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PostPosted: 16 May 2010, 16:19
by milky moon
Found on the live EP "Joanna Newsom and the Ys Street Band", released april 2007.

    I'll tell it as I best know how
    and that's the way it was told to me:
    must have once been a theif or a whore
    then surely was thrown overboard, where, they say
    I came the way from the deep blue sea

    picked me up and tossed me round
    I lost my shoes and tore my gown
    forgot my name and drowned, then
    woke up with the surf a-pounding, it seemed
    I had been run aground

    well they took me in and shod my feet
    and taught me prayers for chastity
    and said my name would be "Colleen"
    and I was blessed among all women, to have
    forgotten everything


    and as the weeks and months ensued
    I tried to make myself of use
    tilled and planted, but could not produce
    not root, nor leaf, nor flower, nor bean; Lord!
    it seemed I overwatered everything

    and I hate the sight of that empty air
    like stepping for a missing stair
    and falling forth forever blindly
    cannot grab hold of anything! no, not I
    most blessed among Colleens


    I dream some nights of a funny sea
    as soft as a newly born baby
    cries for me so pitifully
    and I dive for my child with a wildness, in me and then
    so sweetly there recieved

    but last night came a different dream
    a gray and sloping-shouldered thing
    said 'what's cinched 'round your waist, Colleen?
    is that my very own baleen? no! have you
    forgotten everything?'


    this morning, 'round the cape at dawn
    some travellers sailed into town
    scraps for sale and the saddest songs
    and a book of pictures, leather-bound that showed a whale
    with a tusk a meter long

    well I asked the man who showed it me:
    'what is the name of that strange beast?'
    he said its name translated roughly
    to "He-Who-Easily-Can-Curve-
    Himself-Against-The-Sky", and I am without words
    he said 'my lady looks perturbed
    (the light is in your eyes, Colleen)'
    I said, 'what ever can you mean?', he leaned in and said
    'you ain't forgotten everything'


    'you dare to speak a lady's name?'
    he said; 'my lady is mistaken,
    I would not speak your name in this place
    and if I were to try, then the wind - I swear - would rise
    to tear you clean from me without a trace

    'have you come, then, to rescue me?'
    he laughed and said, 'from what, "Colleen"?'
    you dried and dressed most willingly
    you corseted, and caught the dread disease
    by which one comes to know such peace'

    Well it's true that I came to know such things
    as the laws that govern property
    and the herbs to feed the babes that wean
    the weltingweight for every season, but still
    I don't know any goddamned "Colleen"!


    then dive down there with the lights to lead
    that seem to shine from everything
    down to the bottom of the deep blue sea
    down where your heart beats, so slow
    and you never in your life have felt so free
    will you come down there with me?
    down where our bodies start to seem
    like artifacts of some strange dream
    which afterwards you can't decipher, and so, soon
    have forgotten everything