No Room In Your Bag

We’ve been Groovlily fans for a while now. Stephen and Brendan became friends over the internet eight or ten years ago and we were fortunate enough to get to see the band play live while we lived in North Carolina. (Brendan playing keyboards, dancing around minus his shoes = the awesomest!)

I was doing some errands this morning and listening to “Mom’s Music” (as Eli calls it) in the car. “No Room in Your Bag” came on and I was struck anew by how much I love this song. The events in the song have just enough similarity to my own life to give me a terribly bittersweet feeling. So here’s the lyrics and if you want to listen to the song, you can do that here.

No Room In Your Bag
Recorded by: GrooveLily
Written by: Brendan Milburn
For Julie Milburn

She said in 1967 she got married to my father with a borrowed pair of blue jeans and a bridesmaid
And San Francisco was a bubble of excitement like a butterfly a-flapping in the stomach of a decade
She didn’t know exactly everything he’d been through
She didn’t know exactly what she’d gotten into

She got an offer from a magazine to write about the music scene because they liked her resume and bio
She told her husband who’d been offered a position on the faculty of music at a college in Ohio
He said, “You either take this job or save our marriage”
She put her luggage in the back of his carriage
She said

“You make a choice, you make a call
You may rise, you may fall
You will pay for what you get,
But you got no room in your bag for regret”

She said that 1975 was like a purgatory doing needlepoint inside a decompression chamber
And Cincinnati was a garden of conservatism growing like a vine that tried to tie her down and tame her
She said, “Now surely there has been a big mistake here
This ain’t resembling the mark I want to make here”

She saw her future like a single at the bottom of a stack of records that’ll never ever see the buzz bin
And she had subjugated all of her desires for the good of the family unit and the betterment of the husband
She saw that they had not been marching to the same drum
She took her son and hit the road to where she came from


She drove that beat-up Pinto out to California
She kept the windows down and the air was hot and dry
She kept hearing Joe Cocker on the radio
Singing “You Are So Beautiful,” and it always made her cry
And in the rear-view mirror, piled high were crib and walker
Toys and clothes and little shoes for little tiny feet
There ain’t no room in here for things she wished she might have done
Only her behind the wheel
And a consequence of all her actions
Fast asleep on the passenger seat

Yeah yeah yeah

She said that 1989 was like a fuse that burned inexorably to the dynamite of my departure
And she was sad that I was growing up and glad to shoot me out into the world like an arrow from an archer
As I was packing up to leave and go to college,
She took a minute to impart a bit of knowledge:


Yeah yeah yeah

5 thoughts on “No Room In Your Bag

  1. Aww.

    Thank you, Misty. We glow. Nothing could make us happier than to know that a song with this many specifics can strikes a chord with your altogether different, yet somehow similar, life.

  2. I had never heard of GrooveLily before your post. Thanks for turning me on to something new. No Room in Your Bag is an excellent tune.

  3. I remember you introducing me to Groove Lily when Sean and I still lived in Huntsville. I fell in love with this song the first time I heard it and whenever I’m starting to feel stuck in life, I play this song and it gives me the inspiration to change my life. Thanks Brendan for such a great song and thanks Misty for introducing me to it!

  4. Same here. Your introduction meant I could say hi to them after the show I caught in Chattanooga. This is still one of my favorites of their music, too.

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