he came knocking down the street lights
tearing up the new grass on the lawn
he was frightening off the livestock
I could feel him coming down
I let the Citranella dissolve in my hand
I began to feel real bad
when the ghost of your father comes to town
what the hell else can you do
I flung open all the windows
put the water on for tea
and let him pass right through

he took to knocking over furniture
getting into the reception on the wireless
he tore up all the dry goods in the pantry
he was strong and he was tireless
when the priest came to call, I sent him on his way
I got a tremor in my hands and my feet are made of clay
when the ghost of your father starts pushing you around
how are you gonna make him stop
I took down all the crosses, I let him set up shop


Lyrics submitted by shewouldnt

Cao Dai Blowout song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentDamn. Ouch. It seems like he's let that ghost just "pass right through," that's so tragic that his father's ghost has managed to set up shop in this poor kid's house, still tears up his life, and he still won't do anything about it, not an exorcism, not a locked door or crucifix.

    But I guess he knows better than anyone that those things won't make him stop. The only way for the ghost to leave you alone is to let him know he doesn't frighten you anymore. Brilliant.
    ABookOnAShelfon December 11, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationMaybe it's obvious, but this song is also metaphorical; it talks about how the memory of the narrator's father haunts him and daunts him, but he's trying to face it on his own. I wonder whether it's about John Darnielle's own father or not.

    Also, Cao Dai is a syncrenistic religion (link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… ), but I have no idea how it relates to the song.
    Cithaeronon September 03, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI forgot to mention, "feet of clay" is a phrase that refers to the Book of Daniel. Since I'm too lazy to write about it, have a link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    Cithaeronon September 03, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs a matter of fact, "feet of clay" in psychoanalysis refers to the moment when someone realizes that their parents are not mortal. And the closest connection to Cao Dai I can find is that Caodaists practice ancestor veneration, hence the "ghost of your father" theme. This plus the blowout (sudden rupture) makes me think the facade he's trying to build up of forgetting and forgiving his father (stepfather in John's case) has suddenly collapsed on itself.
    golden_boyon April 12, 2016   Link

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