All This Way For The Short Ride
Tom Russell Lyrics


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When the chute gate wings open, here we go again
The desperate dance, the kick and the spin
Dust risin' from a cross bred bull, fire meets with pride
The man's come a long way, just for the short ride

His wife's in the grandstands, tryin to swallow the fear
A little baby inside her, who's time's drawing near
The bulls flying high now, then he falls to his side
Their love came a long way, just for the short ride

Two hearts in the darkness, sing a blue lullaby

Beat the drum slowly, for a cowboy's last ride

And when the dust had all settled and the crowd disappeared
The sirens still echo, in an unborn childs ear
Little boys due in April, he has his daddy's blue eyes
He'll always remember, his father's last ride

They preached at the service, from john 25
How christ came along way, just for the short ride




Beat the drum slowly, for a cowboy's last ride
Well the chute gate swings open, here we go again

Overall Meaning

The song "All This Way for the Short Ride" by Tom Russell is a poignant representation of the life of a working-class cowboy. Through its lyrics, the song portrays the ups and downs of a rodeo rider, the trials and tribulations he faces and the sacrifices he makes. The chorus of the song is particularly moving as it highlights the idea of how a person can travel a long distance just for a short time of pleasure. The opening lines of the song, “When the chute gate wings open, here we go again, The desperate dance, the kick and the spin,” paint a picture of the thrills and dangers of a rodeo.


The subsequent lines, "Dust risin' from a cross bred bull, fire meets with pride," convey the adrenaline rush that the cowboy experiences every time he climbs on the back of a bull. The second verse of the song talks about the cowboy’s wife who is trying to contain her fears while sitting in the grandstand with their unborn baby. She knows that her husband is living his dream, but at the same time, she is aware of the danger that he is putting himself in. The last verse of the song reveals the tragic ending of this story. The sirens still echo in the unborn child’s ear as it is due to be born in April. The child will grow up missing his father and will always remember his last ride.


Line by Line Meaning

When the chute gate wings open, here we go again
The familiar and dangerous routine is about to begin once more.


The desperate dance, the kick and the spin
The violent struggle between rider and bull.


Dust risin' from a cross bred bull, fire meets with pride
The adrenaline-fueled spectacle of man versus beast in full display.


The man's come a long way, just for the short ride
Despite the brief and fleeting nature of the ride, the rider has gone through much hardship and dedication to make it here.


His wife's in the grandstands, tryin to swallow the fear
The rider's partner is anxiously watching from the stands, trying to hide her own fear for her loved one's safety.


A little baby inside her, who's time's drawing near
The rider's unborn child is waiting to be born, soon to see the world without his father.


The bulls flying high now, then he falls to his side
The bull can suddenly switch from throwing the rider around to throwing him off, leaving him vulnerable and motionless on the ground.


Their love came a long way, just for the short ride
The love between the rider and his partner has endured much hardship and must now face a sudden and devastating challenge.


Two hearts in the darkness, sing a blue lullaby
The sorrow and pain felt by the couple is captured in a melancholic song sung in their hearts.


Beat the drum slowly, for a cowboy's last ride
The final journey of a cowboy who lived a hard and thrilling life deserves respect and solemnity.


And when the dust had all settled and the crowd disappeared
After the excitement and commotion of the event, life returns to its usual quietness and seeming insignificance.


The sirens still echo, in an unborn childs ear
The sound of emergency vehicles still resonates in the ears of the rider's unborn child, a haunting reminder of his father's fate.


Little boys due in April, he has his daddy's blue eyes
The rider's legacy will live on through his child, who shares his father's physical features and perhaps his spirit.


He'll always remember, his father's last ride
The child may never meet his father, but he will always carry his memory and the legend of his life with him.


They preached at the service, from john 25
The funeral service invokes the Christian tradition of reading from the Bible to provide comfort and meaning in the face of loss.


How christ came along way, just for the short ride
The story of Jesus' own short yet impactful journey is connected to the story of the cowboy, both of whom faced death with courage and faith.


Well the chute gate swings open, here we go again
The cycle of life and death, of risk and reward, continues on in the arena.




Lyrics © BMG Rights Management
Written by: PAUAL ZARZYSKI, TOM RUSSELL

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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