Song of the Day #3,350: ‘Ventura Highway’ – America

America is an interesting case, as they most certainly qualify as yacht rock (or “west coast” music) despite hailing from merry old England.

The London trio was inspired by Los Angeles-based band Crosby, Stills and Nash and chose their band name because, according to Wikipedia, they “did not want anyone to think they were British musicians trying to sound American.” Which is exactly what they were.

America is best known for hits ‘Horse With No Name,’ ‘Sister Golden Hair’ and today’s SOTD, ‘Ventura Highway.’ Songwriter and singer Dewey Bunnell says he wrote this song to evoke a time during his childhood when he longed to move out west.

Legend has it that Prince first heard the phrase “purple rain” in this song, though that was never confirmed by Prince himself.

[Verse 1]
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

[Chorus]
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 blowing through your hair
And the days surround your daylight there
Seasons crying no despair
Alligator lizards in the air, in the air

Wishing on a falling star
Waiting 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

[Chorus]
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 blowing through your hair
And the days surround your daylight there
Seasons crying no despair
Alligator lizards in the air, in the air

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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,350: ‘Ventura Highway’ – America

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Well, the name tricked me as I never knew or thought America was British. I also didn’t really know this song was from America, though it’s clearly in the same vein as their other hits.

  2. Peg says:

    I really like their sound. Always enjoyed Horse with no name

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