“Right Down the Line” by Gerry Rafferty

“Right Down the Line” is said to be an ode from Gerry Rafferty to Carla Ventilla, his teenage love whom he also married in 1970, about a decade before this track’s dropping. As rationalized, the singer is utilizing the medium of song to express his loving feelings for the addressee. Apparently these are sentiments which he is unable to relay using conventional language.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Gerry Rafferty's Right Down the Line at Lyrics.org.

And the piece starts off more or less along the lines of a standard romantic outing, i.e. the vocalist highlighting that he only has eyes for his lady. But as the track progresses, the emphasis is placed on the addressee’s devotion to the vocalist. Or put differently, she is the one who has consistently held him down. She was beside him even back when Gerry was going through the most tumultuous period of his life. 

And ’til now she serves an inspirational role in his existence, being the person he turns to for instance when self-esteem starts to run low. The titular metaphor is intended to point to the idea that the addressee has consistently and unwaveringly had his back throughout the years. So more simply put, the vocalist is using this song to celebrate not only being in love but more pointedly the faithfulness and efficacy of his partner.

Gerry Rafferty, "Right Down the Line" Lyrics

Gerry Rafferty and “Right Down the Line”

The late Gerry Rafferty (1947-2011) was a singer from Scotland whose discography commenced in the early 1970s. It was also during the early goings of his career that Gerry scored his biggest hits. 

“Right Down the Line”, which came out as part of his sophomore studio album “City to City” on 20 January 1978, ranks amongst his greatest successes. For example, the song was so successful that it topped Billboard’s Adult Contemporary list. It also marked Rafferty’s second-best showing on the Hot 100 itself, where it peaked at number 12. And to note, “City to City” itself proved to be a Billboard 200 chart topper.

Rafferty wrote and also co-produced this piece. In the latter regard, he worked alongside Hugh Murphy (1946-1998). 

The record label behind this track is United Artists.

Right Down the Line


Carla Ventilla did hold Gerry Rafferty down throughout 20 years of marriage. The two were married from 1970 until 1990. Unfortunately Gerry suffered from alcoholism, which is evidently the disease that ended up claiming his life at age 63.  And eventually his affliction became too much for even the faithfully-depicted Ventilla to bear. Put simply, it his alcoholism was the main cause of their divorce.

2 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow, this is some really good writing. Keep it up!

  2. Anonymous says:

    What a lovely song, lucky woman 😍

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