She lived on a curve in the road, in an old tar-paper shack
On the south side of the town, on the wrong side of the tracks
Sometimes on the way into town we'd say:
"Mama, can we stop and give her a ride?"
Sometimes we did but her hands flew from her side
Wild eyed, crazy Mary

Down along the road, past the Parson's place
The old blue car we used to race
Little country store with a sign tacked to the side
Said "No L-O-I-T-E-are-I-N-G allowed"
Underneath that sign always congregated quite a crowd

Take a bottle, drink it down, pass it around
Take a bottle, drink it down, pass it around
Take a bottle, drink it down, pass it around

One night thunder cracked mercy backed outside her windowsill
Dreamed I was flying high above the trees, over the hills
Looked down into the house of Mary
Bare bulb on, newspaper-covered walls, and Mary rising up above it all

Next morning on the way into town
Saw some skid marks, and followed them around
Over the curve, through the fields, into the house of Mary

That what you fear the most, could meet you halfway
That what you fear the most, could meet you halfway
Take a bottle, drink it down, pass it around
Take a bottle, drink it down, pass it around
Take a bottle, drink it down, pass it around

Lyrics submitted by planetearth

Crazy Mary Lyrics as written by Victoria Ann Williams

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Crazy Mary song meanings
Add Your Thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +1
    General Comment

    I created an account solely to write this comment, because I believe you do Victoria a great injustice in implying that she was incapable of performing this song.

    Victoria Williams did, in fact, perform this song, and even recorded a music video for it (you can find it at YouTube). Pearl Jam covered this song originally in a tribute album to Victoria Williams after it was discovered that she had MS, being one of many high profile acts to cover her songs for the album. Victoria was capable of performing in the 90's when this song was written, and she still can and does perform to this day.

    Ceilon August 10, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I like Victoria's performance a little bit more than Pearl Jam's. Although I admit that I knew the Pearl Jam version first, because I had the Sweet Relief album before I knew any of the V.W. versions. That album actually introduced me to several of my favorite musicians -- Lucinda Williams, Maria McKee, and the Jayhawks. I kind of miss the days of meaningful compilation albums that could expose you to something you didn't already know about.

    sharkycharmingon July 19, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    A brilliant and captivating story filled with memorable lines. The Pearl Jam version is cool but I like this so much more to Victoria's wacky personality, range, and playfulness.

    River Wolfon May 07, 2018   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation

    I understand these lyrics to mean that an angry, drunken mob (who'd gathered underneath that sign), drove out to the "house of Mary" and terrorized her. The author's dream occurred when Mary died as a result, and "rose above it all."

    It's the heartbreaking story of how people with mental illness or intellectual disabilities are misunderstood, and then feared, and then vilified, just as Boo Radley was in "To Kill a Mockingbird."

    I think "That what you fear the most could meet you halfway" refers to the drunken mob giving into their own inner demons. They saw "Crazy Mary" as different, strange, to be reviled, to be feared. As they "passed the bottle around," they bought into a group-think mentality that "something must be done about her." or "let's go to Mary's house and raise Hell." And she didn't survive their assault on her.

    It's a song about the tragedy of human cruelty toward people who are seen as different.

    IDanielsenon June 23, 2019   Link
  • -2
    General Comment

    This song is actually about a crazy drunk woman who was killed when a car crashed through her paper shack, and Victoria wrote this song about stereotyping elderly single women living near poverty, but she suffered from multiple sclerosis, so Pearl Jam Sung it for her.

    lineasietisieteon April 14, 2007   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!