Send Me on My Way

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"Send Me on My Way"
Single by Rusted Root
from the album Cruel Sun and When I Woke
GenreFolk rock, acoustic rock, roots rock
Length4:33 (Cruel Sun version)
4:19 (When I Woke version)[1]
Songwriter(s)Michael Glabicki, Liz Berlin, John Buynak, Jim Dispirito, Jim Donovan, Patrick Norman, Jennifer Wertz[2],Klaus Åhlund
Producer(s)Dave Brown (Cruel Sun version)[3]
Bill Bottrell (When I Woke version)[2]

"Send Me on My Way" is a 1995 single by Rusted Root. It peaked at number 72 on the Billboard Hot 100.[4]


Originally released as a rough version on 1992's Cruel Sun, it was rerecorded in 1994 for their second album, When I Woke.[2] Root's frontman, Michael Glabicki, wrote the lyrics, and its other members – Liz Berlin, John Buynak, Jim Dispirito, Jim Donovan, Patrick Norman and Jennifer Wertz – contributed to the track.[2]

In February 2013, in an interview with Songfacts, Glabicki recalled entering the band's studio – a warehouse with big windows – on a sunny day, picking up a guitar and just writing the song amidst "a very, very happy feeling" in which "there was a lot of happiness in the room"[5] In the same interview, he said that Toni Childs was an influence on the song.[5]

The song makes use of nonsense phrases such as "oombayseeyou" and "seemoobadeeyah".[6] These were added on the grounds that they sounded good and felt right and use of a dictionary word would not have been an improvement.[2] In addition, the song contains a penny whistle solo played by Rusted Root member John Buynak.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Critical reception has been mixed. In January 2014, in a review for Cruel Sun, Kurt Keefner said that "the African vocal riff from "Send Me on My Way" is bad Ladysmith Black Mambazo",[7] whereas Chris Baker of said "The song's pep and lightheartedness is undoubtedly responsible for its success. Unlike the fervor found in songs like "Ecstasy" or "Lost in a Crowd," "Send Me on My Way" is unbridled optimism – perfect for a children's movie."[8]

In popular culture[edit]

It has since maintained wide recognition through its frequent use in motion picture soundtracks, most notably in the movie adaptation of Roald Dahl's Matilda, as well as Ice Age from Blue Sky Studios. This also includes other media, such as:

In addition, NASA engineers chose "Send Me on My Way" as "wake up" music for the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, for Sol 21.[19]

Because of its use in popular culture, frontman Glabicki has said that the song has "become a different thing for us. It's this thing that lives next to us. Everyone has a great memory or connection with the song. The song grew up and now has a life of its own; it's bigger; we get to sit back and watch it."[20]


  1. ^ "Send Me on My Way – Rusted Root | Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved February 7, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e When I Woke (Media notes). Rusted Root. PolyGram Records. 1994.
  3. ^ Cruel Sun (Media notes). Rusted Root. Blue Duck. 1992.
  4. ^ Billboard Hot 100.
  5. ^ a b c Tweet (January 8, 2013). "Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root: Songwriter Interviews". Retrieved February 7, 2014.
  6. ^ "Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root : Songwriter Interviews". Retrieved 2016-10-19.
  7. ^ Kurt Keefner. "Cruel Sun – Rusted Root | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  8. ^ Central New York (January 2, 2014). "Rusted Root endures with the help of 'Send Me on My Way'". Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  9. ^ Jason Ankeny (November 12, 1996). "Party of Five [Original TV Soundtrack] – Original TV Soundtrack | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  10. ^ Gordon, Bryan (Director) (February 9, 1996). Pie in the Sky (Motion picture). Fine Line Features.
  11. ^ Kanganis, Charles T. (Director) (March 22, 1996). Race the Sun (Motion picture). TriStar Pictures.
  12. ^ "Theory of Flight – Original Soundtrack | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. January 12, 1999. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  13. ^ Cole Weiss, Matthew (Director) (June 17, 2005). Standing Still (Motion picture). Freestyle Publishing.
  14. ^ "Are We There Yet?: World Adventure theme". September 18, 2012. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
  15. ^ Bell, Anthony, Gluck, Ben (September 17, 2010). Alpha and Omega (Motion picture). Lionsgate Films.
  16. ^ Norris, Patrick (February 21, 2011). "Chuck Versus the Masquerade". Warner Bros. Television Distribution. Missing or empty |series= (help)
  17. ^ "Enterprise TV Commercial, 'College Grads' Song by Rusted Root". September 18, 2012. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  18. ^ Reed, Payton (February 7, 2012). "The Landlord". Fox Broadcasting Company. Missing or empty |series= (help)
  19. ^ Dave Lane, Mars Exploration Rover OPPORTUNITY, Vol 1 2003–2004 (2008), p. 52 ("Controllers at JPL chose "Send Me on My Way," by Rusted Root, and "Desert Drive," by Tangerine Dream, as Opportunity's wake up music for sol 21").
  20. ^ "Rusted Root has a new album, new sound". January 16, 2014. Retrieved February 9, 2014.