"Caleb Meyer" as written by Gillian Howard Welch and David Todd Rawlings....
Caleb Meyer, he lived alone
In them hollarin' pines
He made a little whiskey for himself
Said it helped to pass the time

Late one evening in back of my house,
Caleb came around
He called my name 'til I came out
With no one else around

Caleb Meyer, your ghost is gonna
Wear them rattlin' chains.
But when I go to sleep at night,
Don't you call my name

Where's your husband, Nellie Kane
Where's your husband gone?
Did he go down off the mountain side
And leave you all alone?

Yes, my husband's gone to Bowlin' Green
To do some business there.
Then Caleb threw that bottle down
And grabbed me by my hair.


He threw me on the needle bed,
And on my dress he lay
He held my hands above my head
And I commenced to pray.

I cried My God, I am your child
Send your angels down
Then feelin' with my fingertips,
The bottle neck I found

I pulled that glass across his neck
As fine as any blade,
And I felt his blood run fast and hot
Around me where I laid.

[Chorus: x2]

Lyrics submitted by tweedwolfscream

"Caleb Meyer" as written by Gillian Howard Welch David Todd Rawlings

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Caleb Meyer song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentListening to this song for the first time I found myself following along with Welch's voice, line by line, my heart catching in my throat as she tells her tale, until finally she says "Then feeling with my fingertips, the bottle neck I found..." and I knew she would be alright.
    hangable_auto_blurbon February 20, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGillian's writing is so similar to Ryan Adams.
    I'd be way happier if they were married rather than Adams and Mandy Moore.
    Awesome song, nonetheless.
    taylorrr1211on December 27, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Song FactThis is a recent addition to the rich tradition of murder ballads, stretching back 3-4 centuries. Unlike many such ballads that tell of a senseless murder perpetrated by one lover on another, this one tells how a woman saved herself from rape.
    Putnamon August 18, 2017   Link

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