Well all my friends treated me so well
You know I'm headed out to that Mission Bell
Gonna wash my soul, gonna get it clean
Heading down the border road called the El Camino

Well I've been a prince, you know I've been a post
By a barb wire fence and a murder of crows
I believe in all I've loved and all I have seen
Heading down border road called the El Camino
Heading down border road called the El Camine

Yeah my hearts grown sick,
I've got a shepherds crook as a walking stick
And I'm heading on.
Yeah my hearts gone blue and I've done wrong by you
I don't know what to do
But I'm moving on, yeah I'm moving on

One and one is two, two and two is four
I'm walking back and forth
On your cracked tiled kitchen floor
With the orange juice and the sun that shines
It really breaks my heart leaving you behind,
It really breaks my heart leaving you behind

All my ships have sailed away
The price of this politic,
That there's plenty of time to play.
Plenty of time to waste away.

Well to all my friends, that I've loved the most
You know I'm heading out to that other coast
Gonna wash my soul, gonna get it clean
Heading down the border road, called the El Camino,
Heading down the border road, called the El Camine.


Lyrics submitted by TheDevilWearsPrada, edited by mjtrulli

El Camino song meanings
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  • +2
    Song Meaning"Well all my friends treated me so well":
    This is sarcastic. His friends didn't treat him well.

    "You know I'm headed out to that Mission Bell
    Gonna wash my soul, gonna get it clean
    Heading down the border road called the El Camino
    They told him there was an industry party at the Mission Inn and Spa in California.

    Well I've been a prince, you know I've been opposed.
    By a barb wire fence and a murder of crows
    I believe in all I've loved and all I have seen
    Heading down border road called the El Camino":
    He believed in his friends and that he could trust them.
    When he got to the pary a bunch of Prince's people confront him and opposed the references that were often made comparing the artists. One of them had a tatoo of barbed wire around his bicept.
    The border road is the road you walk when you're about to cross a line.


    "Yeah my hearts grown sick,
    I've got a shepherds crook as a walking stick
    And I'm heading on.
    Yeah my hearts gone blue and I've done wrong by you
    I don't know what to do
    But I'm moving on, yeah I'm moving on":
    As the party got going he drank too much and did somethings he regretted. He ended up limping out of there the next day. He had a girlfriend back home that received some photos of his activities.They broke up.

    "One and one is two, two and two is four
    I'm walking back and forth
    On your cracked tiled kitchen floor
    With the orange juice and the sun that shines
    It really breaks my heart leaving you behind,
    It really breaks my heart leaving you behind":
    He wished he would've brought his girlfriend (1 and 1 is 2, a couple) He wouldn't of gotten involved in a 4-some with a woman that had a spray tan so thick they called her orange juice. The sun was definitely shining that night and they did a lot of back and forth on the kitchen floor.


    All my ships have sailed away
    The price of this politic,
    That there's plenty of time to play.
    Plenty of time to waste away."
    His girlfriend is gone. He struck a deal with Prince's people, now there is plenty time to play, plenty of time to waste away.

    "Well to all my friends, that I've loved the most
    You know I'm heading out to that other coast
    Gonna wash my soul, gonna get it clean
    Heading down the border road, called the El Camino,
    Heading down the border road, called the El Camine.":
    He trusted his friends but, he'll never talk to them again.
    He's head back to the East Coast to try and work it out with his girlfriend.
    BeeSea0601on January 26, 2017   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningOK SeaBee, lets put your industry fantasy party notions to rest. This song, by a modern Americana's finest, deserves respect and reverence. It brings solace to those with hearts and souls who have gone on before them. Those who know the the Country Outlaw spirit, knows El Camino is in fact a haunting ghost story, sung through Willie Nelson and Mr. Lee by The Great Johnny Cash.

    "Well all my friends treated me so well"
    Mr. Cash had more friends than stars in the sky

    "You know I'm headed out to that Mission Bell
    Gonna wash my soul, gonna get it clean"
    This speaks of Johnny's knowledge of where he was headed.

    "Heading down the border road called the El Camino"
    The reference to touring "On The Road" here is pretty clear. El Camino translates into "The Road" - "On the Road Again" was Cash and Nelson's #1 hit "what they loved was making music with their friends." And this will go on and on in the great beyond.
    Johnny is staying on the Border Road.

    Well I've been a prince,

    "you know I've been opposed
    By a barb wire fence and a murder of crows"
    Nelson knows Cash has been opposed. He was locked up 7 times. He was also fired by his label, even black listed.

    "I believe in all I've loved and all I have seen"
    You don't actually have to know Cash, as Nelson did to know that line rans through the marrow in his bones.

    "Heading down border road called the El Camino
    Heading down border road called the El Camino"
    A fear of flying would've prevented Cash from flying up to heaven, and his fear of snakes kept him out of hell. Instead he's going on touring waiting for his friends to join him.

    "Yeah my hearts grown sick"
    Johnny had by-pass surgery.

    "I've got a shepherds crook as a walking stick"
    Later in life he had a coveted hand carved cane.

    " And I'm heading on."
    To the eternal border road, neither above or below.

    "Yeah my hearts gone blue and I've done wrong by you
    I don't know what to do"
    The accidental death of his older brother when he was young, plagued Cash his whole life. He felt guilty for not being able to prevent it. This yet again identifies Cash to Nelson.

    "But I'm moving on, yeah I'm moving on"
    To the great touring road in the beyond.

    "One and one is two",
    Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash

    "two and two is four"
    turn into 4 with the Super Country Outlaw Stars know as the Highway Men, with their hit album: "The Road Goes on Forever" with fitting songs

    "I'm walking back and forth cross your cracked tile kitchen floor"
    Mr. Cash's ghost walks back and forth between Mr. Lee and Nelson to give his advice to prepare for the road. Little joke here to remind Nelson how they partied. Not your regular industry party, their parties had them passed out drunk on the kitchen floor.

    "With the orange juice"
    Dexedrine was the addiction of choice for Mr. Cash. Juiced up on little orange pills.

    "and the sun that shines"
    Sun Records, with the bright yellow label and the energetic rooster...

    "It really breaks my heart leaving you behind,
    It really breaks my heart leaving you behind"
    Little joke here, it's always best to be the first one to go.

    "All my ships have sailed away"
    There comes a time in every mans life, who lives long enough, that they have to watch the women move on, including his heart and soul, June Carter Cash who passed away just before he followed in 2003.

    " The price of this politic",
    Keeping up with the public eye keeps you home studying religion. Johnny, The Man in Black, penned a novel about the Prince of Peace titled, "The Man In White." He had a deep relationship with God and his son.

    " That there's plenty of time to pray".

    "Plenty of time to waste away."
    "Pack only the most important things," he says to his friend. "And get ready to hit the road with me, playing the music we love with the people we love, our heart and souls, Forever on the Border Road between the silvery ocean and the dry dessert."

    "Well to all my friends, that I've loved the most"
    Johnny had many friends including his fans, but this song is to the friends that he loved the most.

    "You know I'm heading out to that other coast
    Gonna wash my soul, gonna get it clean"
    Rocking Gospel music during the in between.

    Heading down the border road, called the El Camino,
    Heading down the border road, called the El Camine
    JDWelterson January 26, 2017   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningAnother beautiful song by Amos...such a great songwriter. I believe he's talking to his child. He's very depressed about his career taking him away. I think this because he mentions orange juice and simple math and “I’ve done wrong by you”, which lots of parents feel when they aren’t Ward/June Cleaver. I've noticed a few songs on Mission Bell that refer to his sadness due to his career on the road. :(
    Manspeakeron May 03, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Lyric Correction"I've been oppressed and you know I've been opposed" instead of "I've been a prince and you know I've been a post"

    Manspeakeron May 03, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI kind of got the impression that this song is about dying. The person in the song knows that their life is reaching it's end. He is thinking back on his life and how he's lived it. He's also feeling guilty and heartbroken about leaving someone behind when he goes. That's kind of the vibe I got out of it any way.
    MURPHYMOUSEon June 28, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn several places, this CD (Mission Bell) seems to imply a newly found awareness of preciousness of life and the realization of inevitable mortality. Not sure whether its inspiration is from the writer finding he is going to die or opening eyes to greater power, i.e. God. In the song "WIndows Are Rolled Down", the latter seems a likely element, in either case, as it is stated "my new found faith and my broken heart". Also, in El Camino, he writes he is going to wash his soul clean and makes reference to prayer (which I emphasize in the next paragraph).
    Anyhow, I see this song alluding to an eye opening event where the old world he has been existing in is coming to a close and he is venturing out with a new awareness, leaving close friends, whom he has deep affection for, behind. He states that his old belief (politic) was where he always felt there was plenty of time to prayer and plenty of time to waste away. Now, he sees that is not necessarily so. He's realized this and his perceptions and way of life will now be changed, by his choice.
    A pretty song. I really liked the version where Willie Nelson joined him on duet, on this same CD. Willie really contributed his classic deep and lonesome feel to the mix, though Amos' solo version is very good on its own.
    Yosemiteguyon December 14, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh yeah, also, The "shepherd's crook" is what references the poles (in the shape of a shepherd's crook) that once held the markers (mission bells) along the historical El Camino Real California path, used by early Spanish missionaries to settle the U.S. and spread their religious message. An eloquently metaphor, I would suppose, to illustrate his journey with his new insight.
    Yosemiteguyon December 16, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretationi'm on the same page as murphymoush. At first I was thinking he was leaving his wife and family (he sings of leaving often in his songs - see Southern Girl). The 1 & 1 is 2 and 2 & 2 is 4. I was thiking he just wasn't settled and needed to move on. Then, I began to think he’s leaving because he’s dying and he knows it. He’s taking the border road to the other side and he feels bad about leaving those he loves.
    drliffon February 05, 2014   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningOK SeaBee, lets put your industry fantasy party notions to rest. This song, by a modern Americana's finest, deserves respect and reverence. It brings solace to those with hearts and souls who have gone on before them. Those who know the the Country Outlaw spirit, knows El Camino is in fact a haunting ghost story sung through Willie Nelson and Mr. Lee by The Great Johnny Cash.

    "Well all my friends treated me so well"
    Mr. Cash had more friends than stars in the sky

    "You know I'm headed out to that Mission Bell
    Gonna wash my soul, gonna get it clean"
    This speaks of Johnny's knowledge of where he was headed.

    "Heading down the border road called the El Camino"
    The reference to touring "On The Road" here is pretty clear. El Camino translates into "The Road" - "On the Road Again" was Cash and Nelson's #1 hit "what they loved was making music with their friends." And this will go on and on in the great beyond.
    Johnny is staying on the Border Road.

    Well I've been a prince,

    "you know I've been opposed
    By a barb wire fence and a murder of crows"
    Nelson knows Cash has been opposed. He was locked up 7 times. He was also fired by his label, even black listed.

    "I believe in all I've loved and all I have seen"
    You don't actually have to know Cash, as Nelson did to know that line rans through the marrow in his bones.

    "Heading down border road called the El Camino
    Heading down border road called the El Camino"
    A fear of flying would've prevented Cash from flying up to heaven, and his fear of snakes kept him out of hell. Instead he's going on touring waiting for his friends to join him.

    "Yeah my hearts grown sick"
    Johnny had by-pass surgery.

    "I've got a shepherds crook as a walking stick"
    Later in life he had a coveted hand carved cane.

    " And I'm heading on."
    To the eternal border road, neither above or below.

    "Yeah my hearts gone blue and I've done wrong by you
    I don't know what to do"
    The accidental death of his older brother when he was young, plagued Cash his whole life. He felt guilty for not being able to prevent it. This yet again identifies Cash to Nelson.

    "But I'm moving on, yeah I'm moving on"
    To the great touring road in the beyond.

    "One and one is two",
    Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash

    "two and two is four"
    turn into 4 with the Super Country Outlaw Stars know as the Highway Men, with their hit album: "The Road Goes on Forever" with fitting songs

    "I'm walking back and forth cross your cracked tile kitchen floor"
    Mr. Cash's ghost walks back and forth between Mr. Lee and Nelson to give his advice to prepare for the road. Little joke here to remind Nelson how they partied. Not your regular industry party, their parties had them passed out drunk on the kitchen floor.

    "With the orange juice"
    Dexedrine was the addiction of choice for Mr. Cash. Juiced up on little orange pills.

    "and the sun that shines"
    Sun Records, with the bright yellow label and the energetic rooster...

    "It really breaks my heart leaving you behind,
    It really breaks my heart leaving you behind"
    Little joke here, it's always best to be the first one to go.

    "All my ships have sailed away"
    There comes a time in every mans life, who lives long enough, that they have to watch the women move on, including his heart and soul, June Carter Cash who passed away just before he followed in 2003.

    " The price of this politic",
    Keeping up with the public eye keeps you home studying religion. Johnny, The Man in Black, penned a novel about the Prince of Peace titled, "The Man In White." He had a deep relationship with God and his son.

    " That there's plenty of time to pray".

    "Plenty of time to waste away."
    "Pack only the most important things," he says to his friend. "And get ready to hit the road with me, playing the music we love with the people we love, our heart and souls, Forever on the Border Road between the silvery ocean and the dry dessert."

    "Well to all my friends, that I've loved the most"
    Johnny had many friends including his fans, but this song is to the friends that he loved the most.

    "You know I'm heading out to that other coast
    Gonna wash my soul, gonna get it clean"
    Rocking Gospel music during the in between.

    Heading down the border road, called the El Camino,
    Heading down the border road, called the El Camine
    JDWelterson January 26, 2017   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningOK SeaBee, lets put your industry fantasy party notions to rest. This song, by a modern Americana's finest, deserves respect and reverence. It brings solace to those with hearts and souls who have gone on before them. Those who know the the Country Outlaw spirit, knows El Camino is in fact a haunting ghost story sung through Willie Nelson and Mr. Lee by The Great Johnny Cash.

    "Well all my friends treated me so well"
    Mr. Cash had more friends than stars in the sky

    "You know I'm headed out to that Mission Bell
    Gonna wash my soul, gonna get it clean"
    This speaks of Johnny's knowledge of where he was headed.

    "Heading down the border road called the El Camino"
    The reference to touring "On The Road" here is pretty clear. El Camino translates into "The Road" - "On the Road Again" was Cash and Nelson's #1 hit "what they loved was making music with their friends." And this will go on and on in the great beyond.
    Johnny is staying on the Border Road.

    Well I've been a prince,

    "you know I've been opposed
    By a barb wire fence and a murder of crows"
    Nelson knows Cash has been opposed. He was locked up 7 times. He was also fired by his label, even black listed.

    "I believe in all I've loved and all I have seen"
    You don't actually have to know Cash, as Nelson did to know that line rans through the marrow in his bones.

    "Heading down border road called the El Camino
    Heading down border road called the El Camino"
    A fear of flying would've prevented Cash from flying up to heaven, and his fear of snakes kept him out of hell. Instead he's going on touring waiting for his friends to join him.

    "Yeah my hearts grown sick"
    Johnny had by-pass surgery.

    "I've got a shepherds crook as a walking stick"
    Later in life he had a coveted hand carved cane.

    " And I'm heading on."
    To the eternal border road, neither above or below.

    "Yeah my hearts gone blue and I've done wrong by you
    I don't know what to do"
    The accidental death of his older brother when he was young, plagued Cash his whole life. He felt guilty for not being able to prevent it. This yet again identifies Cash to Nelson.

    "But I'm moving on, yeah I'm moving on"
    To the great touring road in the beyond.

    "One and one is two",
    Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash

    "two and two is four"
    turn into 4 with the Super Country Outlaw Stars know as the Highway Men, with their hit album: "The Road Goes on Forever" with fitting songs

    "I'm walking back and forth cross your cracked tile kitchen floor"
    Mr. Cash's ghost walks back and forth between Mr. Lee and Nelson to give his advice to prepare for the road. Little joke here to remind Nelson how they partied. Not your regular industry party, their parties had them passed out drunk on the kitchen floor.

    "With the orange juice"
    Dexedrine was the addiction of choice for Mr. Cash. Juiced up on little orange pills.

    "and the sun that shines"
    Sun Records, with the bright yellow label and the energetic rooster...

    "It really breaks my heart leaving you behind,
    It really breaks my heart leaving you behind"
    Little joke here, it's always best to be the first one to go.

    "All my ships have sailed away"
    There comes a time in every mans life, who lives long enough, that they have to watch the women move on, including his heart and soul, June Carter Cash who passed away just before he followed in 2003.

    " The price of this politic",
    Keeping up with the public eye keeps you home studying religion. Johnny, The Man in Black, penned a novel about the Prince of Peace titled, "The Man In White." He had a deep relationship with God and his son.

    " That there's plenty of time to pray".

    "Plenty of time to waste away."
    "Pack only the most important things," he says to his friend. "And get ready to hit the road with me, playing the music we love with the people we love, our heart and souls, Forever on the Border Road between the silvery ocean and the dry dessert."

    "Well to all my friends, that I've loved the most"
    Johnny had many friends including his fans, but this song is to the friends that he loved the most.

    "You know I'm heading out to that other coast
    Gonna wash my soul, gonna get it clean"
    Rocking Gospel music during the in between.

    Heading down the border road, called the El Camino,
    Heading down the border road, called the El Camine
    JDWelterson January 26, 2017   Link

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