Long black limousine
Shiniest car I've ever seen
The back seat is nice and clean
She rides as quiet as a dream
Someone dug a hole six long feet in the ground
I said goodbye to you and I threw my roses down
Ain't nothing left at all in the end of being proud
With me riding in a race car, and you flying through the clouds

I've had some time to think about you
And watch the sun sink like a stone
I've had some time to think about you
On the long ride home

One day I took your tiny hand
Put your finger in the wedding band
Your daddy gave a piece of land
We laid ourselves the best of plans
Forty years go by with someone laying in your bed
Forty years of things you wish you'd never said
How hard would it have been to say some kinder words instead
I wonder as I stare up at the sky turning red

I've had some time to think about you
And watch the sun sink like a stone
I've had some time to think about you
On the long ride home

Headlights staring at the driveway
The house is dark as it can be
I go inside and all is silent
It seems as empty as the inside of me

I've had some time to think about you
And watch the sun sink like a stone
I've had some time to think about you
On the long, on the long
Oh the long, on the long
On the long ride home


Lyrics submitted by AmandaPanda345, edited by thereisanerror, wingnut422

"Long Ride Home" as written by Patty Griffin

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Long Ride Home song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commenti can't believe no one has posted anything on this song.
    it's so great..
    so great. possibly, i thought talking about someone who's died and maybe regretting it.
    probably missing them, id think.

    so pretty.
    thumbs up, patty. :]
    ripxbeatzon May 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me this is written from a guys perspective about his wife who's just died. Whatever it's about it one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard, I love it to pieces.
    dark_maiden101on August 31, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is excellent on so many levels -- the music and lyrics have a simplicity and directness that reaches out and grabs you, pulling you in. At the same time, there's some subtlety in Patty's voice and the lyrics to give even more depth to this song.

    I agree with dark_maiden101 that this is from a guy's perspective about his wife's death, but it's indirect, which makes this song even better.

    The opening references about the car are the first hint. Most "car talk" comes from guys, and all the references about "Shiniest thing I've ever seen", "quiet as a dream", and "nice and clean" indicate a guy, IMHO.

    Then the lyric, "One day I took your tiny hand" only makes sense from a man's perspective. If anyone can interpret this as coming from a woman, please let me know.

    Finally, The lyrics literally tip-toe around the emotional reality of the situation, sticking to the facts almost exclusively. Notice that the lyric is "and *seems* as empty as the inside of me" rather than "and *feels* ...". This lyrical style sure seems to indicate a guy who just lost his wife, at least to me.

    It's Patty's voice that breaks through the shell of literal words to the feelings within of utter loss and devastation. *We* feel the emotional connection from the bittersweet juxtaposition of the understated lyrics and their resonant delivery.
    willow1ston December 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWas it a troubled marriage or is he just thinking about the fights they had gotten into? I think maybe he's thinking back to the arguments and to the silent treatement hat usually follows them and wishes he could have those moments back ...

    "Ain't nothing left at all in the end of being proud."

    "Forty years of things you say you wish you'd never said. How hard would it have been to say some kinder words instead?"
    cubbyblueson July 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI get the impression that the couple lived on a farm (Daddy gave us a piece of land) and that the funeral of his wife may be the first time the man is in a limousine. An absolutely perfect, gut-wrenching song. The trio Red Molly does a terrific cover of this, by the way.
    Moose Jawon September 15, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think Red Molly ruins it. Griffin's voice makes this song as much as the lyrics.
    cubbyblueson October 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionI don't think I've ever heard anyone cover a Patty Griffin song better than she does herself.
    Johny108on August 04, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song can be sung by either gender I don't think it has any contradictions that would kill it. But for me when Patty sings this song I think it's coming from her perspective which is why all the emotion is coming through, but that is only what works for me.

    I wouldn't say that this song is about a bad marriage, it could be, but i don't think that is the point. Either in a bad or even a great marriage there is room for mistakes and i think she is really touching on the epiphany that is being felt by realizing that "Ain't nothing left at all in the end of being proud", she basically feels really stupid for standing her ground on things just because of her pride in anything, an argument, a major family decisions, really anything. Thats why i think her Music is great she seems to try to leave it open for any situation pertaining to the raw emotions she is putting out in the songs.

    "Forty years of things you say you wish you'd never said
    How hard would it have been to say some kinder words instead"

    This shows and supports the idea that she really just feels sad, lonely, and stupid for being like that(remember it could be anything she feels bad about cause she leaves it open), when she now realizes how short life is and how she can't take anything back and wished she knew what she knows now how she could have been better then she was.

    Thank You Patty, You give me chills.
    brussellron October 06, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me it seems pretty plain that Patty is assuming the voice of man who has just left the funeral of his wife of 40 years. The "long ride home" is the ride home from the funeral.

    On the long ride home he recollects the beginning of their lives together, how over time he took her for granted, said unkind words, etc.

    Then he's pulling into the driveway and he realizes how empty his life is now without her.

    I imagine a person could sing this song from a widow's perspective, but it is very clearly from a widower's perspective.

    Patty has assumed the male voice before in "Top of the World". In that song she is singing from the perspective a man who has recently died. "One night they called me to supper, but I never got up. I stayed right there in my chair."
    jweyekon July 13, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think of this as from the perspective of the male, and (unlike lmac5) I think it's HE who is feeling bad and guilty on "the long ride home" about all the times when he was cruel, or indifferent, etc. "How hard would it have been to say some kinder words instead?" So they had a typically ordinary marriage, not deleriously happy, probably economically tough. Good days and bad days. But in the end, he wishes he'd been kinder, and when he arrives at home for teh first time without her, he finds the house "as empty as the inside of me." In the end, curiously, it is a beautiful, if sad, love song.
    tquinn554on May 10, 2012   Link

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