Wallflowers – One Headlight

The song was written by Jakob Dylan, and produced by T-Bone Burnett. It was released in November 1996 as the second single from the band’s 1996 album, Bringing Down the Horse. This one really got my attention when it came out. Well written and performed song. The Wallflowers song I heard first a few years before was Asleep At The Wheel. Off of their first album. This one got plenty of airplay.

The song is notable for being the first song to reach No. 1 on all three of Billboard‘s rock airplay charts – Alternative Songs, Mainstream Rock Songs, and Adult Alternative Songs. The song did not make the Billboard 100 though.

Really Good RS 2000 article about Jakob Dylan and the Wallflowers…by David Fricke

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/the-confessions-of-jakob-dylan-a-wallflowers-coming-out-80746/

From Songfacts

Jakob Dylan: “I tend to write with a lot of metaphors and images, so people take them literally. The song’s meaning is all in the first verse. It’s about the death of ideas. The first verse says, ‘The death of the long broken arm of human law.’ At times, it seems like there should be a code among human beings that is about respect and appreciation. I wasn’t feeling like there was much support outside the group putting together the record. In the chorus, it says, ‘C’mon try a little.’ I didn’t need everything to get through, I could still get through – meaning ‘one headlight.” >>

This song wasn’t released as a single in America, so it was not eligible for the Hot 100 (Billboard changed this rule a few years later). It did, however, make #2 on the Airplay chart.

One Headlight

So long ago, I don’t remember when
That’s when they say I lost my only friend
Well they said she died easy of a broken heart disease
As I listened through the cemetery trees

I seen the sun comin’ up at the funeral at dawn
The long broken arm of human law
Now it always seemed such a waste, she always had a pretty face
So I wondered how she hung around this place

Hey, come on try a little
Nothing is forever
There’s got to be something better than
In the middle
But me and Cinderella
We put it all together
We can drive it home
With one headlight

She said it’s cold
It feels like Independence Day
And I can’t break away from this parade
But there’s got to be an opening
Somewhere here in front of me
Through this maze of ugliness and greed
And I seen the sun up ahead at the county line bridge
Sayin’ all there’s good and nothingness is dead
We’ll run until she’s out of breath
She ran until there’s nothin’ left
She hit the end, it’s just her window ledge

Hey, come on try a little
Nothing is forever
There’s got to be something better than
In the middle
But me and Cinderella
We put it all together
We can drive it home
With one headlight

Well this place is old
It feels just like a beat up truck
I turn the engine, but the engine doesn’t turn
Well it smells of cheap wine, cigarettes
This place is always such a mess
Sometimes I think I’d like to watch it burn
I’m so alone and I feel just like somebody else
Man, I ain’t changed, but I know I ain’t the same
But somewhere here in between the city walls of dyin’ dreams
I think of death, it must be killin’ me

Hey, hey hey come on try a little
Nothing is forever
There’s got to be something better than
In the middle
But me and Cinderella
We put it all together
We can drive it home
With one headlight

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

11 thoughts on “Wallflowers – One Headlight”

  1. I remember the first time I heard this song – it stood out among all of the other stuff that was being played on the alternative station I happened to be listening to. It wasn’t until much later that I found out it was Dylan’s boy.

    Great song that still sounds good today!

    Liked by 1 person

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