Goin' Up To Leadville

"Goin' Up To Leadville"

Music & Lyrics by Scott Cooley.

I've never felt so low down, ever since I met you

You say you love me honey, but I know it's just not true

Can't make me stay in the city, instead I'm gonna head up to the sky

Get as close as I can to heaven, where I can see the light

I'm going where the air is thin, and I cannot tell a lie

I'm going up to Leadville, where I can get a natural high


None of my old flames could save me, they don't mean a thing to me

I won't be leavin' you for any of them, I just need to get myself free

Won't be mining for Molly, along the 10th mountain division trail

Not going hiking for Holly, on my way up from Vail

Not gonna need no search and rescue, so this is goodbye

I'm going up to Leadville, where I can get a natural high


I've always wished I could fly, and someday, I may get my wings

When I'm playin' air guitar for an afterlife angel who sings

But in this world, there's a place, where I can be above the clouds

And there's endless champagne powder for me to ski down

It's more addictive than any drug, so now I've got to be brave

I'm gonna leave you behind and get that floatation that I crave


You say you gotta have a reason, why I'm goin' away to stay

I know you won't believe me, babe, no matter what I say

Not looking for heavy metal, not gonna train for no triathalon

Not tryin' to conquer fourteeners, I just need to move on

You can't keep me down, in a valley full of lies

I'm going up to Leadville, where I can get a natural high


Got a feelin' you're not always honest

Got a feelin' you haven't been true

And I trust my intuition, I don't need to see any proof

You like to keep me under your thumb, but you can't control my destiny

So I'm goin' way up to the mountains

Far away from this depression you feed

Don't need a prescription for medicine, just to get me by

I'm going up to Leadville, where I can get a natural high


I'm guilty of the same things as you

But if I stay I'll never feel better

I finally have the courage to go, and give up on our time together

There's only one thing that'll cure my blues

Only one place I know I can go

I never forgot what altitude can do, for an attitude so low

An adjustment of elevation, deep snow is the reason why

I'm going up to Leadville, where I can get a natural high


I've always wished I could fly, and someday, I may get my wings

When I'm playin' air guitar for an afterlife angel who sings

But in this world, there's a place, where I can be above the clouds

And there's endless champagne powder for me to ski down

It's more addictive than any drug, so now I've got to be brave

I'm gonna leave you behind and get that floatation that I crave


With you it's been artificial, I don't believe you've been sincere

We've had our share of ups and downs

But now I need to get the hell out of here

Fakin' it's no way to live, there's only temporary pleasure

When there's no love, there's not much life

And I'm prayin' for mine to be better

A recreational religion, where the snow is light and dry

I'm goin' up to Leadville, where I can get a natural high

Copyright ยฉ โ„— 2014 by Scott Cooley. All rights reserved.

I cringe a bit at how I arranged this recording, making it way too long trying to cram in all the lyrical content.ย  It had potential, but I sort of wrecked it by not editing enough.ย  Put another way, it wouldn't make it onto a "best of" album.ย  Surprisingly, this one has been somewhat popular, probably from people who live there or who have at least been there.ย  A place-in-the-title song has that advantage in today's online music search world.

This one had some interesting stuff behind it though.ย  One thing is that I used to live near Leadville, Colorado.ย  I had visited there a lot during that time, and was fascinated with the place.ย  It is a beautiful flat valley area high in the Rocky mountains, has several lakes, and is surrounded by giant mountains.ย  It was said to be the highest incorporated city in America, and was supposedly once the capital of CO.ย  A lot of establishments there use this fact in their advertising, such as "highest golf course in America."ย  Highest everything, including a play on meaning when the students at the college there boasted to be the "highest college students in America."ย ย 

It takes on deeper meaning now that recreational marijuana use is legal there.ย  My song, however, is about the natural high you get from skiing in deep powder snow.ย  You get addicted to it like a drug and crave it once you experience it and learn to do it.ย  Especially someone like me from Michigan who grew up skiing on ice-covered 200 ft. vertical hills, it was amazing and particularly euphoric when I learned to ski powder.ย  In a way, it is central to the appeal of the place, and becomes the ski bum's religion, powder skiing.ย ย 

So, the song then is fictional otherwise, as I made it be about someone like me who missed that feeling and because of a failed relationship with his woman, wanted to leave her and return to a place like Leadville where he could get his powder fix again.ย  In reality, the one ski area right in Leadville is sort of lame compared to the nearby resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, and Copper Mtn., and otherwise the off-piste stuff is awesome but you have to hike and use skins and have all this equipment, so it's mostly for telemarkers and fitness fanatics, which is not appealing to people like me.ย  But hey, makes for a good song.ย ย 

Another thing about the place is the 10th mountain division had a ski trooper training camp near there, and yet another is that they hold fitness freak triathlon-type events there due to the challenges associated with high altitude.ย  So I threw references in for some of the general facts about the place, but it's a breakup song - guy threatening to leave girl to go skiing to feel good again.ย  Then as far as style goes, bluegrass is big up in those parts, or at least it was back in the early 90s when I lived in Vail, so that's why I attempted to go with music that was somewhat bluegrassy.ย ย 

It's long, but it holds your attention without getting too monotonous, which is hard to pull off.ย  That's my opinion anyway.ย  Now you know the story behind the song.ย  Hope it didn't wreck it for you.