mothers would awake to feed their children
our brothers would awake to mend their nets and sails
mothers would awake to feed their children
our brothers would awake to mend their nets and sails

they had the boundless light of a new day dawning
and a burning living driving will
they had the light of a boundless new day dawning
they had a burning living driving will

meanwhile the old men sit on the top of a hill
wading through your legislation
wading trudging through your debate
about whether or not to send
another hundred thousand young men and women
off
into the hurricane
no taxation without representation
we will not pay a toll in blood

the old men were sitting on the top of the hill
while the young girl
ushered a place for ghosts down by the creek
singing they are following
cold and fishing to the marsh's wreathes
the old men sit on top of the hill
of 58,000

walking
walking across the plain i am descending
six feet underground
you send me here
every name
every name
upon this wall
you send me here
six feet under
why don't you take a short walk

walk out of your oval office
walk out of the state house
take a short walk across the lawn
and descend to six feet under and read those names
you're debating still debating whether or not to send me here
you're debating you're debating whether or not to send more over there
six feet under
you really do carry my weight

bats grazing
in the night sky above our houses
lightning bugs rising higher and higher
bats grazing in the sky
in the night sky above our houses
lightning bugs rising higher and higher
as the sun leaves behind
as the sun leaves behind
this valley
this waking valley song
a memorial

oh six feet to be under you really did
carry my weight
the earth i confess is not ??? our happy state
and you're still debating
debate
debate

what is this?
a voice in his head
a voice comes quick and it fades on
it is this waking valley song
archaic and bent with time
it is this memory
it is his memory.


Lyrics submitted by omae_, edited by kete

memorial song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentIt's the Vietnam Memorial.
    instantramenon February 04, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentpossibly one of the greatest anti-war punk songs.
    themolotovon July 13, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti remember 1991 being a very intense year with the build up to what was known as desert storm. ie. iraq war #1 and this song originated at that time.we went to many many protest in DC at that time,and we even organized and performed one in annapolis( drums included) , the police followed us until we dispersed. although the war-drums were banging with fervor, the country had not taken the full force step toward fascism it has turned into today. although i have never seen the vietnam memorial up-close, their have been times,that i have seen it,and it has moved me to tears because it is so powerful.
    marcus ( x-moss icon member)
    marcusguernseyon June 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentby ear, again. any corrections, let me know.

    WARNING *long winded editorial* unlike most 'emo' bands, and part of what made moss icon so great and hard to define by this generic term, is that as time went on, instead of getting more introspectively personal and obtuse, they widened their scope musically and lyrically to move from suburban middle-class 'emo' cliche issues like alienation, hating your parents and/or friends, feeling bad after a breakup, etc. to issues of *real* substance. touching on things like the environment, native peoples, dare i say even "spirituality," etc. without going the way of laughable new age-ism or the even-then already worn out punk rock standard musical styles. all this with an amazing lyricism... look at sioux day, cornflower blue, lyburnum wits end, memorial, etc. for examples of this. instead of the accusatory 'you' in most emo/punk/alternative music that attempts to be revolutionary or political, the voice in their later songs changed entirely to narrative, or putting the 'you' into a wholly different context.
    omae_on February 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthats very true, well said omae.

    all the of the older stuff was a lot more refined, and i like it a lot more.
    DarkerShadeofWinteron February 27, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhat is this?
    a voice in his head
    a voice comes quick and it fades on
    it is this waking valley song
    archaic and bent with time
    is this memory
    it is this memory.

    is what i think he says. i love john's vocals in this song.
    DarkerShadeofWinteron February 27, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthanks for the correction. edited.

    "older stuff was more refined" meaning 'emo' stuff in general? i'd definitely agree. i have the feeling that people made music then really trying to get away from lyrical and musical cliches (which, then, in punk/hardcore, was being 'hard' and the usual suburban alienation/anger). so doing something different than that sometimes meant songs about deeper seated personal/psychological issues. sometimes it meant dealing with political issues without the heavy handed 'fuck the government' style prevalent then.

    the whole 'emo' style itself has become so cliche and used up now that its come all the way back around but instead applied to the same corny issues that standard pop songs address... girlfriends, breakups, high school romance and heartbreaks. a sad inversion.

    in the end, the music needs to be more than something for skinny emo kids to lie in bed at night and cry over in carefully chosen ipod playlists.

    enough bs out of me.
    omae_on March 01, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdefinitely antiwar. and in the best way too. I love the line 'six feet under you really do carry my weight'
    storyofmylifeon February 21, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about the Vietnam Memorial in DC (near the area where the band formed in MD). The 58,000 names are the names on the wall that you read as you descend below ground level. The memorial is part of the Mall, a "short walk across the lawn" from the White House and US Capitol. He is asking people in power to realize the consequences for the soldiers they are sending into war, and on the native populations in the "waking valleys" that get destroyed in their geo-political game.
    aristotelianon January 02, 2015   Link

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