So you've come back for Jennifer
You know, she hides her face behind a veil
I'm warning you Frankie, leave on the next train
Your Jennifer she just isn't the same
Quit waving that thing about! Come back!
Come back and give me a chance to explain
Your baby will never cry again.


So don't try to reach out
And don't let the ship's flag down
Point the figure-head at the storm
And drive her hard upon
Don't stop and don't stop
And don't let the veil drop
(Another ship ready to sail--the rigging is tight
Tight like Jennifer's veil).


She drew the curtain on her face
Ever since they came and burnt the old place down
Why is she searching through the ashes?
Why, only Jennifer knows that now.
And the officer, without a word,
Left all his junk and just moved out.


So don't try to reach out
And don't let the ship's flag down
Point the figure-head at the glass
Smash! Smash! into shards
Don't stop and don't touch!
And don't let the veil drop...behind Jennifer's veil


Oh God! Frankie! Is that really you!
Get back! Don't reach out!
Get back, and get that lantern out of my room!


Don't try to reach out
And don't let the ship's flag down
Down, down over her, like a shroud


And let her sail on the sea like a stone.
Don't touch and don't touch
And don't let the veil drop
Another ship ready to dock...the rigging comes loose...


Lyrics submitted by Girgo

Jennifer's Veil song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentFor what it's worth, I think Jennifer was having an affair with the officer, and he's dead now, killed in the fire. She grieves for her true love, but can't show it...her betrothed doesn't understand, and the narrator, Cave, is trying to keep it that way. And "your baby" is Jennifer.

    Amazing song from an amazing EP.
    peteaphidon December 25, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI believe it is about a man returning to his wife who has gone insane due to loss - thus, the veil. There is also a suggestion that her face has been disfigured by a fire in which her baby was killed: "Your baby will never cry again."

    Just one opinion. Horrifying song regardless of the true meaning.
    andrew8698on May 09, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Your Jennifer she just isn't the same
    Quit waving that thing about! Come back!
    Come back and give me a chance to explain
    Your baby will never cry again."

    Oh, she's dead? She's mute? Paralyzed, I just don't know. Drowning, suicide, I can't tell...Ship song, the first?
    blood_victoron June 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is one of those songs that seems to tell a story but actually leaves you in the dark. Very Gothic; the woman in her veil, probably disfigured, the old house burnt down, the lover returning with his cruel lantern to tear off the veil & see the face behind it... Powerful stuff. Even Nick Cave's falsetto works, bizarrely.
    morbid moragon June 26, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPretty amazing song. I'm not sure, but the idea I get at the moment is that Jennifer died in some sense when "they burned the old place down."
    She's disfigured, and probably insane.
    Albert Mondon September 20, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti got the impression this woman's baby was literally murdered and jennifer has gone insane

    but i think the other ideas about disfigurement makes more sense
    formaldehydeKATon October 05, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the ship is a metaphor for Jennifer and Frankie is her angry lover, who has some sort of control over her delicate mental health/sanity. I think Cave is actually Franky. He's telling this story as a metaphor for a tumultuous love.
    claude annon May 10, 2016   Link

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