I know, I know—doing a blog about Steve Earle’s fantastic storytelling and NOT picking “Copperhead Road” borders on sacrilege. The thing is, music is all about the emotional connections you create with it. In my case, “El Corazon” was the soundtrack to a particularly colorful period in my late twenties. And “N.Y.C.” is the track that most consistently taps those memories.
It’s also a really great short story.
The story is simple on the surface: An older guy picks up a young hitchhiker who is rambling his way to New York City because he “heard the girls are pretty.” As the song evolves, you find out the older guy had made a similar pilgrimage many years before, only to go home with his tail between his legs. It is a tale of adventure, jealousy and regret—and it all happens in three-and-a-half minutes.
Read the lyrics for N.Y.C. by Steve Earle right HERE.
Ah, screw it. Here’s “Copperhead Road” too.
Previous installments in this series:
- Generation X—”Kiss Me Deadly”
- Mr. T Experience—”Sorry For Freaking Out…”
- Warren Zevon—”Carmelita”
- Leonard Cohen—”Suzanne”
- The Descendents—”Clean Sheets”
- Jawbreaker—”Bad Scene, Everyone’s Fault”
- Pulp—”Common People”
- Marty Robbins—”El Paso”
S.W. Lauden is a writer and drummer living in Los Angeles. His short fiction has been accepted for publication by Out of the Gutter, Criminal Element, Dark Corners, Akashic Books, Spelk Fiction, Shotgun Honey, Dead Guns Magazine and Crimespree Magazine. His debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, will be published in 2015. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in 2016.