Here in the old country she
Grew up just as they said
Trying to make up for what was missing
As the land faded to red
Here in the old country hair falls
Coarsely round their necks
Having your wit about you
Can hurt more than it protects

So let the sugar cane ashes
Fall to your feet
Let it pile up around you
Til your in it waist deep
And when it all changes
And the harvest is large
Let it pile up to your shoulders
That dealt all them scars

With every fiber of his muscle
He bare down on her back
The cane would rip the air of its breath
And turned the sun black
She fall down to her knees
With out so much a whisper
Please save the child
Who knows not what she dreams

Red moon turns a red horizon
Words burning to leave the tongue

Here in the old country moon
It turns a blood red
A warning to all those
Who dare to forget

But burning of cane fires
Gives us the winters keep
And a barricade of burning tires
For those who dared to sleep

So let the sugar cane ashes
Fall to your feet
Let them pile up around you
Til your in it waist deep
And when it all changes
And the harvest is large
Let it pile up to your shoulders
That dealt all them scars
Red moon turns a red horizon
Words burnin' to leave the tongue
Red moon turns a red horizon
Words burnin' to leave the tongue


Lyrics submitted by ManInTheHall

Hopeless Tender song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is based on "Cane Cutters" in the dominican republic. the workers are mostly haitian. they work long hours with little pay with no protection. I think"every fiber of his muscle he bare down on her back" refers to the men on horses that make rounds around the plantation to make sure workers are working as hard as they can.
    The lyrics"And a barricade of burning tires" could refer to the re-election of the Aristade as president in Haiti. OR i could just be comletely wrong...

    It might also have to do with the current conflicts in Kenya..
    dispatchfan09on February 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCall me crazy but I have a theory that this song is about sex. Sex, specifically between a black woman and a white man, or a black couple. Why is it called hopeless tender? What is more hopelessly tender than sex? I guess it truly is how you interpret it. I started to interpret his words literally, not as a poem, but as a story.

    "So let the sugar cane ashes
    Fall to your feet
    Let it pile up around you
    Til your in it waist deep"
    (Just try to picture that in a different way than what's actually written...what would sugar cane ashes look like? What can penetrate waste deep?)

    "With every fiber of his MUSCLE (I think it's important that this is a singular muscle. What is a powerful male muscle?)
    He bare down on her back (obviously)
    The cane would rip the air of its breath CANE, what else looks like a cane...ripping through to penetrate.
    And turned the sun black (sun? why not son?)
    She fall down to her knees
    With out so much a whisper
    Please save the child
    Who knows not what she dreams
    (why would he include this powerful line? the creation of a child is important to this song)

    Furthermore, all of the "red" and "burning"...what does Chetro's hair remind you of? Crazy sunrays burning bright?

    This is only my theory...whether you agree or disagree, please don't be shy!

    P.S this is my favorite state radio song, everytime I play it which is at least once a day, my troubles melt away and my mind is free for 5 minutes snd 18 seconds.
    chargreeneon December 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretationi agree with it being about sex but i feel as if its more of rape then consentual sex. also her gettin pregnant from it and having to lie to the child so it doesnt know how it was concieved..
    Danbergeronon January 31, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commenton the extra, live acoustic version of Hopeless Tender on the "Let it Go" album:

    "This is a song, to be more serious, that, uh, it sort started in Zimbabwe ... it started in sort of a strange moment, as a foreigner, I guess, I hadn't been there very long and it sort of appropriate for tonight's Calling All Crows in the sense that I saw, I was with some of my friends who play soccer with, and I saw a man whipping this woman with a stick. Pretty hard. And I went to say something, and my friends told me, like, whatever you do, don't say anything, like they looked me very seriously in the eye and said do not speak up, or, you know, it's not your place. Um, so, a pretty wild experience, because it was early on there, and, I don't know, it sort of speaks for itself I guess. And still I think there's no... there's no... it's hard to find a solution in situations like that because there's such a thing as a cultural difference and there's such thing as right and wrong, and sometime's it's hard to find the truth in between"
    haggagbion May 03, 2010   Link

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