Elder Green is dead and gone
Lost his way going to town
Don't know who he is or what he's done
But it sure sounds sweet rolling off the tongue
Yeah it sure sounds sweet rolling off the tongue

If I was in an old hotel
That happened to be on fire
Maybe I'd jump or
Maybe I'd reconsider
Then I'd climb a little higher

Like an oily rag
In a dusty corner
Like a box of matches near an open flame
I'd jump 18 stories from a burning fire
Sooner than I'd face this world of shame
Yeah I'd skip this town and
Jump a westbound train

Take these fingerlings from my fingers
Spoken with your breath
With white-washed eyes
And flies that linger
Seems rather forlorn and bereft

I said where you goin' with that sack on your shoulder Willie
As if I couldn't have guessed
He says I'm gonna get the hell
Out of Slag Valley and take a little stroll way out west

If I was in an old hotel
That happened to be on fire
Maybe I'd jump or
Maybe I'd reconsider
Then I'd climb a little higher

Like an oily rag
In a dusty corner
Like a box of matches near an open flame
I'd get so far away
From that old matchbox hotel
Man I'd skip this town and
Jump a westbound train
Anything to get away from this shame

Take these fingerlings from my fingers
Spoken with your breath
With white-washed eyes
And flies that linger
Seems rather forlorn and bereft

I said where you goin' with that sack on your shoulder Willie
As if I couldn't have guessed
He says I'm gonna get the hell
Out of Slag Valley and take a little stroll way out west



Lyrics submitted by j.enslow

Way Out West song meanings
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    General CommentI really like this tune. I wonder whether this album Fingerlings drew its title from this song ("take these fingerlings from my fingers").

    To me, it's sort of a nostalgic wish to go back in time to the era when one could head out west to the frontier and leave all your past, troubles, debts, friends, enemies, and shame behind you. It's a rambunctious song, but its driving emotion seems to be shame or guilt fighting with a desire to keep living (hence the hesitation when it comes to jumping from the burning hotel or climbing higher to certain death). The song doesn't really resolve whether the narrator would embrace or reject suicide; all we know is that he'd like to keep living but start all over (out west)--which isn't a realistic option anymore.
    thriggleon March 15, 2009   Link

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