Looka yonder! Looka yonder!
Looka yonder! A big black cloud come!
A big black cloud come!
O comes to Tupelo. Comes to Tupelo

Yonder on the horizon
Yonder on the horizon
Stopped at the mighty river
Stopped at the mighty river and
Sucked the damn thing dry
Tupelo-o-o, O Tupelo
In a valley hides a town called Tupelo

Distant thunder rumble. Distant thunder rumble
Rumble hungry like the Beast
The Beast it cometh, cometh down
The Beast it cometh, cometh down
Wo wo wo-o-o
Tupelo bound. Tupelo-o-o. Yeah Tupelo
The Beast it cometh, Tupelo bound

Why the hen won't lay no egg
Can't get that cock to crow
The nag is spooked and crazy
O God help Tupelo! O God help Tupelo!
O God help Tupelo! O God help Tupelo!

Ya can say these streets are rivers
Ya can call these rivers streets
Ya can tell ya self ya dreaming buddy
But no sleep runs this deep
No! No sleep runs this deep
No sleep runs this deep
Women at their windows
Rain crashing on the pane
Writing in the frost
Tupelos' shame. Tupelo's shame
O God help Tupelo! O God help Tupelo!

O go to sleep lil children
The sandmans on his way
O go to sleep lil children
The sandmans in his way
But the lil children know
They listen to the beating of their blood
listen to the beating of their blood
listen to the beating of their blood
listen to the beating of their blood
They listen to the beating of their blood
The sandman's mud!
The sandman's mud!
And the black rain come down
the black rain come down
the black rain come down
Water water everywhere
Where no bird can fly no fish can swim
Where no bird can fly no fish can swim
No fish can swim
Until The King is born!
Until The King is born!
In Tupelo! Tupelo-o-o!
Til The King is born in Tupelo!

In a clap-board shack with a roof of tin
Where the rain came down and leaked within
A young mother frozen on a concrete floor
With a bottle and a box and a cradle of straw
Tupelo-o-o! O Tupelo!
With a bottle and a box and a cradle of straw

Well Saturday gives what Sunday steals
And a child is born on his brothers heels
Come Sunday morn the first-born dead
In a shoebox tied with a ribbon of red
Tupelo-o-o! Hey Tupelo!
In a shoebox buried with a ribbon of red

O ma-ma rock you lil' one slow
O ma-ma rock your baby
O ma-ma rock your lil' one slow
O God help Tupelo! O God help Tupelo!
Mama rock your lil' one slow
The lil one will walk on Tupelo
The lil one will walk on Tupelo
Black rain come down, Black rain come down
Tupelo-o-o! Yeah Tupelo!
And carry the burden of Tupelo
Tupelo-o-o! O Tupelo! Yeah!
The King will walk on Tupelo!
Tupelo-o-o! O Tupelo!
He carried the burden outa Tupelo!
Tupelo-o-o! Hey Tupelo!
You will reap just what you sow


Lyrics submitted by delial

Tupelo song meanings
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15 Comments

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  • +4
    General Commenten.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    fractured_sanityon July 10, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis song, and his early albums until Tender Prey, dealt in a large way with a few themes. In his novel "And the Ass Saw the Angel" he brought most of them together in one statement. As the person before me said, this song deals with Elvis's birth, but as presented it closely resembles Euchrid's birth--the bottle, the box full of straw, the twin dying not long after birth. The Preacher of doom also is embodied and fleshed out in Abie Poe, the pistol wielding, self-anointed prophet.

    Also, throughout the novel, and the songs from this period, are echoes of Jesus' birth and religious language, things Nick has long made a part of his artistic repertoire. I find it fascinating to see all these strains developing, even so early, in an writer of Nick Cave's caliber. I would say that we need more like him, but he has done his job so well, another like him would only detract from his work. Nick Cave is a true artist.
    daseinsameon February 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentobviously about the end of the world, similar to jhonny cash's "when the man comes around," only more creepy.
    GravityAlwaysWinson February 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentis tupelo just planet earth? "he carried the burden outa tupelo" - he being Jesus? yeh end of the world. or the begining of....
    psychophysicson May 31, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis kind of preacher man, which it obviously is who preaches, would be interesting to watch as audience. I guess he would scare me shitless.
    JASGripenon September 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song actually is a frightening take on the story of Elvis's birth. He was born in the town of Tupelo, and it describes how his twin brother died at birth ("firstborn is dead"). Also, it is somewhat based on the lyrical themes of John Lee Hooker, who also wrote a song called "Tupelo."
    DollarShorton October 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always thought this was a take on Elvis too, what with the references to 'King' and him being born in Tupelo and all that. When I read 'And The Ass Saw The Angel' I was very surprised at how 'Tupelo'-esque this was, actually.
    Prisoner.I.Wason March 05, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe "water water everywhere" line is a play on the Samuel Coolidge poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
    samwaltonon August 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've always thought that the song was the preacher preaching to his people to repent for their sins before the Second Coming of Christ and warning them of a great flood washing over the Mississippi and drowning their town if they don't. Fantastic imagery.
    beezlebardon October 04, 2007   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningITS ABOUT ELVIS AT A YOUNG AGE AND HIS MOTHER DURING THE GREAT TUPELO TORNADO ATTACK ON APRIL 5 1936.
    TAKE ACCOUNT HIS TWIN BROTHER DIED AT BORTH ALSO.


    making anysense to people?
    FecesSouffleon January 09, 2009   Link

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