"Children" as written by and John Baldwin Gourley....
burning the blood oil
salt sugar water pails
build me black jesus ('cause jesus can't save me)
shackles pulling at your hair
shine me from roots out
wash me from the neck down
cut me in the fat stores
take me to the treeline

i'm a-heading down, down, down
down to the river 'cause i don't believe in medicine
i'll crawl out shaking pale
always got the answer, i got ears all around me

burn up in black smoke
thick and pourin' down your throat
make me of bread walks
listen up with ears, we're diving

birth me of blood oil
salt sugar water pails
build me black jesus
shackles pulling at your hair
i'm a written page in a giant man
never sick in bed so i never need that medicine

tell your children we got another year coming
oil stands the legs, this body speaks in tongues
and croaks "i'm heading down"

i'll walk down to the river where we met our pails
filled and spilling like our southern friends
met that pail atop the rocks and moss
grass grips licked about our heels and bends

i'm a-headin' down, down, down
down to the river 'cause i don't believe in medicine
when i crawl out i'll be shaking dirt
never need the answer, i got hands all around me

tell your children we got another year coming
oil stands the legs, this body speaks in tongues
and croaks "i'm heading down"
tell your children we spent a year in this fire
copper bands and hells getting lighter
line up in lines, we can only get higher
tell your children we got another year coming


Lyrics submitted by paco_

Children song meanings
Add your thoughts

8 Comments

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General CommentSome minor corrections again as I hear it.

    ==

    Burning the blood oil
    Salt sugar water pales
    Build me black jesus
    cause jesus can't save me
    Shackles pulling at your hair
    Shine me from roots out
    Wash me from the neck down
    Cut me in the fat stores
    Take me to the tree line

    I'm a heading down down down
    down to the river cause I don't believe in medicine
    I'll crawl out shaking pale
    Always got the answer I got ears all around me

    Burn up in black smoke
    Thick and pourin down your throat
    Make me of bread walks
    Listen up with ears we're diving

    Birth me of blood oil
    Salt sugar water pales
    Build me black jesus
    Shackles pulling at your hair
    I'm a written page in a giant man
    Never sick in bed, so I'll never need their medicine

    I'm a headin down down down
    down to the river cause I don't believe in medicine
    I'll crawl out shakin pale
    always got the answer I got ears all around me

    Tell your children we got another year comin
    Oil stands the legs this body speaks in tongues
    and croaks "I'm heading down"

    I'll walk down to the river where we met our pails
    Filled and spillin like our southern friends
    Met that pail atop the rocks and moss
    Grass grips licks about our heels and bends

    I'm a heading down down down
    down to the river cause I don't believe in medicine
    When I crawl out I'll be shakin dirt
    Never need the answer I got hands all around me

    Tell your children we got another year comin
    Oil stands the legs this body speaks in tongues
    and croaks "I'm heading down"
    Tell your children we spent a year in this fire
    Copper bands and hells getting lighter
    Line up in lines we can only get higher
    Tell your children we got another year coming

    ==

    I changed the first part because I hear him say "Burning the blood oil" more than "Birth me of blood oil" (although it's clear he says that later on." Also I changed "pales" to "pails", because in the second line of that verse, it talks about filling and spilling. Oh, and there was a line missing in there, "the I'm a written page" part.

    As for interpretation, I'm thinking it has to do with oil in Alaska. Or just the people that work oil drills.
    Socodaxon July 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment*Salt sugar water pails
    Socodaxon July 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThat makes a lot of sense, since PtM is from Alaska. Also, thanks for all the help getting the lyrics right.
    paco_on August 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about them having to get from baltimore to arizona to start a tour and their van broke down in the middle of nowhere it was way too hot for them to be walking and the town was really far away and out of nowhere it just started pouring rain and thunder and lightning
    TodVonÜber1979on August 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI get more of a sense of religion and it's strange hold in the 1800's when the people were migrating around. The idea of a "body speaking tongues" and the references to medicine as well as "talking to Pales" or, the native Americans.

    Kind of seems like a song about early settlers. The whole ending seems like a preacher saying "we'll spend another year in this fire!" Kind of like scaring them and such and condemning people for sins. It would fit with the title and theme of the album "Church Mouth"

    Also:

    "Shine me from the roots out" is really: "shine me if the moons out" and the beginning is "burn me in blood, oil, salt, sugar, water pails". It's one of those burn them at the stake type of things.

    I don't know about the whole song, I just get a feeling like Inquisition, Witch Trials, Possession and preachers.
    I_Want_You_Deadon June 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentcoolest song i've heard in a long time
    Hancockensteinon August 18, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs for the meaning of the song it seems fairly clear to me that there's a message dealing with religion given that it talks about speaking in tongues, and specifically he includes in the chorus "i'm a-heading down, down, down
    down to the river 'cause i don't believe in medicine" which is referring to faith healers/religious anti-vaccine people.
    A man named joeon October 21, 2016   Link
  • -1
    General CommentThat makes a lot of sense, since PtM is from Alaska. Also, thanks for all the help getting the lyrics right.
    paco_on August 06, 2007   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain