"A Cautionary Song" as written by and Colin Meloy....
There's a place your mother goes
When everybody else is soundly sleeping
Through the lights of beacon street
And if you listen you can hear her weeping
She's weeping

'Cause the gentlemen are calling
And the snow is softly falling
On her petticoats
And she's standing in the harbor
And she's waiting for the sailors
In the jolly boat
See how they approach?

With dirty hands and trousers torn
They grapple 'til she's safe within their keeping
A gag is placed between her lips
To keep her sorry tongue from any speaking
Or screamin'

And they row her out to packets
Where the sailor's sorry racket
Calls for maidenhead
And she's scarce above the gunwales
When her clothes fall to a bundle
And she's laid in bed
On the upper deck

And so she goes from ship to ship
Her ankles clasped, her arms so rudely pinioned
'Til at last she's satisfied
The lot of the marina's teeming minions
In their opinions

And they tell her not to say a thing
To cousin, kindred, kith or kin
Or she'll end up dead
And they throw her thirty dollars
And return her to the harbor
Where she goes to bed
And this is how your fed

So be kind to your mother
Though she may seem an awful bother
And the next time she tries to feed you collard greens

Remember what she does when you're asleep
Remember what she does when you're asleep

Lyrics submitted by Hunter, edited by antiaverage, AbuDun

"A Cautionary Song" as written by Colin Meloy

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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A Cautionary Song song meanings
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    General CommentTo me, it's altruistic prostitution gone awry.

    Has anyone seen Carson Ellis' depiction of this song?
    Because it's tattooed on my right shoulder and I love it.
    Hope she doesn't mind...
    jxnarcoticzon February 13, 2008   Link

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