Now the seats are all empty
Let the roadies take the stage
Pack it up and tear it down
They're the first to come and last to leave
Working for that minimum wage
They'll set it up in another town
Tonight the people were so fine
They waited there in line
And when they got up on their feet they made the show
And that was sweet--
But I can hear the sound
Of slamming doors and folding chairs
And that's a sound they'll never know

Now roll them cases out and lift them amps
Haul them trusses down and get'em up them ramps
'Cause when it comes to moving me
You guys are the champs
But when that last guitar's been packed away
You know that I still want to play
So just make sure you got it all set to go
Before you come for my piano

But the band's on the bus
And they're waiting to go
We've got to drive all night and do a show in Chicago
or Detroit, I don't know
We do so many shows in a row
And these towns all look the same
We just pass the time in our hotel rooms
And wander 'round backstage
Till those lights come up and we hear that crowd
And we remember why we came

Now we got country and western on the bus
R an B, we got disco in eight tracks and cassettes in stereo
We've got rural scenes and magazines
We've got truckers on CB
We've got Richard Pryor on the video
We got time to think of the ones we love
While the miles roll away
But the only time that seems too short
Is the time that we get to play

People you've got the power over what we do
You can sit there and wait
Or you can pull us through
Come along, sing the song
You know you can't go wrong
'Cause when that morning sun comes beating down
You're going to wake up in your town
But we'll be scheduled to appear
A thousand miles away from here

People stay just a little bit longer
We want to play -- just a little bit longer
Now the promoter don't mind
And the union don't mind
If we take a little time
And we leave it all behind and sing
One more song--
Oh, won't you stay just a little bit longer
Please, please, please, say you will
Say you will

Lyrics submitted by pennypink, edited by mahartman

The Load Out/Stay song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentOf all the songs in my collection, this is the ONLY one I can listen to over and over again without getting bored. It's just amazing. It combines a meaningful ballad and a reworked version of a great oldie. I can't believe only three people have posted about it.
    FootageOFACopon April 12, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is absolutely my favorite. you know there is this type of song that is so very manly and extremly melancholic, now this song is one supremacy of this kind. throughout the whole song I can totally feel the sadness of the man, driven around by his career and the crowds, knowing he is being liked while still feels the blue of stardom way of living. I would say it's damn close to the keynote of some of bruce springsteen songs.
    Hacklewon April 19, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is off the Running on Empty album, which was written and recorded during a tour. Many of the tracks refer to the difficult life out on the road, but this to me really nails that mixture of long hours of loneliness and boredom interspersed with brief periods of excitement and elation.

    Probably my favourite album.
    PhilMarshon November 07, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFrom Running On Empty, the first time I heard this song, I loved it! Whenever the deejay prefaces a song saying, "stay tuned, the next one's by Jackson Browne"... my fingers are crossed that it will be The Loadout/Stay. I don't know why the song speaks to me so deeply. I have no personal experience of what it is like to be performing on the road, but this song delivers the message with a wallop. I guess my favorite part of the song is how The Loadout melds so perfectly into Stay, as if the second song was intended to be a refrain. Certainly on my top ten list, I just don't get to hear this song often enough.
    mahartmanon February 28, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis totally captures the attitude of our groups and roadies. i love this song.
    violentfemmeon September 24, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI adore this song. It's one of my Dad's favourites, and when it came on in the car while we were driving, we'd turn it up real loud and just sing our hearts out.

    I think my Dad always secretly wished he was a musician - he lives vicariously through this song.

    I'm going to see Jackson Browne on Friday here in Melbourne, I'm so excited.
    Arianrhodon April 12, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentoh man, i didnt see this. i just suggested stay by jackson browne, i feel dumb. but i love this song.
    dirtyonion5on April 26, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentclose i meant similar, not inferior or anything.
    Hacklewon April 19, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis man is great in concert...and this song captures that spirit...

    But when that last guitar's been packed away
    You know that I still want to play
    So just make sure you got it all set to go
    Before you come for my piano
    ltienkeon November 14, 2008   Link

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