Conor Oberst – Barbary Coast (Later)

Conor Oberst is not the guy I turn to when I’m looking for a feel-good, lift-me-up kind of tune.

He’s full of angst.

But the songs are beautiful.

The one today comes from his solo album, Ruminations (2016).

The album is a gem. Stripped down acoustic songs, recorded in Oberst’s hometown, Omaha.

A year later, he recorded new versions of the songs — with a full band — for a follow-up album, Salutations (2017).

If you like today’s version of this song, check out Salutations and let me know which version you prefer.

This is a sad song, full of despair. But, in the end, it’s full of longing and hope, too.

Here it is…

Today’s Song 

Title: Barbary Coast (Later)

Artist: Conor Oberst

Album: Ruminations (2016)

YouTube Link:


There’s a dance hall there
Where the sick folks go
Like the olden days
On the Barbary Coast
There’s a barefoot child
Playing in the rain

You can sell your wares
Even if they’re hard
In the great bazaar
Or the parking lot
‘Cause it takes a while
To know who to blame

I might have a taste
‘Cause the first one’s free
And the checkout girls
Got a thing for me
And they’re both as sweet
As the day is the long

I don’t wanna feel stuck, baby
I just wanna get drunk before noon

I don’t mind my head
When there’s room to dream
Feel like Paul Gauguin
Painting breadfruit trees
In some far off place
Where I don’t belong

Tried to lose myself
In the primitive
In Yosemite
Like John Muir did
But his eyes were blue
And mine are red and raw

‘Cause the modern world
Is a sight to see
It’s a stimulant
It’s pornography
It takes all my will
Not to turn it off

I don’t want you to feel sad, baby
I take everything back, I swear I do

‘Cause once all the friends I had
Have used me up and left
I bet you hang around
I bet you’ll hang around awhile

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