88 Lines about 44 Books? Or something like that.
November 17, 2010 12:05 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for snippets of song lyrics that reference authors, books, or reading, and I'm looking for ones that can (more or less) stand on their own outside the context of the song.

After years of working at a bookstore, I've got a pretty good collection of book-related songs. However, for a holiday project I'm working on, I need smaller pieces that look good all by themselves.

Here are some examples:

"The first time that I met her
I was convinced I'd finally found the one.
She was convinced that I was under the influence
of all those drunken romantics.
I was reading Fante at the time,
I had Bukowski on the mind.
The Good Life-Album of the Year
(this one's probably too long for what I'm looking for).

"Got an armchair from your family home.
Got your P.G. Wodehouse novels, and your telephone.
Got your plates and stainless steel.
Got that way of never saying what you really feel.

"I saw familiar passengers walking past me
And you called up the calvary
It was so easy and it was so hard
You were clutching your copy of Kierkegaard."

The Mountain Goats-Terminal Grain
(I love the Mt.Goats, but this one doesn't make too
much sense outside of the song itself.)

"And you read your Emily Dickinson,
And I my Robert Frost,
And we note our place with bookmarkers.
That measure what we've lost."

Simon and Garfunkel-Dangling Conversation
(This one's just about the perfect length.)

Since these will each be individual pieces going out to a variety of people, a large variety of song snippets is welcome!
posted by redsparkler to Media & Arts (60 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Looks like there's a lot of good ones here.
posted by jbickers at 12:15 PM on November 17, 2010

"We know that we could sell your magazines,
if only you would give your life to literature,
Just don't read Jane Eyre!"

Los Campesinos! - Don't Tell Me To Do The Math(s)
posted by corvine at 12:15 PM on November 17, 2010

John Webster was
One of the best there was
He was the author of
Two major tragedies
The White Devil and
The Duchess of Malfi
The White Devil andThe Duchess of Malfi

Echo & The Bunnymen, "My White Devil"
posted by newmoistness at 12:16 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Loose talk in the classroom
To hurt they try and try
Strong words in the staffroom
The accusations fly
Its no use, he sees her
He starts to shake and cough
Just like the old man in
That book by Nabakov

posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:18 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Also, can't link to it from work, but the entirety of "Sylvia Plath" by Peter Laughner. Great song -- "Sylvia Plath/Wasn't too good at math/But still she graduated at the head of her class..."
posted by newmoistness at 12:19 PM on November 17, 2010

Henderson the Rain King has inspired several songs that reference the book.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:22 PM on November 17, 2010

I'm not as sad as Doestoevsky,
I'm not as clever as Mark Twain,
I'll only buy a book for the way it looks,
And then I stick it on the shelf again.

--Belle & Sebastian, This is Just A Modern Rock Song
posted by Bella Sebastian at 12:23 PM on November 17, 2010

Blur, "Country House"

He's got morning glory, life's a different story
Everything going jackanory, in touch with his own mortality
He's reading balzac, knocking back prozac
It's a helping hand that makes you feel wonderfully bland
Oh it's the centuries remedy
For the faint at heart, a new start

posted by Windigo at 12:23 PM on November 17, 2010

Got to tell you 'bout the book I read
Can't wait to tell you 'bout the book I read...

The book I read was in your eyes

Talking Heads, "Book I Read"
posted by newmoistness at 12:24 PM on November 17, 2010

I'd have been Raskolnikov
But Mother Nature ripped me off

Magazine, "Philadelphia"
posted by newmoistness at 12:25 PM on November 17, 2010

"Bad Religion's "Stranger Than Fiction"
posted by kimota at 12:26 PM on November 17, 2010

It was Don Delillo, whiskey neat,
And a blinking midnight clock
Speakers on a TV stand
Just a turntable to watch

-Bright Eyes, "Gold Mine Gutted"
posted by unsub at 12:26 PM on November 17, 2010

Rufus Wainwright, "Cigarettes And Chocolate Milk"

you got to keep in the game
maintaining mystique while facing forward
i suggest a reading of 'a lesson in tightropes'
or 'surfing your high hopes' or 'adios kansas'

Note that none of those books really exist, however.
posted by Windigo at 12:27 PM on November 17, 2010

Kingston Trio, "Mark Twain" lyrics:

My granddad used to tell me, "Boy, when I was just your age, I was a river pilot on a showboat called The Stage.
I'd hobnob with them southern belles and ev'ry roustabout. I'd listen to them paddle wheels and hear the leadsman shout!

Mark Twain, it's two fathoms deep below. Mark Twain, heave the gang plank. Start the show.
Mark Twain, play those banjos as we go down the Mississippi, 'round the Gulf of Mexico.

Mudvane, "Scarlet Letters" lyrics:

The heart is beating but the soul has died
The body's breathing beneath catatonic eyes
The blood is flowing, set it free for demise
I've lost my balance, but god knows I've tried
I don't wanna be here anymore in scarlet letters
Carved into what once was me
Once was yours no more (no more)

Bruce Springsteen, "Secret Garden" lyrics:

She'll lead you down a path
There'll be tenderness in the air
She'll let you come just far enough
So you know she's really there
She'll look at you and smile
And her eyes will say
She's got a secret garden
Where everything you want
Where everything you need
Will always stay
A million miles away

Also, Natalie Merchant's fantastic recent album, Leave Your Sleep, is a whole series of 19th and 20th century British and U.S. poems set to music.
posted by bearwife at 12:32 PM on November 17, 2010

Oh, you're very sweet, thank you for the flowers and the book by Derrida,
but I must be getting back to dear Antarctica.

-The Weakerthans, "Our Retired Explorer (Dines With Michel Foucault In Paris, 1961)"
posted by unsub at 12:33 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

I could make a career of being blue,
I could dress in black and read Camus,
Smoke clove cigarettes and drink vermouth,
Like I was seventeen.
That would be a scream,
But I don't want to get over you.

--The Magnetic Fields, "I Don't Want to Get Over You"
posted by pineappleheart at 12:33 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh, and!

I know this girl
This very special girl
And she works in a library, yeah
Standing there behind the counter
Willing to help
With all the problems that I encounter

Helps me find Hemingway
Helps me find Genet
Helps me find Brecht
Helps me find Chandler
Helps me find James Joyce
She always makes the right choice.

The Go-Betweens, "Karen"
posted by pineappleheart at 12:35 PM on November 17, 2010

Or I could make a career of being blue
I could dress in black and read Camus,
Smoke clove cigarettes and drink vermouth
Like I was 17
That would be a scream
But I don't want to get over you

The Magnetic Fields "I Don't Want to Get Over You"
posted by haveanicesummer at 12:35 PM on November 17, 2010

Damn! Beaten to it while I was pasting!
posted by haveanicesummer at 12:35 PM on November 17, 2010

Dexy's Midnight Runners, 'Dance Stance' AKA 'Burn It Down' name-checks a long list of Irish authors in a song about ignorant stereotypes of the Irish as thick.
posted by Abiezer at 12:35 PM on November 17, 2010

Response by poster: These are great! Keep 'em coming! Weakerthans and Mountain Goats lyrics are still welcome, even though I listed them in the main question. Some of these are bands I love but just couldn't scrounge the right lyrics I needed.
posted by redsparkler at 12:36 PM on November 17, 2010

More Bukowski! Song "Bukowski" by Modest Mouse

First verse of song:

Woke this morning and it seemed to me
That every night turns out to be
A little bit more like Bukowski
And yeah, I know he's a pretty good read
But God, who'd want to be
God, who'd want to be such an asshole?

Last verse of song:

Went to bed and didn't see
Why every day turns out to be
A little bit more like Bukowski
And yeah, I know he's a pretty good read
But God, who'd want to be
God, who'd want to be such an asshole?
posted by amethysts at 12:37 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Natalie Merchant / 10,000 Maniacs : Hey Jack Kerouac.

Or... if this one doesn't lose my all credibility for liking any good music ever...

Jimmy Buffet, "Love in the Library."

"Then she strolled past my table and stopped by the stairs /
And sent me a smile as she reached for Flaubert."

seriously I like the weakerthans too. promise.
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 12:42 PM on November 17, 2010

This list as well as the comments on this page have some great suggestions.

And here's one I haven't seen mentioned anywhere:

You can be Henry Miller
and I'll be Anais Nin
except this time it'll be even better
we'll stay together in the end

(Jewel, "Morning Song")

Also, re. Cool Papa Bell's
posted by spinto at 12:43 PM on November 17, 2010

Response by poster: Speaking of Irish authors, as I clicked on the Dexy's Midnight Runners link I just remembered
"I'm gonna drink more whiskey than Brendan Behan.
and I'm gonna send my belongings all to Tripoli.
and I'm gonna ride home to California
with a banjo on my knee.
" Mt.Goats-Terminal Grain
And it looks like Burn It Down references him, too. Go Brendan Behan!
posted by redsparkler at 12:43 PM on November 17, 2010

Also, Belle & Sebastian's "Pastie de la Bourgeoisie" mentions Judy Blume and Catcher in the Rye. I am terrified at the prospect of identifying all of the songs that mention Salinger or Catcher, but I'm sure there are zillions.
posted by pineappleheart at 12:46 PM on November 17, 2010

The Pogues, "Streams of Whiskey,"

"Last night as I slept, I dreamed I met with Behan, /
I took him by the hand, and we passed the time of day..."

Moxy Fruvous, "My Baby Loves A Bunch Of Authors" (song quoted in entirety):

Well you should see my story-reading baby,
You should hear things that she says
She says "Hon, drop dead, I'd rather go to bed
With Gabriel Garcia Marquez"
Cuddle up with William S. Burroughs,
Leave on the light for bell hooks
I been flirtin' with Pierre Burton
'Cause he's so smart in his books.

I like to go out dancing
My baby loves a bunch of authors
My heart's so broke and bleedin'
Baby's just sittin' there doin' some readin'

So I started watching some TV, played my new CD player too
She said "Turn it off or I'll call the cops, and I'll throw the book at you"
All this arguing made me get dizzy, called my doctor to came have a look
I said "Doctor, hurry!" She said: "Don't worry, I'll be over when I finish
my book"

I like to go out dancing
My baby loves a bunch of authors
We've been livin' in hovels
Spendin' all our money on brand new novels

So I got myself on the streetcar and it drove right into someone
The driver said: "I was looking straight ahead!" but he was reading the
Toronto Sun
So my honey and me go to a counsellor to help figure out what we need
She said: "We'll get your love growin', but before we get goin' here's some
books I'd like you to read"

I like to go out dancing
My baby loves a bunch of authors
Lately we've had some friction
'Cause my baby's hooked on short works of fiction

So we split and went to a party, some friends my girl said she knew
But what a sight 'cause it's authors night and the place looks like a who's who!
Now I'm poundin' the Ouzo - with Mario Puzo
Who's a funny fella? - W.P. Kinsella
Who brought the cat? - would Margaret Atwood?
Who needs a shave? - he's Robertson Davies!
Ondaatje started a food fight, salmon mousse all over the scene
Spilled some dressing on Doris Lessing, these writer types are a scream!

I like to go out dancing
My baby loves a bunch of authors
We'll be together for ages
Eatin' and sleepin' and turnin' pages

posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 12:48 PM on November 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

Oops, my comment got cut off. I meant to say, re. Cool Papa Bell's mention of Henderson the Rain King, that these specific lyrics from Rain King by the Counting Crows might work:

Hey, I only want the same as anyone
Henderson is waiting for the sun
It seems night endlessly begins and ends
After all the dreaming, I come home again

posted by spinto at 12:53 PM on November 17, 2010

You might find some suggestions in this thread. My (lame) contribution:

These Words, by Natasha Bedingfield:

Read some Byron, Shelley and Keates
Recited them over a hip hop beat
posted by yawper at 12:53 PM on November 17, 2010

The book of love is long and boring
No one can lift the damn thing
It's full of charts and facts and figures
And instructions for dancing but

I love it when you read to me and
You can read me anything

"Book of Love," Magnetic Fields
posted by Skot at 12:56 PM on November 17, 2010

Another Belle and Sebastian song -- Marx and Engels:

She spoke in dialect I could not understand
But one thing that she made clear
There was no coming on to her
There was no intellect
That she could respect
If it couldn't see
That the girl just wants to be
Left alone with Marx and Engels for a while
She's writing in the style
Of any riot girl

posted by peacheater at 12:56 PM on November 17, 2010

Response by poster: Man, that Jewel one is great.

Oh, and sorry folks, there is no way I can wade through all the "songs about books" lists that are out there. After making numerous mix cds on the topic, I know how oblique some of those connections can be, and these should really be bits that are perfectly interesting when used by themselves.

That said, some of those comments on the Guardian link do have some useful lyrics. I liked this Lucksmith's snippet, from their song "fiction".

"I found refuge in the kitchen
Discussing post-war US literature
With a girl whose upper arm read 'fiction'
Like it might have been typewritten"

Although I'm not sure I like the Lucksmiths. Further investigation is needed.
posted by redsparkler at 12:57 PM on November 17, 2010

Lily Von Schtupp, "I'm Tired," from Mel Brooks' "Blazing Saddles"

"I've been with dozens of men,
Again and again,
It's all the same tune...
They quote you Byron and Shelley,
Then jump on your belly
And bust your balloon."
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 1:00 PM on November 17, 2010

The Pogues, "Down All the Days":
"Christy Brown/A clown around town/Now man of renown/From Dingle to Down" (Christy Brown wrote My Left Foot)
posted by kirkaracha at 1:01 PM on November 17, 2010

"Get me Neil on the line. No, I can't hold. Have him read 'Snow Glass Apples' where nothing is what it seems"
Carbon - Tori Amos

(Neil is Mr. Gaiman, of course - more on her references to him here: http://www.hereinmyhead.com/neil/lyrics.html)
posted by corvine at 1:03 PM on November 17, 2010

Jefferson Airplane, "White Rabbit" (Alice in Wonderland)
Kate Bush, "Wuthering Heights" (Wuthering Heights)
Led Zeppelin, "Battle of Evermore" (Lord of the Rings): "The ringwraiths ride in black"
Led Zeppelin, "Ramble On" (Lord of the Rings): "T'was in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair/But Gollum, the evil one, crept up and slipped away with her, her, her....yeah."
posted by kirkaracha at 1:09 PM on November 17, 2010

Okkervil River's "John Allyn Smith Sails," a bit of genius mashup covering John Berryman’s suicide and Sloop John B.
posted by Failure31 at 1:15 PM on November 17, 2010

Joanna Newsome
This Side of the Blue

And Gabriel stands beneath forest and moon.
See them rattle & boo, see them shake, see them loom.
See him fashion a cap from a page of Camus;
see him navigate deftly this side of the blue

posted by bricksNmortar at 1:19 PM on November 17, 2010

How about these lines from Bob Dylan's "Highlands" from the album Time out of Mind?

“Well,” she says, “I’m right here in front of you, or haven’t you looked?”
I say, “All right, I know, but I don’t have my drawing book!”
She gives me a napkin, she says, “You can do it on that”
I say, “Yes I could, but
I don’t know where my pencil is at!”

She pulls one out from behind her ear
She says, “All right now, go ahead, draw me, I’m standing right here”
I make a few lines and I show it for her to see
Well she takes the napkin and throws it back
And says, “That don’t look a thing like me!”

I said, “Oh, kind Miss, it most certainly does”
She says, “You must be jokin’.” I say, “I wish I was!”
Then she says, “You don’t read women authors, do you?”
Least that’s what I think I hear her say
“Well,” I say, “how would you know and what would it matter anyway?”

“Well,” she says, “you just don’t seem like you do!”
I said, “You’re way wrong”
She says, “Which ones have you read then?” I say, “I read Erica Jong!”
posted by zzazazz at 1:21 PM on November 17, 2010

Truly, no one has mentioned Paperback Writer yet?

Paper back writer (paperback writer)
Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
It's based on a novel by a man named Lear
And I need a job, so I want to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

It's the dirty story of a dirty man
And his clinging wife doesn't understand.
The son (The Sun) is working for the Daily Mail,
It's a steady job but he wants to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

Paperback writer (paperback writer)

It's a thousand pages, give or take a few,
I'll be writing more in a week or two.
I can make it longer if you like the style,
I can change it round and I want to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

If you really like it you can have the rights,
It could make a million for you overnight.
If you must return it, you can send it here
But I need a break and I want to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 1:26 PM on November 17, 2010

Red Hot Chili Peppers, from Mellowship Slinky in B Major:

Being that I'm the duke of my domain
My hat goes off to Mark Twain
Singing a song about what true men don't do
Killing another creature that's kind of blue
Writing about the world of the wild coyote
Good man Truman Copote
Talking about my throughts 'cuase they must grow
Cock my brain to shoot my load
I'm on the porch 'cause I lost my housekey
Pick up my book I read Bukowski
Can I get another kiss from you
Kiss me right here on my tattoo

Ryan Adams, from Sylvia Plath:

I wish I had a Sylvia Plath
Busted tooth and a smile
And cigarette ashes in her drink
The kind that goes out and then sleeps for a week
The kind that goes out on her
To give me a reason, for well, I dunno

And maybe she'd take me to France
Or maybe to Spain and she'd ask me to dance
In a mansion on the top of a hill
She'd ash on the carpets
And slip me a pill
Then she'd get pretty loaded on gin
And maybe she'd give me a bath
How I wish I had a Sylvia Plath

And she and I would sleep on a boat
And swim in the sea without clothes
With rain falling fast on the sea
While she was swimming away, she'd be winking at me
Telling me it would all be okay
Out on the horizon and fading away
And I'd swim to the boat and I'd laugh
I gotta get me a Sylvia Plath

And maybe she'd take me to France
Or maybe to Spain and she'd ask me to dance
In a mansion on the top of a hill
She'd ash on the carpets
And slip me a pill
Then she'd get pretty loaded on gin
And maybe she'd give me a bath
How I wish I had a Sylvia Plath
I wish I had a Sylvia Plath
posted by HopStopDon'tShop at 1:29 PM on November 17, 2010

Indigo Girls, "Virginia Woolf"
posted by dust of the stars at 1:37 PM on November 17, 2010

Cemetry Gates, by The Smiths.

A dreaded sunny day
So I meet you at the cemetry gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side
While Wilde is on mine

posted by indienial at 1:40 PM on November 17, 2010

I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer
I spat out Plath and Pinter
I am all the things that you regret
A truth that washes that learnt how to spell

"Faster" by Manic Street Preachers. Check the rest of their back catalogue too, loads of it references literature.
posted by fire&wings at 2:12 PM on November 17, 2010

R.E.M.: "Seven Chinese brothers swallowing the ocean...", after the children's book about the Chinese brothers (who range in number from four to eight depending on the version) and their magical feats
posted by aught at 2:12 PM on November 17, 2010

Dessa, "Dutch"

Mind your step, I keep the overhead low
Just the bed and the books and the rotary phone
Chicago Manual of Style keeps the prose right crisp
Minneapolis edition, well it goes like this

I talk way too fast, I shoot from a glass
I keep Poe in the glovebox, Plath on the dash
And there's nobody shotgun, I've got enough gas
To get Vegas by daybreak, I'm not coming back

posted by roast beef at 2:14 PM on November 17, 2010

I don't understand why I sleep all day
And I start to complain that there's no rain
And all I can do is read a book to stay awake
And it rips my life away, but it's a great escape

Blind Melon, No Rain
posted by amyms at 2:19 PM on November 17, 2010

Stuck Between Stations by The Hold Steady starts with Kerouac and ends up with John Berryman:
There are nights when I think Sal Paradise was right.
Boys and Girls in America have such a sad time together.
The devil and John Berryman
Took a walk together.
They ended up on Washington
Talking to the river.
He said “I’ve surrounded myself with doctors
And deep thinkers.
But big heads with soft bodies
Make for lousy lovers.”
There was that night that we thought John Berryman could fly.
But he didn’t, so he died.
She said “You’re pretty good with words
But words won’t save your life.”
And they didn’t.
So he died.

He was drunk and exhausted but he was critically acclaimed and respected.

posted by Homeboy Trouble at 2:26 PM on November 17, 2010

Here's some more Dylan for you. There are many more references in his songs to reading/books/letters, but these came to mind.

"I'm listening to Billy Joe Shaver
And I'm reading James Joyce
Some people they tell me
I got the blood of the land in my voice"
- I Feel A Change Comin' On

"You've been with the professors and
They all like your looks
With great lawyers you have discussed
Lepers and crooks
You've been through all of F. Scott Fitzgerald's books
You're very well read, yeah, it's well known"
- Ballad of a Thin Man

"Then she opened up a book of poems
And handed it to me
Written by an Italian poet
From the thirteenth century
And every one of them words rang true and glowed like burnin' coal
Pourin' off of every page like it was written in my soul,
From me to you..."
- Tangled Up In Blue

"He did ten years in Attica,
Reading Nietzche and Wilhelm Reich"
- Joey

"I can't feel you any more
I can't even touch the books you've read"
- Idiot Wind
posted by Sam Ryan at 3:00 PM on November 17, 2010

You're reading Fitzgerald, you're reading Hemingway.
They're both super smart and drinking in the cafes.
You don't love your girlfriend...

'Poor Little Rich Boy' - Regina Spektor

Don't know if this counts but there is of course La Vie Boheme from Rent.

I've got lots of books and my house stays warm in Winter, so I don't get out too much these days.

'Books' - Joy Kills Sorrow
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:06 PM on November 17, 2010

I only skimmed, so maybe a dupe:

Killing an Arab
- The Cure referencing The Stranger
posted by cmoj at 3:52 PM on November 17, 2010

The Smiths - Handsome Devil
There's more to life than books, you know. But not much more.
posted by sea change at 4:37 PM on November 17, 2010

Jonathan Coulton - A Talk with George (Plimpton)
posted by 256 at 5:34 PM on November 17, 2010

Times when the day is like a play by Sartre
When it seems a bookburning's in perfect order
I gave the doctor my description
I've tried to stick to my prescription

Someday I'll have a disappearing hairline
Someday I'll wear pyjamas in the daytime

Afternoons will be measured out
Measured out, measured with
Coffeespoons and T.S. Eliot

A snippet from the much maligned Crash Test Dummies' Afternoons and Coffeespoons.
posted by msali at 5:38 PM on November 17, 2010

"Every Picture Tells a Story" (Rod Stewart/Faces)

"Won't quote you no Dickens, Shelley or Keats

It's all been said before."
posted by skypieces at 7:59 PM on November 17, 2010

I'm sure you'll either love or hate My Baby Love A Bunch Of Authors by Moxy Fruvous. And If you're really eager, there are at least 2 different versions that I know of that feature different author's names to effect a different rhyme scheme.
posted by swimbikerun at 8:54 PM on November 17, 2010

Steve called me up and said wanna go out tonight
We could see an indie film or just grab a bite
I said "Oh Steve, you're cute, but a movie's not what I need.
"No offence, but I'd rather stay home and read."

- Ray Bradbury by Rachel Bloom

It's a little souvenir of a terrible year
That makes my eyes feel sore
And whoever would have thought the books that you bought
Were all I loved you for?

- Here's Where The Story Ends by Tin Tin Out
posted by the latin mouse at 12:47 AM on November 18, 2010

"For the loneliness you foster,
I suggest Paul Auster,
A book called Timbuktu."

"When I was seventeen,
I followed my dream,
Up into a high-rise block.
The Adventures of Augie March,
By Saul Bellow,
Was all I had for company."

--Fionn Regan, "Put a Penny in the Slot"
posted by HerArchitectLover at 3:18 AM on November 18, 2010

Filling in some more Dylan:

Situations have ended sad,
Relationships have all been bad.
Mine have been like Verlaine's and Rimbaud.
But there's no way I can compare
All them scenes to this affair,
You're gonna make me lonesome when you go.

Praise be to Nero's Neptune
The Titanic sails at dawn
And everybody's shouting
"Which Side Are You On?"
And Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot
Fighting in the captain's tower
While calypso singers laugh at them
And fishermen hold flowers
Between the windows of the sea
Where lovely mermaids flow
And nobody has to think too much
About Desolation Row

Well, Shakespeare, he's in the alley
With his pointed shoes and his bells,
Speaking to some French girl,
Who says she knows me well.
And I would send a message
To find out if she's talked,
But the post office has been stolen
And the mailbox is locked.
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again.

And one that's about not reading:

Your sister sees the future
Like your mama and yourself.
You've never learned to read or write
There's no books upon your shelf.
And your pleasure knows no limits
Your voice is like a meadowlark
But your heart is like an ocean
Mysterious and dark.

posted by doctord at 7:59 AM on November 18, 2010

"Sweetly Undone" - Sam Baker

there are cardinals and roses
we've had lots of rain
You've got a book on Africa
and i've got Twain
lay down and rest
lay down in the sun
lay down with your top
get sweetly undone
posted by Jaybo at 8:12 AM on February 9, 2011

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