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The Mountain Goats – Your Belgian Things Lyrics 7 years ago
I this interpretation is possible. Death by suicide or injury, injury, or arrest are also, strictly speaking, compatible with the lyrics. The only thing that gives me pause about the suicide angle is the "a tiger's never gonna change it's stripes" line that's sandwiched into the part about the east bedroom. It seems the mess he's referring to is the result on an ongoing trend in the addressed character. I would say this makes more since in a situation where the bedroom was simply trashed in a moment of rage (this was my initial mental image). Alternatively this could be about the mess caused by a meth lab explosion which may have killed or maimed the person he's "talking" to. This all to foreseeable conclusion to continually cooking something like meth could make the tiger never changing it's stripes about a person who, no matter what can't stop cooking. This also makes sense of the "one way in, no way out" line since the character got into making meth and was at some point going to die doing it.

The Mountain Goats – The Young Thousands Lyrics 7 years ago
Yes, John is very open about having a period in his youth where he was a heavy methamphetamine user:

The Mountain Goats – Palmcorder Yajna Lyrics 7 years ago
In his interview with Marc Maron, John talks quite a bit about his drug use, including his speed phase. And he specifically refers to We Shall All Be Healed as his "tweaker album."

The Mountain Goats – Slow West Vultures Lyrics 7 years ago
"Sanding numbers off the monojects
As our slight returns diminish"

Monoject is a brand of syringe, which is presumably being used for shooting up drugs in this case (John Darnielle has referred to We Shall All Be Healed as his "tweaker album", drawn from his experience as an intravenous methamphetamine user*). With their drug supply ("slight returns") diminishing, they seem to be removing the numbers marking the amount of contents in the syringe, presumably so they won't be able to tell how little they are shooting up.

*See John Darnielle's interview with Marc Maron:

The Mountain Goats – Deuteronomy 2:10 Lyrics 7 years ago
Much of this has already been commented on, but I'll add some specific clues/references as well:

The Title: Deuteronomy 2:10 concerns the Emites or Emim, a biblical race of giants that once inhabited the land of Ar or Moab but are implicitly extinct.

Verse 1: Thylacine (aka, Tasmanian Tiger/Wolf)
The last thylacine died on September 7, 1936 in captivity at the Hobart Zoo in Tasmania, Australia.
-"the concrete floor below", "chain-links", teeth-baring, circle-pacing, and stripes are all visible in the previously linked video of the last specimen (, which also explains the "so the camera will see".

Verse 2: Dodo, last sighted in either 1662 or 1688 (depending on source reliability) on its home island of Mauritius, east of Madagascar.
-"while the sailors disembark": The decline and extinction of the Dodo happened during a period of European exploration in Africa and Asia. Mauritius was often a stopping point for ships full of weary--and hungry--sailors, who hunted dodos for food, deforested their habitat, and introduced foreign species that further threatened the dodo.
"Scratch out a place to sit and rest"; "I am a flightless bird": the dodo, which was indeed flightless, nested on the ground.
"I have no fear of anyone": Much of dodo's fate was sealed by the fact that, since Mauritius had no predators and few dangers, the dodo was unafraid of humans and foreign animals and therefor quite vulnerable.

Verse 3: Golden Toad (aka, Monteverde golden toad or Alajuela toad) The last golden toad sighting was of a solitary male on May 15th, 1989.
-"in Costa Rica"; "the moon shone on me through the trees": The golden toad's only know habitat was a small area of tropical forest near the small town of Monteverde in Costa Rica.
-"a burrow underground": It is believed that golden toads spent most of their time in underground burrows.
"I sang all night": Toads croak (i.e. sing), usually at night, to attract a mate (which in this case no longer exists).

The song taps into the larger theme of the fragile and transitory nature of life and death that runs through the album, from it's title to the final song.

On a side note, the idea of death meaning the loss of something more than just the individual seems to resonate with "The Witness" by Jorges Louis Borges (

The Mountain Goats – Deuteronomy 2:10 Lyrics 7 years ago
Which is ironic, since John's son was presumably conceived only about two years after he recorded this song.

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