"Tragic Turn of Events / Move Pen Move" as written by and Dan Mangan....
Used to anticipate the sign of the coming day
And all through winter's decay, you just mark the way
We worry what people'd say if we up and walked away
I swore we had a place to stay
Stay
That's what mothers say when their sons and daughters go away
They say "stay." my mother said go
So I wasn't there the night she fell out of her chair so frustrated that she Amputated her own legs, or rather tried to, with a steak knife
Her life leaking out on the white floor blossoming like roses in the snow
Her relationship was an anthem composed of words like "gotta go." so we went
And sent our regards on postcards from all the places that we'd been, with stories About all the things we'd seen
That's how it was with you and I
Why say goodbye when we could still write?
And then we took your hands
But we should've practiced our goodbyes because then I took your eyes and I was Somewhere in the middle of nowhere watching the sun rise over a stop sign faced down the center line of a highway filled with sudden turns for the worse
Coming back home cause I gotta play nurse
Gotta figure out with pill alleviates which pain, which part of your brain is being Used for a boxing bag as your body became a never-ending game of freeze tag taking Place in an empty playground
I was left looking for your limbs at a lost and found and I couldn't set you free
So we just sat there, our heads bent towards each other like flowers in the small Hours of the morning while light wandered in like a warning that time is passing and You ride a little home with it bit by bit every day
And all I could say is if I could, I would write you some way out of this but my gift Is useless and you said, no
Write me a poem to make me happy

Over the hill and gone
And I'd never been that far
Some boy along the way taught me to play guitar
And you said that you'd read to me if I fell asleep
Rock me awake again, promise me
But you make such beautiful words
I wrote "move, pen, move
Write me a bedroom where cures make love to our cancers
But my mother just motions to a bottle full of answers and says, help me go
Now I know something of how a piano must feel when it looks at the fireplace to see Sheet music being used for kindling
Smoke signaling the end of some song that I thought it would take too long to learn
So I just sit here watching you burn away
All those notes that never had a chance to play
To hear the music of what you had to say
But I count out the pills, just to see if I can do it
And I can't even get halfway through it
Before I turn back into your son and say stay

I need something to lean against
I think that's okay, butterflies, you read to me
They all flew away
And I'm saddened by the thought and sometimes I think too much and though I'm happy Right here, you know that I'm really not
It's distracting
I could hook up to my heart to your ears and let my tears be your morphine drip
And maybe it's easier to let you slip away than it is to say goodbye
So I hold my breath
Because in the countdown to death, the question of why melts into when?
How much time do we have left
Because if I knew what I know now then move pen move
Write me a mountain because headstones are not big enough
None of this is
Stop it, write me a poem to make me happy
I swear write this, stay, she smiles and says gotta go
I know, goodbye
Over the years it seems that aging's just not for me
Though I ache just below the knees and it flows to my heart
And all through the hearts I need
It's not how it ought to be
You're falling away from me
And it's just not right
Falling away from me
It's not right
But you make such beautiful words
Now it's trying
Oh, how it's tragic
But you make such beautiful words


Lyrics submitted by sunshineandpaint

"Tragic Turn of Events/Move Pen Move" as written by Dan Mangan

Lyrics © ARTS & CRAFTS MUSIC INC DBA GALLERYAC MUSIC

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Tragic Turn of Events / Move Pen Move song meanings
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  • +1
    Lyric CorrectionUsed to anticipate, the sign of the coming day.
    And all through winter's decay, you just mark the way.
    Worry what people'd say.
    If we up and walked away, I swore we had a place to stay.

    Stay. That's what mothers say when their sons and daughters go away. They say "stay." My mother said "go." So I wasn't there the night she fell out of her chair, so frustrated that she amputated her own legs, or rather tried to, with a steak knife. Her life leaking out on the white floor, blossoming like roses in the snow. Her relationship was an anthem composed of words like "gotta go." So we went, and sent our regards on postcards from all the places we'd been, with stories about all the things we'd seen that's how it was with you and I. Why say goodbye when we could still write? And then we took your hands. We should've practiced our goodbyes because then I took your eyes, and I was somewhere in the middle of nowhere watching the sun rise over a stop sign faced down the center line of a highway filled with sudden turns for the worse. Coming back home cause I gotta play nurse. Gotta figure out which pill alleviates which pain, which part of your brain is being used for a boxing bag as your body became a never-ending game of freeze tag taking place in an empty playground, I was left looking for your limbs at a lost and found and I couldn't set you free. So we just sat there, our heads bent towards each other like flowers in the small hours of the morning while light wandered in like a warning that time is passing and you ride a little home with it bit by bit every day. And all I could say is "If I could, I would write you some way out of this but my gift is useless." And you said, "No. Write me a poem to make me happy."

    Over the hill and gone, and I'd never been that far.
    Some boy along the way, taught me to play guitar.
    And you said that you'd read to me, if I fell asleep.
    Rock me awake again, promise me.
    But you make such beautiful words.

    I wrote "Move, pen, move. Write me a bedroom where cures make love to our cancers." But my mother just motions to a bottle full of answers and says, "Help me go." Now I know something of how a piano must feel, when it looks at the fireplace to see sheet music being used for kindling. Smoke signaling the end of some song that I thought it would take too long to learn, so I just sit here watching you burn away. All those notes that never had a chance to play, to hear the music of what you had to say. But I count out the pills, just to see if I can do it. And I can't even get halfway through it before I turn back into your son and say "Stay."

    I need something to lean against, I think that's okay.
    “Butterflies” you read to me, they all flew away.
    And I'm saddened by the thought, and sometimes I think too much.
    And though I'm happy right here, you know that I'm really not.
    It's distracting.

    I could hook up to my heart to your ears and let my tears be your morphine drip. And maybe it's easier to let you slip away than it is to say goodbye, so I hold my breath. Because in the countdown to death, the question of "Why?" melts into "When? How much time do we have left?" Because if I knew what I know now then move pen move. Write me a mountain because headstones are not big enough. None of this is. Stop it. "Write me a poem to make me happy." I swear write this, "stay." She smiles and says "Gotta go." I know, goodbye.

    Over the years it seems, that ageing’s just not for me.
    Though I ache just below the knees, and it flows to my heart.
    And then all through the parts I need, it's not how it ought to be.
    It's not how it ought to be, it's not how it ought to be.
    You're falling away from me, and it's just not right.
    Falling away from me, it's not right.
    But you make, such beautiful words.
    You make, such beautiful words.
    Oh now it's, trying. Oh now it’s, trying.
    Oh how it's, tragic. Oh how it’s, tragic.
    But you make such beautiful words.
    iuawewlcinljqwnon April 20, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentkills me every time
    gentlebirdon October 11, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe most moving poetry
    atsealoston September 20, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionThis might be wrong, but I always thought that it went "and my mother says 'stop it.'", not "none of this is. stop it."
    atsealoston September 20, 2012   Link

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