"Georgia Lee" as written by and Tom Waits Kathleen Brennan....
Cold was the night, hard was the ground
They found her in a small grove of trees
Lonesome was the place where Georgia was found
She's too young to be out on the street.

Why wasn't God watching?
Why wasn't God listening?
Why wasn't God there for Georgia Lee?

Ida said she couldn't keep Georgia
From dropping out of school
I was doing the best that I could
But she kept runnin away from this world
These children are so hard to raise good

Why wasn't God watching?
Why wasn't God listening?
Why wasn't God there for Georgia Lee?

Close your eyes and count to ten
I will go and hide but then
Be sure to find me, I want you to find me
And we'll play all over
We'll play all over
We'll play all over again

There's a toad in the witch grass
There's a crow in the corn
Wild flowers on a cross by the road
And somewhere a baby is crying for her mom
As the hills turn from green back to gold

Why wasn't God watching?
Why wasn't God listening?
Why wasn't God there for Georgia Lee?

Why wasn't God watching?
Why wasn't God listening?
Why wasn't God there for Georgia Lee?


Lyrics submitted by Dr_Colossus

Georgia Lee song meanings
Add your thoughts

5 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    General CommentHe's referring to an actual event and an actual place. In northern California (wherehe lives) a young girl was kidnapped and killed, and no suspect was ever caught. There's a creche on the southbound side of Hwy 101 just south of Petaluma (where the hills turn from green into gold) where she's memorialized. Georgia Moses.
    juan gregoryon May 26, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe opening line is referencing a hymn (Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground), famously recorded by Blind Willie Johnson. A copy of that performance is on the record that was attached to the Voyager spacecraft that's currently on its way out of the solar system.
    Foobon January 21, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYeah, juan gregory is right. Georgia Moses was a 12 year old girl who went missing and was murdered; Tom Waits made comparisons between her case and that of the similar tragedy that befell Polly Klaas. The Polly Klaas case garnered a lot of attention from her community and the media, while there was little attention paid to Georgia Moses' murder. When he asks, "Why wasn't God watching?" I think he is including her community, family, and humanity itself in that question.

    justinmcroberts.com/blog/2010/03/georgia-lee-part-1/
    ludovicaon August 06, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhy hasn't anyone commented on this song?...
    so beautiful and as far as the meaning goes i think it is pretty self explanatary... a girl left to the world and left to herself... if there is a god why hasn't he looked after her... why would god let a girl fall by the wayside when she has done nothing wrong... the age old question i believe is being asked here... why do bad things happen to the innocent? the world is a wonderful place but still the innocent suffer... thank you tom... and please go on tour
    onafridayon October 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of Tom's songs that makes me cry.
    Uraniumon May 06, 2011   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