Robert Ellis “Houston” – Americana UK

Robert Ellis “Houston” – Americana UK

In the last Chain Gang entry, Graeme Tait chose Hiss Golden Messenger’s ‘Biloxi’, a song in which frontman MC Taylor laments: “Say Biloxi / It’s tough all over / Ah, Houston / You scared me sober”, so it felt only too obvious to as to where we should travel next: Houston, Texas.

‘Houston’ from Robert Ellis’ 2014 album ‘Lights from the Chemical Plant’ is a sprawling seven minute love letter to the city native Texan Ellis called home for a time. Ellis credits the city with being there for him, even as a relationship was crumbling: “We shared an apartment on the verge of downtown / Two kids so in love but in vain I have found / Well, when our love turned to rust / Then all I could trust was the cover of the blanket in the night / I owe it to you, I would have come unglued / Had it not been for the city and her light”. But ultimately, the pain of lost love lingers too much for him to stay (“From Houston I’m moving tonight / I’ve got to pick up and wipe the slate clean / Oh, Houston I’m losing the fight / You remind me of too many things”), although he will never forget the time he’s spent there (“Oh, Houston this is not goodbye / You will be living inside of my heart”), and hey, he got a pretty great song out of it, too.

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