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They pay me not to come home
Keeping me stoned
I won’t run away
They say it’s easy to get
Stuck in this town
Just like Joan
You know I gave it all up for the stage
They fill my cup up in the cage
It’s nobody’s business but mine when I’m low
To hold yourself up is not a crime here you know
At the end of the world

I kick my foot at the lights
I breathe it in all night
There’s a light on a canvas tree
Money from home supporting me
They pay me not to come
I won’t eat crow
Ill stay away
And though all roads will not lead you home my girl
All roads lead to the end of the world
I sewed a little luck up in the hem of my gown
The only way down from the gallows is to swing
And I’ll wear boots instead of high heels
And the next stage that I am on it will have wheels


Lyrics submitted by xdvr

Pay Me song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentCan anyone shed some light on this song? One of my favorite on the new album. I feel like there must be a story behind it I am missing -- Disgraced actress turned prostitute leaves town? Are the gallows real or figurative? "The only way down from the gallows is to swing" -- What a line. Waits/Brennan in peak form.
    snorbiferouson December 06, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"They pay me not to come home
    Keeping me stoned
    I won’t run away"

    Presumably about an actor/actress trying to make it out alone and being given money by their parents.

    "I kick my foot at the lights
    I breathe it in all night
    There’s a light on a canvas tree"

    A light on canvas tree, maybe thinking the spotlight should be on him/her.

    "Money from home supporting me
    They pay me not to come
    I won’t eat crow
    Ill stay away"

    Refusing to give up on their dream even though it's failing, and not wanting to prove their parents right about how they'd never make it some shit.
    jobdoneon September 06, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think this song is about an artist that is away from home and he is getting tired of living alone. Somehow he is making money and is getting some fame, but this keeps him away from his home as he is paied for that and is always stone. He realizes that everything in the artist's life is going to make him die alone and he wishes he had a regular job ("the next stage I'm on, it will have wheels" - like a truck driver or something like that). I think every part is more like that, like how Tom may had felt in his early years as a musician
    lucasemgon February 16, 2013   Link

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