63. Stones in the Road by Mary Chapin Carpenter

“Stones in the Road’ by Mary Chapin Carpenter
(click here to listen)

When we were young we pledged allegiance
Every morning of our lives
The classroom rang with children’s voices
Under teacher’s watchful eye
We learned about the world around us
At our desks and at dinner time
Reminded of the starving children
We cleaned our plates with guilty minds
And the stones in the road
Shone like diamonds in the dust
And then a voice called to us
To make our way back home


When I was ten my father held me
On his shoulders above the crowd
To see a train draped in mourning
Pass slowly through our town
His widow kneeled with all their children
At the sacred burial ground
And the TV glowed that long hot summer
With all the cities burning down
And the stones in the road
Flew out beneath our bicycle tires
Worlds removed from all those fires
As we raced each other home

And now we drink our coffee on the run
We climb that ladder rung by rung
We are the daughters and the sons
And here’s the line that’s missing
The starving children have been replaced
By souls out on the street
We give a dollar when we pass
And hope our eyes don’t meet
We pencil in we cancel out
We crave the corner suite
We kiss your ass, we make you hold
We doctor the receipt
And the stones in the road
They fly out from beneath our wheels
Another day, another deal
Before we get back home
Stones in the road
Leave a mark whence they came
A thousands points of light or shame
Baby, I don’t know

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Mary Carpenter / Mary Chapin Carpenter
Stones in the Road lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC


Whilst the words of the song specifically refer to a relationship break-up, it has at its foundation a key aspect of Jesus’ wisdom; namely, that by giving up oneself, or that upon which one has based one’s life, one gains one’s life.  Or as Buddha taught, the source of all unhappiness is desire; thus freedom to live comes from removal of the desire. As the Eagles sing, one wins life by being ‘already gone’.

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