Selling Fireworks at a Roadside Stand

Chip Withrow's picture

Selling Fireworks at a Roadside Stand



Liner Notes: 

I wrote this one for the Facebook skirmish group - this week's theme, appropriately (for those of us in the US - do other countries celebrate independence similarly?) is "fireworks."


My life didn’t turn out like my folks planned
But I’m not asking for a helping hand
I roamed and rambled all over this land
Now I’m selling fireworks at a roadside stand

I don’t mind living out of my van
I park for a few weeks whenever I can
Pulled into this town, met a guy named Dan
Asked me to sell fireworks at his roadside stand

Flag waves in the breeze, over a plywood sign
I add to my pile one more melon rind
Not too slow or too busy, in rain and in shine
I’m paid in cash money so I’m doing fine

Sun is so hot, got a tent and a fan
In a brown paper bag, got beer in a can
Til the 5th of July when there’s no more demand
I’ll be selling fireworks at this roadside stand

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


As the one who set the skirmish theme, Canada is also fond of its fireworks on Canada Day (July 1) but it's not quite as big a deal as July 4 is south of the border. We don't have the roadside fireworks stands to the same extent, that's for sure. Nice little song, kind of a 60s folksinger vibe going to the song structure and your playing on this track.

wyatt's picture

Ya gotta do what ya gotta do
I've lived out if a van a few times
Well done and very timely

katpiercemusic's picture

Wow! This has a really easy feel. IT definitely sounds like you spent more time on it. It's a little bit Woody Guthrie.

tcelliott's picture

A lovely little look into the holiday on a rainy afternoon. Somehow fits just right.

Kevin Emmrich's picture

Nice character study and a pretty good performance to boot. I didn't do one of those betwixt fawm and 5090 skirmishes, I guess I missed out. A super big hello for this 5090 and this is a great start!! Oh wait, this is already your #2. Dang you're out of the gates like a firecracker yourself!

Nice, chill vibe to this one. Very soothing. Never heard a song about a fireworks salesman before, so you get points for creativity. You really delve into his life nicely in a few ways, for the kind of person no one would usually think about. I like the chord progression you do during the "Flags wave" section as well, it adds some nice variety to the song. When that 7th chord came in, it really helped pick it up. Also like the key change at the end, and the big outro. I could totally see a full band arrangement of this, but it's nice on acoustic as well. Good work!

RalphCarl's picture

Great fun song.I was smiling the whole song.Nice and funny too.

OdilonGreen's picture

Very evocative character sketch, with a tremendous feeling of acceptance with a tinge of regret. I feel like I know this man in four short stanzas, and both admire his stoicism and feel sorrow for how he's given up and just takes pleasure in the little things. I could close my eyes and just sink into the fully-formed world of this song.

headfirstonly's picture

A great four-stanza character sketch. Impressed by the fact you can just sit down and nail the whole thing in one go.

The guitar might benefit from being miked a tad closer to bring its level up, but I can hear what's going on. And I like it.

standup's picture

Great story, so many great details. Amazing how sometimes a song has a story that's a novel in 3 1/2 minutes. Great job.

b00n's picture

Cool idea, great imagery, and an over all cool song.
well done!

brrrse's picture

Well, we've heard from the Jimmy Buffet of the Midwest....This is great. Americana Storytelling like Guthrie and Dylan. Your lyrics are tight but flowing. Simple guitar. You got it, dude...whatever it got it. Smile

kathym's picture

I love character portraits, whether lifelong or a moment in time. Those fireworks stores pop up every year and disappear just as quickly. Good song.

colgoo's picture

What a nice ballad! I love your guitar work on this and your voice is perfect for this story.