Chewing on a piece of grass
Walking down the road
Tell me, how long you gonna stay here Joe?
Some people say this town don't look good in snow
You don't care, I know

Ventura Highway in the sunshine
Where the days are longer
The nights are stronger
Than moonshine
You're gonna go I know

'Cause the free wind is blowin' through your hair
And the days surround your daylight there
Seasons crying, no despair
Alligator lizards in the air
In the air

Do, do-do, do, do-do
Do, do-do, do, do-do
Do, do-do, do, do-do
Do, do-do, do, do-do
Do, do-do, do, do-do
Do, do-do, do, do-do, do

Wishin' on a falling star
Waitin' for the early train
Sorry boy, but I've been hit by purple rain
Aw, come on Joe, you can always change your name
Thanks a lot son, just the same

Ventura Highway in the sunshine
Where the days are longer
The nights are stronger
Than moonshine
You're gonna go I know

'Cause the free wind is blowin' through your hair
And the days surround your daylight there
Seasons crying, no despair
Alligator lizards in the air
In the air

Do, do-do, do, do-do
Do, do-do, do, do-do
Do, do-do, do, do-do
Do, do-do, do, do-do
Do, do-do, do, do-do
Do, do-do, do, do-do
Do, do-do, do, do-do
Do, do-do, do, do-do
Do, do-do, do, do-do
Do, do-do, do, do-do
Do, do-do, do, do-do
Do, do-do, do, do-do
Do, do-do, do, do-do
Do, do-do, do, do-do
Do, do-do, do, do-do
Do, do-do, do, do-do
Do, do-do, do, do-do


Lyrics submitted by Ice

Ventura Highway Lyrics as written by Dewey Bunnell

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Ventura Highway song meanings
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26 Comments

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  • +11
    General CommentI was listening to Ventura Hwy 2 months after my wife passed away while driving on open highway going north in California. It made me feel like my wife was riding beside me. Still gives me chills to listen to this song in this light. It's a classic song of changing times, traveling on, remembering the past, but moving forward, somewhere, anywhere, and being ok with it, if fact, cool with it. The song gave me comfort, and helped me see the sun shining on my wife's face, with a cool breeze flowing through her hair. I know she's in a better place.
    covinacareon July 29, 2010   Link
  • +5
    General Commentwhy do people always have to connect songs from this era with drugs and just take it how it is I mean some songs like Hotel Califorinia by the eagles abviously are but ya i dont think this could have anytihng to do with drugs its just about restlessness and wanting a change somehow some way
    Marinersfan4lifeon October 02, 2008   Link
  • +4
    General Comment"Ventura Highway" became Homecoming's lead track and first single. This breezy vignette by Bunnell became one of America's signature tunes. "It was about leaving," Dewey says. "It reminds me of the time I lived in Omaha as a kid and how we'd walk through cornfields and chew on pieces of grass. There were cold winters, and I had images of going to California. So I think in the song I'm talking to myself, frankly: 'How long you gonna stay here, Joe?' I really believe that 'Ventura Highway' has the most lasting power of all my songs. It's not just the words--the song and the track have a certain fresh, vibrant, optimistic quality that I can still respond to.
    matt_dunn82on October 31, 2004   Link
  • +4
    Song MeaningAmerica member Dewey Bunnell wrote this song. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times October 1, 2006, he explained: "It was 1963 when I was in seventh grade, we got a flat tire and we're standing on the side of the road and I was staring at this highway sign. It said 'Ventura' on it and it just stuck with me. It was a sunny day and the ocean there, all of it."

    Regarding the lyrics, "Seasons crying no despair, alligator lizards in the air," Bunnell said: "The clouds. It's my brother and I standing there on the side of the road looking at the shapes of clouds while my dad changed the tire."

    There's no official "Ventura Highway," but Ventura is a county in California, and Highway 101 runs through it.
    leonardo217on August 20, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Commentnumber 1 on my iTunes most played, theres such a melancholy, optimistic vbe to the guitars and lyrics go so well together
    Lt. Salton May 23, 2007   Link
  • +2
    Song Meaning

    Sounds like the saga of two hitchers/train-tramps , bound for nowhere and defined only by the freedom
    of their experience. However, Joe has become settled and his pal is pleading for him to hit the road
    again. Maybe even just two desires in the same person. A multi-generational classic that appeals to all who have been pulled apart by freedom and commitment.
    spotomorseon November 19, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOne of my all-time favorite songs.

    I wonder, why the shift in person? I have to believe that Joe is the narrator. Is he talking to himself? Or mimicking something another has said. I love those lines where he sort of asks and answers himself.
    capecodmorningon May 26, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentMy classic ' Escape ' song...
    Very simple. Wanting to be somewhere else. Wanting to go home or to a special place where one finds inner peace.
    Excellent piece of writing, as in the opening verse, wandering around engaging in self dialogue:
    " Tell me, how long you gonna stay here Joe? "
    Dismissing criticisms of the place itself or the motive for wanting to be there:
    ' Some people say this town don't look good in snow - you don't care, I know."
    Second verse basically describes the feeling of restlessness while caught up in mundane, everyday existence ( purple rain ) and hoping for some kind of intervention ( wishing on a falling star )
    Moving to a curt response to those who will say ' hey, it's not so bad where you are if you look at it differently ' - (Thanks a lot son , just the same )

    Chorus simply tells of all the good feeling in that special place. The free wind, days surround your daylight, no despair. Alligator lizards can be interpreted in any way, as in a special thing in this place that nowhere else has.

    Substitute ' Bellarine ' for ' Ventura ' and it's the perfect lyric, played very very loud and very often in my little part of the world.
    3225Crewon January 23, 2018   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI still have a couple of real questions about this song. This is the first mention lyrically (long before Prince considered it) of "purple rain." What is purple rain?? Then, my second question is what the heck does he mean by "alligator lizards in the air"????
    beachdocon May 09, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPurple Rain:

    n. A restless feeling. A non-descript feeling of boredom, restlessness and confinement. A feeling one has when wanting to escape from responsibility (chiefly emotional) by travelling. Sometimes synonymous with 'wanderlust.' The desire to travel in order to escape an emotional commitment.

    Very easily one of my favourite songs of all time, and I'm not one much for older music. I think it's easy for a lot of people to identify with this song... I'm just another helpless victim.
    thingreenlineon May 15, 2007   Link

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