"Down in the Valley" as written by and Robert T Williams Christopher S Zasche....
I wish I was a slave to an age-old trade
Like ridin' around on railcars and workin' long days

Lord have mercy on my rough and rowdy ways
Lord have mercy on my rough and rowdy ways

Call it one drink too many
Call it pride of a man
But it don't make no difference if you sit or you stand

'Cause they both end in trouble and start with a grin
Yeah they both end in trouble and start with a grin

We do it over and over and over again
We do it over and over and over again

Oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh

Oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh

Oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh

I know there's California, Oklahoma
And all of the places I ain't ever been to but
Down in the valley with whiskey rivers
These are the places you will find me hidin'
These are the places I will always go
These are the places I will always go

I am on my way
I am on my way
I am on my way back to where I started

Oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh

Oh-oh (One more for the stars and the eyes of the walls)
Oh-oh-oh-oh (I hear your name)
Oh-oh

I saw your face in the crowd and you came out
You saw me walkin'
You got a sign on the door and it reads to me
Just like the grass and the sun and the water

Oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh

Oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh
Oh-oh

I am on my way
I am on my way
I am on my way back to where I started

California, Oklahoma
And all of the places I ain't ever been to
Down in the valley with whiskey rivers
These are the places you will find me hidin'
These are the places I will always go
These are the places I will always go

So I wish I was a slave to an age-old trade
Lord have mercy on my rough and rowdy ways


Lyrics submitted by kitschwithteeth, edited by poisonwine

"Down in the Valley" as written by Chris Zasche Charity Thielen

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Down in the Valley song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentI see this song as him talking about how he isnt satisfied with what he has done in his life and how he wishes that he could have used his time more wisely or for a better purpose then what he has done. And along with that he wishes he had been to many different places, but instead has wasted away in the same old place drinking away his sorrows.
    akChrison December 10, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think this song is about going out into the world and trying new things and realizing that you don't always have to go somewhere in order to be happy. He finds himself returning to the same places he has always been. He talks about the places he has never been but then says how he stays in the valley, which could be a sign of comfort. He is on his way back to where he started, meaning he was more happy where he used to be. Wishing he was a slave to an age old trade kind of hints at stability and the promise of something always being there for him.

    That my somewhat happier interpretation. The sad one is that he is trying to get away and start a new life but ends up in the same old places he has always been. In the valley as in a low point in his life and whiskey rivers of course refers to drinking. No matter how much he tries to get a new life he cant.

    Either way it is a beautiful song
    theworldsmileson June 04, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThey talked about this song on World Cafe: he said he wrote it when he was toiling away as a waiter, a job he found boring and unsatisfying, and he found himself thinking how much more satisfying it must be to have a trade of some sort so at least he could support himself.
    saltysamon August 26, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this part:
    "(Continue in background)

    One more for the stars and the eyes of the walls
    I hear your name...

    I saw your face in the crowd and you came out
    You saw me walkin'...

    You got a sign on the door and it reads to me
    Just like the grass and the sun and the..."

    is completely wrong... That's not what I hear at all. Which is disappointing because I really want to know exactly what he is singing. I can just tell that it's not that.
    cardernashon November 21, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentrespectfully, I don't see it that way at all. I see it as someone who has enjoyed his travels and is still alive there. He's on his on his way back to where he started.
    Love life!
    Love the journey!
    rustykenhason June 03, 2017   Link
  • -1
    General Commentincredible song!
    dancinstarson March 15, 2011   Link
  • -1
    General Commentthis song is about how much life sucks and how meaningless everything is. pretty obvious
    changoloco06on September 25, 2012   Link
  • -2
    General Commenti love this song.
    i think it explains itself.
    iamfictionon March 31, 2011   Link

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