Thursday, 15 July 2021

Mid-Life Crisis Songs #66: Born To Stay Where You Are

The latest album by Dawes is still playing in my car, and as often is the case when you stick with a record, new delights are unveiling themselves beyond the initial attention-grabbers.

One such track is St. Augustine At Night, which I realised this morning is an anti-Born To Run: a song about staying in the town you grew up in, rather than being desperate to run away. To be fair, St. Augustine, Florida, does look a little prettier than Freehold, New Jersey, but as a tourist destination, I suspect much of that may be facade. Could this be the American equivalent of the "seaside town they forgot to bomb"? I suppose that depends on whether you're a teenager wanting desperately to spread your wings, or an old-timer looking back on your life. Taylor Goldsmith gives us both perspectives here...

We'd count the trucks on Highway 1 on their way to Jacksonville
Wonderin' where they headed on from there
My brothers and my sister all stood spiritually still
As if those roads became the answer to their prayers

But I didn't want it any other way
This town was the one thing that felt right
All these tourists could be kings during the day
But not in St. Augustine at night

There are many great lines in this song, particularly the closing couplet in the verse below, which brought a wry smile to my face the first time I heard it in the context of the whole story...

That's when my girlfriend told me, "There's a baby on the way
And I need to know you're gonna go to bat"
Well, I never put off 'til tomorrow the things I should've done today
No, I've always waited way longer than that

Life never really goes the way we plan, and you may end up beset with regrets. But perhaps it's easier if you're at least happy where you are. I feel I've got that. I've always loved the countryside in West Yorkshire, so I guess I'm glad I never climbed on the back of Bruce's bike and rode off to find a new place to walk in the sun. Some of us were just born to stay where we are.

Life became a series of birthdays, cars, and pets
Just anything to look forward to
I don't talk about mistakes, I don't talk about regrets
At this point, I'm not sure what good it would do

And I'm not asking for anybody's help
As I gaze out where the stars dance with the lights
If I'm not sure how I feel about myself
I still got St. Augustine at night


  1. Beautiful song. Hadn't heard of Dawes before.

  2. Good to have you back again sharing these songs I might not otherwise have heard of.

    I would have had a much simpler life had I stayed in the village where I grew up and my peers who did all seem to have done well for themselves, with the bonus of childcare on tap whenever it was needed. Good to hear your decision to stay put was the right one for you - The fewer regrets as you get older the better.

    (PS I'm struggling to leave comments on your blog at the moment on anything other than my PC - I type stuff then press publish but nada, or it posts twice! Anyway, Sat Snapshots is a challenge indeed but I get there in the end.)

  3. That song is a keeper. Quite a bit of history in St. Augustine. If you find yourself in Florida, well worth a peak.


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