"Pontchartrain" as written by and Vienna Teng....
Sunday:
Dark water draining north, the heat
Swells and bursts like plague.

Sunday:
Ever-so-faint slow tambourine
Glides onward toward the grave.

Who drew the line?
Who drew the line between you and me?
Who drew the line
That everyone sees?

Darling,
Lake Pontchartrain is haunted:
Bones without names, photographs framed in reeds.

Darling,
What blood our veins are holding.
The overpass frozen, fires ablaze at sea.

Who drew the line?
Who drew the line that cuts to the skin, buries me in?
Tell me who drew the line.
Darling, don't close your eyes.

(Lie as darkness hardens.
Lie of our reunion.
Oh lie if God is sleeping.
Oh I believe you now.)

Darling,
Lake Pontchartrain will cradle me,
And all you left behind.

Listen:
Ever-so-faint slow tambourine
Is marching back through time.



Lyrics submitted by delial

"Pontchartrain" as written by Vienna Teng

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Pontchartrain song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentSomeone's lover who died before their time ("Don't close your eyes")? I suppose Lake Pontchartrain held their memories. It's a very depressing and haunting song, but I love it.
    AncientNovaon September 30, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about Hurricane Katrina (the mention of Sunday and fires ablaze at sea), the collapse of the levees and how New Orleans was flooded by Lake Pontchartrain.

    The mentions of the haunted Lake, the one that cradles the dead - many of the dead lay in the Pontchartrain-flooded streets of New Orleans for weeks afterwards.

    "Who drew the line" can refer to many seemingly-arbitrary lines that meant life or death when Katrina hit - where you lived, how much money you had or the color of your skin.
    bridget gon December 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenther voice is PERFECT on this song. so eerie. the song itself possesses a stillness that must have emanated through the city the day after the flood.

    bridget, i agree with your comment. 'who drew the line' is a great open ended question, which in turn raises even more questions.
    danielleyvetteon October 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenther voice is PERFECT on this song. so eerie. the song itself possesses a stillness that must have emanated through the city the day after the flood.

    bridget, i agree with your comment. 'who drew the line' is a great open ended question, which in turn raises even more questions.
    danielleyvetteon October 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentVienna Teng did a concert last fall at the college where I work and in the conversation beforehand, she mentioned that she was playing around on the piano, playing the black keys with one hand and the white keys with the other, which led to a song about the racial divisions that were revealed in the devastation of Hurricane Katrina--hence the unsettling quality of the music.
    kirstinvgron November 14, 2007   Link

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