Nobody From Nowhere

by Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack

from the album Buffet Hotel


Lyrics

I’m nobody from nowhere
You’d have ever heard of anyway
Ain’t no city way down there
You could’ve heard a pin drop anytime of day

But I’m not sorry, I’m not sad
Though it might take a whole day
Just to drive down there and visit
Not to worry, it’s not too bad
Nothin’ much to do
But that ain’t a such hardship really is it

When you’re waitin’ for a car to drive by
Just so you can wave hello
Starin’ at a starry night sky
Dreaming of someplace to go
‘Til that day comes I’ll be here
Alone without a care
Nobody, nobody from nowhere

I’m nobody from nowhere
You’d have ever heard of anyhow
Ain’t no reason you should care
There’s a P.O. box and a 4-way stop
And farms and fields and cows and we’re just

Waitin’ for a car to drive by
Just so you can wave hello
Starin’ at a starry night sky
Dreaming of someplace to go
‘Til that day comes I’ll be there
Alone without a care
Nobody, nobody from nowhere

Waitin’ for a car to drive by
Just so I can wave hello
Starin’ at a starry night sky
Dreaming of someplace to go
‘Til that day comes I’ll be there
Alone without a care
Nobody, nobody from nowhere

Nobody, nobody from nowhere

Jimmy’s Note:

To me one of the main jobs of a good song is to make you time travel. Backwards or forwards, it really doesn’t matter. In the process of trying to write a few of those kinds of songs myself, I also called upon the reliable members of the musical cavalry that I have assembled over the years. I had asked Will Kimbrough to send me some things he was working on.

The first time I heard this song, I took a big and long time train back to Auburn, Alabama, to my earliest attempt at higher education, where I used to routinely drive south on the two lane blacktop to Fairhope, passing through towns like Tuskegee, Fort Deposit, Bay Minette, and Satsuma. This was way before the internet connected places like this to places like Timbuktu and Bamako in an instant. In that ancient rural world of “not much to do”, I would invariably pass people just leaning on a fence post, driving a tractor on the side of the road, or sitting on the stoop of a worn out front porch, “waitin’ for a car to drive by, just so they could wave hello”.

Knowing Will was also from Alabama, I asked him where the song idea came from, thinking we had shared some kind of cosmic South Alabama experience. The author’s inspiration was far from my interpretation, which is another wonderful thing about a good song. It can inspire many different thoughts in many different people. Will’s setting for the song was a trip to Washington, D.C. where he had heard a politician telling a story about his being from a small hometown.

Anthropologists say that the wave comes from ancient days when it was meant to show that when the early cave dwellers ran into each other, they waved to show they have no weapons. The wave is a symbol of peace. Africa, the Deep South and the West Indies are regions of the globe where everybody waves. I am happy that peace still seems to be on the minds of many people in these troubled times in which we live. If you have never waved at a passing car, try it. Like a song, a wave returned can also take you to a peaceful place, if only for a moment. There seem to be a lot of people out there waiting for a car to drive by just so they can say hello.