I should know to leave them home.
They follow me through the store with these toys I can't afford.
"Kids, take them back, you know better than that."
Dolls that talk, astronauts, T.V. games, airplanes, they don't understand and how can I explain?
I try and try but I can't save.
Pennies, nickels, dollars slip away.
I've tried and tried but I can't save.

My youngest girl has bad fever, sure.
All night with alcohol to cool and rub her down.
Ruby, I'm tired, try and get some sleep.
I'm adding doctor's fees to remedies with the cost of three day's work lost.
I try and try but I can't save.
Pennies, nickels, dollars slip away.
I've tried and tried but I can't save.
The hole in my pocketbook is growing.

There's a new wind blowing they say, it's gonna be a cold, cold one.
So brace yourselves my darlings, it won't bring anything much our way but more dust bowl days.

I played a card in this weeks game.
Took the first and the last letters in three of their names.
This lottery's been building up for weeks.
I could be lucky me with the five million prize, tears of disbelief spilling out of my eyes.
I try and try but I can't save.
Pennies, nickels, dollars slip away.
I've tried and tried but I can't save.
The hole in my pocketbook is growing.

There's a new wind blowing they say, it's gonna be a cold, cold one.
So brace yourselves my darlings, it won't bring anything much our way but more dust bowl days.


Lyrics submitted by kornchick

Dust Bowl song meanings
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2 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI don't think that the second verse necessarily referring to a mother living in the Dust Bowl era -- it seems perfectly possible to me that a mother at this point in time could be singing the same thing. The whole song represents the sentiments that TheSneakyWaffle says are expressed in the third verse (and winning the lottery doesn't yell "all eras" to me, but whatever). It's a gorgeous song -- all of the salient social messages expressed on Blind Man's Zoo deserve more attention than they get.
    sonicpuddingon March 10, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe best version of this song is by Natalie live in concert. The first verse is from the point of view of a single mother in modern times. The second verse is told by a single mother in the Dust Bowl era in the 1930s, and the third verse represents the hopes of poor people from all eras. It's about cyclical poverty and the strength of those who live amid it.
    TheSneakyWaffleon September 17, 2004   Link

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