I am a crooked man
And I've walked a crooked mile
Night, the shameless widow
Doffed her weeds, in a pile
The stars all winked at me
They shamed a child
Your funeral, my trial

One thousand Marys lured me
Into gullies damp with clover
Bird with crooked wing cast
It's wicked shadow over
A bauble moon did mock
And trinket stars did smile
Your funeral, my trial

Here I am, little lamb...
Let all the bells in whoredom ring
All the crooked bitches that she was
(Mongers of pain)
Saw the moon
Become a fang
Your funeral, my trial


Lyrics submitted by Girgo, edited by trillium8, Mellow_Harsher

Your Funeral, My Trial song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentThis song is probably one of the hardest to read and understand, but I think all of the words elude to something hanging over it. The first two lines are exempt as they are merely an admission, but night time seems to be an extended metaphor for sexual relations, no with just one woman, but a string of relationships which began with him being 'lured' - note this word gives a certain connotation that he was helpless, like the futility of trying to stop night time from coming after day. The phases of the moon also come into play to support the metaphor to show the passing of time, bauble moon could only be a full moon, a fang moon could only represent represent a gibbon moon. Again the cycle of the moon, rotation of stars and shadows are impossible to influence, this man's crooked mile would seem to be these relationships which took his innocence (shamed a child) and I think maybe he considers himself a whore for all of these bad relationships, but ultimatly he is able to dismiss each one (or they dismiss him) and are dead to him, but he must carry on and continue to judge himself in retrospect over the lovers he has chosen (your funeral, my trial).
    KingOfMartyrTownon October 26, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWow, another one i can't believe has no comments on - on of my favorites here, but alas a song thats true meaning constantly eludes me.

    This man, the crooked man, is probably a killer. I say this simply because of the title - there's a funeral and then his trial - but perhaps thats taking it too literally.

    Next it seems like that nightfall is calling to him. Its takes off its trappings of the day and the stars wink at him, which is kind of sinister in this context, perhaps he sees the time is now appropriate for mayhem.

    I'm fairly sure in the actual song (though i'm pretty sure this is how they are infact printed) he sings "into gullies damp with clovers" either way, i'm not really sure whats happening here. Mary's could be women of virtue who then turned out to be vile creatures - and then the moon mocks him and these winking stars now smile at him - its time for some killing.

    Here we have probably the more overt of the 3 stanzas. We have a lamb - which to me says sacrifice - probably gonna kill her - sounds like he's pretty upset at her - she was a multi face, crooked bitch - in his estimation a "whore" and a "monger of pain" - and saw the moon become a fang is a great image - and then her untimely demise.

    This is all pretty much face value though - i would ask someone else to knock some ideas around, but if no one has commented yet - i doubt anyone will.
    StickityWicketon July 11, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou're right, it is 'into gullies damp with clovers'

    You're also right in that the meaning is very vague. Though you seem to have it pretty correct.
    jade_jade_jadeon September 23, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentholy crap . . I have just recently discovered Nick Cave and well suffice to say my mind has been blown . . .where the hell have I been, under a rock . . I can not believe all the amazing songs the Bad Seeds have put together. It is almost sensory overload . . . I would be curious as to what you thought about his song "Do You Love Me" . . .I don't understand what is in his psyche that makes him write the darkest songs imaginable and yet also the tenderest love songs ever penned. Amazing! (sometimes at the same time)
    zekenzoeyon October 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentholy crap . . I have just recently discovered Nick Cave and well suffice to say my mind has been blown . . .where the hell have I been, under a rock . . I can not believe all the amazing songs the Bad Seeds have put together. It is almost sensory overload . . . I would be curious as to what you thought about his song "Do You Love Me" . . .I don't understand what is in his psyche that makes him write the darkest songs imaginable and yet also the tenderest love songs ever penned. Amazing! (sometimes at the same time)
    zekenzoeyon October 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love how this song supports two meanings.

    Obviously there's the obvious one - he's killed his lover, and the "trial" is a legal one. There's also the suggestion that he just had mixed feelings towards her, leaving the potential for it to be a "trial" in the sense of an emotional one: an experience that's just very difficult for him.

    Amazing.

    xpixiexon December 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAll of your interpretations open up so much more in this song than I ever could have grasped on my own. This is how this website should work. Thank you for sharing!
    Coowon September 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgreat, GREAT song title
    partenopeion December 21, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationOne of my favorite songs lyric-wise.
    My personal interpretation is that it is about a man killing his lover.
    ''Your funeral, my trial'' obviously means murder, I think.

    He's broken and he's been through a lot (''I am a crooked man and I've walked a crooked mile''), but now nighttime comes and all the universe knows it's his time (''the stars all winked at me''), time for him to get his vengeance.

    He was cheated, wronged and used like a little lamb (May Had a Little Lamb). I'm not sure if ''a thousand Marys'' means a girl named Mary who had multiple faces/personas, meaning she was a liar and manipulator, or that there were multiple girls with whom he had negative experiences, and he calls them ''Mary'' because all women are the same to him, and all of them want to control and own him, as if he were their little lamb. Anyway, she/them seduced him (''lured me to feathered beds and fields of glover''), but as soon as he went with her, he knew he had been trapped (''bird with crooked wing cast it's wicked shadow over''), he feels that the whole universe is laughing at him for falling for the trap (''a bauble moon did mock and trinket stars did smile'').

    But now it's his time, now he's the one luring and hurting (''here I am, little lamb...''). ''Let all the bells in whoredom ring'' means that a whore died, and all the other whores in whoreland are alarmed, all of her faces and lies are now gone (''All the crooked bitches that she was'') and when she was dying she saw the world the way he sees it, as an evil, dangerous place (''mongers of pain, saw the moon become a fang'').

    Just my opninion anyway.
    lemgruberon September 08, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think it's about his dad dying in a car accident when he was a teenager, he says himself he was very confused at that time of his life and he was getting into loads of trouble with the law,drugs,etc. and coincidentally his mum was busy bailing him out of jail again while his dad was killed in a car accident.
    I think it explains the ''I am a crooked man'' line and the ''I put her doffed weeds in a pile and the stars winked at me'' could be about the drugs he took.
    And I reckon the second verse is about his guilt for making his mum go and bail him out when, if he'd kept out of trouble they may have been able to save his father
    And the last verse starts with ''here i am, little lamb'' i guess he's saying that he's young and the rest is just confusion going by the whole verse
    eeekadevildiedon December 15, 2013   Link

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