Quietly the rain played down on last of the ashes
Quietly the light played down on her lashes
She smiled 'n twisted, she smiled 'n twisted
Hideously looking back at what once was beautiful
Playing naturally magically
Oh, her ragged hair was shinin' red white and blue
All-and-all the children screamin'
Why, surely madam you must be dreamin'
You couldn't have done this if you knew what you were doin'
Well, the goldfish in the bowl lay upside-down bloatin'
Full in the sky in the plains were bleached with white skeletons
Various species grouped together according to their past beliefs
The only way they ever all got together
Was not in love but shameful grief
It's not the way I'd like it to get together
That's not the kind of thoughts I'd like to keep
The rain played lightly down down on the formaheap
Oh, lady look up in time, oh, lady look out of love
And you should have us all
Oh, you should have us fall


Lyrics submitted by Screwjack

"Bills Corpse" as written by Don Van Vliet

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Bills Corpse song meanings
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2 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentYou forget: these lyrics were written @ the height of the vietnam war.


    To me: its about man manufactured disasters & how our american 'dreams' support them.
    The lady with the redwhiteblue wears her patriotism like a hairdo, lives it like a 'dream', which would be shattered could she hear the children screaming- our sons, shipped oversea, trained to carpetbomb & machinegun; the innocent women, children they murder: what once was beautiful is now: bones, ashes, bones, ashes, bones. We murder them for their past beliefs, the religious & political & cultural thought that jerrymandered the world into nation-states, majorities & minorities

    The "all got together... out of shameful grief" lines are so poignant, cynical, sad: the power, knowledge, wealth, imagination of our nation, not used for good orbeauty, is instead harnessed to manufacture grandiose machines of death, to pollute our land with cancer & filth, to incarcerate & ghettoize & benumb.

    But beef<3 left the particulars vauge on purpose: humanity will always be at war with itself, will always harness its shame and grief as a community, and only love in private. Saddest lyrics ever.
    KubalahtKoalaon May 01, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAt first listening, I tought it was about a young girl who feels really bad after her abortion. She probably feels bad for many reasons. People are telling her: " Why surely madam you must be dreamin'
    You couldn't have done this if you knew what you were doin' ". Bill is probably the baby's name, but it could also be a metaphore for the total absence of the father in the song and in the story, and his lack of actions, help and support might make him look like a dead person, a corpse.

    But then I thought: this could be the statue of Liberty. The ashes and lashes could be refering to her flame. The "red, white and blue hair" could be refering to the flag of the USA. When she was constructed, the United States was the place where all dreams came true, but now: " Hideously looking back at what once was beautiful ". It could be about the actual death of the women represented in the statue of Liberty. This could be a way to imply freedom died, and now that it's hopeless, people get together in grief. The various species could be about the many races in america, or the many political views uniting once freedom is lost. And the lyrics: " Why surely madam you must be dreamin'
    You couldn't have done this if you knew what you were doin' " could mean that freedom itself killed freedom through chaos.
    Ex Abruptoon January 19, 2008   Link

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