Take a walk down memory lane with me
Past a watermelon stand on the way
Thinking I had everything we'd need
on Martha's Foolish Ginger
You were late
How could I forget what you said-
the part about that
"Love taking over your life"
was not your plan

If those harbour lights had just been a half a mile inland
who knows what I would have done
If those harbour lights had just been a half a mile inland
who knows what I would have done

Through the cliffs
out of the Bay I went
From the starboard side
I could black my visions and my passions-
They keep me awake

If those harbour lights had just been a half a mile inland
who knows what I would have done
If those harbour lights had just been a half a mile inland
who knows what I would have done

A familiar voice
"Hi. Surprise.
I've been searching trying to find you"
I couldn't speak
my hands reached for Martha's Foolish Ginger
We talked until the moon came up
About how life without love
isn't worth very much
Then I played this song

If those harbour lights had just been a half a mile inland
who knows what I would have done
If those harbour lights had just been a half a mile inland
who knows what I would have done
what I would have done
what I would have done

"Memories that we have yet" you said
"To make like our Burning Bed..."
Love, don't mistake that it wasn't safe
from Martha's Foolish Ginger.


Lyrics submitted by merchantpierce

Martha's Foolish Ginger song meanings
Add your thoughts

6 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    General CommentI can't believe noone have written anything about it. As most of the people I think The Beekeeper wasn't one of her greatest albums but there are songs on it that are really wonderful, like Marta's...
    indiaaon October 09, 2007   Link
  • +2
    Song Meaningi'm completely at a loss as to what the specifics of the lyrics could mean, as i usually am with tori songs, but certainly different parts of the lyrics struck a chord with me, as usual with tori songs. "if those harbour lights had just been / a half a mile inland / who knows what I would have done." If circumstances hadn't been just as they were, i.e. if we hadn't met or whate have you, what would i have done? where would i be? seems like it's an utterance of gratitude tinged with sorrow... like a "thank God I found you." plus, thanks to juzevo, we know the title refers to a boat; so, imagery of being at sea suggests rootless wandering. the harbour lights brought her in safe...

    unlike most people, i find the beekeeper to be one of my favorite tori albums. there is such soft, subtle beauty to these songs.
    FredericChopinThe2ndon August 25, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song jumped out at me when I first heard it, the way her voice just rises up on that "what I would have done", gives me goosebumps.

    Anyway, I went on a hunt on what this song could possibly mean, and it was so obvious when I found out:

    "I've got one song I've just finished which only had a title - Martha's Foolish Ginger - and a chorus: If those harbour lights had just been half a mile inland who knows what I would have done. I've actually been working on this song for eight years but couldn't figure out how to finish it. Then I suddenly realised the title was the name of her boat. And with that it was liberated, unlocked and everything came clear."
    juzevoon September 05, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn the Wikipedia entry for "Martha's vineyard" it talks about the Clintons staying at "Gingerbread cottages" in the "Oak bluffs" area of Martha's vineyard. If you bluff somebody then you fool them.
    I have no idea if Tori has ever been to this part of Martha's vineyard and stayed in a gingerbread cottage, or if there is a watermelon stand there! It might just be a coincidence ... or not.
    Romeon April 24, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe literal meaning of the lyrics is about going down to a harbour, past a watermelon stand to find a boat called Martha's Foolish Ginger (sounds like a reference to a person's cat). Then talking with someone (a lober ir a friend?), on the boat till quite late at night, while the boat is saying out past the harbour mouth.
    If the harbour lights are half a mile inland is a weird chorus- because then they wouldn't be at the harbour and she wouldn't have found her boat... So they couldn't be harbour lights in that case.
    Bajinganlangiton February 25, 2016   Link
  • -1
    General CommentSounds like playing on "Martha's Vineyard"

    And

    "foolish powder" is early 1900s slang for any powdered narcotic
    laurelinwyntreon March 20, 2008   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain