"Black Sheep Boy" as written by and Tim Hardin....
Here I am back home again
I'm here to rest
All they ask is where I've been
Knowing I've been West

I'm the family's unowned boy
Golden curls of envied hair
Pretty girls with faces fair
See the shine in the Black Sheep Boy

If you love me, let me live in peace
Please understand
That the black sheep can wear the golden fleece
And hold a winning hand

I'm the family's unowned boy
Golden curls of envied hair
Pretty girls with faces fair
See the shine in the Black Sheep Boy

I'm the family's unowned boy
Golden curls of envied hair
Pretty girls with faces fair
See the shine in the Black Sheep Boy


Lyrics submitted by gflores

"Black Sheep Boy" as written by Tim Hardin

Lyrics © Spirit Music Group

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Black Sheep Boy song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentNote, that this song is a cover, the original version is by singer/songwriter Tim Hardin. William of Okkervil River says about the circumstances this song was written in:
    "I already loved Hardin's music but I didn't know much about his life, so I started flipping through the liner notes for the box set and I learned that Hardin had written "Black Sheep Boy" while visiting his family back in his hometown of Eugene, OR. During the visit, an old friend offered heroin to Hardin, an ex-junkie who had been clean for several years. Hardin started using again and, as I understand it, didn't really stop until 1980, when he died of an overdose."
    To put things into perspective I recommend reading:
    jound.com/okkervil/…
    or even more:
    saidthegramophone.com/archives/…
    ElseJoffion January 11, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm pretty sure it's "I'm the family's unowned boy," but I could be wrong.

    Regardless, this is about being known as the family outcast, clearly, but returning home after having finally found some measure of success and trying to communicate that to your loved ones. My two cents, anyway. Pretty brlliant metaphor, if you ask me.
    jamisonlikewhaton December 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthmm thats interesting

    the album is named after a song they didnt write?


    lovely song
    Anamarijaon March 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song (and obviously, the whole album) is about being a total fuck up, but you can still be a beautiful person no matter of your hide ("And theres plenty of ways to wear his hide, tonight" and "...the black sheep can wear the golden fleece, And hold a winning hand").
    MattisTreeson August 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlovely indeed
    blacksheepgirlon November 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOkkervil River has a thing for writing incredible opening tracks to their albums. The concept to this whole album is genious worthy.
    WorldInferno67on April 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, this is a great opening song.
    GypsyRhapsodyon September 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah I didn't know it was a cover until just now. It's absolutely amazing though and sets the tone perfectly for the album
    ChristianBrotheron June 11, 2011   Link

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