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10,000 Maniacs lyrics

Album: The Wishing Chair [1985]

Tracks15
 01  Can't Ignore the Train
 02  Scorpio Rising
 03  Just as the Tide Was A-Flowing
 04  Lilydale
 05  Back o' the Moon
 06  Maddox Table
 07 The Colonial Wing
 08  Grey Victory
 09 Among the Americans
 10  Everyone a Puzzle Lover
 11  Cotton Alley
 12  Daktari
 13 My Mother the War
 14 Tension Makes a Tangle
 15 Arbor Day
all 10,000 Maniacs lyrics



Can't Ignore the Train
Steep is the water tower
painted off blue to match the sky

can't ignore the train

night walks in the valley silent
you could swear the earth just moved

can't ignore the train

dust to be kicked up
in the crack faced
idle sinister town
screen door to the rail station
devil in her shoe

ran along side the wasted tracks
hem pins darted her calves

can't ignore the train

one spoiled girl with the tidiest apology
some how wedged inside her throat

can't ignore the train

patience their virtue
but I never could abide by that
dungeon life with electric light
a clean towel and a basin
mantle figures mind their place
laughs where they belong

through adventure we are not adventuresome

rage to share with a wardrobe mirror
in a room so beige and cold

can't ignore the train

window days saw the children pick their
street games on thirty afternoons

Molly the boys are
starting in the rhymic again
teasing more and more....

the second daughter
how she fell
young locked in Some Folk's Prison
made to dwell
til they're braiding
her grey hair

sitting in the wishing chair
sitting in the wishing chair
sitting in the wishing chairback to top
Scorpio Rising
power
dizzy with it stumble
detail
a chance for us to quarrel
anger
my head is shaken violent

if i could calm or restrain you
for the sake of pity
save the pistol
save the cynics tongue
save the cool white stare
and treat me to an honest face sometime

amaze me now

trust is
the greatest human error
empty
used me as a vessel
ruthless
you're not known for subtlety

if i could calm or restrain you
for the sake of pity
save the pistol
save the cynic's tongue
save the cool white stare
and treat me to an honest face sometime

amaze me now

artful
well there's quite a skill to torture
half smile
was it all you could deliver
token
so hard to be pleasant

if you could calm or restrain it
for the sake of pity
save the pistol
save the cynic's tongue
save the cool white stare
and treat me to an honest face sometime

amaze me nowback to top
Just as the Tide Was A-Flowing
on one morning
in the month of May
when all the birds
were singing

I saw a lovely maiden stray
across the fields at break of day
she softly sung her roundelay

the tide flows in
the tide flows out
twice every day returning

her cheeks were red
her eyes were brown
her hair in ringlets hanging down
upon her face to hide the frown

just as the tide was a flowing
the tide flows in
the tide flows out
twice everyday returning

a sailor's wife at home must bide
she halted heavily she sighed
"he parted from poor me , a bride
I'm widowed by the sea" she cried

just as the tide was a flowing

the tide flows in
the tide flows out
twice every day returningback to top
Lilydale
on one morning
in the month of May
when all the birds
were singing

I saw a lovely maiden stray
across the fields at break of day
she softly sung her roundelay

the tide flows in
the tide flows out
twice every day returning

her cheeks were red
her eyes were brown
her hair in ringlets hanging down
upon her face to hide the frown

just as the tide was a flowing
the tide flows in
the tide flows out
twice everyday returning

a sailor's wife at home must bide
she halted heavily she sighed
"he parted from poor me , a bride
I'm widowed by the sea" she cried

just as the tide was a flowing

the tide flows in
the tide flows out
twice every day returningback to top
Back o' the Moon
Jenny

Jenny you don't know the nights I hide
below a second story room
to whistle you down
the man who's let to divvy up
time is a miser
he's got a silver coin
only lets it shine for hours
while you sleep it away

there's one rare and odd style of living
part only known to the everybody Jenny
a comical where's the end parade
of the sort people here would think unusual

Jenny

tonight upon the mock brine of a Luna Sea
far off we sail on to Back O' The Moon

Jenny

Jenny you don't know the days I've tried
telling backyard tales
so to maybe amuse
o your mood is never giddy
if you smile I'm delighted
but you'd rather pout
such a lazy child
you dare fold your arms
tisk and say that I lie

there's one rare and odd style of thinking
part only known to the everybody Jenny
the small step and giant leap takers
got the head start in the race toward it

Jenny

tonight upon the mock brine of a Luna Sea
far off we sail on to the Back O' The Moon

that was a sigh
but not meant to envy you
when your age was mine
some things were sworn true
morning would come

and calendar pages had
new printed seasons on
their opposite sides

Jenny

Jenny you don't know the nights I hide
below a second story room
to whistle you down
o the man who's let to divvy up
time is a miser
he's got a silver coin
lets it shine for hours
while you sleep it away

there's one rare and odd style of living

part only known to the everybody Jenny
out of tin ships jump the bubble head boys
to push their flags into powdered soils and cry
no second placers

no smart looking geese in bonnets
dance with pigs in high button trousers
no milk pail for the farmer's daughter
no merry towns of sweet walled houses

here I've found
Back O' the Moon
not here
I've found
Back O' the Moonback to top
Maddox Table
the legs of Maddox kitchen tables
my whole life twisted on a lathe
in a foreman's torrent
my first English was
"faster boy if you want your pay"
barking commands
loud and simple
we could all obey

then I was forever pulling silvers
rubbed the sawdust always
deeper in my eye
varnish vapor that could linger
on my skin
it held tight
the whine of spinning blades
still echoes to bother my sleep at night

see that ox
stamped dead center
on the letter head of the company mail
four decades a spitting image
of the animal I portrayed
at Maddox Table a yoke was carved
for my neck

sun through the window oil spattered
and in mason jars
tricked plenty seeds thrive
the standing joke
around the shop was
with my green thumb
anything'd grow
my part was to laugh
show and ornery jig had
cut it at the knuckle bone

see that ox
trade mark burned
into every stick of furniture
from horn to tail
four decades a spitting image
of the animal I portrayed
at Maddox Table a yoke was carved
for my neck

was tailor made

o my Dolly was a weak
not a burdened girl
treat her to a piece of vaudville
a Wintergarden moving picture show
Bemus Point on July Sundays
by trolley we'd go

to your benefit we's strike or bargain
with the waving fist a union man
not just for
smokes spirits candy and cologne
but for
automobile keys
cash in the bank
and the deed
on a place called homeback to top
Grey Victory
[ lyrics: natalie merchant/music: j.c.lombardo & robert buck ]


There was light and atomic fission
Swelling wind
Rising ash
Tide of black rain
Cement seared shawdow traces
Reminiscent of their last commands

Instantly one thousand flames arising
Ill scent the burning hides surrounding
A settlement debased entirely
Enola gay had made a casual delivery

Please build a future, darling
With our bomb
Cherish and love it
For the sake of
Earth bound kingdom come

The undersides of fallen metal trusses
Evil debris of human bodies
Each windowís glass shards pelted
Secure confines
Brittle collapse

Neighbors lay beside
Each other unknowing
Faces scorched of all familiar bearing
Too few hands
Many wounds for closing
Marred by
Thirsting
Anguish
Fear lamenting

Here we stand
At the door to gold atomic age
Donít spoil your face with worry
Trust in
Earth bound kingdom comeback to top
Everyone a Puzzle Lover
[ music: john lombardo/lyric: natalie merchant ]


Why are some men born
With minds that earn degrees
The loving cups
Gilded plaques
Grace their study walls
Hide the cracks
While their genius is turned
To works of tyranny then
Off to market to market
Go selling these

With words so fiery and persuasive
They steal cunningly
Riches no one can exceed

And why are some men born
With a fate of poverty
One firm bed
For a swollen back
Year by year
The bodies wracked while
Their obedience is had
With gradual defeat
By the pace by the pace
And the urgency

Through a muddled thought
They phrase it
God knows weíre deceived
Barter for
What they need

And where they go
Disdain and jeering
For fools to call
The noble peasantry

O how it puzzles me

I pressed flat the accordion pleats
That had gathered in his cotton sleeves
While he thumbed
Yes thumbed I wouldnít say caressed

The final piece
A mountainís crest
Soon to reply assuredly

O for man aged ninety years
No words to waste on sermons
Heíd be pleased to answer
Short and sincere

Girl thereís a nonsense
In all these heaven measures
Itís a heathen creed
So your grandma says
But better to live by...
Drink it all in before itís dry

He ended there with a rattle
Cough cough
I took away the long gone cold coffee cup
As a trail of camel ashes fell
On the floorback to top
Cotton Alley
[ music: john lombardo/lyric: natalie merchant ]


One time
You made me cry
Be proud that i
Remember

My chin is sore
The bruise is gone
But the spot is tender

Gave my hand a sister coy
To cotton alley where
You did enjoy
Your wicked games
You curious boy

Tied my laces up together
When I fell
You laughed
Until your belly was sore

In the brick laid aisle behind
The five and dime store

Thatís how
I made you blush
But doubt if you
Remember

Were my tears genuine
Or those of a skilled
Pretender

Nothing precious
Plain to see
Donít make a fuss over me
Not loud
Not soft
But somewhere in between
Say sorry
Let it be
The word you mean

I was a little pest who
Never took a hint
Could never
Take a hint

You pinched my fingers
In a door
Tossed my coloring book in a
Rusty barrel

Pulled spiders from my hair
Fingers in the door

My favorite blue blouse
Stained on the back
Running from a berry war

Can you hear me scream
In cotton alley
Scream in cotton alley
In cotton alleyback to top
Daktari
[ lyrics: natalie merchant & j.c. lombardo/music: j.c. lombardo ]


Like a weasel in the clover
You tilt toss pop turn over
Sit down!
Tremble and weave like a moth
By flame deceived
Sit down!
Spill with your words caught up
Dance in your room
Slide like youíre buttered up
Roll back the tomb
Sit down!

Bolt scuff jilt chase circle riddle
Shake in haste
Sit down!

When the thunderclouds sound
Ants scatter to high groundback to top
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