"Chimney Sweeping Man" as written by and Laura Veirs....
I'm a chimney sweeping man
You see the black lines
On the backs of my hands
I planted all the gardens
I sent off all the hand-typed letters
To the empty shells on high
How I want to make things better

Maybe you thought I'd be president
With my cheshire grin, high IQ
And charming baby blues
Well I'm a lowland forest resident
With lime in the outhouse
And black grime for tattoos

I try to make things better
I try to make things mine
I write a lot of letters
To pass the time

I pulled three hundred rocks
From the land to build my house
I walk quiet through the forest
Like a tiny quiet forest mouse

I'm a chimney sweeping man
You see the black lines
On the backs of my hands

Lyrics submitted by skyphilis

"Chimney Sweeping Man" as written by Laura Veirs


Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Chimney Sweeping Man song meanings
Add your thoughts


sort form View by:
  • 0
    General CommentA beautifully simple song by Laura about a man who although he has good intentions doesn't amount to much. I can Identify. Amazing how illustrative Laura Veirs' music is no matter what the subject.

    One of my stranger interpretations of this song is that the guy is like the uni-bomber and his idea of chimney sweeping is cleaning up (i.e. bombing) anything he thinks is wrong. He writes his manifestos while quietly living in the forest. Just an off-color idea.
    notworthlovingon November 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI pulled this from wikipedia: "Chimney sweeps were often depicted in Victorian literature as heartless scoundrels who abused their barbies child workers. The English poet William Blake portrayed the chimney sweep as an abused child who hoped for a better life."

    If we look at the chimney sweep from this perspective then the man referring to himself as a "chimney sweeping man" might be referring to a man who is admitting he turned out as a bad man. He sings about how he used to want to make things better, but now he has these black lines on the backs of his hands (signifying his bad acts). With his great aspirations to make things better, his cheshire grin, high IQ
    And charming baby blues, you might have thought he would turn out to be a good man, but instead he labors as a scoundrel chimney sweeping man.
    jackasheron November 25, 2009   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