Song of the Day #2,141: ‘Side of the Road’ – Ben Folds

lucinda_williamsImmediately after posting ten of my favorite songs, I started regretting the omissions. Given another chance I could post ten completely different tracks and feel just as good about the list.

But the omission that hit me the hardest — the one that would have been in the top five if I hadn’t completely blanked on it — is Lucinda Williams’ ‘Side of the Road.’

In its original form, which I posted as Song of the Day #82, this is one for the desert island, no question. It’s a perfect combination of theme, lyrics, melody, performance and production. It’s an elemental masterpiece.

As I’ve already posted Williams’ studio version, as well as a live performance, I needed a new take on the track.

How lucky to have this earnest Ben Folds offering to fall back on.

You wait in the car on the side of the road
Lemme go and stand awhile
I wanna know you’re there but I wanna be alone

If only for a minute or two
I wanna see what it feels like to be without you
I wanna know the touch of my own skin
Against the sun, against the wind

I walked out in a field
The grass was high, it brushed against my legs
I just stood and looked out at the open space
And a farmhouse out a ways

And I wondered about the people who lived in it
And I wondered if they were happy and content
Were there children and a man and a wife?
Did she love him and take her hair down at night?

If I stray away too far from you
Don’t go and try to find me
It doesn’t mean I don’t love you
It doesn’t mean I won’t come back and stay beside you

It only means I need a little time
To follow that unbroken line
To a place where the wild things grow
To a place where I used to always go

If only for a minute or two
I wanna see what it feels like to be without you
I wanna know the touch of my own skin
Against the sun, against the wind

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #2,141: ‘Side of the Road’ – Ben Folds

  1. Dana says:

    Boy, you’re going to stretch this favorite song/desert island theme into the Fall at this rate!😄

    If you had scanned your own posts when compiling your list, you clearly would have not omitted this song. It is a beauty and, since I find Folds’ voice generally more pleasing than Williams’, I appreciate this song even more after hearing his cover.

  2. pegclifton says:

    Beautiful lyrics

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