Song of the Day #4,124: ‘Summer Kitchen Ballad’ – Josh Rouse

Josh Rouse’s third album, 2002’s Under Cold Blue Stars, is a loose concept album about a suburban couple in the 50s, modeled after Rouse’s own parents. The record traces the highs and lows of a lifetime spent together.

This track, ‘Summer Kitchen Ballad,’ comes late in the album and offers an impressionistic look at what I imagine are a handful of days spent in the kitchen watching the summer turn into fall.

The song has a melancholy air shared by so many of Rouse’s work. Seventeen years and many albums later, Under Cold Blue Stars remains one of my favorites.

Sat in the kitchen with an asthma cigarette
Out the window with an inch of regret
It’s a gray world

Sold all the gear that he had in the shed
Gave him a hard time so he up and quit
It’s a gray world

And the old van is tired and slow
It wouldn’t go

Down at the quarry to have a swim
I took off my shirt but you won’t go in
It’s a gray world

Later at the fire with a marshmallow stick
You were embarrassed cause she was so thin
It’s a gray world

And the old van is tired and slow
It wouldn’t go
It wouldn’t go
It wouldn’t go
It wouldn’t go

One thought on “Song of the Day #4,124: ‘Summer Kitchen Ballad’ – Josh Rouse

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    You do love your melancholy Josh Rouse.😊

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