Brother, my cup is empty
And I haven't got a penny
For to buy no more whiskey
I have to go home


I am the captain of my pain
Tis the bit, the bridle,
The trashing cane
The stirrup, the harness
The whipping mane
The pickled eye
The shrinking brain
O brother, buy me one more drink
I'll explain the nature of my pain
Yes, let me tell you once again
I am the captain of my pain


O brother, my cup is empty
And I haven't got a penny
For to buy no more whiskey
I have to go home


I cannot blame it all on her
To blame her all would be a lie
For many a night I lay awake
And wished that I could watch her die
To see her accusing finger spurt
To see flies swarm her hateful eye
To watch her groaning in the dirt
To see her clicking tongue crack dry
O brother, buy me one more drink
One more drink and then goodbye
And do not mock me when I say
Let's drink one more before I die


O brother, my cup is empty
And I haven't got a penny
For to buy no more whiskey
I have to go home


Well I've been sliding down on rainbows
Well I've been swinging from the stars
Now this wretch in beggars clothing
Bangs his cup across the bars
Look, this cup of mine is empty!
Seems I've misplaced my desires
Seems I'm sweeping up the ashes
Of all my former fires
So brother, be a brother
And fill this tiny cup of mine
And please, sir, make it whiskey
For I have no head for wine


O brother, my cup is empty
And I haven't got a penny
For to buy no more whiskey
I have to go home


I counted up my blessings
And counted only one
One tiny little blessing
And now that blessings gone
So buy me one more drink, my brother
Then I'm taking to the road
Yes, I'm taking to the rain
I'm taking to the snow
O my friend, my only brother
Do not let the party grieve
So throw a dollar onto the bar
Now kiss my ass and leave


O brother, my cup is empty
And I haven't got a penny
For to buy no more whiskey
I have to go home


Lyrics submitted by Girgo

Brother, My Cup Is Empty song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentI think the writer is just feeling sorry for himself...this song is a pleasure. I like listening to it at night, or when it's raining. I sit back and simply enjoy. :)
    meg;on May 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI often find that the second verse is just haunting. "To see her accusing finger spurt/ To see flies swarm her hateful eye", etc. Gives me goosebumps every time.
    paphanon August 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentUltimate desperation and failure. Haunting memories, not being able to let go, re-living former success then falling down again. Hopeless. The final grip before before losing it is rage and alcoholism.
    stalker13on October 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI counted up my blessings
    And counted only one
    One tiny little blessing
    And now that blessings gone

    Nick!!
    armagezonon February 21, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentStory song, no t really interpretable but full of incredibly wretched darkness.
    The woman who loved the speaker became something hateful in his eyes, probably due to opposing his self-destructive life or habits. She was his tiny blessing, he sees only too late. She loved him enough to challenge him. His inability to change only increased his self-loathing until his rage encompassed all and he murders her. Now he is lamenting at the bar, a man with nothing to lose and awaiting his fate, hoping that he might beg enough from a stranger to buy one last drink. Beautiful stuff.
    warmPhaseon April 30, 2015   Link

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