Tiger Army’s wonderful song “The Long Road” could easily be re-named “My Life.” It’s a recollection of Nick 13’s (the songwriter) experiences — the people who’ve come in and out of his life; the relatively fleeting nature of it all; and the idea that he “wouldn’t trade anything under the sky.”
Tiger Army is often labeled a psychobilly band. The psychobilly genre is essentially a blend of punk rock and rockabilly. However, many of Tiger Army’s songs have more of a country vibe to them, and “The Long Road” is certainly one of those.
Instrumentation is clearly important to the band. They use an upright bass in every song, and in “The Long Road” they incorporate a pedal steel guitar. It helps, I think, to bolster the idea of time (and life) passing by. The influence of both classic country and rockabilly on Nick 13 and his musical style are obvious in this recording.
The song opens with these lines:
Well I’ve walked alone, I’ve walked down this long road
Some walk alongside for a while and then go
I think back on them as the days go by
The roads we took were different in this life
Here Nick 13 is clearly reminiscing about friends and acquaintances he’s had throughout the years. People coming into and out of our lives is something that anyone can relate to. When you think back on your life and who’s been there for a majority of it, it’s usually a pretty short list.
The chorus of the song really hits on the idea of time passing by:
We once drank from the wine of youth
Then it was gone
And when a woman takes your heart
The only thing left is a song
Our lives are a massive collection of memories, and every person has events and people who have made a tremendous impact on them. Memories and events are important, but it’s arguably the people in our lives that make the greatest contributions.
Music is clearly very important to Nick 13. Apart from saying that a song is the only way to express his love for a woman, he also says:
Some of these moments
There’s just one thing that saved my life
And as the sweet muse sent the music
I held onto my guitar all night
Obviously, music and the creative process of writing songs have been essential to his life.
Music is not as integral to many of our lives as it is for Nick 13. Yet most people do have passions that make their lives more fulfilling. We all need outlets to express our emotions, and this song is a good reminder that those outlets can be life savers.
“The Long Road” is an uplifting song. Although Nick 13 laments a bit about times that have passed, he voices a positivity that resonates with anyone who listens to it.
It’s important for people to look back at their lives once in a while, and to cherish the memories we’ve made in this world. Longing for the past isn’t very healthy. But if we remember things that once truly made us happy, we can try to create new experiences that cause us to feel the same way. Growing older and confronting mortality aren’t the most pleasing ideas for most people, but they are unavoidable aspects of “the long road” we call life. This song helps to remind us that living well can lead to dying with dignity and a sense of completeness.
See the full lyrics to the song here and listen to it in the video below.