Window mounted air conditioning unit,
Humming like a hive.
We want to send postcards to the friends we used to have,
Rub their noses in the ugly fact that we are still alive,
And we play,
Lovers reggae,
On accordian and banjo,
When the moon is high.
And we lie on the floor,
Get suspicious of the people
Who've just moved in next door.

The bad taste in our mouths,
The twinkle in your eye
Good things never last
Bad things never die.

Wind chime from Tahiti that we found down at the auction,
Tolls its minor chord.
And i can't think of one thing in this whole wide blessed world,
That's more dangerous and frightening,
Than you when you get bored.
And we go though,
Scads of money.
Don't know where it comes from,
Don't know where it goes.
And we stare, out the window
See the poison flowers the neighbours grow,
Sprouting up in nice neat rows.

The swelling in our limbs,
The twinkle in your eye,
Good things never last,
Bad things never die.



Lyrics submitted by n_a_r_i_n

Ethiopians song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentUnreleased bside from Tallahassee. It is available through Daytrotter Sessions.

    daytrotter.com/article/821/…
    fight the lineon October 07, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretationre: the title and the Odyssey. Usually John's references are biblical, not classic. I'd guess it refers to a verse from Jeremiah:

    "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil."

    It was supposed to be on Talahassee, which means it's about the Alpha couple. Can the Alpha couple change their spots? No. They are accustomed to do evil, and so will always do evil. Good things never last, bad things never die.
    tedwickon May 10, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentUnreleased bside from Tallahassee. It is available through Daytrotter Sessions.

    daytrotter.com/article/821/…
    fight the lineon October 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really like this one and wish it made the album!
    JimmieNeverDieson May 07, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI haven't heard a lot by this band, but I absolutely love this song!
    myexpiredsoupon March 26, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAny clues as to what the title references? I cracked open a copy of the Odyssey today and Ethiopians are referenced within the first couple of pages: "But now Poseidon had gone to visit the Ethiopians worlds away, Ethiopians at the farthest limits of mankind, a people split in two, one part where the Sungod sets and part where the Sungod rises." That got me wondering - is it a classical Greek reference? Something else? Any ideas?
    amanda444on December 17, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really like the suggestion that this is about that verse from Jeremiah. I think I remember John Darnielle commenting on this though, and it's actually named for the Jamaican rocksteady and reggae goup (think lover's reggae), The Ethiopians.

    I really love the consistency between this song and the ones that DID make it onto Tallahassee, take the lyrics from 'No Children' together with the line "postcards to friends we used to have ... rub their noses in the ugly fact that we are still alive". Also compare the verse "your eyes, twin volcanoes, bad ideas dancing around in there" with the line "nothing .. more dangerous and frightening than you when get bored."


    The Ethiopians are pretty solid, by the way, if anyone reading this is into early ska, rocksteady, etc.
    Eccentricityon April 14, 2015   Link

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