Ghosts Upon The Road Lyrics

Eric Andersen

Non-album songs

Lyrics to Ghosts Upon The Road
Ghosts Upon The Road Video:
Sometime the typical song format gets limiting and boring. There's the urge to push out and redefine the boundaries. So in this piece I tried for something different. I wanted length and breathing room. Something closer to a narrative without melody, like a short story, set to rhythm and music, that would incorporate abstract sounds. It takes place in Boston and New York. Places I had lived when I started out as a song writer.


I was stranded up in Cambridge Mass it was the winter of 64
Before that in a torn down building up on Beacon Hill
I made my money mowing lawns that fall and junkin in a band
The air was full of energy only a few could understand
Now I was lucky in my building because the city had forgot
To board up all the doors and windows and shut the electric off
An abandoned dog had earlier destroyed the first and second floors
I found some country records there but I had no stereo
But sometimes I'd heard noises in the night
On the 3rd floor there I was living by candlelight
crashed out in the corner of a room Afraid to draw attention
I was eating cold out of cans Later they said I was livin like a rat
Now the crowd that I hung out with well they were outcasts too
Suzie alone and pregnant with my best friend's kid
Johnny Boy just got thrown out of the local looney bin
And Brian was rentin out apartments that didn't exist
Then one night alone I wrote a song about something that I knew
About the black faced miners it was tune from a man named Blue

Ghosts upon the road
They were ghosts upon the road
Just ghosts upon the road

Soon I moved across the river and got a roommate right off of Cambridge Ave
Alfredo was from no man's land he danced his car over the moon
His eyes were full of Latin smoke and his wall was full of knife holes
He had a job as a maitre'd and I didn't have enough to keep in cigarettes
His pockets were always lined and his bed was always full
my soul felt like an empty lot And people were hidin their stash and stuff
underneath their floorboards Back then everybody was paranoid of the cops
Then there was Diana she took me under her hat She's happily married
with three kids now So I won't go into that

Ghosts upon the road
They were ghosts upon the road
Just ghosts upon the road

Now the jungle war and politics was on everybody's mind
They rejected me on mental grounds so it was not my lot to serve
That August day down on Whitehall street I ran into some post beat hippies I'd known
I must have looked so weird to them they only waved to me
I'd been lucky to have been advised from some higher sources
That I'd known and managed to keep the circles under my eyes
I knew that fear could make a man crazy even more than make him scared
You didn't need a blood hound to know the smell of blood was in the air
Soon I was asked to leave the place the rest were made to stay
Both my head and I were dressed like Holden Caulfield on that day
But ridin the rails of subways was far safer from the time I tried
Like takin matters into my own hands down on the Lower East Side
That summer's night down on Avenue B He almost jumped off a 6 story roof
Next time I got a piano but I fell in love too soon
But sometimes I'd hear noises in the night

Ghosts upon the road
They were ghosts upon the road
Just ghosts upon the road

It was then I knew that death was death that life was life maybe there was an in between
Not just some French and Russian novels or the love of a poet's life
Or the need to give everything a name
Three had tried to kill me and three had saved my life
Life and death were indistinguishable til death put an end to that
I dreamed my life would roll on forever like some great plain in the west
My lovers I'd count like billboards on ribbon route infinity
Cryin out Dean Moriarty Sweet Marilyn here I come
In our fast cars our rockin boots meet the sons of the dharma bums
Til one went into the bathroom he took his belt off
And never came out and Melissa put one up inside the soft roof of her mouth

Ghosts upon the road
They were ghosts upon the road
Just ghosts upon the road

Now and then I think about Rachael who I once followed up some steps
And I think it was Georges Clemenceau who once said
That the highlight of making love first time
Was to watch a woman from behind climbin up the stairway to her room
But that was 1914 and this was 14th Street
In the Spanish neighborhood by the river But it was long ago
She said she took a lot of acid then but she ended up okay
Besides many I knew ended up much worse
And Ramblin Jack was wild but Lowell Jack was first and I still shiver from the words
But it's these times I wonder when I'm alone and I don't see you
Did I lose my way or did you lose yours

Ghosts upon the road
They were ghosts upon the road
Just ghosts upon the road
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