Lyric of the Week: HEARD IT ON THE HIGHWAY (Acoustic)
Updated: Dec 16, 2020
Well I heard it on the highway like the holy word of G-d
It was so loud and clear I had to pull over, I was so awed
Well I heard it on the highway and I couldn’t resist the push
It was just like a commandment from heaven, like the voice in the burning bush
Well shake, rattle, and roll down the Garden State
Down Routes 35, 71, and 88
Even if we’ll just run round in circles cursed by fate
We’ll capture all the views now ‘cause we may never be here again
I heard it on the highway, it was the greatest song in history
It had a rhythm and melody all its own but the lyrics, they were a mystery
It was the sound of the rock’n’roll heart and it was beating in full blues time
It said, Go down to the ocean and make the music of your mind
Well I saw it from the highway
Risin’ on the horizon like Mt Sinai in flames
Like a fiddler on the roof down on the Parkway
Singin’ out that tune and calling my name
It was handed to me by the seaside
White hot and written in stone
Full power forward and full speed ahead
No stopping now that you’re on your own
It was the day I graduated
when I came back in touch with the calling
It was there where fifteen bands were playing
Paying respect to the one who had fallen
It was just as the all-star open jam was ending
The sound of drums boomed from way up high
There were ten bolts of lightning, one for each Word
crashing through the mist-choked sky
I heard an organ scream through a Leslie
But none on Earth ever sounded so great
I looked up to heaven, I thought I saw the moon
But I knew I was staring clear through the gates
I kicked off my shoes, I fell down on my knees
I bowed face down into the sand
But he didn’t want none of that false formality
She just wanted me to reach out my hand
Well I heard it on the highway ...
© 2016 The Hesh Inc.
This song is about the experience of hearing the greatest rock'n'roll song on the radio and knowing that somehow your life is changed because of it.
The first verses were written in 1989, when I was living in Boston but was making periodic trips by myself down to the Jersey Shore in search of what I was sure was the beating heart of rock'n'roll.
The bridge was written several years later, once I was already a Jersey Shore local and I was starting to find my way into the Shore's music scene. There had been a brilliant thunderstorm the same night I had seen a great show at the Stone Pony, and then, stepping out onto the boardwalk after the storm passed, I saw the lightning flashing way out over the sea. It was like seeing the gates of heaven open, broadcasting to me the message that I was doing the right thing with my life.
"Heard It on the Highway" is the first single from the full-band version of my Soul In Exile magnum opus, released March 2017. The version here is piano and voice only, recorded at Bruce Tunkel's Beanland Studio in May 2018, as part of a singer-songwriter project aimed at showcasing my solo act.