Well, my cigarette died when I washed my face
Dropped some drops in an ashtray; hit a wrong place
Woman at my blinds to see spiders spinning lines
It's a safe as milk; it's a safe as milk
I never heard it put quite that way
The shape I'm in is a gone away
They called a day; they called a day
Yesterday's paper headlines approach rain gutter, teasing rusty cat, sneezing
Soppin' wet hammer dusty and wheezing
Lusty alley, whining trashcan blues
Children running after rainbows, stocking poor
Gracious ladies' nylon, hanging on to line
Jumping onto leg, looking mighty fine
Sorrows, lollipop lands, stick-broken on a dark carnival ground
Pop-up toaster, cracklin' aluminium, rhythm and sound
Ev'ry day pencil, lazy and sharp
The icebox inside, looking like a harp
Electric bulb been out for years; Freezer fumes feed the gas tears
Cheese in the corner with a mile-long beard
Beggin' blue bread dog-eared
Beggin' blue bread dog-eared
I may be hungry, but I sure ain't weird

Lyrics submitted by kienholzfan

"Safe as Milk" as written by Don Van Vliet

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Safe As Milk song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentCaptain Beefheart weren't allowed to release this song because the label thought it referred to acid, although Don Van Vliet is very against drugs.
    charrbinon March 24, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSo was the original "Safe as Milk" album released without "Safe as Milk"? How odd!
    SDpopson April 11, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhich company? The Mirror Man ' ('Plain Brown Wrapper') sessions were completely rejected remember? Then a single album came out without Beefheart's ok.
    The song seems to be about urban living in the rough and ready world of the Captain. That fridge sure sounds familiar...
    There are adverts about Acid Reflux. :)
    patchwork caton August 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's conflating domestic squalor with environmental decay. The phrase "safe as milk" was a sarcastic shorthand reference to strontium 90 affecting mothers' milk and causing deformities in babies. At the end the narrator is separating himself from the grand-scale pollutants - I may look like a living wreck but I "know better".
    This is a Herb Bermann lyric wrongly credited to Don.
    Dia270on May 12, 2016   Link

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