, Steve,  some of my favorite musicians, performances from Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2019!
I was a big Waterboys fan but this song just doesn't do it for me. It sounds like one long cliche to me.