Well, I’m a modern sort of mystic and a little solipsistic,
And I guess it’s true, I sometimes go too far.
You can tell me I’m a liar -- I won’t question your desires,
I just wish I knew exactly what they are.
Hear the roll of distant thunder; pick me up and put me under,
Just be careful with those claws so I don’t scar.
I can’t promise you’re not dreaming -- can you swear that I’m not screaming
Now before you press my back up to the bar?

I have lived in several ages, danced across the world’s pages,
Scrawled my name upon the path of passing time;
I’ve lost friends and I’ve left lovers, taking eons to discover
There are wounds that distance simply won’t refine.
Give me shelter from the rainfall, give me courage for the cast call;
Teach me every cue and feed me every line.
All those things that you aren’t saying are the things I’m not obeying --
If you ask me to be yours I won’t decline.

Well, I’m a witch without a spellbook; I’m just searching for a kind look
And a gentle word to get me through the night.
Wrap me up in chains; confuse me, cut, confound and then abuse me;
I promise I’ll give up without a fight.
These half hidden lacerations won’t be cured by incantations,
But they just might heal if I can see the light;
I can’t promise to obey you. I can’t swear I won’t betray you,
Or that when the morning comes I won’t take flight.

And the pain is an elixir like a long slow drink of gin;
And the absinthe and the wormwood are the lost years creeping in.
I keep coming back and drinking -- I’m a barfly who won’t learn.
I am gulping pretty poisons that devour me in return.

I have seen the serpent turning, I have watched the cities burning,
I have wondered why the omens were ignored;
Deal the cards and trade the glances. Roll the dice and take your chances,
Making bargains that our souls can ill afford.
In the darkness that comes after I have heard the shattered laughter
From the ones who say that death’s their only lord;
Break me bind and undo me. Light the fires and renew me --
When the morning comes, I’ll rise to my reward.

And the pain is an elixir...

Well, I’m a modern sort of mystic and a little solipsistic,
And I know it’s true, I often go too far.
You can tell me I’m a liar -- I won’t question your desires,
Though I wish I knew exactly who you are.
Hear the roll of closing thunder, pick me up and pull me under,
Just be careful with those claws, ‘cause I’ve been scarred.
I can’t promise you’re not dreaming, but I swear to you, I’m screaming...
Come on, press me just this once against the bar.


Written on: 1998-02-09. Seanan McGuire


Lyrics submitted by Nonny

Modern Mystic song meanings
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