"Ventura Highway" as written by and Dewey Bunnell....
Chewing on a piece of grass
Walking down the road
Tell me, how long you gonna stay here Joe?
Some people say this town don't look
Good in snow
You don't care, I know

Ventura Highway in the sunshine
Where the days are longer
The nights are stronger
Than moonshine
You're gonna go I know

'Cause the free wind is blowin' through
Your hair
And the days surround your daylight
There
Seasons crying no despair
Alligator lizards in the air

Wishin' on a falling star
Watchin' for the early train
Sorry boy, but I've been hit by
Purple rain
Aw, come on Joe, you can always
Change your name
Thanks a lot son, just the same

Ventura Highway
In the sunshine
Where the days are longer
The nights are stronger
Than moonshine
You're gonna go I know

'Cause the free wind is blowin' through
Your hair
And the days surround you daylight
There
Seasons crying no despair
Alligator lizards in the air


Lyrics submitted by Ice

"Riverside" as written by Dewey Bunnell

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Ventura Highway song meanings
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21 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentI was listening to Ventura Hwy 2 months after my wife passed away while driving on open highway going north in California. It made me feel like my wife was riding beside me. Still gives me chills to listen to this song in this light. It's a classic song of changing times, traveling on, remembering the past, but moving forward, somewhere, anywhere, and being ok with it, if fact, cool with it. The song gave me comfort, and helped me see the sun shining on my wife's face, with a cool breeze flowing through her hair. I know she's in a better place.
    covinacareon July 29, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General Comment"Ventura Highway" became Homecoming's lead track and first single. This breezy vignette by Bunnell became one of America's signature tunes. "It was about leaving," Dewey says. "It reminds me of the time I lived in Omaha as a kid and how we'd walk through cornfields and chew on pieces of grass. There were cold winters, and I had images of going to California. So I think in the song I'm talking to myself, frankly: 'How long you gonna stay here, Joe?' I really believe that 'Ventura Highway' has the most lasting power of all my songs. It's not just the words--the song and the track have a certain fresh, vibrant, optimistic quality that I can still respond to.
    matt_dunn82on October 30, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General Commentwhy do people always have to connect songs from this era with drugs and just take it how it is I mean some songs like Hotel Califorinia by the eagles abviously are but ya i dont think this could have anytihng to do with drugs its just about restlessness and wanting a change somehow some way
    Marinersfan4lifeon October 02, 2008   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningAmerica member Dewey Bunnell wrote this song. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times October 1, 2006, he explained: "It was 1963 when I was in seventh grade, we got a flat tire and we're standing on the side of the road and I was staring at this highway sign. It said 'Ventura' on it and it just stuck with me. It was a sunny day and the ocean there, all of it."

    Regarding the lyrics, "Seasons crying no despair, alligator lizards in the air," Bunnell said: "The clouds. It's my brother and I standing there on the side of the road looking at the shapes of clouds while my dad changed the tire."

    There's no official "Ventura Highway," but Ventura is a county in California, and Highway 101 runs through it.
    leonardo217on August 20, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentnumber 1 on my iTunes most played, theres such a melancholy, optimistic vbe to the guitars and lyrics go so well together
    Lt. Salton May 23, 2007   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning

    Sounds like the saga of two hitchers/train-tramps , bound for nowhere and defined only by the freedom
    of their experience. However, Joe has become settled and his pal is pleading for him to hit the road
    again. Maybe even just two desires in the same person. A multi-generational classic that appeals to all who have been pulled apart by freedom and commitment.
    spotomorseon November 19, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgood little song
    poohbear1on June 24, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgreat sing along and even better driving song
    bendaboyon April 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhere the days are longer, the nights are stronger than moonshine.........

    wow, i listened to this song a couple times on my trip to mexico, with this girl... oh yea... lol, anyway thats long behind me but this song is so nostalgic and is the best work of America ever.
    !
    my_shade_of_greenon February 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI still have a couple of real questions about this song. This is the first mention lyrically (long before Prince considered it) of "purple rain." What is purple rain?? Then, my second question is what the heck does he mean by "alligator lizards in the air"????
    beachdocon May 09, 2006   Link

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