Swamp Ophelia

Fugitive

I’m harboring a fugitive
Defector of a kind
And she lives in my soul
And drinks of my wine
And I’d give my last breath
To keep us alive

Are they coming for us
Cameras or guns
We don’t know which
But we gotta run
And you say this is not
What I bargained for

So hide yourself for me
All for me

We swore to ourselves
We’d go to the end of the world
But I got caught up in the whirl
The twirl of it all
A day in the sun
Dancing alone
Baby I’m so sorry

Now it’s coming to you
The lessons I’ve learned
Won’t do you any good
You’ve got to get burned
Well the curse and the blessing
They’re one in the same
Baby it’s all
Such a treacherous gain

Hide yourself for me
I said hide yourself for me
All for me

I stood without clothes
Danced in the sand
I was aching with freedom
And kissing the damned
I said remember this
As how it should be

Oh baby I said
It’s all in our hands
Got to learn to respect
What we don’t understand
We are fortunate ones
Fortunate ones
I swear

Hide yourself for me
I will hide myself for you
All for you
(I will hide)
All for you
(Myself for you)
I will hide myself for you
All for you

I stood without clothes
I danced in the sand
I was aching with freedom
Kissing the damned
I said remember this
Is how it should be

The Wood Song

The thin horizon of a plan is almost clear
My friends and I have had a tough time
Bruising our brains hard up against change
All the old dogs and the magician
Now I see we’re in the boat in two by twos
Only the heart that we have for a tool we could use
And the very close quarters are hard to get used to
Love weighs the hull down with its weights
But the wood is tired and the wood is old
And we’ll make it fine if the weather holds
But if the weather holds we’ll have missed the point
That’s where I need to go

No way construction of this tricky plan
Was built by other than a greater hand
With a love that passes all our understanding
Watching closely over the journey
Yeah but what it takes to cross the great divide
Seems more than all the courage I can muster up inside
Although we get to have some answers
When we reach the other side
The prize is always worth the rocky ride
But the wood is tired and the wood is old
And we’ll make it fine if the weather holds
But if the weather holds we’ll have missed the point
That’s where I need to go

Sometimes I ask to sneak a closer look
Skip to the final chapter of the book
And then maybe steer us clear from some of the pain it took
To get us where we are this far, this far yeah
But the question drowns in its futility
And even I have got to laugh at me
No one gets to miss the storm of what will be
Just holding on for the ride
The wood is tired and the wood is old
We’ll make it fine if the weather holds
But if the weather holds we’ll have missed the point
That’s where I need to go

Least Complicated

I sit two stories above the street
It’s awful quiet here since love fell asleep
There’s life down below me though
The kids are walking home from school

Some long ago when we were taught
That for whatever kind of puzzle you got
You just stick the right formula in
A solution for every fool

I remember the time when I came so close to you
Sent me skipping my class and running from school
And I bought you that ring cause I never was cool
What makes me think I could start clean-slated
The hardest to learn was the least complicated

So I just sit up in the house and resist
And not be seen until I cease to exist
A kind of conscientious objection
A kind of dodging the draft

The boy and girl are holding hands on the street
And I don’t want to but I think you just wait
It’s more than just eye-to-eye
Learn the things I could never apply

I remember the time when I came so close with you
I let everything go it seemed the only truth
And I bought you that ring, it seemed the thing to do

What makes me think I could start clean-slated
The hardest to learn was the least complicated
So what makes me think I could start clean-slated
The hardest to learn was the least complicated

I’m just a mirror of a mirror of myself
All the things that I do
And the next time I fall I’m gonna have to recall
It isn’t love it’s only something new

I sit two stories above the street
It’s awful quiet here since love fell asleep
There’s life down below me though
The kids are walking home from school

I’m remember the time when I came so close with you
Sent me skipping my class and running from school
And I bought you that ring cause I never was cool

What makes me think I could start clean-slated
The hardest to learn was the least complicated
So what makes me think I could start clean-slated
The hardest to learn was the least complicated
The least complicated
The least complicated

Mystery

Each time you’d pull down the driveway
I wasn’t sure when I would see you again
Yours was a twisted blind sided highway
No matter which road you took then
Oh you set up your place in my thoughts
Moved in and made my thinking crowded
Now we’re out in the back with the barking dogs
My heart the red sun
Your heart the moon clouded
I could go crazy on a night like tonight
When summer’s beginning to give up her fight
And every thought’s a possibility
And the voices are heard but nothing is seen
Why do you spend this time with me
Maybe an equal mystery

So what is love then
Is it dictated or chosen
(Handed down and made by hand)
Does it sing like the hymns of a thousand years
Or is it just pop emotion
(Handed down and made by hand)
And if it ever was there and it left
Does it mean it was never true
And to exist it must elude
Is that why I think these things of you

I could go crazy on a night like tonight
When summer’s beginning to give up her fight
And every thought’s a possibility
And the voices are heard but nothing is seen
Why do you spend this time with me
May be an equal mystery

But you like the taste of danger
It shines like sugar on your lips
And you like to stand in the line of fire
Just to show you can shoot straight from your hip
There must be a thousand things you would die for
I can hardly think of two
But not everything is better spoken aloud
Not when I’m talking to you

Oh the pirate gets the ship and the girl tonight
Breaks a bottle to christen her
Basking in the exploits of her thief
She’s a very good listener
Maybe that’s all that we need
Is to meet in the middle of impossibility
We’re standing at opposite poles
Equal partners in a mystery
(Handed down and made by hand)
We’re standing at opposite poles
Equal partners in a mystery

Language Or the Kiss

I don’t know if it was real or in a dream
Lately waking up I’m not sure where I’ve been
There was a table set for six and five were there
I stood outside and kept my eyes upon that empty chair
And there was steam on the windows from the kitchen
Laughter like a language I once spoke with ease
But I’m made mute by the virtue of decision
And I choose most of your life goes on without me
Oh the fear I’ve known
That I might reap the praise of strangers
And end up on my own
All I’ve sown was a song
But maybe I was wrong

I said to you the one gift which I’d adore
The package of the next ten years unfolding
But you told me if I had my way I’d be bored
Right then I knew I loved you best born of your scolding
When we last talked we were lying on our backs
Looking at the sky through the ceiling
I used to lie like that alone out on the driveway
Trying to read the Greek upon the stars
The alphabet of feeling
Oh I knew back then
It was a calling that said if joy then pain
The sound of the voice these years later
Is still the same

I am alone in a hotel room tonight
I squeeze the sky out but there’s not a star appears
Begin my studies with this paper and this pencil
And I’m working through the grammar of my fears
Oh mercy what I won’t give
To have the things that mean the most
Not to mean the things I miss
Unforgiving the choice still is
The language or the kiss

Dead Man's Hill

We were down at dead man’s hill
Smoking vines like cigarettes
Looking through the trashy mags
Trying to feel what’s coming next
You told me of crashing cars
Older brothers and late night bars
I told you what I feel most
And you kept it like a ghost forever

Don’t you write it down
Remember this in your head
Don’t take a picture
Remember this in your heart
Don’t leave a message
Talk to me face to face
Talk to me face to face
Talk to me face to face

Lying on the bright blue jumping mats
Dinner bell is ringing
Barking dogs and model planes
And the sound of passing trains
We watch for bonfires in the sky
On the beach in July
Spin the bottle steal the kiss
Postcards to the one I miss forever
The one I miss forever

Don’t you write it down
Remember this in your head
Don’t take a picture
Remember this in your heart
I’ll leave a message
When everything comes apart
Talk to me face to face
(Talk to me face to face)
(Everything comes apart)
I’ll leave a message
When everything comes apart

I remember cats on fire
Gasoline, a burning spiral
Standing underneath the night
Fighting back with all my might
Empty cans and charred remains
Find them in the heat of day
On the top of dead man’s hill
This is what I know of shame forever

Reunion

I had guards like watchdogs
Dogs in a manger
I could feel the protection
Possession and anger
And I drove out of there
With no on behind me
Feeling funny and free
All you pretty pretenders
Negligent vendors
Aren’t you precious inside
I have no need for anger
With intimate strangers
And I got nothing to hide
Yeah

I laughed as I said it
This is my situation
It’s not pictures or privilege
It’s just self-preservation
I don’t want you to feel
Any obligation
It feels so funny to be free
All you pretty pretenders
Negligent vendors
Aren’t you precious inside
I have no need for anger
With intimate strangers
And I got nothing to hide

We act empty and innocent
But we are fueled by distortions
(I remember you)
Of lives led in discontent
(When we were shiny and new)
Trading misfortune
(Now you guard your faith)
Cause faith is one thing
That is hard to deliver
(Temper your speed)
It feels so funny to be free

All you pretty pretenders
Negligent vendors
Aren’t you precious inside
I have no need for anger
With intimate strangers
And I got nothing to hide
I got nothing to hide

All of us aren’t we
Pretty pretenders
Negligent vendors
Aren’t we precious inside
I have no need for anger
With intimate strangers
And I got nothing to hide
I got nothing to hide

I had guards like watchdogs
Dogs in a manger
(I remember you)

Fare Thee Well

Fare thee well my bright star
I watched your tail lights blaze into nothingness
But you were long gone before I ever got to you
Before you blazed past this address

And now I think of having loved and having lost
You never know what it feels like to never love
Who can say what’s better and my heart’s become the cost
A mere token of a brighter jewel sent from above

Fare thee well my bright star
The vanity of youth the color of your eyes
And maybe if I’d fanned the blazing fire of your day-to-day
Or if I’d been older, I’d been wise

Too thick the heat of those long summer evenings
For a cool evening I began to yearn
But you could only feed upon the things which feed a fire
Waiting to see if I would burn

Fare thee well my bright star
It was a brief brilliant miracle dive
That which I looked up to and I clung to for dear life
Had to burn itself up just to make itself alive

And I caught you then in your moment of glory
Your last dramatic scene against a night sky stage
With a memory so clear that it’s as if you’re still before me
My once in a lifetime star of an age

So fare thee well my bright star
Last night the tongues of fire circled me around
And this strange season of pain will come to pass
When the healing hands of autumn cool me down

Power of Two

Now the parking lot is empty
Everyone’s gone someplace
I pick you up and in the trunk I’ve packed
A cooler and a two-day suitcase
Cause there’s a place we like to drive
Way out in the country
Five miles out of the city limit we’re singing
And your hand’s upon my knee

So we’re okay
We’re fine
Baby I’m here to stop your crying
Chase all the ghosts from your head
I’m stronger than the monster beneath your bed
Smarter than the tricks played on your heart
We’ll look at them together then we’ll take ‘em apart
Adding up the total of a love that’s true
Multiply life by the power of two

You know the things that I am afraid of
I’m not afraid to tell
And if we ever leave a legacy
It’s that we loved each other well
Cause I’ve seen the shadows of so many people
Trying on the treasures of youth
But a road that fancy and fast
Ends in a fatal crash
And I’m glad we got off
To tell you the truth

Cause we’re okay
We’re fine
Baby I’m here to stop your crying
Chase all the ghosts from your head
I’m stronger than the monster beneath your bed
Smarter than the tricks played on your heart
We’ll look at them together then we’ll take ‘em apart
Adding up the total of a love that’s true
Multiply life by the power of two

All the shiny little trinkets of temptation
(Make new friends)
Something new instead of something old
(But keep the old)
All you gotta do is scratch beneath the surface
(But remember what is gold)
And it’s fools gold
(What is gold)
Fools gold
(What is gold)
Fools gold

Now we’re talking about a difficult thing
And your eyes are getting wet
I took us for better and I took us for worse
Don’t you ever forget it
Now the steel bars between me and a promise
Suddenly bend with ease
The closer I’m bound in love to you
The closer I am to free

So we’re okay
We’re fine
Baby I’m here to stop your crying
Chase all the ghosts from your head
I’m stronger than the monster beneath your bed
Smarter than the tricks played on your heart
We’ll look at them together then we’ll take ‘em apart
Adding up the total of a love that’s true
Multiply life by the power of two

This Train Revised

It’s a fish white belly
A lump in the throat
Razor on a wire
Skin and bone
Piss and blood
In a railroad car
One hundred people
Gypsies queers
And David’s star

This train is bound for glory
This train is bound for glory
This train is bound for glory
This train

Measure the bones
Count the face
Pull out the teeth
Do you belong
To the human race
Doctor doctor
Are you unkind
Do you shock the monkeys
Cover our eyes
With clear blue skies

This train is bound for glory
This train is bound for glory
This train is bound for glory now
This train

Here is a dancer
Who has no legs
Here is a teacher
Who has no face
Here is a healer
Who has no hands
Here is a runner
Who has no feet
Here is a thinker
Who has no head
Here is a builder
Who has no back
Here is a writer
Who has no voice
These are the questions
These are the answers
Stacked like wood

This train is bound for glory
This train is bound for glory
This train is bound for glory now
This train

This train is bound for glory
This train gonna carry my mother
This train is bound for glory
This train gonna carry my father
This train is bound for glory now
This train gonna carry my sister
This train
This train gonna carry my brother
(Here is a teacher)
[Stacked like wood]
This train gonna carry my sister
(Here is a healer)
[Stacked like wood]
This train gonna carry my brother
(This is a builder)
This train gonna carry my sister
[Gypsies queers and David’s star]
This train is
This train is bound for glory

These are the questions
Stacked like wood
These are the answers
Here is potential gone for good

Touch Me Fall

All skate
Now reverse

I’m waking from a dream
The neighborhood is green
All the sounds I’ve missed
All the years
Come down to wedding death and fear
I’ll I’ve heard has been in vain
Like water on a stain
Touch me
I’m so beautiful
Rub your hands
Across my head
Just like this
Come with me
Now it’s not worth it
If you don’t
And are you hiding
I am hiding

Cypress moon
Bald in June
Like the granite
In a stream
Swamp Ophelia
I’m torn down
Let your waters
Let me drown
Touch me
I’m so beautiful
Rub your hands
Across my head
Just like this
Come with me
No it’s not worth it
If you don’t
Are you crying
I am crying

Jump jump
Jump so high
Watch me let you down
If I stumble
I will stumble
If I fall
I will fall
I’m trying to hold it
Like rain in a river
Everything is
Getting bigger
Better this
Won’t last forever
Touch me fall
Touch me fall

Jump jump
Jump so high
Watch me let you down
If I stumble
I will stumble
If I fall
I will fall
I’m trying to hold it
Like rain in a river
Everything is
Getting bigger
Better this
Won’t last forever
Touch me fall

 

Go to the Indigo Girls' Page

Back to Women That Rock