Showing posts with label Marshall Tucker Band. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marshall Tucker Band. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Marshall Tucker Band: 24 Hours At A Time

SONG 24 Hours At A Time

WRITTEN BY Toy Caldwell

PERFORMED BY The Marshall Tucker Band

APPEARS ON A New Life (1974); Where We All Belong (1974); Stompin' Room Only [live] (2003); Anthology: The First Thirty Years (2005)

NOTE The lyrics are from the original studio version of "24 Hours." MTB altered them somewhat in performance.

The Marshall Tucker Band sang about men and women, not boys and girls. This conferred a sense of maturity and sexual awareness onto their college-aged fans, a sensibility that may or may not have been merited, but that was nonetheless appreciated, by a group that saw itself on the back end of coming of age. The band offered an arguably a maturing sound as well: Toy Caldwell's heroics met the needs of any dorm room air guitarist, while a subtle blend of rock, country, and jazz appealed to developing tastes in a way that, say, Lynyrd Skynyrd's testosterone drenched thunder could not. (Which isn't to say that Skynyrd was not a great band: In the southern rock pantheon, they're second only to the Allman Brothers.)

In "24 Hours at a Time," the singer drives headlong toward a relationship, as fast as legally permitted ("I've got this ride doin' 70 miles an hour").  The national speed limit was 70 mph when Toy Caldwell wrote "24 Hours," although there may be a nod to the pending change to 55 mph, which would slow his approach to the woman who is "always on my mind/24 hours at a time."

In any case, "24 Hours" attempts to balance out songs like "Gentle On Mind," in which the male singer expresses appreciation for a woman precisely she'll always be there no matter how much he strays and rambles. In "24 Hours," by contrast, the road is an inconvenience, something to disposed of as quickly as possible no matter how far the singer has come ("I've been drivin' about six hours") or how near the destination ("Texarkana's an hour ahead/And I've got to keep my wheels rollin'"). He's heading toward, he hopes, someone who loves him, and the romance of the road is a barrier.

For in the end, the singer drives toward hope ("I'm hopin' you feel the same way"), and that's the emotion most educed by the extended jam between Caldwell, Jerry Eubanks (tenor sax), and Charlie Daniels (fiddle), an improvisation that restates the journey musically and the reasons behind it. The end of the jam leads not to a reprise of the driving chorus, as one might expect, but a repetition of the singer's desire that she "feel the same way." We want that, too.

LYRICS
I've been down around Houston, Texas
Where the sun shines most of the time
I've been drivin' about six hours
Tryin' to reach that Arkansas line

But Texarkana's an hour ahead
And I've got to keep my wheels rollin'

But woman you're always on my mind
24 hours at a time
So my woman I'm hopin' you feel the same way

Woman, you know that I miss you
'Til I can't miss you no more
I've got this ride doin 70 miles an hour
She's loaded, she's down to the floor

But I've got to reach that Arkansas line
Before the sun goes down

But woman you're always on my mind
24 hours at a time
So my woman I'm hopin' you feel the same way

Woman you know I need you
I've been on the road too much
Tired of lookin' at the highway
Got to keep in touch some way

I've been down around Houston, Texas
Where the sun shines most of the time
I've been drivin' about six hours
Tryin' to reach that Arkansas line

But Texarkana's an hour ahead
And I've got to keep my wheels rollin'

But woman you're always on my mind
24 hours at a time
So my woman I'm hopin' you feel the same way

Feel the same way...
Feel the same way...
Feel the same way...



The studio version, from the album A New Life: