If you’re a fan of classic rock, you’re probably familiar with the song “Dead Skunk In The Middle Of The Road.” This catchy tune was written and performed by Loudon Wainwright III, and it remains a favorite among music lovers to this day. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the lyrics of this iconic song and explore its meaning and significance.
The Origins of the Song
Loudon Wainwright III is a renowned singer-songwriter who has been active in the music industry since the 1970s. He is known for his distinctive voice and witty, irreverent lyrics, and “Dead Skunk In The Middle Of The Road” is one of his most famous songs. The song was released in 1972 and quickly became a hit, reaching number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The inspiration for the song came from an actual encounter that Wainwright had with a dead skunk in the middle of the road. He was driving home from a gig one night when he spotted the unfortunate creature and was struck by the absurdity of the situation. He wrote the song shortly thereafter, and the rest is history.
The Lyrics of the Song
The lyrics of “Dead Skunk In The Middle Of The Road” are simple yet memorable. The song starts with the following lines:
Crossin’ the highway late last night
He shoulda looked left and he shoulda looked right
He didn’t see the station wagon car
The skunk got squashed and there you are
These opening lines set the tone for the rest of the song, which is a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the absurdity of life. The chorus of the song is perhaps the most memorable part, with its catchy melody and sing-along lyrics:
Dead skunk in the middle of the road
Dead skunk in the middle of the road
You got your dead cat and you got your dead dog
On a moonlight night you got your dead toad frog
Got your dead rabbit and your dead raccoon
The blood and the guts they’re gonna make you swoon
The lyrics continue in this vein, with Wainwright singing about all the different animals that are liable to end up dead in the middle of the road. The song is both humorous and poignant, capturing the absurdity of life and the inevitability of death.
The Meaning of the Song
On the surface, “Dead Skunk In The Middle Of The Road” is a lighthearted song about roadkill. But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that it has a deeper meaning. The song is a commentary on the fragility of life and the inevitability of death. It reminds us that no matter how careful we are, we can’t avoid the randomness of fate.
At the same time, the song is also a celebration of life. It acknowledges the absurdity of our existence but also revels in it. The chorus of the song is a joyful, irreverent celebration of all the different creatures that make up our world, dead or alive.
The Legacy of the Song
Over the years, “Dead Skunk In The Middle Of The Road” has become a beloved classic. It’s been covered by numerous artists, including Johnny Cash and John Denver, and it continues to be played on classic rock radio stations all over the world. The song’s catchy melody and witty lyrics have made it a favorite among music lovers of all ages.
But the song’s legacy goes beyond just its popularity. It’s a reminder that even in the face of death and tragedy, we can find joy and humor in life. It’s a testament to the power of music to uplift us and bring us together. And it’s a tribute to the enduring legacy of Loudon Wainwright III, one of the greatest singer-songwriters of our time.
“Dead Skunk In The Middle Of The Road” may be a silly song about roadkill, but it’s also much more than that. It’s a commentary on life and death, a celebration of the absurdity of existence, and a reminder of the power of music to bring us joy and comfort. So the next time you hear this classic tune on the radio, take a moment to appreciate its wit and wisdom.