George Strait, ‘Where the Sidewalk Ends’ – Lyrics Uncovered
Jim Lauderdale is the songwriter behind dozens of country music's biggest hits including Patty Loveless' 'You Don't Seem to Miss Me,' Mark Chesnutt's 'Gonna Get a Life,' Gary Allan's 'Forever and a Day,' and several George Strait tunes, including 'Where the Sidewalk Ends.'
'Where the Sidewalk Ends' was one of two songs penned by Lauderdale which made the 1992 movie, 'Pure Country,' starring Strait. Lauderdale wrote the tune with the guitar playing great, John Leventhal.
"I had been friends with and played gigs with a John for some time," Lauderdale tells Taste of Country. "We had both lived in New York and played in a lot of the same clubs out there. When I started doing my demos, John began to play guitar on all of them."
"Then he was visiting California, and I went and saw him," continues Lauderdale. "He proposed us writing a song together. He said, 'I’ve got this title called 'Where the Sidewalk Ends.'"
"Where the sidewalk ends and the road begins / We said goodbye on a cold dark night / I'm not afraid to go you bet I'm not / Where the side walk ends, you left a lot," they wrote in the song's opening lines, which also became the tune's chorus.
"When he said that, this melody came out of me, and then we started finishing each others' sentences with lyrics and melody," recalls Lauderdale.
"Some people leave and never come back / Some stay in touch, some lose track / Your mind kept saying come on let's go / You started learning what you don't need to know," they continued to write in the song.
"He went back to his home studio and demoed the song," Lauderdale says. "I came in and sang on it. That was our very first song written together. It came together real quickly. And then we went on to write a lot more together after that."
The song was added to the 'Pure Country' movie and soundtrack, along with Lauderdale's self-penned tune, 'The King of Broken Hearts.'
"Those two songs were my first two George Strait cuts," says Lauderdale, who in recent years has also been the co-writer on Strait's 'Twang' and 'I Gotta Get to You,' as well as 'We Really Shouldn't Be Doing This' and 'Don't Make Me Come Over There and Love You.' "I then found out that he had recorded them on the ‘Pure Country’ movie and soundtrack. They were also on a record of mine that John co-produced with Rodney Crowell called 'Planet of Love.'"
Watch Jim Lauderdale Perform 'Where the Sidewalk Ends' Live