Remember when our songs were just like prayer
Like gospel hymns that you called in the air
Come down, come down sweet reverence
Unto my simple house and ring... and ring

Ring like silver, ring like gold
Ring out those ghosts on the Ohio
Ring like clear day wedding bells
Were we the belly of the beast, or the sword that fell?
We'll never tell

Come to me, clear and cold
On some sea
Watch the world spinning waves
Like that machine

Now I've been crazy, couldn't you tell?
I threw stones at the stars, but the whole sky fell
Now I'm covered up in straw, belly up on the table
Well I drank and sang, and I passed in the stable

That tall grass grows high and brown
Well I dragged you straight in the muddy ground
And you sent me back to where I roam
Well I cursed and I cried, but now I know
Now I know

And I ran back to that hollow again
The moon was just a sliver back then
And I ached for my heart like some tin man
When it came, oh it beat and it boiled and it rang
Oh, it's ringing

Ring like crazy, ring like hell
Turn me back into that wild haired gale
Ring like silver, ring like gold
Turn these diamonds straight back into coal
Turn these diamonds straight back into coal


Lyrics submitted by arijoe, edited by IllToast2That, LiveWithit, cdsdiver, endee07

The Stable Song song meanings
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  • +8
    General CommentHere are the lyrics as printed in the jacket of his CD "That Sea, the Gambler"

    The Stable Song

    Remember when our songs were just like prayer
    Like gospel hymns that you called in the air
    Come down, come down sweet reverence
    Unto my simple house and ring... and ring

    Ring like silver, ring like gold
    Ring out those ghosts on the Ohio
    Ring like clear day wedding bells
    Were we the belly of the beast, or the sword that fell?
    We'll never tell

    Come to me, clear and cold
    On some sea
    Watch the world spinning waves
    Like that machine

    Now I've been crazy, couldn't you tell?
    I threw stones at the stars, but the whole sky fell
    Now I'm covered up in straw, belly up on the table
    Well I drank and sang, and I passed in the stable

    That tall grass grows high and brown
    Well I dragged you straight in the muddy ground
    And you sent me back to where I roam
    Well I cursed and I cried, but now I know
    Now I know

    And I ran back to that hollow again
    The moon was just a sliver back then
    And I ached for my heart like some tin man
    When it came, oh it beat and it boiled and it rang
    Oh, it's ringing

    Ring like crazy, ring like hell
    Turn me back into that wild haired gale
    Ring like silver, ring like gold
    Turn these diamonds straight back into coal
    Turn these diamonds straight back into coal
    pocketwatch88on April 11, 2009   Link
  • +4
    Song MeaningNot to disagree, I think the muse explanation is a beautiful one. But...

    I believe this song is about the experience of going from youthful joy, idealism, faith, and "reverence" -- and then losing it, hitting bottom, possibly self-destruction -- and, then... regaining it again, feeling alive and youthful again.

    Initially, the character remembers what it was like when he was younger, everything on his mind was faithful, optimistic, reverential. He was connected to the universe. He jumped out into the unknown and shot for the stars, possibly even found success.

    But, then the "sky falls," he hits bottom, perhaps he wanted too much, was over-indulgent, addiction, whatever. You can read between the lines here, but we know he wastes/abuses his "reverence" and his beautiful connection. We know he brought it upon himself. He becomes washed up, or whatever. This time frame is meant to be ugly/disparaging. But, mainly, we know he no longer jumps out into the unknown, no longer seizes life.

    But, then...

    He goes back into the "hollow" (or the unknown) to find the "reverence" again, the "ringing." Note: He was younger then... "the moon was just a sliver back then." He wants his heart back, he wants to FEEL again, like he did before.

    Then, we know that it comes back to him, with intensity. He FEELS again, like it's "boiling" inside him. He's full of the reverence again, connected again, and adventurous... transformed back into a "wild-haired gail."

    Lastly, it is like time has turned back or his perspective has become youthful, young again: "Turn these diamonds straight back into coal." The "diamonds" of wisdom/experience changed back into the raw source: coal before it has experienced so much pressure that it changed.

    Or something like that...
    jabarheadon January 21, 2013   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI hope that my offering of another view doesn't upset the others here, but I'm like 90% sure…

    1) He’s talking about marriage (or something like that); His love for his new wife(lover), her love for him and the wonder that is this time.
    2) Then something happened. And he’s not quite sure what it is. But he would truly like some clarity., but recognizes that he'll never get it because, at this point, they don't agree on anything.
    3) He begs her to come back. He'll take her in any way he can have her, forget the circumstance that holds them apart. He's forgiven her for everything she's ever done.
    4) He even tries to apologize for what he can see he’s done wrong.
    5) The thing that had grown so beautifully to start has now become nothing more than an absurd dying weed. He’s ruined her. He recognizes she will have nothing to do with him.
    6) He goes back to where everything began (hometown probably) and tried to get over her. But he’s so torn apart by what he’s done that his heart hurts, mind and very soul are raging inside him.
    7) He’s still fighting with his love for her- He even goes so far as to ask God to change him back in to the man she fell in love with. He’s willing to go through anything to get her back.
    ~I've heard this argument before, because I've gone through something like this, but not in his place. In my scenario- I’m her.
    IwishIwereon June 04, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Commentnot sure about some of these lyrics (especially the first line) but most of this is pretty good. couldn't find the lyrics anywhere online, so here they are.
    arijoeon January 12, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI would have to say that the first line is actually "I know when a song's written just like prayer," and that it's "And I drank and sang and passed in the stable" (it's The Stable Song after all)
    jennyjenjenon March 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe lyrics originally posted are messed! Agreed Jenny! It is the stable song after all! Great song! I don't know what he is talking about but maybe I get the idea of habitual life. It’s a cycle he goes through of refining and messing up again. Might be way off but phrases like “Diamond to coal”, "And I ran back to that hollow again", "And you sent me back to where I roam" give me this idea. It could work…. His lyrics are the best for sure. His song 3 a.m. is my favorite! His whole new Alum is more vibrant then anything yet, I think (way good)!
    Bryceingon July 09, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI'm not 100%, but I think he's writing this song about the song he's writing. More specifically, he's writing the song to the muse or spirit that brings him the creativity to write songs...this song. When he refers to "you" he's referring to this song or that muse:

    "Well I dragged you straight in the muddy ground
    And you sent me back to where I roam
    Well I cursed and I cried, but now I know"

    He's saying in the above verse to take what the spirit gives you or you'll dry up. He's learned that now.

    Such a beautiful idea. He's also saying that the spirit/muse that brings him the creativity or inspiration to write such a song can come and go whenever it pleases ("turn those diamonds straight back into coal").

    Creativity is fleeting. I'd welcome any feedback comments.
    fnordatpanixon September 24, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'd say fnordatpanix pretty much nailed it - and i'd say the line "Well I cursed and I cried, but now I know" can pertain to so many different trials/tribulations in life - they're usually painful at the time but they lead to wisdom and expeience...the key is to learn from it.
    StoveCapitalon January 13, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI interpreted the line "I threw stones at the stars and the whole sky fell" as he did or said something mindlessly (maybe because he was bored or to garner a reaction) and it had major, but unintended, consequences for him.
    thamericangirlon December 26, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI got an echo of T.S.Eliot's Journey of the Magi....the Jesus was born in a stable, see how that fits and let me know what you think......

    Thank you
    Gerard91on May 19, 2014   Link

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