Austin Roberts – “Rocky”

Photo credit: yahoo.com

I sat and listened to Dickey Lee’s version of this song, and found it to be quite nice and country. It almost seemed to be a little too slow, but that could also be because I have always heard Austin Roberts version, so for my own listening pleasure, my preference is the faster version sang by Roberts.  I think it’s great that Dickey Lee’s version  made it all the way to #1 on the country charts. Both versions are great, and tell a sad story of young love cut short!

Rocky” is a song written by Jay Stevens (aka Woody P. Snow) and performed by American country music artist Dickey Lee. It was released in July 1975 as the fifth single and title track from the album Rocky. On the country chart, “Rocky” was Lee’s most successful single, and his only number one. It spent fourteen weeks on the chart, including one week at number one.

Other versions were recorded by Austin Roberts (1975) and Orion (1979). Austin Roberts’ version reached number 9 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and number 10 in Canada in 1975 The track reached #22 in the UK Singles Chart in November 1975; Roberts’ only chart appearance in the UK.

In a paradoxically upbeat melody in a major key, Rocky, the title protagonist, tells the tragic story of his young wife in first person. He first recalls the day four years earlier where, as an 18-year-old college student, he met his wife-to-be (unnamed in the song) and recalls how well they hit it off. She accepts Rocky’s marriage proposal, and they spend the next several months fixing up an old house to make their home. The two soon learn they are expecting their first child, a girl.

Although the family has its usual problems, the happy memories outweigh the bad. One example is a particularly rambunctious first birthday party for the couple’s daughter. With things going well and the family settling in on a content life, Rocky soon gets devastating news: his wife has been diagnosed with an apparently inoperable illness — the specific illness is unidentified in the song — and that she has only a short time to live.

All of this is told in flashback, as in the final verse, his young wife has died. Rocky is now a widower and raising his daughter alone. He feels a sense of sadness every time he looks at his daughter, who strongly resembles her mother, and now doing the same things alone that he once did with his wife. However, he feels a sense of hope, with his wife looking down on him and the couple’s daughter and reassures that his love for her will always remain safe.

Each of the first three verses — telling one of the chapters in the couple’s life — ends with the woman having a sense of fear of the unknown, expressed through the refrain’s statement, “Rocky, I’ve never…,” followed by the appropriate follow-up (“been in love before,” “had a baby before,” “had to die before”) and the unassured, “Don’t know if I can do it.” However, both he and she realize that the strength they have in each other can help them meet each challenge head on. At the end, Rocky says that “if the world would end, your love is safe with me.” The fourth refrain has Rocky envisioning hearing his deceased wife reassure, “Rocky, you know that you’ve been alone before, you know that you can do it,” and that in her own way, she can still advise him in his time of need.

 

 

 Song Lyrics – 

Alone until my eighteenth year
We met four springs ago
She was shy and had a fear
Of things she did not know
But we got it on together
In such a super way
We held each other close at night
And traded dreams each day

And she said,
Rocky, I’ve never been in love before
Don’t know if I can do it
But if you let me lean on you
Take my hand, I might get through it” (through it)
I said, “Baby, oh sweet baby
It’s love that sets us free
And God knows if the world should end
Your love is safe with me”

We found an old gray house
And you would not believe the way
We worked at night to fix it up
Took classes in the day
Paintin’ walls and sippin’ wine
Sleepin’ on the floor
With so much love for just two
Soon we found there’d be one more

And she said,
“Rocky, I’ve never had a baby before
Don’t know if I can do it
But if you let me lean on you
Take my hand, I might get through it” (through it)
I said, “Baby, oh sweet baby
It’s love that sets us free
And God knows if the world should end
Your love is safe with me”

We had lots of problems then but
We had lots of fun
Like the crazy party
When our baby girl turned one
I was proud and satisfied
Life had so much to give
‘Till the day they told me
That she didn’t have long to live

She said,
Rocky, I’ve never had to die before
Don’t know if I can do it…”

Now it’s back to two again
The little girl and I
Who looks so much like her sweet mother
Sometimes it makes me cry
I sleep alone at nights again
I walk alone each day
And sometimes when I’m about to give in
I hear her sweet voice say, to me

“Rocky, you know you’ve been alone before
You know that you can do it
But if you’d like to lean on me
Take my hand, I’ll help you through it” (through it)
I said, “Baby, oh sweet baby
It’s love that sets us free
And I told you when the world would end
Your love was safe with me”

She said,
“Rocky, you know you’ve been alone before
You know that you can do it
But if you’d like to lean on me…

Song Lyric credit: https://songlyricstoday.com

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Austin Roberts – “Rocky”

  1. I tried to make a comment but it vanished…so I might double post…. My cousin Mark called me up around 3 weeks ago and asked me who sang this song…I had to look it up…you have great timing with this.