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Old 04-13-2004, 11:49 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Big Rock Candy Mountain
Posts: 149
What is this song about? (The Way, by Fastball)

I hadn't heard this tune for a while, but heard it on the radio twice in the last two days. It's now stuck in my head, and I have no idea what the song is about! Sounds like a movie plot, though.

Does anyone know?

The chorus of the song goes:

Anyone could see the road that they walk on is paved in gold
It's always summer, they'll never get cold
They'll never get hungry
They'll never get old and gray
You can see their shadows wandering off somewhere
They won't make it home
But they really don't care
They wanted the highway
They're happy there today

lyrics here
Old 04-13-2004, 11:52 PM
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: SEC
Posts: 13,724
I can't attest to the specific lyrics, but I think on "Pop-Up Video" one of the blurbs indicated that the song was inspired by the real-life story of a couple who took off on a road-trip and committed suicide--but it's been a while.
Old 04-13-2004, 11:55 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: East Texas
Posts: 4,994
I've heard it's based on a true story about an elderly couple who packed up and left their home one day, never to be heard from again (they were later found dead). Unfortunately, I can't remember where I heard this, and can't seem to find a cite.
Confusion to Bonaparte!
Old 04-14-2004, 12:10 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Charlottesville, Va.
Posts: 10,144
Aargh! It's damn tough searching for answers when the song title is so generic and the name Fastball returns all these stories about baseball games. But I cut through the static to find the answer, which is pretty much what racinchikki said. From, we learn:

Michael Palermo: Fastball. Ladies and gentlemen. Tonight at the Newport Music Hall. Doors are at seven. And you can see them live. Quickly before you guys get out of here and we get back to studio central. Give us the quick story behind The Way cause everybody's heard the song like 'Oh, I love this. It's got a sensual pop groove to it.' Then all of a sudden they hear the real story. It came from writers block you were having. Picked up the paper. . .
Fastball: NO, not really.
P: No. Okay, well tell us the real story, cause you know how those things can go.
F: I'm just trying to set it straight. It wasn't really. I mean it was nothing like that really. I just wanted to try a different way of writing a song and I was kind of stuck on how to go about doing it and somebody suggested I look in the paper for something that interested me and I thought it was kind of a silly idea at first, but then a half hour later I found myself looking at the paper and I actually found something that struck my attention. And it was. . .The sound is basically inspired by the story about an elderly couple who came up missing and there was like a missing persons report filed on the m by their kids who were all adults, grown ups, and they were supposed to make it to this family reunion and they never, they never showed up and three days later they still hadn't been home or anything and it turns out that they took off in their RV and got lost. They took off really far away. And so I just wanted to put my spin on what I thought may have happened. Just my take on the thing.
P: Before you found out what had actually happened.
F: Yeah. The song was already done. I mean it was actually finished before there was an outcome to the story. Which was actually uh. It was a tragic accident. They found them at the bottom of some cliff and its really quite sad, but and you know after that happened I was thinking, you know, is this bad, is this bad I'm exploiting these people in any way or whatever. And I looked at the song and I looked at the words and I thought no its like this romantic thing, you know, and I think its sort of a cool send off for them or whoever and you can. . . I don't do this too often. I don't lay it down like this too often. So you know, we've been having such a good time today that I thought I'd. . .
P: That's cool. . .I wanted to. .. because it is. . .you know. . .they'll never. . . .It is a beautiful.
F: I usually try to keep it pretty vague and just let people interpret it themselves for what they think it means. I feel like I . . . sometimes I feel like I've ruined their whole idea of it by telling them about what its about.
P: But its not really. . . the song itself, not really sad just the ending ends up really sad for the family. But depending on what you believe it could be a beautiful thing.
F: Exactly.
P: Well thanks. I appreciate it. Very much so. One more time. Fastball. Ladies and gentlemen.
Old 04-14-2004, 12:21 AM
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 36,083
I've managed to narrow it down (through a Yahoo! Launch article) to something the songwriter read in the Austin American-Statesman, and a search brought up the most likely candidates. The Salado couple in the series of articles in the middle of the page (go to the last Salado couple article and read up the page...they're not full articles; you need a subscription for that).
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