"Black Heart" as written by and Joey Burns John Convertino....
Spring is frozen now i'm stuck in low
Wrapped with wire, tapped to the heart
Can't find no poison, now i've got no cure
(The) fangs are stuck inside my skin

Payne county line
Watching unjust claims
One man's righteousness is another man's
Long haul, sentence carried out

Long haul, counting the miles
To the four corners of the world
Spring is rusted shut, (faith's) coiled and cracked
Apparitions worth their weight in gold

Scratched in metal, name erodes away
Hands are scarred, heart is charred
Burnt though, and ashen
Trip on fence post line

Sifting through the remains
One man's close pursuit is another man's
Last chance, make it through the divide
Last chance, suffer the weight or get buried by this

Black heart, sweeping over the land
Black heart, crawling its way
To the four corners of the world

Lyrics submitted by twitty

"Black Heart" as written by John Burns Joey Burns


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  • +1
    General Comment[/long-winded interpretation]
    Hraesvelgon July 28, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI adore the dark noir of this song. Anyone recommend any other noir music? Love the strings! Has a lot of impact.

    By the lyrics, I always thought it was about a crime someone else committed, and the police is chasing them. So "one man's close pursuit is another man's last chance" or "one man's righteousness (the law) is another man's long haul (jail)".

    Another way I look at it is like the Mexico US border relations. An immigrant who is trying to cross the "county line". Also a chase. Just a very depressing song in general!
    webmasterdeeon July 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of my favorite Calexico songs, the other is Bloodflow. Anyway...isn't it about a breakup?
    candy_cane_girlon May 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAt face value, this could be a song about some, apparently innocent guy being convicted of something and sentenced to hard time.

    But in standard Calexico fashion, it could well be choc full o' metaphors.

    If you look at it right, you can kinda make the "Breakup" thing work. I mean it's the only... lead we have right?

    Well, uh...
    The first verse could mean that he's depressed and in emotional pain. He mentions fangs in him--and I know from experience, that in situations like that, fangs can be a good metaphor for the shitty thing you're feeling.

    The second verse is about "one man's righteousness" (which would be a judge's commitment to putting people away for long periods of time and feeling righteous, or... relly any kind of decision by that judge), being one man's "long haul sentence" (which would be... a long sentence... prison time), and it uses "counting the miles to the four corners of the world" to give context to just how long this "sentence" would be. This verse could be talking about the person who left him, and him lamenting either the time it will take him to feel better, or lamenting the fact that he will be separated from that person as long as time progresses.

    The last verse could refer to him spending a lot of time in deep thought, considering everything in the relationship. Perhaps he's looking for some kind of hope, as though he'll remember something that will give him that last little piece of golden hope. Or perhaps he's looking for what he did wrong. Perhaps he's just going over it all, because that's all he knows how to do at this point.

    In that same verse [last verse] he goes on to talk about "one man's last pursuit" being another man's "last chance." These two men are probably himself. "Suffer the weight or get buried by this" would simply mean that if he can't get through the inevitable pain of this separation, he'll be destroyed by it.

    Hraesvelgon July 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentone of the most noir songs i have ever heard. Beautiful
    praitoon February 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti definitely think its about immigration and the people who put their lives on the line to cross. how so many don't make it and are left by their own families to die in the desert with the only id being a cross and a metal tag. i used to live in tucson and heard so many stories like that.
    scrambledegon December 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthey played this song in a Public Enemies trailer!!! now I luv this song!! XD
    dark_eyez_666on July 16, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Payne County" is in Oklahoma, and to me this song has a vibe of a lawman chasing down a criminal. So I searched for outlaws associated with Payne County and found the story of Bill Doolin and his gang of bank robbers fleeing that area and being hunted down and killed by a posse of lawmen:


    I don't know if that's what the band had in mind, but it's an interesting interpretation in any case.
    meroveuson December 16, 2009   Link

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