One clear shot or else he gets away
Red sun high in the sky tonight
Look west from London down to old Hollywood
Remember the first days in california


You don't wanna see these guys without their masks on
You don't wanna see these guys without their masks on

Fat rich men love their 12-year-olds
Deco cufflinks and cognac by the glass
Look West from London toward the emerald city
Remember Minnesota

You don't wanna see these guys without their masks on
You don't wanna see these guys without their masks on

Or their gloves...

Sweet spearmint and bitter tangerine
Bedside decked with roses
Look West look West look West and look away
From old familiar faces

You don't wanna see these guys without their masks on
You don't wanna see these guys without their masks on


Lyrics submitted by mdon06

The Autopsy Garland song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +2
    Song MeaningIf the title wasn't enough, this song is definitely about Judy Garland. It mentions California/Hollywood (where she worked for most of her career), London (a favorite concert spot), the emerald city (Wizard of Oz), and my favorite, "remember minnesota," where she was born and spent some of her childhood. Later in life she would say that life in minnesota was the happiest time of her life. The fat rich men probably a reference to studio execs at MGM taking advantage of child stars.

    I love the Mountain Goats AND Judy Garland, so this one lets me have my cake and eat it too :)
    jandersenon March 06, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"You don't wanna see these guys without their masks on" always made me think of those scenes in movies in operating rooms when all the surgeons know there is nothing else they can do, and take their surgical masks off and stand there looking distraught.
    tjwellson April 22, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI saw John Darnielle talking about the song on youtube and he said its about "survives". Judy Garland was forced by producers (fat rich men) to take amphetamines as well as barbiturates as a teenage actress which lead to a life long addiction that eventually killed. John as a victim of child abuse related to her over coming her ruff beginning and the tone of the song captures the sorrow for what the businesses did do her. "you don't want to see these guys without there mask on" is him saying that normal people (producers in Garlands case or his father in Johns) can do life long damage to people without anyone knowing.
    liamdeon August 01, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDarnielle has said that when he first saw the Wizard of Oz, he was certain that he wanted to marry Judy Garland.

    He also said that both Garland was a survivor, just as he is, survivors of two completely different things but he feels a companionship between the two of them none the less.
    Medafetson October 02, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThere is also the HP Lovecraft element to it; a common disguise for the monsters in his stories, when they passed themselves off as human, were wax masks and mitten-like gloves that disguised their inhuman hands and faces.

    And while the Judy Garland connection is obvious, I do think it does make me think of the general abuse (physical and sexual abuse) of young girls in Hollywood by casting directors and producers.
    JesseBakeron May 21, 2013   Link

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