There's a woman here with a broken record player
And a dusty compass off to map the country's new behavior
Strange words that we hold on back into the river
Brave boys in the empty coats of men

There's a kitchen timer, distractions and reminders
Rolly-pollies started crawling across your family's china
Strange words that we hold on back into the river
Dead dogs on the winter night again

There's a serpent charmer, pair of shoes and wander
Speeding ticket, you're not leaving that last land of slaughter
Strange words that we hold on back into the river
Good girls come and kick you in the shin

There's a hopeful hunter that has a sense of wonder
And leaving claw marks on the rock he hid his money under
Strange words that we hold on back into the river
And made men only want to live again


Lyrics submitted by Gonzalesaurus

Serpent Charmer Lyrics as written by Samuel Ervin Beam

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Serpent Charmer song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

2 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    General Comment

    I'll be damned if I don't her another indictment of George W. Bush here with his dusty compass to map the country's new behavior...

    Brave boys = soldiers Empty coats of men = the bidnessmen that they fight for

    The serpent charmer would be the generals leading the lambs (brave boys) to slaughter

    Maybe the hunter in the fourth stanza is Cheney?

    Can't figure out who the kitchen timer is though...

    I know that Mr. Beam's lyrics are always (gloriously) interpretative, but that's what I be interpretating to-nite ya'll!

    Fo sho,

    Harold

    haroldvonanusiiion December 02, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I think it might be how you look back on your life before you die, all the things you wasted time on... and now you wish you could go back and do things differently.

    noiamnotwhereibelongon November 09, 2009   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!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
Step
Ministry
Both as a standalone and as part of the DSOTS album, you can take this lyric as read. As a matter of public record, Jourgensen's drug intake was legendary even in the 1980s. By the late 90s, in his own words, he was grappling with massive addiction issues and had lost almost everything: friends, spouse, money and had nearly died more than once. "Dark Side of the Spoon" is a both funny & sad title for an album made by a musical genius who was losing the plot; and this song is a message to his fans & friends saying he knows it. It's painful to listen to so I'm glad the "Keith Richards of industrial metals" wised up and cleaned up. Well done sir.
Album art
Standing On The Edge Of Summer
Thursday
In regards to the meaning of this song: Before a live performance on the EP Five Stories Falling, Geoff states “It’s about the last time I went to visit my grandmother in Columbus, and I saw that she was dying and it was the last time I was going to see her. It is about realizing how young you are, but how quickly you can go.” That’s the thing about Geoff and his sublime poetry, you think it’s about one thing, but really it’s about something entirely different. But the lyrics are still universal and omnipresent, ubiquitous, even. So relatable. That’s one thing I love about this band. I also love their live performances, raw energy and Geoff’s beautiful, imperfectly perfect vocals. His voice soothes my aching soul.
Album art
Fast Car
Tracy Chapman
"Fast car" is kind of a continuation of Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run." It has all the clawing your way to a better life, but in this case the protagonist never makes it with her love; in fact she is dragged back down by him. There is still an amazing amount of hope and will in the lyrics; and the lyrics themselve rank and easy five. If only music was stronger it would be one of those great radio songs that you hear once a week 20 years after it was released. The imagery is almost tear-jerking ("City lights lay out before us", "Speeds so fast felt like I was drunk"), and the idea of starting from nothing and just driving and working and denigrating yourself for a chance at being just above poverty, then losing in the end is just painful and inspiring at the same time.
Album art
Holiday
Bee Gees
@[Diderik:33655] "Your a holiday!" Was a popular term used in the 50s/60s to compliment someone on their all around. For example, not only are they beautiful, but they are fun and kind too ... just an all around "holiday". I think your first comment is closer to being accurate. The singer/song writers state "Millions of eyes can see, yet why am i so blind!? When the someone else is me, its unkind its unkind". I believe hes referring to the girl toying with him and using him. He wants something deeper with her, thats why he allows himself to be as a puppet (even though for her fun and games) as long as it makes her happy. But he knows deep down that she doesnt really want to be serious with him and thats what makes him.
Album art
Gentle Hour
Yo La Tengo
This song was originally written by a guy called Peter Gutteridge. He was one of the founders of the "Dunedin Sound" a musical scene in the south of New Zealand in the early 80s. From there it was covered by "The Clean" one of the early bands of that scene (he had originally been a member of in it's early days, writing a couple of their best early songs). The Dunedin sound, and the Clean became popular on american college radio in the mid to late 80s. I guess Yo La Tengo heard that version. Great version of a great song,