We bid our friends goodbye
We promised we would write them
And headed north up 95 Into the great unknown
We turned up our stereo
And felt so reckless and alive
We didn't know who we would be
We didn't know where we would end up
When we headed down that road
A little food and our guitars
In the backseat and that old cello
The one that would get stolen
In a town in Idaho

And it's a long way to Michigan and back
And it's a long way
Cause it's a long way, the clouds upon our backs
And it's a long, long, long, long way
And I have never seen
Reflections of the cleanest
Of blue as the Minnesota lakes
Those were the longest nights
Of wood smoke and Northern Lights
As we talked until the morning came
The light of glowing embers
As sweet as I remember
Among the rustling of the trees
The legend of the harvest moon
And sweet ballad of the loon
I felt as ancient as I was meant to be

And it's a long way to Tennessee and back
And it's a long way
Cause it's a long way, the clouds upon our backs
And it's a long, long, long, long way

I called you from a payphone In windy, cold Missoula
And then from Midland in the rain
A place as proud and sad as
The South Dakota badlands
It touched me more than I could explain
The dirt poor reservation
Where the Oglala nation
Tries to hang on to its ways
Feather and Peyote pipe and
A six pack of Miller Light
Sits on the dashboard of a beat up Chevrolet

And it's a long way to Washington and back
And it's a long way
Cause it's a long way on the worn out heels of Kerouac
And it's a long, long, long, long way

Out in California
We touched the other ocean
And I still have that jar of sand In the Arizona desert
The sky goes on forever
You've never seen a thing as grand
And North Montana was cold
She keeps her secrets frozen
Under glaciers way up north
And people have got lost up there
In the home of the grizzly bear
And you can ask the mountain
But the mountain doesn't care

And it's a long way to Delaware and back
And it's a long way
Cause it's a long way, the clouds up on our backs
And it's a long, long, long, long way
Cause it's a long way on the worn out heels of Kerouac
And it's a long, long, long, long way

Lyrics submitted by delial, edited by choctaw

Long Way song meanings
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  • 0
    General Comment

    Thank you very much for posting this, the "worn out heels of Kerouac" one can only hope Antje get more attention. soon. Remarkable song

    cmckinleyon July 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    Song Meaning

    I'd not heard of Jack Kerouac when I fell in love with this song but it must have been inspired by his book 'On the Road' describing his journey across America. His name works so well in the lyrical style and metre of the song.

    The Oglala Lakota are a sub-tribe of the Sioux Nation. Its beautiful how Antje poignantly describes the tension between a proud heritage and the modern day reality symbolised by the juxtaposed peyote pipe and can of Miller Lite on her dashboard.

    choctawon April 28, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I saw Antje perform a few weeks ago and she said that she wrote this song after taking a road trip as a young woman. So I'm sure she was inspired by "On the Road" but this song is about her own experiences.

    casbiscuiton May 03, 2013   Link

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