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James Taylor Enough To Be On Your Way Lyrics

Last updated: 03/06/2014 06:31:51 AM


JT on My brother Alex died in '93 on (not for) my birthday. We all went down to Florida to say goodbye. The day after we flew home (the day after his cremation) a giant mother hurricane followed us north through the Carolina's; trashing everything in its path and finally raining record rains on Martha's Vineyard (home).
In Paris, a year later I changed his character to a hippie chick named Alice and the location to Santa Fe; but my soulful older brother is still all over this song like a cheap suit.

Almost Fuck-free.

The sun shines on this funeral
The same as on a birth
The way it shines on everything
That happens here on Earth
It rolls across the western sky
And back into the sea
And spends the dayš«é last rays
Upon this fucked-up family
So long old pal

The last time I saw Alice
She was leaving Santa Fe
With a bunch of round-eyed Buddhists
In a killer Chevrolet
Said they turned her out of Texas
Yeah she burned 'em down back home
Now she's wild with expectation
On the edge of the unknown

Oh it's enough to be on your way
It's enough just to cover ground
It's enough to be moving on
Home, build it behind your eyes
Carry it in your heart
Safe among your own

They brought her back on a Friday night
Same day I was born
We sent her up the smoke stack
And back into the storm
She blew up over the San Juan mountains
And spent herself at last
The threat of heavy weather
That was what she knew the best


It woke me up on a Sunday
An hour before the sun
It had me watching the headlights
Out on highway 591
'Til I stepped into my trousers
'Til I pulled my big boots on
I walked out on the Mesa
And I stumbled on this song


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Just Wondering | Reviewer: Anthony A. Basilicato | 3/6/14

i spent most of my adult life listening to (and singing and trying to emulate) James Taylor and his soulful music, so of course i am interested in the real stories his lyrics refer to. i realize there's almost always personal stories behind the songs musicians write-stories of which the public is usually not aware. i never knew the story behind this one-now i do.

So my review/question was-why you changed your brother to 'Alice.' i think it would have been OK and even more meaningful to people if they knew it was about a brother you loved.

A f----n masterpiece | Reviewer: Anonymous | 4/29/12

Agree with all the comments and lyrical callouts posted here however the line that hits me most-oddly enough is the reference "til I pulled my big boots on"
I may be way off, but it just sounds like something from childhood that a big brother mightve said to a little brother--and just captures the caring and love between brothers. The other thing that rings up the poignancy of this tune is going back to New Moonshine and listening to James warning Alex to stay aware from his old "friends" after leaving rehab in the song "When You Come Home"

Backstory adds a dimension | Reviewer: BrianW | 4/27/09

There aren't too many songs that can help you deal with a funeral. I've always found this one interesting for capturing the contrast between a beautiful day and this terribly sad occasion. The best line may be the last, "I walked out on the Mesa/ And I stumbled on this song" ...going out to reflect on it all.

Like "Fire and Rain," it helps to know the autobiographical details which are there in this, like many JT songs. You can straighten out some of the guesses you've made and fill in the rest of the blanks.

On the edge of the unknown | Reviewer: eileen | 3/3/06

A song honest and unsentimental in its world view ("spends the day's last rays upon this fucked up family"); open in its spirituality ("now she's wild with expectation on the edge of the unknown") and at peace with what life's journey entails and, indeed, requires of us (the entire chorus, especially its entreaty to build your home behind your eyes, carry it in your heart, safe among your own). It is, indeed, enough to be on your way. Taylor is a poet and a strong lyricist, with a playfulness in other songs that here is transformed to a slightly world weary acceptance of loss. The use of the strings in the intro gives this elegy a warmth and affection that one presumes is simply part of how this man lives, and I sometimes feel like we grew up in the same place. . .the home we built behind our eyes.

It's JT -- whatever else is there? | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/19/05

It is what it is... spiritual... play it with a candle lit, in the dark, but only if you're over 50... you'll find a little bit of yourself....