Where Am I From

Late night car drives make you think, and I think we should remember we’re just passing through.

I’m out on the highway late at night with a couple more hours to go
Crossing over the Jersey line towards some place I don’t know
I was born in Ohio, raised in Indiana, New England’s now my home
I was just in Missouri, by way of Montana, thinking about going to Rome
I been to Rio de Janeiro, I been to Sarajevo, I been to Mexico
Next week I’m going to Northern California for a couple of days or so
I’ve left something behind me every place I’ve ever been
I carry something inside of me from everything I’ve ever seen

Where am I from?
Where am I going?
Where am I from?
Where am I going?
Where am I from?
Where am I going?
Where am I from?
Where am I going?

I am driving in a car made in Ohio, by a company from Japan
While I listen to a CD of a singer from Bahia Playing in a samba band
He is playing a guitar plugged in an amplifier Made in Mexico
He’s using some licks from a man from Mississippi who moved to Chicago
I am eating some grapes grown in Chile
Drinking water from the south of France
I am wearing shoes made in China
And maybe some Malaysian pants
Outside my car window a quarter moon is on the rise
Orion’s belt is a trio of stars hanging in the southern sky


My father’s great grandfather left Germany cause he didn’t want to fight their wars
My mother’s side came from Scotland and England my grandma was a DAR
My great grandfather left Ohio for the gold rush of ‘49
There was talk of a woman in the family, she didn’t have skin like mine
I married into a family from Eastern Europe, they passed through Ellis Isle
And the woman I love was born in Brooklyn, she lived there just a little while
My children have the blood of the pogrom running through them
And the blood of the Ku Klux Klan
I see a little bit of me when I look in their eyes
But I’m not sure who I am


We were born when the whole thing started, made from the stuff of stars
Flashed across the darkness on a cosmic ray, ‘til we ended up where we are
Born from ashes, headed towards dust, set free on the wind
Spinning ‘round in a great big circle til we come back here again
I’m out on the highway late at night, a couple more hours to go
I take a look in the rear-view mirror to see where I should go
Just passing through, part of the dance, feeling like I’m running late
Only here for a breath, a moment, not enough time to hate


© Bill Harley, all rights reserved. Reprints with permission only.


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