Leaving West Virginia

Album: Walk The Way The Wind Blows (1986)

Songfacts®:

  • This was written by country singer Kathy Mattea - a native of South Charleston, West Virginia - for her third album, Walk The Way The Wind Blows. While Mattea is a songwriter, she typically prefers to showcase other writers by recording their songs, notching hits penned by Nanci Griffith ("Love At The Five And Dime") and Susanna Clark ("Come From The Heart"). "I see myself as a singer who sometimes writes," she explained in her Songfacts interview.
  • Mattea left West Virginia for Nashville in the late '70s and worked as a tour guide at the Country Music Hall of Fame while she pursued a music career. In the song, the narrator leaves the Mountain State for California, where her undefined dreams are waiting to be fulfilled.
  • Performing this song 30 years later was a poignant experience for Mattea, who included it in her set at the request of one of her audiences. "I just burst into tears in the middle of my own show," she recalled to the Huffington Post in 2016. "This moment happened where it was like my young self was talking to my middle-age self and my own words kind of came... it's like I was talking to me. And I just had to stop in the middle of the song and just take a breath, step back from the mic and everybody was just very quiet and respectful. And then I came back in. It was really something."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Janet Jackson

Janet JacksonFact or Fiction

Was Janet secretly married at 18? Did she gain 60 pounds for a movie role that went to Mariah Carey? See what you know about Ms. Jackson.

Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root

Michael Glabicki of Rusted RootSongwriter Interviews

Michael tells the story of "Send Me On My Way," and explains why some of the words in the song don't have a literal meaning.

Rock Stars of Horror

Rock Stars of HorrorMusic Quiz

Rock Stars - especially those in the metal realm - are often enlisted for horror movies. See if you know can match the rocker to the role.

Adam Young of Owl City

Adam Young of Owl CitySongwriter Interviews

Is Owl City on a quest for another hit like "Fireflies?" Adam answers that question and explains the influences behind many others.

Concert Disasters

Concert DisastersFact or Fiction

Ozzy biting a dove? Alice Cooper causing mayhem with a chicken? Creed so bad they were sued? See if you can spot the real concert mishaps.

Devo

DevoSongwriter Interviews

Devo founders Mark Mothersbaugh and Jerry Casale take us into their world of subversive performance art. They may be right about the De-Evoloution thing.