This week our host for Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams, has prompted us with Begin, End, Finish and Start. I came up with a shortlist of songs I could think of and settled for “End of the Line” by the Traveling Wilburys. I love the chance to see the late George Harrison and Tom Petty together in this great video.
“End of the Line” is a song by the British-American supergroup the Traveling Wilburys. Released in October 1988, it was the final track on their debut album, Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1. It was also issued as the band’s second single, in January 1989. The recording features all the Wilburys except Bob Dylan as lead singers: George Harrison, Jeff Lynne (ELO) and Roy Orbison sing the choruses in turn, while Tom Petty sings the verses. The song was mainly written by Harrison and was assigned to his publishing company, Umlaut Corporation. In keeping with the collaborative concept behind the Wilburys project, however, all five members received a songwriting credit.
They were named after a slang term that George Harrison and Jeff Lynne gave to studio equipment. The pair referred to equalizers and limiters as “wilburys,” as in “we’ll bury that mistake in the mix.”
The music video for “End of the Line” was directed by Willy Smax. It was filmed in Los Angeles shortly after Orbison’s death in December 1988, and features Dylan’s participation. To honor Orbison, a shot of a guitar sitting in a rocking chair next to a photo of him was used when his vocals are heard.
The Traveling Wilburys recorded two albums, the first in 1988 and the second in 1990, though Roy Orbison died before the second was laid down.
Their 1988 album Travelling Wilburys Volume One won the 1989 Grammy award for Best Rock Performance by a Group with Vocals.
In the United States, the single peaked at No. 63 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, while peaking at No. 2 on the Album Rock Tracks chart, blocked out the top spot by “Driven Out” by The Fixx and “Working on It” by Chris Rea.
The song was used over the end credits of the final episode of the British sitcom One Foot in the Grave and the American comedy Parks and Recreation.
“End of the Line” appeared in the George Harrison-produced cult comedy Checking Out.
A version sung by Dennis Waterman was used as the theme tune for the pilot of the BBC production New Tricks. The song has also been included in TV spots for the 2004 film The Terminal, as well as the trailer for the 2007 hit comedy Knocked Up.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers played this song live during their 2008 North American tour.
Harrison was honoured in the parody song “No Where Near the End of My Time” by radio on-air personality Bob Rivers.
Lyrics Well it's all right, riding around in the breeze Well it's all right, if you live the life you please Well it's all right, doing the best you can Well it's all right, as long as you lend a hand You can sit around and wait for the phone to ring (end of the line) Waiting for someone to tell you everything (end of the line) Sit around and wonder what tomorrow will bring (end of the line) Maybe a diamond ring Well it's all right, even if they say you're wrong Well it's all right, sometimes you gotta be strong Well it's all right, as long as you got somewhere to lay Well it's all right, everyday is judgment day Maybe somewhere down the road aways (end of the line) You'll think of me, wonder where I am these days (end of the line) Maybe somewhere down the road when somebody plays (end of the line) Purple haze Well it's all right, even when push comes to shove Well it's all right, if you got someone to love Well it's all right, everything'll work out fine Well it's all right, we're going to the end of the line Don't have to be ashamed of the car I drive (end of the line) I'm just glad to be here, happy to be alive (end of the line) It don't matter if you're by my side (end of the line) I'm satisfied Well it's all right, even if you're old and grey Well it's all right, you still got something to say Well it's all right, remember to live and let live Well it's all right, the best you can do is forgive Well it's all right, riding around in the breeze Well it's all right, if you live the life you please Well it's all right, even if the sun don't shine Well it's all right, we're going to the end of the line Wrirer/s: Robert Dylan, George Harrison, Jeffrey Lynne, Roy Kelton Orbison, Thomas Earl Petty Publisher: BMG Rights Management, THE BICYCLE MUSIC COMPANY, CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind