Key to the Highway
B.B. King & Eric Clapton Lyrics


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I got the key to the highway
Billed out and bound to go
Gonna leave here running
Walking is much too slow

I'm going back to the border
Baby, where I'm better known
Because you haven't done nothing, baby
But drove a good man from home

When the moon peeks over the mountains
Lil girl, I'll be on my way
I'm gonna roam this highway
Until the break of day

So give me one more kiss, darling
Just before I go
'Cause when I leave this time, little girl
I won't be back no more, no more

I got the key (I got the key) to the highway (to the highway)
Billed out and bound to go (I gotta go, I gotta go)




I'm gonna leave here running (mhm)
Walking is much too slow

Overall Meaning

The song "Key to the Highway" by B.B. King & Eric Clapton is a classic blues track that speaks to the restlessness of a man who is ready to leave a failed relationship and move to a new town where he is better known. The title of the song suggests that the road represents freedom, and the "key" is the means to unlock that freedom. The opening lines communicate this idea, as the singer declares that he has the key to the highway and is "billed out and bound to go." He is eager to leave and start anew, and his urgency is reflected in the next line: "gonna leave here running, walking is much too slow."


The second verse reveals more about the singer's situation. He is heading back to the border, where he is "better known." This implies that he has roots in this place, and perhaps it is where he was born or raised. He is returning because he feels that he has been wronged by his partner, who has "drove a good man from home." The third verse includes a reference to the moon peeking over the mountains, which suggests that the singer is on a journey from one place to another. He declares his intention to roam the highway until daybreak, underscoring his desire for freedom and independence. The final verse is bittersweet, as the singer bids farewell to his partner and declares that he will not be back again.


Overall, "Key to the Highway" is a blues standard that represents the restlessness and wanderlust that is often part of the blues experience. It is a song about leaving a failed relationship and heading into the unknown, with the freedom of the open road as one's only guide.


Line by Line Meaning

I got the key to the highway
I have the means to escape from my current situation.


Billed out and bound to go
I am all set and ready to move forward with my journey.


Gonna leave here running
I am in a rush to leave as quickly as possible to avoid any unwanted events.


Walking is much too slow
I need to move fast, and walking doesn't fulfill my requirement.


I'm going back to the border
I am returning to a place where I feel more comfortable and accepted.


Baby, where I'm better known
I am going back to a place where people know me and appreciate me.


Because you haven't done nothing, baby
You have not done anything worthwhile to make me stay.


But drove a good man from home
You have caused a good person like me to leave my home.


When the moon peeks over the mountains
At nightfall, I will start my journey.


Lil girl, I'll be on my way
I will start my journey as soon as the night falls.


I'm gonna roam this highway
I am going to travel down this road without any particular destination in mind.


Until the break of day
I will keep moving until the sun comes up.


So give me one more kiss, darling
Before I leave, I want one last intimate moment with you.


Just before I go
I want that moment right before I leave.


'Cause when I leave this time, little girl
I am leaving for good this time.


I won't be back no more, no more
I have no intention of returning to this place ever again.


I got the key (I got the key) to the highway (to the highway)
I have the ability to escape from my current situation by driving away.


Billed out and bound to go (I gotta go, I gotta go)
I am fully prepared and compelled to make my journey.


I'm gonna leave here running (mhm)
I am in a hurry to leave this place and start my journey.




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Written by: Charles Segar, William Lee Conley Broonzy

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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