"Coat of Mail" as written by and Harry F. Chapin....
At first I did not think it could be you.
But you're the only one that got off the train.
So you must be my wife Miss Annie Halsey
Yes, I guess I am your husband, Hello I'm Harry Crane.
Mail Order Annie, never mind your crying.
Your tears are sweet rain in my empty life.
Mail Order Annie, can't you see I'm trying
To tell you that I'm glad you're here,
You are the woman who's come to be my wife.
You know you're not as pretty as I dreamed you'd be,
But then I'm not no handsome fancy Dan.
And out here looks are really not important.
It's what's inside a woman when she's up against the land.
Mail Order Annie, never mind your crying.
Your tears are sweet rain in my empty life.
Mail Order Annie, can't you see I'm trying
To tell you that I'm glad you're here,
You are the woman who's come to be my wife.
You know it's not no easy life you're entering.
The winter wind comes whistling through the cracks there in the sod.
You know you'll never have too many neighbors.
There's you Girl, and there's me, and there's God.
You know I'm just a dirty man from the North Dakota plains.
You're one girl from the city who's been thrown out on her own.
I'm standing here not sure of what to say to you
'Cepting Mail Order Annie, lets you and me go home.
Mail Order Annie, never mind your crying.
Your tears are sweet rain in my empty life.
Mail Order Annie, can't you see I'm trying
To tell you that I'm glad you're here,
You are the woman who's come to be my wife.


Lyrics submitted by misha_, edited by AlexAsura

"Mail Order Annie" as written by Harry F. Chapin

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Coat of Mail song meanings
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  • +1
    My InterpretationI've been analizing this song together with my brother and we unanimous came to the conclusion it's about a suicide.

    "There’s an honest man I know
    In a welfare alliance
    There’s some stairs in the air
    You can call him a good friend of mine
    Good friend of mine"
    I think the stairs he's talking about refer to the song of Led Zeppelin, stairway to heaven. Also as you listen further into the song, 'a good friend' seems to be an understatement, because it's obvious they have a really close and unique bond. The welfare alliance is a mystery to me.

    "He was taken down by the man at his door
    Cloak of desperation
    Yeah got wrapped round his soul"
    The man at his door I think is the reaper, death itself. The cloak of desperation is referring to the ultimate act of desperation... a suicide.

    I've broken my brains over the coat of mail, and what he means by it. I know it is what knights used to wear in combat, and I think he wants to give this dear person a certain kind of protection, a kind of strength, but I wouldn't have an idea why.

    Sending him the wind to sail in, I think it means he accepts and somehow tries to understand the death of this good friend. And he grants him the peace of the afterlife after whatever he's been trough.

    "I stood below your window
    You know some things I understand
    Out in the world’s a struggle
    Every man needs a plan
    Every man needs a plan"
    This part is a little blurry to me. I don't know what he's referring to with "I stood below your window, you know some things I understand." But out in the world is a struggle, and he probably gave up the struggle because he was desperate for some rest. Maybe he didn't have a plan B left, or any plan at all. Having a plan, having goals is mostly the thing that keeps people alive sometimes.

    "You listen without words
    You know its not everyone can see
    And recognise your eyes
    Yeah they once belonged to me
    Once belonged to me"
    It was obviously a dear friend, someone who recognizes your pain by just looking at you. He could've been someone who didn't let many people get very close and always puts on a kind of mask, so others wouldn't have to worry about what's bothering him. But the writer of these lyrics was a dear person to him, and also he could say he was in pain, he was the only one who could recognize those eyes, that's also why he says that these eyes once belonged to him.

    "Yeah you walked the street at sunrise
    No matter where you turn
    There’s questions without answers
    And they continue to burn
    Continue"
    This man wasn't a person who you'd expect a suicide action from, because he walked the street at sunrise, most likely a metaphore for an optimistic person, no matter what he faced. And that's why his sudden death is a mystery, that's why there are so much questions, which can obviously never be answered.

    "It’s a fine thread can keep you in this place
    I see you’ve found yourself some place
    Because its written on your face
    Written on your face"
    The fine thread reminds me of the animated movie of Hercules, where the three witches wanted to cut his thread of life. So it must refer to some kind of (greek) mythology. And at the sight of his face at his funeral he must've also seemed at peace. This place he talks about must be heaven, also referring to the stairs in the first verse.

    This is one of my favorite songs, and if I never analized it, I would possibly never discovered it was about a suicide. And because I now know what it means, it has made this song so much more beautiful than it already is.
    AlexAsuraon April 27, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgday
    am not sure if these are the correct lyrics so please make corrections if needed
    cheers
    mish
    misha_on September 25, 2007   Link

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