The Highway Doesn't Run Through Here No More

by @tuneslayer

Liner Notes

For almost half a century Route 66 was, almost literally, America's Main Street. It carried trucks moving goods from the Midwest to the West Coast. Migrants fleeing the Dust Bowl drove west along Route 66 in search of employment. Former soldiers returning home from World War II packed their families into station wagons and drove along the highway on vacations. And businesses sprang up to accommodate all of them.

Then when the federal government started building the Interstate system, it bypassed many of the small towns that had grown up along Route 66 and other roads just like it. Stores, restaurants and roadside attractions that had been built to take advantage of easy, drive-in access started closing as the towns around them withered to shells of their former selves.

This is the story, fictionalized though it may be, of one such family and their business.

#superskirmish #songskirmish #skirmish #ss081322E #route_66 #acoustic #americana #history #story

Lyrics

My bride and I came here in '27
Staked the family fortunes on a little general store
Sold travelers and locals what they needed
But the highway doesn't run through here no more

Raised a brace of kids behind the counter
Taught them work was joy and not a chore
People started coming from all over
But the highway doesn't run through here no more

Sometimes migrants and their kids were starving
We would help them anytime we could
Once or twice it meant we skipped a meal
But going hungry never felt so good

Ran the store every day but Christmas
Open through depression, dust and war
Expanded when the traffic started growing
But the highway doesn't run through here no more

For many years we sold supplies to families
Headed for Chicago or to California's shore
It seemed that we could go this way forever
But the highway doesn't run through here no more

The day they announced the interstate
They told us it would pass us by
The day that they cut the ribbon
Was the day our town begin to die

Soon enough we had to close our business
We could have kept on going, but what for?
The times had passed us by just like the travelers
'Cause the highway doesn't run through here no more

My wife she passed away last December
Now here I am an aging dinosaur
Soon I'll just be a ghost in a ghost town
'Cause the highway doesn't run through here no more

No, the highway doesn't run through here no more



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This song is almost the platonic ideal of Americana. Great storytelling and great playing.

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What wonderfully nostalgic story telling! I love all the details and images that you convey so well. Lovely sincerity in the vocals. Awesome job with the skirmish. The great hook tugs at the heart.

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@sheslin

The guitar sounds so full and rich - sounds like a 12 string to me. Thanks for the story of Route 66, which I knew very little about. You did a great job telling this sad story lyrically, and your melody really brought your lyrics to life. It sounds great with your smooth vocals and the beautiful guitar accompaniment . Thanks for hosting the skirmish - great song!!

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Love the title and how you use it to tell this very real, even if in this case fictitious, story. I'm partial to folk music and this has that beautiful history-repeating-itself lesson woven throughout. Hits the feels.

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Wonderful piece of Americana. That's how it happened. Good work.

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This is a great story song that weaves together well. Works for me with an acapella rendition. Well done and thanks for hosting the skirmish!

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@mikehex

Yeah, it's a great title. Using it as a recurring line keeps the song grounded in the present even while it follows memory through the change of several decades. Great write

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Great title. I love songs about past times! Very well done historical story telling. Very nice!