Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Road Song: What am I Living For

This post is part of a heretofore unrecognized series, which until now has only included one other post. Back in the old days, a couple of my colleagues and I filled several 90-minute tapes with roads songs, which were for playing while on the road to, from, or in the field. Remarkably, those tapes survived, and I now have a copy of them on CD. The rules for qualifying a song as a road song were simple: any mention of streets, roads, highways, cars, trucks or truckers, or railroads and railroad tracks made the song a suitable one for our collection. The songs were basically travel songs, but airplanes and boats were out, if I remember right.

The Mark-Almond Band's What am I Living For is only vaguely a road song; it's mostly a love song that briefly mentions hitting the road. I've posted the song - along with the ones below - more in response to a long-ago post by Stephanie Zvan at Almost Diamonds than as a continuation of my fairly unpopulated road song series. Stephanie said, "The Best Love Songs ...are the ones that look beyond the first blush." Her songs reminded me of What am I Living For, and that song then reminded me of the next two songs, which aren't road songs by any stretch of the imagination.

Only one website (that I could find) lists full lyrics for the Mark-Almond Band song; the lyrics are correct, some of what he's written about the Allman Brothers (totally unrelated to the Mark-Almond Band, and totally unrelated to the singer Marc Almond) is inaccurate.

Mark-Almond Band: What am I Living For
Album: Rising, 1972

Jim Croce: Time in a Bottle (a video here)
Album: You Don't Mess Around with Jim, 1972

James Taylor: Fire and Rain (lyrics and story here)
Album: Sweet Baby James, 1970

P.S. I saw James Taylor in concert in 1971 in Virginia.


Stephanie Zvan said...

Very nice. I hadn't heard the Mark-Almond song before.

My favorite road song might be a little noisy for you:

Silver Fox said...

I like it! I've added it to the road song list, which was originally compiled in the 1908's. (There are no doubt hundreds or thousands of songs not on the list, especially when one gets into the country-western category - so the list is by no means comprehensive.)

Silver Fox said...

That would be 1980's - not 1908's!