"Bottom of the World" as written by and Emily Haines....
My Daddy told me, lookin back
The best friend you'll have is a railroad track
So when I was 13 I said, I'm rollin' my own,
And I'm leaving Missouri and I'm never coming home

And I'm lost
And I'm lost
I'm lost at the bottom of the world
I'm handcuffed to the Bishop and the barbershop liar
I'm lost at the bottom of the world

Satchel puddin' and Lord God Mose
Sittin' by the fire with a busted nose
That fresh egg yeller is too damn rare
But the white part is perfect for slickin' down your hair

And I'm lost
And I'm lost
I'm lost at the bottom of the world
I'm handcuffed to the Bishop and the barbershop liar
I'm lost at the bottom of the world

Blackjack Ruby and Nimrod Cain
The moon's the color of a coffee stain
Jesse Franks and Birdy Joe Hoax
But who is the king of all of these folks?

And I'm lost
And I'm lost
I'm lost at the bottom of the world
I'm handcuffed to the Bishop and the barbershop liar
I'm lost at the bottom of the world

Well I dined last night with Scarface Ron
On Telapia fish cakes and fried black swan
Razorweed onion and peacock squirrel
And I dreamed all night about a beautiful girl

And I'm lost
And I'm lost
I'm lost at the bottom of the world
I'm handcuffed to the Bishop and the barbershop liar
I'm lost at the bottom of the world

Well God's green hair is where I slept last
He balanced a diamond on a blade of grass
Now I woke me up with a cardinal bird
And when I wanna talk he
Hangs on every word

And I'm lost
And I'm lost
I'm lost at the bottom of the world
I'm handcuffed to the Bishop and the barbershop liar
I'm lost at the bottom of the world


Lyrics submitted by xdvr, edited by Mellow_Harsher

"Bottom Of The World" as written by Thomas Alan Waits Kathleen Brennan

Lyrics © AUDIAM, INC, BMG Rights Management

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Bottom of the World song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI think this song is about being homeless. hehe.
    Gulagon December 12, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI believe he's talking about dew.
    wertoion December 06, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentarh, a new, favourite song :)
    that little instrumental melody is really great. I was walking around in stockholm alone after a concert at 2 am listening to this tune. I was really lost at the bottom of the world.
    MardyAsson December 16, 2006   Link
  • +1
    Lyric CorrectionEmily Haines did not write this song. She has a song with the same title, but they are not at all the same. This one is by Tom Waits and his wife Kathleen Brennan.
    Kyomaraon February 02, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's a strange song with many characters, but to me it's about being homeless and the characters you might meet on the way. God's green hair means he's sleeping outside on the grass and wakes up to the dew, or the diamond, seeing beauty when at rock bottom.
    The weird things he dines on 'Tilapia fishcakes and fried black swan are a bit of wishful thinking, just like dreaming all night about a beautiful girl'
    Black swans are from Australia, which to some could be described as the bottom of the world. But then cardinal birds are from north and south America. Like most Waits songs, there is no hard and fast meaning - that's up to you.
    Buzzfledderjonon July 10, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commentreally good song from his last album
    anyone knows what's with the "balancing a diamond on a blade of grass" thing? he also mentions it in All the world is green. what does it mean? any ideas?
    PiKueloon December 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm handcuffed to the bishop and the barbershop liar

    Now I'm thinking this is a reference to cheap booze. what does anyone else think?
    memorybabeon February 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti wonder if this was written before or after wristcutters? this song was playing in my head the whole time we were watching it the other night...
    getlostbeccaon August 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is just how you feel after a long period of being in a transient state.
    when you feel like you don't have any roots you have moments like some of the lyrics
    in here.
    balancing a diamond on a blade of grass...you start to see beauty everywhere.
    even if your future is bleak..especially actually.
    beck wrote a lot of songs like this.
    this reminds of stuff like "hollow log" and "modesto"
    two artists that seem very akin to me.
    and very personal to me as well.
    ShakeyFan2on December 11, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI find this to be such a sad song about homelessness that happens to young vulnerable teenagers that run away from home and the failure of American social services to support them.

    The unsavory sounding characters that the teenager meets could either be a help or a hindrance which ever way you want to look at it but I can't imagine the teenagers prospects with someone called Scar Face Ron.

    Eating Black Swan, Squirrel and the other weid things are the kind of Mulligan's Stew that you can imagine Hobbo's eating whilst on the road, the only things they can get their hands on.

    God's green hair is off course sleeping on the grass and the first thing you will see on waking is the dew drops on the blades of grass as you have no pillow to rest your head on.
    BarnabyHugheson October 13, 2015   Link

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