Maurice Snail and Timothy Grub,
Swanney and Blue and Emily Grub
Decided one day to go into the wood
And build them a house and live there if they could
And they stayed there a while in the trees and the rain
Till one day two Blue Men said you’re all insane
And to please not come here again

They had a green car called ‘Happiness Runs’
Friday comes and Happiness runs
Out of petrol and everyone gets out to push
And suddenly see through a gap in the bush
A real caravan, just like the one in their dreams
The gypsy doesn’t want it for nowadays it seems
His home stays in one place and gleams

He told them that he had a horse down the lane
Saturday morning they went back again
He showed them a shed that was built out of tin
He opened the door and they all peered within
And there lying on straw was a horse black as night
With a star on her forehead and eyes full of light
And they all fell in love at first sight

They thought and they thought about having Black Bess
Timothy planted some mustard and cress
They lived in a cupboard and made it their home
And lay there and dreamed of the days when they’d roam
Up and down all the hills of the North countryside
With the dogs eating buttercups on the wayside
And they’d wave all the cities ‘goodbye’


Lyrics submitted by DonCaballero

Timothy Grub song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentYeah, I agree. Excellent song. Good luck in English, by the way.
    march1291on July 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWow, nobody commented on this song yet... well I don't really know if it means anything other than what it says and I'm not even sure about what it says (though I think that might be from English being my second language...), but I do know that I like this song a lot based on its sound :D it's awesome!
    Does anybody agree?
    Whatsifsowhatsiton November 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentabsolutely adore her!
    othatzsokewlon July 01, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt definitely has themes of childhood and the simple things in life. They 'wave the cities goodbye' and just want to live in the countryside.
    angeladele55on June 11, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is an amazing song, because it is both a deeply yearning allegory and literally true. It is about yearning for a better, simpler life. Vashti failed as a pop star, and became a hippie and this was her way of rejecting it all.

    The "bug" characters are Vashti Bunyan and her hippie friends, circa 1968, who set up a small proto-commune of sorts in some woods not far outside of London. The "Blue Men" are the cops who kicked them out.

    Everything else is literally true, though cast in this dreamy style. They had a car; it broke down; they stumbled on an old gypsy who sold them a horse and cart ("caravan"). The horse was named Betsy (Bess) and actually was black and actually had a star on its forehead (ok, more of a diamond, but that is not very important, I think).

    They then set off for Skye, where Donovan was supposedly starting some commune. It took them over a year to get there. By the time they did, the commune was already defunct. This song ends when they just started their trip ("Up and down the hills of the North Countryside").

    Diamond Day, the album from which this song comes, is about the entire trip, and it is this amazingly beautiful mix of allegory, yearning for a better and more beautiful life, and literal truth about their experiences (albeit the dreamy and beautiful ones, not so much the cold weather, lack of money, tensions among their small group, etc.). That's part of what makes this album amazing; it is about the best and most beautiful things in life (which, though not the whole story of life, are a part of life). Diamond day, too, was panned by the critics and completely ignored by the public when it came out in 1970.

    Vashti then gave up music for 30 years. She was convinced her music was terrible.

    But, then, collectors started discovering it, and, by the 1990s, the album was selling on Ebay for $2000. "Freak folk" stars like Devandra Banhart knew about her and both sought her advice and helped her re-start her career (in the 2000s, now in her 60s).

    If you search youtube for "Vashti Bunyan, From Here to Before" there is a great biographical documentary of all this stuff. It is an incredibly beautiful song, and an incredibly beautiful album, and everything about it is an incredible story.
    lee1048835on June 05, 2017   Link

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