Sometimes the road is too long You meet all kinds of people
Some of them cast no shadow They have no reflections
Take a look in your photobook I'm not there anymore

I was a traveling salesman
I got lost on the backroads
Fell in with a crowd of drifters.

Sometimes the sun is too bright And it burns you like acid
You get to love driving at night The moon is so close you can kiss it
I used to remember you smiling and waving
I don't think I can anymore

I was a traveling salesman
I got lost on the backroads
Fell in with a crowd of drifters.

We come, unnoticed, at sundown At the start of a blackout
We set bonfires all over town And it's over by morning
Sometimes we bring the rat and the wolf And sometimes the worm

I was a traveling salesman
I got lost on the backroads
Fell in with a crowd of drifters.

Lyrics submitted by delial

Crowd of Drifters Lyrics as written by


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  • +1
    General Comment
    This song is disturbing..."haunting" in the best sense of the word. Merritt is a remarkably clever songwriter always, but this song stands out as having an apropos (and beautiful) arrangement and sound to match its lyric. Though Stephin is often the narrator of his songs (it would seem), in this case the voice is of someone else, I believe. (Or at least, Stephin wondering what it would be like to be someone else.) Compare this to "I Have the Moon" from the same album (clearly his own voice), and the difference is obvious. The common thread, perhaps, is that he is always part of a tribe of night people. (Also coming to mind is "Save a Secret for the Moon", where the dichotomy between day/night--and their associated societies--is explicit.) It's almost impossible not to assume all of the drifters are men. Being familiar with Merritt's songwriting, it's tempting to lend significance to this fact, but in this particular case it may not be important. One senses the (nebulous) setting is in a past, which would be a time when few women worked or traveled alone. It is more relevant that all of the drifters are outcasts...yet not entirely outsiders, as they do "belong", if only within their hazy, diminished subculture of the damned. I hear an overwhelming sense of slowly approaching doom, an impression skillfully created here.
    foreverdroneon August 21, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    I love the photo book with the vanishing visages...
    jrm36on September 12, 2007   Link
  • -1
    General Comment
    Vampires again.
    androgybunnyon March 17, 2006   Link

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