"Iowa (Traveling III)" as written by and Dar Williams....
The summer ends and we wonder where we are
And there you go, my friends, with your boxes in your car
And you both look so young
And last night was hard, you said
You packed up every room
And then you cried and went to bed
But today you closed the door and said
"We have to get a move on.
It's just that time of year when we push ourselves ahead,
We push ourselves ahead."

And it was cloudy in the morning
And it rained as you drove away
And the same things looked different
It's the end of the summer
It's the end of the summer,
When you move to another place

And I feel like the neighbor's girl who will never be the same
She walked alone all spring,
She had a boyfriend when the summer came
And he gave her flowers in a lightning storm
They disappeared at night in green fields of silver corn
And sometime in July she just forgot that he was leaving
So when the fields were dying, she held on to his sleeves
She held on to his sleeves

And she doesn't want to let go
'Cause she won't know what she's up against
The classrooms and the smart girls
It's the end of the summer
It's the end of the summer
When you hang your flowers up to dry

And I had a dream it blows the autumn through my head
It felt like the first day of school
But I was going to the moon instead
And I walked down the hall
With the notebooks they got for me
My dad led me through the house
My mom drank instant coffee
And I knew that I would crash
But I didn't want to tell them
There are just some moments when your family makes sense
They just make sense

So I raised up my arms and my mother put the sweater on
We walked out on the dark and frozen grass
The end of the summer
It's the end of the summer
When you send your children to the moon

The summer ends and we wonder who we are
And there you go, my friends, with your boxes in your car
And today I passed the high school, the river, the maple tree
I passed the farms that made it
Through the last days of the century
And I knew that I was going to learn again
Again, in this less hazy light
I saw the fields beyond the fields
The fields beyond the fields

And the colors are much brighter now
It's like they really want to tell the truth
We give our testimony to the end of the summer
It's the end of the summer,
You can spin the light to gold.

Lyrics submitted by aur0ra

"Iowa" as written by Dar Williams


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Iowa (Traveling III) song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThere was a time when she was driving through Iowa and the hilly landscape really caught her attention. She said it was very curvy and reminded her of, and here she was dong the hourglass/woman gesture as if she didn't want to say then she just said, "You know, boobs." She thought it made you sort of take a step back. She said "I placed sort of an uptight narrator in that scenario so see what would happen". This song could have been called almost anything, but she was in "Iowa" so that's what it was called. She did say that it could not be called Wyoming because the "Grand Tetons would be just TOO much!"

    This song does hint to her bisexuality. In fact, in an interview with a Toronto magazine, Williams finally let her fans know that she is in fact bisexual. However on May 4, 2002, she married Michael Robinson, an old friend from her college.
    VampedVixenon November 06, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentjust to quote it to explain, "I had everything, and I gave it up, for the shoulder of your driveway and the words I never felt"
    meekiefreekieon September 03, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"what is love? where did it get me?
    whoever thought of love is no friend of mine."

    gosh. dar williams is incredible ... and this song is one of her best. we've all become so jaded in this world, it's hard to imagine falling in love and having it be ok. there's something appealing about the prospect of falling in love, but it's mostly too scary even to think about. at least for the subject of this song.
    catherinekson October 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti am in love with this song. dar williams is wonderful.
    eleven24elevenon June 08, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAhh, I love this song, but this may be because I'm in a way 'from' Iowa. Beautiful song.
    lizkaon June 23, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of the few songs that hint at Dar's bisexuality.
    sakeboxon June 02, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe first two verses seem to be all ponderings about her bisexuality, and maybe regrets for never having fully explored it?
    I don't really understand the 3rd verse though... is she talking about how she has put it all in the past, and now she is in a committed relationship with a man? (but still dreaming about the past regrets?)
    splitter2on February 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is perfect. There is never the right time to tell you that i love you, but i wish there was; I fear falling in love with you because it scares me to much to think of how hard and far i could fall for you, and the worst thing i can dream about is you with someone else, not thinking about me. Looking back at my life, and all the romance and would be romance, and men i have loved, those words pretty much sum up them all.
    ryskalchickon July 23, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is one of my all time favorite songs for so many reasons. The idea of going to any limit for your heart really touches me. The idea that love is so fragile and painful and beautiful touches me.

    I once made a trip from Cincinnati to Omaha and the first day of the trip was horrible--all flat and farms that looked the same. Beautiful in their own right as they may have been, it got a little boring. And then I hit Iowa and it was hilly and green and curvy and I remember being so moved by it's beauty. Iowa was my favorite part of the whole trip.

    Sometimes it feels like my whole life is about running...not necessarily away, but all the meaning in my life is mapped out in distance and given names like Dallas and Athens and especially Chicago...and sometimes this song just feels like getting past all of that, all of the past and all of the heartache and making it to somewhere beautiful.

    I might not be there and maybe I'm still the same girl who'd go to any length for boys I shouldn't. And maybe I'll never learn. But it still feels good to hear this song and be somewhere else for a moment.
    shanieron March 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of the best songs ever... I'll never get tired of it! Though I don't really get the bisexualitything.. "I've never had a way with women", wouldn't that mean she's never really thought about women, but almost wishes she had because of the beautiful hills?
    Megairaon April 09, 2007   Link

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