Don't tell me anything anyhow
Your contribution, proposed solution fails for now
Because I can see your house from here
Now the leaves have fallen, dear
You're such a little privateer
As your confession draws more near

Don't sell me anything of any kind
Your one-time offer is so uncalled for
You call it peace of mind
But I don't want your life insurance
Home, auto, health, fire insurance
Just make this basic inference
Employ a little common sense

Time and again I find I'm listless or rather fistless
In time that's what I find
Carry me to Mecca with what you may divine
Take me with you, take me with you, don't leave me behind

Don't give me anything of anykind
Your trite donation, commercialization
Won't hold water now
Because I can see your ship from here
Now the weather's bright and clear
You're such a little privateer
As your confession draws near


Lyrics submitted by Mellow_Harsher, edited by minkawa

The Confession song meanings
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    My InterpretationI think of this song as being sung by a woman who has received a proposal of marriage from an older, wealthy man, but the proposal is not made out of love. "The confession" in this interpretation refers to the penance/confession given during last rites. The proposer wants to be married to satisfy convention, and also because he is getting older and fears death. He doesn't want to die alone, and wants the narrator to be his caretaker.

    (Gender could be reversed of course, but for simplicity's sake in this description I'm using "she" for the narrator and "he" for the one who made the proposal.)

    A privateer, of course, is a ship that sails without displaying its flag of origin. Its covert mission is to plunder the merchant ships of other countries to disrupt trade - but with less risk of retaliation because the privateer is subverting its identifying flag, or its "true colors".

    "I can see your house" - I see what you're really up to.

    "The leaves have fallen, dear" - He is no longer young and can see the end of his life approaching.

    "Don't sell me anything..." All the references to commercialism suggest that the proposer has suggested that the narrator will benefit financially from the marriage, basically turning the proposal into a commercial transaction, rather than a profession of real love. It's a bit sarcastic, too, especially the line "your one-time offer is so uncalled for" - which I take to mean that the proposer has insulted her by suggesting this may be her last chance to marry and/or that she will be foolish to reject him. "Your trite donation" also points to the idea that he has been condescending to her by suggesting he is acting out of charity towards her, provoking this sharp response. Privateer also sounds like profiteer, a word choice apparently used in a different version of this song in the last stanza. The narrator is saying he is only proposing because he will be profiting from this arrangement.

    The first few times I heard this song, the line "Home, auto, health, fire insurance" sounded like "or mortal hellfire insurance" - as in marriage is a way to get right with God. I could be just off the wall with that but he does love to play with words that way.

    The verse that describes feeling listless/fistless in time is the narrator telling the proposer that she is also helpless against time and death. When the narrator says "carry me to Mecca...don't leave me behind" - I think Mecca refers to death as well, as in it is a place where everyone is obligated to go. The narrator also doesn't want to be left behind, and alone, at death, which will be the case if she marries the older man.

    Finally, "I can see your ship from here" refers to the idea of "one's ship coming in", becoming rich and successful. This is what she's been promised - but as above, she can see what he's really all about.

    A discussion about a similar song, The Privateers, can be found at
    songmeanings.net/songs/view/3530822107858753069/
    abirataon December 10, 2012   Link

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