"The Floor" as written by and Graeme Ross Campbell Charles Wishart Austin....
I can remember being 7 years old and having gold fish that circled around in a bowl
and I would watch the forest burn and listen to the wind blow
I can remember the table, the drapes and the window
the dark brown everything, decorations, styling
most of all I can remember my mother smiling
worn out and faded, my home town was scrappy
more than anything she wanted us to be happy

little to eat, back and forth to the hospital
she was right, it's better to be happy if possible
but the old man was under attack and was weak
and continued to beat us several times a week
he lived like a king even though we were piss poor
I tried to be strong and careful what I wished for
my outsides ache and my insides stung
from the long leather belt that replaced his tongue

not knowing how to run or how to hit the brakes
a white picket fence was built around a pit of snakes
both a wonder and frightening, the thunder and lightening
these were the sounds and sights of a thousand fights
my mother, the poor fish, staging eternal
cherades and parades for the raging inferno
wanting to be happy, beaten all the while
asking me always 'Why don't you ever smile?'
and she'd show me how to do it, mother and wife
it was the saddest smile I ever saw in my life
and it hurt worse than death but for her sake I tried
and one day all of those gold fish died

hurricane, forest fire, out of control
eyes open, floating on the water in the bowl
and when my father came home, he walked through the door
and threw those fish to the cat on the kitchen floor

and the wind died too
and I was still a child
and the three of us watched
as my mother smiled

and the wind died too
and I was still a child
and the three of us watched
as my mother smiled

and the wind died too
and I was still a child
and the three of us watched
as my mother smiled

and the wind died too...


Lyrics submitted by joshmeasures

The Floor song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commentbukowski's a smile to remember.....

    we had goldfish and they circled around and around
    in the bowl on the table near the heavy drapes
    covering the picture window and
    my mother, always smiling, wanting us all
    to be happy, told me, "be happy Henry!"
    and she was right: it's better to be happy if you
    can
    but my father continued to beat her and me several times a week while
    raging inside his 6-foot-two frame because he couldn't
    understand what was attacking him from within.

    my mother, poor fish,
    wanting to be happy, beaten two or three times a
    week, telling me to be happy: "Henry, smile!
    why don't you ever smile?"

    and then she would smile, to show me how, and it was the
    saddest smile I ever saw

    one day the goldfish died, all five of them,
    they floated on the water, on their sides, their
    eyes still open,
    and when my father got home he threw them to the cat
    there on the kitchen floor and we watched as my mother smiled
    broadyon May 14, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"a white picket fence was built around a pit of snakes" may be the most poetic sentence i have ever read.
    noone1111111111111111111on November 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis might be the deepest darkest song ive heard in a long time. i still dont get it all.
    but i love it.
    makes me ache everytime i hear it.
    the poor goldfish
    dldloveon October 12, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think he's actually managed to embellish Bukowski's poem. His additions are as good as (or better than) the lines he took, in my opinion.
    grazbosson November 04, 2009   Link

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