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Not to be confused with the Alaska Highway (written up most excellently by the fabulous ailie so go check it out), this is Track 3 of Dan Bern/Bernstein's 2001 album, New American Language. It's a classic Bern/stein near-spoken ramble on the meaning of fame, peppered with references to American (pop) culture, wrapped in the theme of traveling --- one of the artist's favorites --- with a hellaciously catchy chorus. The song veers into the political in the first few lines of the second verse, pretty unmistakably meant as commentary on the 2000 U.S. Presidential election. These, as well as the reference to West Palm Beach, would've been more timely had New American Language actually been released in December of 2000, as originally intended, but what the heck. Likewise, the first few lines of the third verse simultaneously poke fun at the Ten Commandments and the Bill of Rights. The fourth verse/bridge, which is repeated before and after an instrumental solo, is a shameless (but not uncredited) reference to Billy Joel's "Moving Out", for anybody playing "Name That Tune."

Lyrics (reproduced here by permission):

While riding down the highway with Cowboy Joe
I met Leonardo DiCaprio
Leo, he's tryin' to get away from
The unwanted advances of Eminem
Em's wearing drawstrings and lispin' along
Sayin' please put me in your highway song
Chorus: I say hey, who's goin' my way
On that great Alaska Highway

I would never be so dumb
To say they stole an election
They bought the damn thing fair and square
The emperor's in his underwear
Old King Cole's a merry old troll
Surgeon General smokes Marlboro
I say hey, who's goin' my way
On that great Alaska Highway

Commandment Three says Do Not Kill
Amendment Two says Blood Will Spill
God sits in his rocking chair
With two flat tires and one good spare
Britney Spears joins Cowboy Joe
With a hey and a ho and a do si do
I say hey, who's goin' my way
On that great Alaska highway

West Palm Beach and Cheech and Rae Dawn Chong
can't we all just get along
Anchored down in Kodiak
With a heart attack ack-ack-ack-ack-ack
You oughta know by now
By Joel

While hanging out with Cowboy Joe
Keith Richards stops by to say hello
I play my guitar, he plays along
With song after song after song after song
Now that I've played
with the likes of him
Ain't never gonna settle
for less, my friend
I say hey, who's goin' my way
On that great Alaska highway

---words and music by Dan Bern/Bernstein

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