lyrics file for hail and farewell, gothenburg

hello, old rabbit

i saw the long row of blue bells. i saw the fox glove and the night shade. i saw the cool garden and i though a while about how i'd been waiting for you since the second grade. the flowers made the air boil. the boiling air made me think of you a while. i did not come here to suffer. i did not come here to suffer. i heard the ducks all quacking. i saw the sunshine on the lake. i saw you standing near the water and wondered how long i'd be paying for one dumb mistake. the sight of you was really something else. but i don't know what that something else was. i did not come here to suffer. i did not come here to suffer.

you're so vain

well you walked into the party like you were walking onto a yacht. your hat strategically dipped beneath one eye. your scarf it was apricot. you had one eye on the mirror and you watched yourself a lot. and all the boys dreamed that they'd be your partner, they'd be your partner, yeah. well you had me several years ago when i was still quite naive. and you said that we made such a pretty pair and that you would never leave. but you gave away the things you loved, and one of them was me. i had some dreams there were clouds in my coffee, clouds in my coffee, yeah. well i heard that you went of to saratoga and your horse naturally won. and then you chartered a leer jet to nova scotia to see the total eclipse of the sun. yeah, you're always where you should be and when you're not you're with some underworld spy or your best friend's boyfriend. your best friend's boyfriend. yeah.

four new trees

the first new tree is tall and good. it gives hard dark brown burning wood when winter comes it stands right outside with its blossom-laden arms spread wide. the second new tree gives out sweet sticky fruit. and it took a long time to take root. sometimes we thought it had given up the spirit, but now it makes me happy when i'm just standing near it. the third new tree stands just west of the barn. its best branches grow thicker than my arm. i will water him everyday. and i will chase all the termites away. but the fourth new tree is my enemy. yeah the fourth new tree shouldn't be here. the fourth new tree sets its tendrils through the water mains and tries to poison me. his leaves are thick, always falling, and pure.

i love you. let's light ourselves on fire

what's going to be the death of me? static electricity. what's making me take it all too far? you are. you are. what's kepping me up at night? the streetlight. what's finally gonna let me sleep alright? you might. you might. how do i know what i know? where did our love go? how come the river froze over this year? what are we hiding here? i saw you waiting by the mailbox. saw the mailman come. saw the neighbors poke their heads out of their windows. i saw everyone.

milk song

when the sky was the color of cream, and you started leaving messages on my answering machine telling me that you were way across town and would be home in a night or two. i started keeping track of my losses. there were only one or two i couldn't cover. and up there against the milk while sky i saw fleeting vestiges of you. the way you vanished gradually has made a bitter man of me. and the way you vanished gradually, has made a bitter man of me. where the ocean cleaves the rocks real clean. i dropped my answering machine. i watched the waves chew it into tiny little pieces of seafoam hissing in the air. in the balance sheet i'd been keeping in my mind i entered two hundred kroners to the left of the debit line. it was what the machine had cost me. it was a greater loss than i could bear. i hear the wheels and knobs whirring down to this very day, long after the ocean has washed it all away. i heard the train go by last night. and it's a slow train outta here, alright. but the way you disappeared in slow degrees, has made a very patient man of me. yeah.


i went down yale today just in the old way a black dog hobbled past me his tags jangled on his collar it made me wish i was dead it made me wish i was dead had a familiar sun on me just like it would always be rocky soil dry land i knew it all like the back of my hand it made me wish i was dead it made me wish i was dead a terrific view form here the sky's clear the sun's high i let things lie and i know what is and isn't mine and i was good to get back to the sunshine but 5 years is a long time and i spent 5 years in sweden dying for you i spent 5 years in sweden dying for you

red choral diamond spray

as we pull into the harbor in new york today, i ask you how you're doing. you swear up and down you're ok. but i can see what's gotten into your eyes. it's written all over your face tonight. we will never see ireland again. we will never see ireland again. as we hang up the map on the motel wall, count up the places that we've left behind, add the distances in between them all, all the bridges that someone's burned down for us, all the chances that we burned all by ourselves, makes us wonder what we were thinking then. 'cause we will never see ireland again. we will never see ireland again. we will never see ireland again.

ending the alphabet

we've got the brightest skylight like a vision of heaven on the evening sky. and a clocktower two block from the spot where i'm standing tonight. the avenues are throbbing with people. and the late sunlight makes them all look like angels. and the transformation is seamless. they are unbearably bright. i can almost hear their voices as i walk past them all toward the water. what is there left in a city like this when everyone you know is gone? i saw the wind wash them all away and i was freezing.


picked up a fat, gold watch for you down where the river washes over the avenue. and i listened to it tick away the minutes. looked out at the awful sky. i was afraid that my arm was broken, but it was only kinda run down. i went walking after two last night, felt like i was the only guy in town. and i'm not. i know. and i don't need you to tell me so. look at this watch. look at this watch. you won't believe what this thing can do.

one frozen river

when my old friend came crawling up the hill, broken and bloody, carrying her hair in clumps in her hands, i let her right on in, let her right in. when she stood at the kitchen window, staring out at the countryside, and then she looked my way. i let her right on in, let her right in. and when she was stronger than she'd been before, i opened the front door. and then i opened the back door. and the sunlight poured in. yeah.

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