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The Naked Ride Home

Released: 2002

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The Naked Ride Home

From the cool romanticism of 1993's I'm Alive to the textured ruminations of 1996's Looking East, Jackson Browne has explored, with a sense of flash that answers only to itself, just how far a polished singer-songwriter can go. The Naked Ride Home stays in this noble tradition. Looser, warmer and more live-sounding than Browne's recent work -- yet still as passionately crafted and sung -- the songs take on domestic mysteries (the title drama) and political realities ("Casino Nation") with a varied midtempo dependability that turns richer and more resonant upon re-listenings. "For Taking the Trouble" and "About My Imagination" integrate reggae and soul so unobtrusively that the music mirrors exactly the precise casualness of Browne's voice - he is the sound of unfrantic L.A. cool engaged with the long view. (RS 907)

James Hunter, Rolling Stone Magazine, October 17, 2002

  • 1. THE NAKED RIDE HOME
    Just take off your clothes and Ill drive you home I said
    Knowing she never could pass on a dare
    And knowing it sounded more desperate than reckless or bold
    I just put it out there cold, too far gone to care

    My eyes on the road, she slid herself down in the seat
    And a vision of paradise swung into view
    Across those five lanes not one driver glanced over to see
    The beauty known only to me, and a big-rig or two

    On that freeway the light was receding
    Her beauty, a sight so misleading
    I failed to hear the heart that was beating alone
    On the naked ride home

    With the trace of a smile and that defiant look in her eye
    She hurtled through space in a world of her own
    And turning aside my caress, spoke of all that shed not yet done
    As if I was the doubting one who would have to be shown

    On that freeway the light was receding
    Her beauty, a sight so misleading
    I failed to hear the heart that was beating alone
    On the naked ride home

    She gathered her clothes
    And ran through the yard in the dark
    Up onto the porch like a flash, and inside
    Then one room at a time
    I watched every light in our house come on
    Like the truth that would eventually dawn
    Forcing me to decide

    But on that freeway the light was receding
    Her beauty, a sight so misleading
    I failed to hear the heart that was beating alone
    On the naked ride home

    Words and music by Jackson Browne
    2002 Swallow Turn Music ASCAP
    All Rights Reserve
  • 2. THE NIGHT INSIDE ME
    I used to lay out in a field under the Milky Way
    With everything that I was feeling that I could not say
    With every doubt and every sorrow that was in my way
    Tearing around inside my head like it was there to stay

    Night in my eyes, the night inside me
    There where the shadows and the night could hide me
    Night in my eyes
    Sky full of stars turning over me
    Waiting for night to set me free

    I caught a ride into the city every chance I got
    I wasnt sure there was a name for the life I sought
    Now Im a long way gone down the life I got
    I dont know how I believed some of the things I thought

    Night in my eyes, the night inside me
    Here where the shadows gather to decide me
    Night in my eyes
    Out at the end of light and gravity
    Waiting for night

    It takes the night to clear all of this mess away
    The obligation, the burden and the light of day
    It takes the night to fall between the world I obey
    And a world where I hear angels play
    Maybe I should go back to Spain

    I walk around inside the questions of my day
    I navigate the inner reaches of my disarray
    I pass the altars where fools and thieves hold sway
    I wait for night to come and lift this dread away

    Night in my eyes, the night inside me
    Here where the shadows and the light divide me
    Night in my eyes
    Night full of promise and uncertainty
    Waiting for night to set me free

    Lyrics by Jackson Browne Music by Jackson Browne, Kevin McCormick, Mark Goldenberg, Mauricio Lewak, Jeff Young
    2002 Swallow Turn Music, ASCAP; Eye Cue Music, ASCAP; Bossypants Music/Songs of Windswept Pacific, BMI; Bateria Music, ASCAP; Glad Brad Music, Inc., ASCAP
    All Rights Reserved
  • 3. CASINO NATION
    In a weapons producing nation under Jesus
    In the fabled crucible of the free world
    Camera crews search for clues amid the detritus
    And entertainment shapes the land
    The way the hammer shapes the hand

    Gleaming faces in the checkout counter at the Church of Fame
    The lucky winners cheer Casino Nation
    All those not on TV
    Only have themselves to blame
    And don't quite seem to understand
    The way the hammer shapes the hand

    Out beyond the ethernet the spectrum spreads
    DC to daylight, the cowboy mogul rides
    Never worry where the gold for all this glory's gonna come from
    Get along dogies, it's coming out of your hides

    The intentional cultivation of a criminal class
    The future lit by brightly burning bridges
    Justice fully clothed to hide the heart of glass
    That shatters in a thousand Ruby Ridges
    And everywhere the good prepare for perpetual war
    And let their weapons shape the plan
    The way the hammer shapes the hand

    Lyrics by Jackson Browne Music by Jackson Browne, Kevin McCormick, Mark Goldenberg, Mauricio Lewak, Jeff Young
    2002 Swallow Turn Music, ASCAP; Eye Cue Music, ASCAP; Bossypants Music/Songs of Windswept Pacific, BMI; Bateria Music, ASCAP; Glad Brad Music, Inc., ASCAP
    All Rights Reserved
  • 4. FOR TAKING THE TROUBLE
    For taking the trouble, for hanging on and tryin'
    Now you've been working through the rubble of a shattered mind

    Yeah Baby, tell me why the tears are falling from your eye
    Tears of laughter, tears of grief, are they the tears of a captured thief?

    You thought that you were home free, thought you had her well in hand
    But there were things about her you didn't understand

    Yeah Baby, tell me how you're gonna keep that promise now?
    To live your life without regret and make it work with what you get

    You didn't then, but now you know
    When she began to lie - you really should have let her go

    You're learnin' how to talk about it, you're learnin' how to bend
    It's like you're learning how to walk all over again

    Yeah Baby, tell me who you're gonna give your lovin' to?
    That girl who catches every eye
    Or the one you can set your compass by

    You set it by her soulful smile
    The fire in her eye
    And the way she goes that extra mile
    The love you wanted this to be
    Is somewhere down the line
    You'll find her eventually

    Your grandma and her grandma
    Sittin' 'round heaven discussin' the law
    Lovin' that girl was not your crime,
    Livin' without her gonna take some time
    Lovin' that girl next thing you knew,
    You'd turned away from the thing you do
    Lovin' that girl, you couldn't see
    Living without her gonna make you free

    Words and music by Jackson Browne
    2002 Swallow Turn Music, ASCAP
    All Rights Reserved
  • 5. NEVER STOP
    There are times when I see you, Baby
    Looking back the way we came
    Through some hard places, choices we made
    You never held me to blame
    But you had some dreams when you were a girl
    Some ideas about the world
    And you see how some things will never be the same
    (And how some things never change)

    And I remember how you helped me, Baby
    And all the times you had my back
    And how you wrapped me in your sweetness
    And held my eyes with your eyes
    When my train was off the track
    Now I've got some things that I want to do
    And I want to do them with you
    If you'll just stand by me, and don't look back

    And never stop coming up with all of that love for me
    Never stop coming with your faith in what a love can be
    Never stop coming up with all of that love
    Keep on rising above
    And never stop coming up on the world love wants to see

    And the world has been showing you how
    It's no place for your tender heart now
    In a world that keeps turning you down
    Only the heart knows where the strength can be found

    Never stop coming up with all of that love for me
    Never stop coming with your faith in what a love can be
    Never stop coming up with all of that love
    Keep on rising above
    And never stop coming up on the world love wants to see

    Remember when you look into my eyes
    I'm the one who took you by surprise
    The time has come and gone and come back 'round again
    And I'm still here to take you by surprise my friend

    Show me your eyes, tell me again
    Where you want to go
    Now the night is glowing beneath your skin
    And when you smile I'm the richest man I know

    Lyrics by Jackson Browne
    Music by Jackson Browne, Kevin McCormick, Mark Goldenberg, Mauricio Lewak, Jeff Young
    2002 Swallow Turn Music, ASCAP; Eye Cue Music, ASCAP; Bossypants Music/Songs of Windswept Pacific, BMI; Bateria Music, ASCAP; Glad Brad Music, Inc., ASCAP
    All Rights Reserved
  • 6. WALKING TOWN
    One foot after the other
    One place pretty much like another
    Some folks got a pretty good deal
    Some are just looking for their next meal
    Out here where the days go by
    And the glances never meet the eye
    It's a walking town
    And I'm just out here walking 'round
    Walking 'round this walking town

    You got a house on top of a hill
    And a powerful automobile
    The windows up, the AC high
    In a world of comfort speeding by
    Stressed out in the latest style
    How long has it been
    Since you walked a mile
    In yours or anybody else's shoes
    Well, in any life there will be dues
    It's a walking town
    And I'm just out here walking 'round
    Walking 'round this walking town

    Walking up, walking down
    Walking back, walking 'round
    Walking mute, walking bound
    Walking through your walking town

    One foot on the concrete shore
    One foot in the human sea
    Night falls on the streets of the city
    And it falls over you and me
    And all our dreams and our descriptions
    Of the life this was supposed to be
    Drift above the rooftops and the houses
    Until the sunlight finds me where I lay
    And it's a walking town
    And I'm back out here walking 'round
    Walking 'round this walking town

    Lyrics by Jackson Browne
    Music by Jackson Browne, Kevin McCormick, Mark Goldenberg, Mauricio Lewak, Jeff Young
    2002 Swallow Turn Music, ASCAP; Eye Cue Music, ASCAP; Bossypants Music/Songs of Windswept Pacific, BMI; Bateria Music, ASCAP; Glad Brad Music, Inc., ASCAP
    All Rights Reserved
  • 7. ABOUT MY IMAGINATION
    I kept my eyes open and tried to see
    The point of what went on in front of me
    I kept what moved me, forgot about the rest
    And took my young imagination to the acid test

    And it was easy then to say what love could do
    It's so easy when your world is new

    It's been so hard sometimes to find my way
    I let my pleasure lead my little world astray
    And if I'm truthful I'll say that I was blind
    To everything about this life but what I had in mind

    And it was easy then to say where love could go
    It's so easy when there's so much you don't know

    About my imagination, it got me through somehow
    Without my imagination, I wouldn't be here now

    And it was easy then when love was guaranteed
    It's so easy when love is all you need

    About my imagination
    I'm making this investigation
    Into my imagination
    According to my computations
    We're overdue for a transformation
    Or is it my imagination?

    I keep my eyes open and try to see
    This life in terms of possibility
    With so much changing, and changing for the worse
    You got to keep your head up, Baby
    From the cradle to the hearse

    And it was easy then to say where love could go
    It's so easy when love is all you know

    About my imagination
    I'm getting ready for the celebration
    I'm bringing my imagination
    Taking charge of my elevation
    No fear, no trepidation
    Register my affirmation
    No doubt, no hesitation
    People get ready for the embarkation
    About my imagination
    Calling out across the nation
    It's time for some kind of re-dedication
    Not talking 'bout just my generation
    I'm sending out this invocation
    I keep getting these excitations
    More light, more love
    More truth, and more innovation

    Lyrics by Jackson Browne
    Music by Jackson Browne, Kevin McCormick, Mark Goldenberg, Mauricio Lewak, Jeff Young
    2002 Swallow Turn Music, ASCAP; Eye Cue Music, ASCAP; Bossypants Music/Songs of Windswept Pacific, BMI; Bateria Music, ASCAP; Glad Brad Music, Inc., ASCAP
    All Rights Reserved
  • 8. SERGIO LEONE
    He came 'round here with his camera and some of his American friends
    Where the money is immortal and the killing never ends
    He set out from Cinecitt through the ruined streets of Rome
    To shoot in Almeria and bring the bodies home

    He said I'll be rich or I'll be dead
    I've got it all here in my head

    He could see the killers' faces and he heard the song they sang
    Where he waited in the darkness with the Viale Glorioso gang
    He could see the blood approaching and he knew what he would be
    Since the days when he was first assisting The Force of Destiny

    He worked for Walsh and Wyler with the chariot and sword
    When he rode out in the desert he was quoting Hawks and Ford
    He came to see the masters and he left with what he saw
    What he stole from Kurosawa he bequeathed to Peckinpah

    From the Via Tuscolana to the view from Miller Drive
    He shot the eyes of bad men and kept their deaths alive
    With the darkness and the anguish of a Goya or Van Cleef
    He rescued truth from beauty and meaning from belief

    Lyrics by Jackson Browne Music by Jackson Browne, Kevin McCormick, Mark Goldenberg, Mauricio Lewak, Jeff Young
    2002 Swallow Turn Music, ASCAP; Eye Cue Music, ASCAP; Bossypants Music/Songs of Windswept Pacific, BMI; Bateria Music, ASCAP; Glad Brad Music, Inc., ASCAP
    All Rights Reserved
  • 9. DON'T YOU WANT TO BE THERE
    Don't you want to be there, don't you want to go?
    Where the light is breaking and the cold clear winds blow
    Don't you want to be there in the golden glow

    Don't you want to be there, don't you want to fly?
    With your arms out, let a shout take you across the sky
    Don't you want to be there when the time's gone by

    Times there was love all around you
    Times you were strong and alone
    Times you believed love had found you
    And you fell through time like a stone

    And those you have wronged, you know
    You need to let them know some way
    And those who have wronged you, know
    You'll have to let them go someday

    Don't you want to be there?
    Don't you want to cry when you see how far
    You've got to go to be where forgiveness rules
    Instead of where you are

    Don't you want to be there, don't you want to know?
    Where the grace and simple truth of childhood go
    Don't you want to be there when the trumpets blow

    Blow for those born into hunger
    Blow for those lost 'neath the train
    Blow for those choking in anger
    Blow for those driven insane

    And those you have wronged, you know
    You need to let them know some way
    And those who have wronged you, know
    You'll have to let them go someday

    Don't you want to be there?
    Don't you want to see where the angels appear
    Don't you want to be where there's strength and love
    In the place of fear

    Words and music by Jackson Browne
    2002 Swallow Turn Music, ASCAP
    All Rights Reserved
  • 10. MY STUNNING MYSTERY COMPANION
    What with all my expectations long abandoned
    And a future I no longer saw my hand in
    How I found you is beyond my understanding
    My stunning mystery companion

    I know that you don't want to be
    Out here forever on this road
    Or live among the boxes
    Where all my past lives have been stowed
    Maybe you're thinking of someplace
    With a garden by the sea
    Where we could slow down
    And you could put a little more work in on me

    What with all my expectations long abandoned
    My solitary nature notwithstanding
    You're the one who pulled me
    Out of that crash landing
    My stunning mystery companion

    Right now I can't quite remember
    The cause of all my tears
    I hear you laughing and somehow
    The past just disappears
    Maybe you were joking when you said
    You'd take me for ten years and no more
    Maybe you've had the best of me
    But you could take another ten years and be sure

    What with all my expectations long abandoned
    And a life that just gets more and more demanding
    There's no doubt that you're the reason I'm still standing
    My stunning mystery companion

    Words and music by Jackson Browne
    2002 Swallow Turn Music, ASCAP
    All Rights Reserved