Behind the Meaning of Townes Van Zandt’s “I’ll Be Here In The Morning”

Many musicians have sung about the allure of the road. Many times, they leave everything behind for the rush of a touring lifestyle, but in the case of Townes Van Zandt, he made sure to keep a keen focus on the love he had waiting for him back home. At least he said as much in “I’ll Be Here In The Morning.” Revisit the meaning behind this song, below.

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Behind the Meaning

Well there’s no stronger wind than the one that blows down a lonesome railroad line
No prettier sight than lookin’ back on a town you left behind
But there’s nothin’ that’s as real as a love that’s in my mind

In the opening lines, Van Zandt paints a picture of life on the road. While the draw is there for Van Zandt, he sings about it not comparing to the love that’s in his mind. It’s enough to make him turn around and head for home.

Close your eyes
I’ll be here in the morning
Close your eyes
I’ll be here for a while

In the second verse, he conflates life on the road to freedom. I’d like to lean into the wind and tell myself I’m free, he sings. But, in the end, it’s the whisper of his love that he follows and not the whip of the wind.

According to Van Zandt, nothing–not the expansive mountains or rolling rivers–can compare to what he’s already found. He vows to stay as long as his love will have him.

All the mountains and the rivers and the valleys can’t compare
To your blue lit dancin’ eyes and yellow shining hair
I could never hit the open road and leave you lyin’ there

Ah lay your head back easy, love, close your cryin’ eyes
I’ll be layin’ here beside you when the sun comes on the rise
I’ll stay as long as the cuckoo wails and the lonesome blue jay cries

Revisit this track, below.

(Photo by Tom Hill/Getty Images)

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