"Afterglow 61" as written by and Jay Farrar....
US highway from north to south.
It's history breathing.
Get out from under the gun
And drive down Highway 61.

Hannibal's son saw the Gold Rush,
Saw the Civil War done,
Then settled down some
On Highway 61.

There's no reason to feel downhearted.
There's music in the wheels.
There to be found.

Goodnight Irene in the prison walls,
Killed a man
And lived to sing about it all
Stella-twelve on Highway 61.

The immigrant son left the mining town.
Electrified the traditional
And had it out on Highway 61.

There's no reason to feel downhearted.
There's music in the wheels.
There to be found.

Lyrics submitted by goodreverend

"Afterglow 61" as written by Jay Farrar

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Afterglow 61 song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentUnited State Highway number 61 has been referenced in many songs the most popular being Bob Dylan's 1965 song Highway 61 Revisited. It stretches from Northern Minnesota to the gulf of Mexico. It is credited with bringing the blues from the south, north to Chicago, which is what the opening verse is referring to.

    The third verse refers to the bluesman Leadbelly. Leadbelly went to prison for killing a man. Legend has it that he wrote and played a song for the Warden who was so impressed with it, he let Leadbelly go free.

    The fourth verse is about Robert Zimmerman, who left the mining town of Hibbing, Minnesota for New York City, where he became Bob Dylan.

    I'm not sure what the second verse means regarding Hannibal's son.
    bobdylan1235on December 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHannibal's son is Mark Twain.... He grew up in Hannibal, Missouri.
    mudstaindon January 30, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI read somewhere that Jay was living in New Orleans and drove Highway 61 to Minnesota to record. This is a brilliant song, both lyrically and musically. Amazing how Jay put the seemingly unrelated references together because of a highway.
    NESooneron December 14, 2007   Link

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