Michael McDonald - Where Words End Lyrics

I was a highwayman
Along the coach roads I did ride
With the sword and pistol by my side
And many a young maid lost her baubles to my trade
And many a soldier shed his life blood on my blade
They fin'lly hung me in the spring of '25
But I am still alive

I was a sailor
And I was born upon the tide
And with the sea I did abide
I sailed a schooner 'round the horn of Mexico
I went aloft to furl the mainsail in a blow
And when the yards broke off they say that I got killed
But I am living still

I was a dam builder
Across the river deep and wide
Where steel and water did collide
A place called Boulder on the wild Colorado
I slipped and fell into the wet concrete below
They buried me in that great tomb that knows no sound
But I am still around
Seems like it all goes 'round and 'round
And 'round and 'round

I'll fly a starship
Across the universe divide
Until I reach the other side
I'll find a place to rest my spirit if I can
Perhaps I may become a highwayman again
Or I may simply be a single drop of rain
But I will remain
And I'll be back again
And again, and again, and again.

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Michael McDonald Where Words End Comments
  1. Matt Engle

    masterpiece 100%

  2. steve baker

    So gorgeous, gorgeous lyrics...just gorgeous. :)

  3. Joe Toxic2017

    Wow. Been a fan since 1972...this is the first time I’ve heard this song.

    I knew the hits but this is an underrated gem!

  4. Debra Brabenec

    Back in the olden days, before one could Google lyrics, I sat and played this over and over to write them all down so I could sing along with Michael. It was my favorite song on the album.

  5. L L

    Equal parts bittersweet, sad, and funky. I always thought this was the underrated song on the album.

  6. bronco devil

    Favorite Doobies song. Probably since I've only heard this a thousand times as opposed to the billion times for their other hits.

  7. Motorcityman Man

    Big Doobie fan......this song does nothing for me though.......

  8. surrepeight

    I only know a little about the innards of music, so I might be mistaken, but aren't Michael McDonald's soulful vocals embedded in surprising chord and time changes sometimes?

  9. Gary Marquis

    It seems I've failed to say anything about this song at all...OK, go back to 1975...she broke my heart, I "pined" since then, for many years. This song "stated" what I felt in my heart and mind. When I finally got over her, I felt relieved, and vowed to never get involved ever again... ever...never in this lifetime...ever.

  10. t lares

    Pop my ass this is pure soul , gypsy music for all to enjoy , lyricks straight from the heart.

  11. Melanie Archie

    Major fan

  12. mmgdavis

    we go see this hunk next week at the cowen center in tyler texas......WHOOP!!!!!!!

  13. Claudia Arquiteta

    como eu amo essa música!

  14. sheddski

    i remember taking this song the wrong way i thought it was about someone who fails at everything he does love life just about everything while everybody around him goes through life without a hitch college family good catholic girls good life while im the one who failed LOSIN END YUP ME

  15. xavier Fuentes Chedraui


  16. wdbernal

    How about that Violin? Think that is Novi Novog the studio musician? This predates John McFee

    Stan Gant

    Wonderful Viola by her

  17. The Fords

    Beautiful song. Great bass line from Porter. Melancholy.

    Robin Lynn

    The Fords Beautiful, loving it. !!!!!!!!!!!

  18. BadJamBlues

    Super fucking iper song of my Heroes. .

  19. Tyrond Richardson

    1st time hearing this love how that 🎻 kicked in

  20. simon g

    I thought I'd heard all Michaels great songs- along came this ! a whole new bundle of joy - what a voice ..

  21. Mike Evans

    a terminally sad song that ushered in the cheesy mcdonald and lost the rockin' johnston, a totally sad album


    evans above! mike chill out dude

    Mike Evans

    I'm totally chilled, dude


    How is McDonald cheesy? Guys a genius and really brought the doobies to the next level

    Kathryn Howell

    @rogart101 Yeah, how you like that apple, PAL?!?


    @Kathryn Howell are you on the swally?

  22. kiss this

    LOVELOVE this!

  23. Marshall Lancaster

    Unknown classic....what a sound

  24. Stephanie Hughes

    Love Michael McDonald this is one of his seminal songs. I think he was the reason that DB became even better. His voice is so smooth and harmonious. Love it.

    Jesse Fink

    Totally agree. Best singer in the business, period.

  25. Jim Cole

    Great bass line.... stands out.... love it.


    Yes, I agree, I'm learning the line now. Someone was nice enough to upload the notation.

  26. bgump57

    Love McDonald.

  27. John Ruffles

    One of my fave Miichael McDonald songs ....

  28. IrishnPNW

    my secret wish...to sing a duet with Michael McDonald...oh what a sweet gift that would be

  29. Don Sells

    What a voice

  30. RenaissanceMarieAustinMusic

    Oh!!! That's all I have to say!

    Matthew Zarris

    RenaissanceMarieAustinMusic Yes ma'am!

  31. Gary Marquis

    This song, has haunted me for many years.  In its lyrics, it spells out how my life has been the last 42plus years....unclosed.  That being said, I've since then, moved forward, being more at peace .  Therefore, since our last encounter, she knows how I feel , and I love her and her family.  I've move'd on.  LYA-LMO-56.

  32. Gary Marquis

    UGH, I guess listeners are not paying attention or not caring what is being posted here.   Too bad.  Let us hope they do not make the same mistakes i've made....GOD help us all...

  33. Tracey Hutchinson

    You can't get better than this. I was born in the late 50s and this era music is so awesome and will never date. Young people will never have the opportunity to listen to greats!!

  34. Dustin Clark

    AMAZING song!

  35. Douglas Ranger

    5 people on the losin' end....

  36. Lorie Chell

    My favorite Doobie song hands down.

    Dustin Clark

    Lorie Chell mine too


    I like the other version

  37. Annie Keller

    The lyrics to this are great. Best break up song I know.

  38. Gary Marquis


  39. ShogunAlley

    the great michael mcdonald takin' it to the heart

  40. adilson moreno

    Great music, great band .

  41. Gary Marquis

    I may have done this earlier, but I dare do it again... this song brings me back to when we broke up.  I still think of you every day.  So, having said that...LMO-56; LYA GPM.

  42. William Leather

    Classic ,  Timeless . .


    It's a good one.Sometimes it's nice to hear these rarities then the same old stuff.

  44. Random And Games

    This song means so much to me that I am going to play it for my funeral. Wife thinks I am mad but we all know what it means to us..................................

    Dave Raynor

    Everyone's got one or two...

  45. turf daddy

    The more I listen to this song the better it gets. A classic song. They must be put in the rock and roll hall of fame. let's raise hell about it and repay them for 40 years of pure rock and roll

  46. turf daddy

    why the hell are the doobie brothers not in the rock and roll hall of fame. it is a god damn crime. I also no the hurt of not being needed anymore after 30 years. this song says it all. Great Doobie classic

  47. Dave Mercado

    I could ad to this memory, but I'd get in trouble on both ends. Nawmean?

  48. Lori Odom

    Perfect song. Perfect vocals. Perfect music. On a perfect album. Saw Michael in concert this weekend and hoped he might slide this one in. He's one of the best.


    love ur comments!

  49. ronymexico49

    one of mcdonald's better numbers

    Motorcityman Man

    One of his Better??
    Doesnt compare to "It Keeps U Running" or "Taking it to the Streets"

  50. TheMichaelJ Show

    Got drunk and played the $#!T out of this when the love of my life dumped me in 76'. She married a stock broker lives in SoCal.

    Dave Mercado

    Ain't that some shit. You were just being you. Real.

    john avila

    Best song...EVER!

  51. Rich Green

    Jesse, your my hero!  I've been waiting for 15 years for someone to post this beautiful classic.  I was 20, a strong young buck in heat, madly in love, and played this on 24/7 constant rotation.  The flood of memories is just overwhelming.  I'm 56 now, an old man by most standards, My Mom is gone as is most of my friends of the day. Reminiscing is all I got left. Thank you, brother. 


    Marty...I am still here...stay strong...go out and take a breath...close your eyes...know...there is a nice lady up in the Pacific Northwest who cares for you...!!! I hate coffee..football.soccer..salmon...but I STILL love life...AND THERE IS so much to enjoy...PLEASE honey...PLEASE...hold on...life is all good...ya just got to believe that! many hugs, prayers...and LOTS OF LOVE...honey..a lot of people love you...look around you..please see that...xxooxxooxxoo

    Simon Mayrand

    Hope it'll do the same for me as well: that song really depicts what it is to be for a man to be in the losing end

    Rich Green

    @Simon Mayrand Me too. Beautiful pup! Very regal looking! Lassie would be proud...My best to you Simon!

    Douglas Ranger

    Ahh poop...age is just a number...I'm 60 and all of the music I love is near or close to my age also...good music never dies...

    Michael Bowen

    Rich Green you may be an "old man" and the memories way swell your face, but ypu will see them all agin someday in what we call the promise land. This earth and all the memories that it provided you with is nothing but a tiny speck in what is to come, life is eternal and so are you

  52. thehalla

    I prefer this version than his solo's, mainly because of jeff baxter's crispy guitar line.

    Matthew Zarris

    thehalla Anything with Skunk is better than something without.

  53. allaccessmusicnews

    Aaah..Losin' End; one of many well-constructed songs by the DB; The melody and orchestration of this song are the perfect match for this painful "boy loses girl or visa versa theme".  I love the lumbering, melancholy synthesizer organ strokes.

  54. Walter Solveson

    After 30 years of catching her when she fell and coming when she called, she is on the Loosin' End!

  55. Dave dvlaries

    I have both, the group and solo version, and I think McDonald nailed it perfectly the first time. If it catches me after a long stretch without having heard it, it will not leave me dried-eyed. The pain of failed love is rarely better laid out than as McDonald does it here. Warners did eventually put it out as b-side to a future single, and they were right to, but it was probably too sad to click as an 'A'. That doesn't stop it from being one of the most powerful works of McDonald's career.

  56. bob shedden



    Bob... almost 4 decades ago, I was the one getting my ass kicked by a mean man. This song was my anthem back to the horrid one. Hope your better now. :)

    John D

    All the best bob and doglover...hope that losin' end leads to something better

  57. Flora Baqui

    Michael also recorded a slow, poignant version of this song on his solo album.  Worth checking out.

  58. John D

    A good sit and drink your blues away song....

  59. John D

    The Doobies are timeless !
    Wasn't a big MM fan, but he is a great artist.


    Michael mcdonald is truly a great artist 'on my own,keep forgettin',you belong to me and the way he sings what a fool believes is brilliant !!

  60. RGRascon

    It really took a long time to learn I found out how it feels to play on a losin end!

  61. RGRascon

    There aren't enough Words to Say that  I no longer Love You!

  62. Mark Goodacre

    Great Song! Brings back a lot of memories of 1976 for me. I love this whole album.  (cd, download, whatever it is now?)

  63. akasteve grant

    Anyone listen close to the bass man?


    Isn't a drum machine, i don't get the joke?


    Tiran is the man, i love playing to this one.

    Les King

    He's soo underrated this man!

  64. TheDive25

    McDonald is a fucking pop genius. Written too many amazing songs to list. This is a classic. Thanks for sharing. 

    Jesse Fink

    Thanks mate - I had to put this up myself as I couldn't find it anywhere. Got me through some of the worst of my divorce.

    Jesse Fink

    @Jesse Fink And yes. He's a genius.

    Jesse Fink

    Haha. Good question. I'm sure she regrets it. Thanks

    Mark Goodacre

    I agree, fantastic. I remember when this album came out, & everybody was going "Where is Tommy Johnston?" I just thought, you know, I love Tommy too but this is pretty fucking cool stuff as well. And, it's different. Love Micheal.

    Jesse Fink

    @stephen dwyer Oh, codswallop. He gave them a new lease of life

  65. ilovegoodsax

    The wonders I find here on YT never ceases to amaze me... The only version of this song I knew of until now is the one Michael did on his solo album back in '82, of which I wore the grooves in the LP out. I was 15 when the "Takin' It To The Streets" album came out in summer '76 and loved several of the cuts that was in heavy rotation on the radio back in the day, but never heard this version of "Losin' End." Love YT for the musical discoveries I find every time I come here.

  66. Dan Shanahan

    Folks don't often appreciate how Celtic the melodic line in this is: McDonald channeling the sweet sorrow of the Scots-Irish soul . . .

  67. Gary Marquis

    Well, she came to my moms' funeral. What a beautiful and sweet girl she is. Still is "very attractive inside and out." It did my heart good to revisit with her after 33 years. I hope her husband of 35 years knows how fortunate he is. Thank you GOD for making my day better than was expected. LYA. Gary.

  68. Gary Marquis


  69. Scott Evans

    Thanks for this. A favorite I'd forgotten, as it slipped through the ever widening cracks... becoming more commonplace, sadly LOL

  70. Rocky B

    You are right about that!!!! i only like two songs from the Michael Mcdonald Doobies era 1. Losin End 2. It Keeps You Runnin.

  71. Ercil Cook

    HaHa. If we think about it, that is what we used to think in my young days.(I don't get my Dad's music). Now I'm saying (I don't get my children's music). Lol, good to back to the good ole Michael McDonald and Doobie days.

  72. Ercil Cook

    Jesse, Thanks a million. Brings me back to good times.

    Jesse Fink

    Pleasure, Ercil!

  73. Jesse Fink

    Yeah, had to do it myself. Was looking for it too, to no avail ;)

  74. lacerda70

    Listened to the Doobies since I was a kid in the 70's and in the end this is my favorite.

  75. Rocky B

    Chipmunk haha thats it!!!! i never liked Maroon 5 from day one Adam doesent sing very well bad pitch and bad tone. I always wanted a good word to describe his voice and Chipmunk is the winner. Music from the 2000's is nowhere close in quality to the 60's and 70's. The young crowd however havent figured that out yet.

  76. felix thecat

    I checked the cd and the session player for the viola is Novi. She has also worked with Carly Simon and a number of other big artist.

  77. felix thecat

    That's a viola playing, not a violin. I like it too.

  78. Dana Hess

    This song (that was never a single) is still better than anything Maroon 5 can ever hope to produce. And, yet, every time I turn on the radio, there's Adam Levine with his chipmunk vioce.

  79. TheTones10

    Love this song! Love Michael McDonald's version better from his solo LP. This album is so DOPE!! Taking it to the Streets, It Keeps You Runnin', For Someone Special, Rio....DAMN!!
    I gotta go thru my vinyl.

  80. Gary Marquis

    This song, has sooo much influence in my life..... I've listened to this song so many times and reflected on the heartaches i've had since the breakup I had with the love of my life...LMO. Since the 70's, this song, along with 'precious and few", by Climax, have spelled out the way I feel about her. Guess I really know what real true love feels like!!!!! No regrets, just some sadness.

  81. Rocky B

    I really dislike the Michael Mcdonald era of The Doobie Brothers, however i love It Keeps You Runnin and this track Losin End.

  82. William Wallace

    Nice track. Sounds like Noel Pointer on the violin...

  83. Irene Aida Ortiz

    Can so relate...Great Tune!

  84. valteor

    great,! what an atmosphere!

  85. Lorraine Warren

    Ive been looking for this song for along time on here, Thanks for putting it on! :) Love It!