The Homeless Soul Road


I hear Jackson Browne sing, “The road is filled with homeless souls.”

How breathtakingly horrific it must be to grab your kids and just start walking. I think how their feet must hurt.

The choice is death or blisters on your feet.

The stunning loss of human dignity in the hopes of survival. I hear the Jackson Browne song as I’m getting ready to go do Saturday errands, “Now everyone must have some thought, that’s gonna pull them through somehow.” And that’s true. But they also need shoes. And food. These homeless souls on a trail of tears with blisters on their feet.

And I wonder if I’ve “left in for others, to be the one who cares?”

9 Responses to “The Homeless Soul Road”

  1. toritto Says:

    Indeed Roger. Indeed.

    Best from Florida.

    • chicagoguy14 Says:

      TC–If there is a list of songs that have gotten me through hard times, this one is in the top 5. Thanks for posting this!

      • Paul Haider Says:

        I can still remember a great version of “Rock Me On the Water” at Ravinia in late August of 1996 before I began my final semester at Beloit College. If my memory serves correctly, Bonnie Raitt joined Jackson and his band for a few songs.

      • chicagoguy14 Says:

        Bonnie and Jackson –quite a combo!

      • Paul Haider Says:

        It was the great one-two punch of “For a Dancer” and “For Everyman” that closed the first set performed by Jackson and his band at Ravinia in late June. As I said after he played those songs, it is because of death(my mother) that I am able to gain the motherland(England), but I am still thinking about everyman for tomorrow’s midterm election in the USA on November 6, 2018.

  2. Tom Cordle Says:

    I’m a back fan of Jackson Browne; he is more poet than lyricist, but I certainly wouldn’t count that as a fault. I make a poor attempt to perform a couple of his songs, though the majority are beyond my ability to do them justice. Like this one, for instance:

    For A Dancer

    Keep a fire burning in your eye
    Pay attention to the open sky
    You never know what will be coming down
    I don’t remember losing track of you
    You were always dancing in and out of view
    I must’ve always thought you’d be around
    Always keeping things real by playing the clown
    Now you’re nowhere to be found

    I don’t know what happens when people die
    Can’t seem to grasp it as hard as I try
    It’s like a song playing right in my ear
    That I can’t sing
    I can’t help listening

    I can’t help feeling stupid standing ’round
    Crying as they ease you down
    Cause I know that you’d rather we were dancing
    Dancing our sorrow away
    (Right on dancing)
    No matter what fate chooses to play
    (There’s nothing you can do about it anyway)

    Just do the steps that you’ve been shown
    By everyone you’ve ever known
    Until the dance becomes your very own
    No matter how close to yours another’s steps have grown
    In the end there is one dance you’ll do alone

    Keep a fire for the human race
    And let your prayers go drifting into space
    You never know will be coming down
    Perhaps a better world is drawing near
    And just as easily, it could all disappear
    Along with whatever meaning you might have found
    Don’t let the uncertainty turn you around
    (The world keeps turning around and around)
    Go on and make a joyful sound

    Into a dancer you have grown
    From a seed somebody else has thrown
    Go on ahead and throw some seeds of your own
    And somewhere between the time you arrive and the time you go
    May lie a reason you were alive but you’ll never know

    • Paul Haider Says:

      Roger, rock me on the water in honour of the homeless souls from Central America! We heard Jackson play his new song(“The Immigrant”) at Ravinia, and we got a nice version of “For a Dancer.” Yet, I can’t recall if we were treated to “Rock Me On the Water” also. Regardless, the migrant caravan is on its way and welcome in my version of the USA. It is high time to keep the Mexicans and deport the Repugnantcans instead.

  3. chicagoguy14 Says:

    He might not have played it, but we heard it!

  4. Paul Haider Says:

    Yes! I can’t wait for my favourite writer in Chicago to write again. 👍

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