Goodtime Van


Years ago, I had a friend who reviewed music for an women’s newspaper based on the East Coast. This was back in the days of mixtapes, and we exchanged a few. Also, I house sat for her while she was on her honeymoon, and availed myself to her music collection to make some tapes for myself.

Just recently, I remembered an upbeat song that was one of those tapes (either from her or made from her music) called “Goodtime Van” about a woman who went out in her van seeking adventure. Unfortunately, while I could remember the song was sung by a woman, I couldn’t remember that woman’s name. And the only lyrics I could remember were the “goodtime van” of the title. Not much to go on.

So I offered up my question on Facebook.

Friends of women’s music: I am trying to find a song about a woman who travels in her “good time van.” I don’t think the singer was Dar Williams. I heard this song in the late 90s. Google searching did not help me, since all I can remember about the song are the words “good time van.” I can’t remember the name of the singer or if the woman in the song had a name. Help?

Less than twenty minutes later, an old friend suggested “Goodtime Van” by Terri Hendrix. I listened to it and YES! That’s the song I was thinking of.

Now you can listen to the song too. (The video is not much.)

The song is from an album called Places in Between. Here are the lyrics (courtesy of if you want to follow along.

Places in Between

Susan headed out in her good times van

She took off to good times land

With no plans and a dog for company

Susan waved goodbye to me


I said Suz, it’s what you choose

You got to do what you got to do

There’s gonna come a day that you’re gonna reminisce

About the days you were better than this


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Who you are

Where you’ve been

Are so much better than this

You are so much better than this


In a good times van you’re gonna go everyplace I’ll only dream of

You’ll roll back the seat to make a bigger space

To sleep and wake and make a lil’ love

Suz, stay away from that vino

Keep yourself up with a cup of cappucino

Hit the road till it hits you back

And when it does cry till you laugh

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Who you are

Where you’ve been

Are so much better than this

You are so much better than this


You are better than running

Better than hiding

Better than deciding

What you wanna do

Till it’s too late


Fake it till you make it

Make it till you can

See the sunshine through the darkness in a plan

You might bite your nails to the nubs

When you’re wired to the tire that the road rubs


Susan stay gone in your good times van

You’ll make it big in your good times land

If I was younger I’d do what you done

But I’ve grown roots where I said there’d be none

 —  “Goodtimes Van” (Terri Hendrix) from Places in Between

My favorite part is

Hit the road till it hits you back

And when it does cry till you laugh.

Good advice, I think.

I listened to this song repeatedly long before I ever considered getting a van and hitting the road. Maybe it had a subliminal effect on me. In any case, I think it’s a fine anthem for women who live on the road.

About Blaize Sun

I live in my van, which makes me a rubber tramp. I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. I like to play with color. I make collages and hemp jewelry and cheerful winter hats. I take photographs and (sometimes, not in a long time) write poetry. All of those things make me an artist. Although I like to spread joy and to make people laugh, my wit can be sharp. I try to stay positives in all situations, to find the goodness in all people. But I often feel compelled to point out bullshit when I smell it. I like to have fun, to dance, to eat yummy food, to sit by a fire and share stories. I want to know what people hold dear and important, not just make surface small talk. This blog is a way for me to share stories. This blog is made up of my stories, rants, and observations, as well as my photographs.

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