She washes all the young blood from her hands in the sink
And she knows that the lights will be there for her
Breaks down the bodies to dark subtle ink
And she scrawls on the parchments that hang in the air

She rides a horse over stones in the night
And she closes her eyes and lets go of the reigns
She knows the radios run through the night
And she knows that the lights leave the prettiest stains

She builds a shrine and a typing machine
And she curls up to write down her tales from the black
Prays for a soft breeze and cool gentle rain
And she prays for the bodies that rise slowly back

She knows the dunes where the steel cities grow
And she knows when they jail her they'll grind down the key
She knows the lights lay the heaviest blows
And she knows that the sand must submit to the sea

She builds a bird out of plywood and gold
For to carry the old souls on up to the sun
Turns on the TV and sits in the cold
And she dreams that sometimes she's the prettiest one

She knows the thrill of the chase in her veins
And she knows that the sinking's a trick of the light
Prays for the silence and cool gentle rain
And she prays that the radios run through the night



Lyrics submitted by big Swifty

tale from black song meanings
Add your thoughts

4 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    General CommentThis isn't a fantasy world, with real witches and real magic. This is the real world, with an aging woman, never very pretty, never able to fit in. She wants to believe, though, in such magic. She reads books, watches movies, hears stories about people who drain the life essence from others. People who can make themselves pretty, make themselves smart or interesting, by sacrificing others who hold those traits.

    She kills, guiltily, in an attempt to seal a pact with the devil, because her whole life she's been dreaming that she's the prettiest one.

    She can't avoid the regret, though. This is the real world, and all of these deaths don't actually help her to become a better person. She has to live, by herself, nobody to confess to, so she writes these stories down, and she makes things that she hopes will help absolve her. She does these acts of contrition, but every time, she gets this feeling, and she needs the excitement and the rush and to feel alive, so she goes out and does it again, in a fit of irrational emotion.
    mbtheion January 31, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really love this song, it's so calming.
    I'm not too sure what the lyrics mean, though there seems to be a lot of symbolism relating to death and release.
    NihilisticFerreton August 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is my favourite song. According to Tunng it's about a witch/hag/serial killer who lives alone in the woods. But either there's much more to it than that or it's meaningless like many other great songs (Stairway to Heaven, Bohemian Rapsody). Definitely the best song of the last few years by anyone.
    McWulfon August 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationIt seems like a collision of old and modern times.
    "She washes all the young blood from her hands in the sink
    And she knows that the lights will be there for her
    Breaks down the bodies to dark subtle ink
    And she scrawls on the parchments that hang in the air"

    Washing fresh blood from her hands after a murder, she is quick because the lights (police) will be there soon. Dark subtle ink is blood, which she leaves in some places from her rushing to escape.

    "She rides a horse over stones in the night
    And she closes her eyes and lets go of the reigns
    She knows the radios run through the night
    And she knows that the lights leave the prettiest stains"

    She is fleeing on horseback, and just lets go because she knows she is going to be caught, so might as well have fun. Radios are the police (in cars or something of the sort) communicating to catch her. And when they catch her they will beat her and jail her, the stains are the bruises both physically and mentally.

    "She builds a shrine and a typing machine
    And she curls up to write down her tales from the black
    Prays for a soft breeze and cool gentle rain
    And she prays for the bodies that rise slowly back"

    Writes a confession in a very "last ritual" sort of way. "Tale from the black" being the murder and how she committed it. The weather prayers are so that she can feel them one last time before she is jailed. The praying for the bodies that rise back is for the soul(s) of the murdered to have forgiveness on her and to not haunt her consciousness.

    "She knows the dunes where the steel cities grow
    And she knows when they jail her they'll grind down the key
    She knows the lights lay the heaviest blows
    And she knows that the sand must submit to the sea"

    She is from a village like area, but she is going to be jailed in a city-like area permanently. The lights (cops) are her captors, and that the "heaviest blows" are the taking of her freedom. The sand/sea is a metaphor that she has to let it happen because she did commit a crime.

    "She builds a bird out of plywood and gold
    For to carry the old souls on up to the sun
    Turns on the TV and sits in the cold
    And she dreams that sometimes she's the prettiest one"

    Seems like a flashback she has during imprisonment. She is somewhat insane (bird building), and old. The bird to carry the souls is her memory of loved ones and family members who have died previously, and now she is alone. She has very little, a TV and no heat, and remembers an old love who has moved on or died. "Prettiest One" being a pet name or something that her love had called her. She wants him back.

    "She knows the thrill of the chase in her veins
    And she knows that the sinking's a trick of the light
    Prays for the silence and cool gentle rain
    And she prays that the radios run through the night"

    She remembers her fleeing and the "sinking" is the darkening of her cell of the sun going down, giving her the illusion of sinking into the dark. She wants silence and cool gentle rain so that the sound of the rain can help her sleep. She prays for "radios to run through" the night so that she is not the last one to commit a crime.

    Just my thoughts.

    SamuraiTedon February 02, 2009   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain