Rabbit fled, best guess, toward home
Fox & Bear toward Yellowstone
Walrus, north to the border towns
Peacock swayed like a reed on the fence a while
(with a stalwart sense of style!)
as the policemen’s nets came down
Word of the crash had spread fast and spread far
From Clark’s Fork to Blackfoot Reservoir
more grist for the malady mill

Shepherd the Southwest wind,
“railspikes ripped like the seam of a wineskin”
Shepherd the Northwest rain,
“Brass Hat slept at the helm of that woeful train…
Ain’t it an awful shame!
And don’t it just break your heart to hear of so much pain?”

Casey Jones walked slow to the prison cell
His face held hard as a scallop shell

CONDUCTOR: “Well, I wish I wished you well,
but your last friend on Earth now calls
from the silent side of the cemetery walls
your great cause to the moths and the rust!”
ELEPHANT: [Fanning her ears with a calm in her eyes]
“It’s the laws of cause and effect that you criticize
But sir, criticize them you must”

[Three miles more ‘til Flagstaff
Follow behind signs toward Badger Pass
Wound like clocks around fretboards
Carved out hands in our basswood body guitars -
borrowed guitars (borrowed hands!)
I’m clearly not as handsome or caring as what you seem to want,
but I’d gladly walk you home,
‘cause those streets can be dangerous]

Shepherd the Southwest wind,
“railspikes ripped like the seam of a wineskin”
Shepherd the Northwest rain,
“frog switch slipped and that reckless beast is to blame
Ain’t it an awful shame!
And don’t it just break your heart to hear of so much pain?”


Lyrics submitted by TheRevoltingColour

Grist for the Malady Mill song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +1
    My InterpretationI could be wrong here.. but here are my thoughts on the song. Also I still need to read about Casey Jones' story. After the 1st song in the album- Feb. 1878.. The first part of the song is just telling of what the different escaped animals are doing.

    Then it says "as the policemen’s nets came down".. I think this refers to the elephant that did not escape. Or possibly any other slow animals. Then it speaks of Casey Jones in the next verse.. This seems to me like Casey Jones is the Elephant. (as I said I need to look more into his story though) and the elephant that represents Christ (this is enforced though the other songs)..It's like when Jesus willingly goes with those who are going to kill him even though he knows he is going to die and he has the power to stop it but doesn't because it is his task.

    Again these are just my thoughts, but I think the Christ like references gives a good reinforcement to my argument.

    Any thoughts??
    AC2020xon June 17, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGood song. Unsure what the part in brackets means.
    NotTheEyeson May 11, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"I’m clearly not as handsome or caring as what you seem to want,
    but I’d gladly walk you home,
    ‘cause those streets can be dangerous"
    love this
    sweater_poorly_kniton May 23, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's a song about the Casey Jones... It might've been a mysterious song if it weren't for that part about Casey Jones....
    JLake1214on May 28, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the song is calling the conductor of a February 1878 train, Casey Jones' legacy obsolete. Mostly compared with the light of God and Aaron's usual preaching!
    Amazing song though!
    Dead7andDreamingon June 14, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCasey Jones was not yet 15 in February 1878, and he died in 1900. I believe Casey is implied as the conductor, and is speaking to Elephant, "I wish I wished you well..."
    daysofnoeon June 19, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation"Peacock swayed like a reed on the fence a while
    (with a stalwart sense of style!)"

    makes me think of Matthew 11:7-8

    7 As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 8 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces.

    Peacock is swaying like a reed, more concerned with the fine clothes and looking pretty, and is therefore caught in the nets and stays a slave to the circus (world/sin), not accepting the freedom Elephant (Christ) provides
    kintonwon July 13, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy only guess for the brackets part is that ELEPHANT is addressing Casey Jones in side-bar in compressed version of what's going on. ELEPHANT reveals that she is going to jail with Casey Jones, the "carved out hands in our basswood" might be a reference to Bear and Fox (Bear's Vision of St. Agnes, line 1 "wooden sculpture hands"). I haven't thought about it more than that, but the borrowed guitars and fretboards might somehow be references to other animals - saying they've got out safe.
    jahebeson September 15, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThere's a parallel between Elephant and Casey Jones, as both died as the result of a train wreck in order to save the lives of others.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…

    "Because Jones stayed on board to slow the train, he no doubt saved the passengers from serious injury and death (Jones himself was the only fatality of the collision)."
    NankerPhelgeon October 18, 2012   Link

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