Steve Earle – I Ain’t Ever Satisfied

I first found out about Steve Earle through this song. It has remained one of my favorite songs. Steve has released a lot of great songs since but it’s the honesty of this song that I like so much.

I was working at a factory and going to college and I had a radio on while driving a tow motor.  After I heard it I immediately bought the album “Exit 0” and enjoyed the complete album. The lyrics ring true of the human spirit…we are never satisfied. Steve Earle was one of the highlights of the 80s for me. Down to earth music and very rootsy.

The night after I got Exit O I learned this song and our band played it. I went to my first Bob Dylan concert on August 20, 1989, and Steve Earle opened up for him. That was one of the best pairings I’ve seen. He played this song and the night was complete…Copperhead Road was pretty good also! I’ve seen Dylan 8 times but this was probably the worse. He played for maybe 40 minutes and left the stage. I remember someone behind me screaming…”I know you are an old son of a b****” but come on… Bob was 48 that year.

Steve is such an underrated American songwriter. The year before this song he released his breakout album Guitar Town. He was straddling the line between country and rock at this period. It’s hard to classify Earle and no need to…he writes great songs that many can relate to.

The song peaked at #26 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Charts in 1987. The album Exit 0 peaked at #15 on the Billboard Album Country Charts and #36 in Canada.

Just a cool note… Waylon Jennings makes a cameo appearance at the end of the video.

I Ain’t Ever Satisfied

I was born by the railroad tracksWell the train whistle wailed and I wailed right backWell papa left mama when I was quite youngHe said now “One of these days you’re gonna follow me son”

Woh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-ohI ain’t ever satisfiedWoh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-ohI ain’t ever satisfied

Now I had me a woman she was my worldBut I ran off with my back street girlNow my back street woman could not be trueShe left me standin’ on the boulevard thinkin’ ’bout you

I’ve got an empty feeling deep insideI’m going over to the other sideLast night I dreamed I made it to the promise landI was standin’ at the gate and I had the key in my handSaint Peter said “Come on in boy, you’re finally home”I said “No thanks Pete, I’ll just be moving along”

Woh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-ohI ain’t ever satisfiedWoh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-ohI ain’t ever satisfied


Author: Badfinger (Max)

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

24 thoughts on “Steve Earle – I Ain’t Ever Satisfied”

    1. Yeah what’s up with that. My buddies and I were all over Guitar Town and remain big fans. He seemed to tour a lot in Canada to support those sales. I’m glad I got to see him perform in London on one of his many visits.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I have to say the other 7 were excellent… maybe I got lucky. He never plays his greatest hits package…thats not happening but he usually plays well.


    1. I have to agree with you on that. I never liked when Pete Townshend destroyed his guitar on stage, even though I understand it was for show only. It’s still an instrument he could have given to some kid who wasn’t able to afford buying a guitar – and possibly even change a life!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I know…the only good thing about Pete…yea he destroyed it but usually he used the same guitar night after night to do it with when possible. They couldn’t afford another new one lol.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. That was the thing I liked the least about The Who. While it was portrayed as an act of rebellion, the message I got was “we’re rich enough (or have the backing of manufacturers) that we can destroy stuff and it will be replaced before the next show.”

        Liked by 2 people

  1. an interesting guy he is, I love how he does things his way and refuses to bend to corporate whims. This one is pretty good, one of the not so many of his songs I do know… an artist kind of on that ‘to do’ list, need to hear more of his stuff because most of it seems good and he always gets great reviews.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. He is hardly ever mentioned as a great songwriter…When I heard “Devil’s Right Hand” and Copperhead Road…I knew this guy wasn’t a normal Nashville songwriter.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. After reading your take I went for a walk and took Copperhead with me. Still sounds good. Problem with Earl is he’s so prolific and it is all top notch. Hard to stay current. But its there waiting when Im ready

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the Robert Johnson theme of the video, but it doesn’t seem to mesh with throwing away the deal with the devil, but at the same time maybe the message is at some point be happy with what you have instead of always dissatisfied? Tough one to cipher (the video.) You know what a big fan of Steve Earle I am. He has that same humanizing spirit that The Boss has. Two of my favorite songs of his are “Goodbye” from Train A Comin, and “Taneytown” from El Corazon. I like his cover of Townes VanZandt’s “Tecumseh Valley” also. Happy he keeps making new music as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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