"Two Girls" as written by and Townes Van Zandt....
Well, the clouds didn't look like cotton
They didn't even look like clouds
I was underneath the weather
My friends looked a crowd
The swimmin' hole was full of rum
I tried to find out why
All I learned was this my friend
You got to swim before you fly

I got two girls
One's in heaven and one's below
Oh, one I love with all my heart
And one I do not know.

Two lonesome dudes on an ugly horse
Passed by not long ago
They asked me where the action was
I said I did not know
As they disappeared into the brush
I heard the driver say
He's a little slow between the ears
He's always been that way.

Jolly Jane just lays around
And listens with her mouth
She's had about a dozen husbands
But the last one pulled out
Now, who's gonna bring her dinner
Through the weary years ahead
All she'll get from me is sympathy
Got no time to see she's fed.

It's cold down on the bayou
They say it's in your mind
But the moccasins are treadin' ice
And leavin strange designs
Cajuns say the last time
That this happend they weren't here
All Beaumont's full of penguins
And I'm a-playin' it by ear.

Lyrics submitted by Van_arsdale

"Two Girls" as written by


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Two Girls song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentI think the last line should be:

    Fort Woth's full of penguins
    And Im a-playin it by ear.
    whiteyjohnsonon October 06, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYes, the last line should be changed to "Fort Worth's". He changes this line up occasionally on other versions of this song. He's also used "Beaumont's" instead of FW.
    lubrecht32on December 23, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is my all time favorite song, i love the steve earle recording best but the song speaks for itself, it can sound good adjusted to any genre'
    Brachson April 23, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYes because there are so many Cajuns and bayous in Fort Worth, compared to Beaumont.
    Printigon January 03, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song, arguably one of Townes Van Zandt's most beloved, has an undeniable appeal to it, though it is very difficult to decipher, due to the surrealistic nature of the lyrics. I have always found the chorus unfathomably resonant, but when I try to wrap my head around what it is trying to say, I always feel like I come up short...

    Still, to wager an interpretations: I read it not as the narrator literally being in love with two different women, but contrasting a real life lover with an ideal, fictitious one.

    This could go two ways: on one hand, perhaps the "one in heaven" is the unattainable, ideal image of a lover--the one that doesn't really exist in the real world ("down below"), and thus the one the narrator "does not know." In this scenario, the narrator loves the imperfect woman that he is with despite that she does not match up with the ideal image of a romantic partner that is in his head.

    On the flip side, maybe something prevents the narrator from having a healthy relationship with a loving, "good" partner ("one in heaven"), and instead he always ends up in unhealthy, toxic romantic situations. He loves the woman he is with, though the relationship is unhealthy and he knows that there is probably a woman out there with whom he could have a healthy relationship, but he "does not know" who she is.

    A friend of mine and I were discussing this song, and he recommended the possibility that one of the romantic partners has passed away (thus is "in heaven"). I found that rather compelling as well!

    Overall, regardless of the interpretation, I would say it is difficult for me to read this song without also thinking of Townes Van Zandt's complex and troubled history with drug and alcohol abuse. The chorus seems to suggest to me that he feels like he is a little fucked up and probably won't ever have a functioning, healthy romantic relationship. Luckily for us, Townes Van Zandt was sensitive and smart enough to translate his pain into something beautiful and relatable--something we can love and learn from.
    andy101019on May 26, 2016   Link

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