Song of the Day #4,699: ‘Badge and Gun’ – John Mayer

‘Badge and Gun’ is the penultimate track on John Mayer’s sixth studio album, 2013’s Paradise Valley.

This album was recorded after Mayer underwent multiple surgeries to address a granuloma on his vocal cords. A year earlier, he had resigned himself to performing as a session musician on other artist’s recordings — a role that, with his guitar skills, he could have performed admirably.

Named after the Montana region where he bought a home after burning out in Los Angeles, Paradise Valley is a low-key, contemplative affair.

Today’s track finds Mayer ready to end his medically-imposed retirement. Which he did, though he has released just one album in the eight years since.

According to his recent TikTok posts, Mayer has a new album recorded, mastered and ready to release. I look forward to that, as a huge fan of his whole catalog.

Give me my badge and gun
Give me the road that I may run
Give me that peaceful, wandering free I used to know
I’ve waited all I can
But I’m just not a patient man
And I’ve been hiding here for seven months or so

Hand me down my golden hat
And grab the winter one at that
You never know how long I’ll be away

Give me my badge and gun
Give me the songs that I once sung
Give me those jet-black, kick-back, lay down nights alone
This house is safe and warm
But I was made to chase the storm
Taking the whole world on with big old empty arms

Tell my friends I tried my best
That one day I just up and left
They probably saw it coming anyway
What can I say
Hey, hey
The lock is on the cellar door
I can’t remember what it’s for
I ain’t been down those stairs in oh so long
So, so long


The copy of your key is hanging where it used to be
Good as you’ve always been to me
The life I need to lead
Is somewhere out there, calling over those hills

One thought on “Song of the Day #4,699: ‘Badge and Gun’ – John Mayer

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I know I’ve been critical of Mayer in the past, and lord knows songs like “Say” and “Daughters” are fairly awful! However, I recognize that he is a talented guitarist and a maturing songwriter, and I do like much of what I have heard from Mayer, including today’s song. I hope that the upcoming album continues that evolution.

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