So the fields are stubble, garden's done where the scary scarecrow stands
Sees her holding up horizons with her hands.
She's so tired of reading Daddy's lips, that essay on a frown.
Watch her memories of human voices drown.

Let horsey bray break between the thunder boom. Make grasses' swish meet the cricket ring.
Let every sound consecrate our whispering the words that Betta never heard.

So the back lanes tie the city down, a mess of dirty string.
Winter dies the same way every spring.
As the sky tries on its uniform of turned-off TV grey
And the ways we watched her watch us walk away.

Let every rain clatter down at groaning streets. Make footsteps tick, talk to echoed walls.
Let every sound consecrate our whispering the words that Betta never heard.

Let every wind howl and creak the creaking doors to rooms that too much has happened in.
Let every sound consecrate our whispering the words that Betta never heard.


Lyrics submitted by sockmonkey, edited by eunoia

Elegy for Elsabet song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentI like this song
    MixMasterMattyon May 15, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is the first Weakerthans song I heard and the line "she's so tired of reading daddy's lips, that essay on a frown" just stuck with me. It wouldn't leave my head. This song's so sad.
    XmisfitXgirlXon June 02, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentturned-off tv grey

    !
    Megoogleson June 19, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentnow how many bands could sing a song about a deaf child and have it not be silly and condescending? this song is almost profound. beautiful. i love the..eh, the whirligig? that wierd sound in the bridge. socool.
    chaordicon April 08, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentchaordic, I know it could be debated but I'm not sure this song is about a deaf girl. The line "She's so tired of reading Daddy's lips - -that essay on a frown." in my opinion just means that her dad is so controlling and play such a big role in her life that in one disapproving look he says so much.
    pamphleteeron May 10, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is amazing

    i went to their show and whirligig part of this song was by far the coolest
    LastLaughingon June 05, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI do think that this song has a very good chance of being about a deaf girl, "Watch her memories of human voices drown." and "Let every sound consecrate our whispering words that Betta never heard." This song is one of my favorite WeakerThans songs, and all my favorite songs are WeakerThans songs. And all of Fallow and Left And Leaving and half of Reconstruction Site are my favorite songs.
    The Smell Of Rainon November 20, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm betting it is about a deaf girl. I always loved this song, but never really paid attention to the lyrics. Then one day I was singing the song while walking with a friend who doesn't listen to the Weakerthans. I got up to "watch her memories of human voices drown", and she said "is that about a deaf girl or something?" and I definitely think so now. Especially since John K. seems to be stressing sound, what with all the descriptions of things making noises (Let horsey bray break between the thunder boom. Make grasses' swish meet the cricket's ring, let every rain clatter down at groaning streets, Make footsteps tick, talk to echoed walls, Let every wind howl and creak the creaking doors to rooms that too much has happened in). And not to mention "words that Betta never heard". I think this is an obvious one.
    Alleeon July 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI dunno. Since an 'elegy' is a kind of song sung either in mourning or for the dead, I always assumed Betta was a little girl who died, and all of these sounds were kind of a eulogy for a kid.

    When I hear the lines about rain clattering down, winter, gray skies, and people walking away, I think of a winter funeral in a city graveyard. I don't know why I never made the connection with 'reading daddy's lips', but I always assumed that line and the 'rooms too much has happened in' line meant that she died after her dad beat her or something...crap, I'm so depressing D:

    The explanation that she's deaf makes much more sense and is much less awful and sad, so I'll stick with that!
    reidmanon February 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthey have an amazing way with words. beautiful.
    secondhandsmokeon September 04, 2006   Link

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