I found a little plot of land
in the garden of Eden
it was dirt and dirt is all the same

I tilled it with my two hands
and I called it my very own
There was no-one to dispute my claim

Well, you'd be shocked at the state of things
The whole place has just cleared right out
It was hotter than hell, so I laid me by a spring
For a spell, as naked as a trout

The wandering eye that I have caught
Is as hot as a wandering sun
But I will want for nothing more, in my garden
start again, in my hardening to every heart but one

Meet me in the garden of Eden,
Bring a friend, we are going to have ourselves a time
We are going to have a garden party, it's on me
No, sirree, it's my dime

We broke out hearts in the war between
St. George and the dragon
But both, in equal part, are welcome to come along
I'm inviting everyone

Farewell to loves that I have known
Even muddiest waters run
Tell me what is meant by sin, or none, in a garden
Seceded from the union in the year of '81?

The unending amends you've made
Are enough for one life, be done
I believe in innocence, little darling, start again
I believe in everyone

I believe, regardless, I believe in everyone


Lyrics submitted by kitteh, edited by sethbrown, random_monkey, Spiderland

'81 song meanings
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  • +1
    Song MeaningThis song is about Joanna Newsom's birth and the religious implications it has/had on her life and the life of her mother. It also talks about her return to her roots from the fame she's received.

    "i found a little plot of land
    in the Garden of Eden"

    She took her place in the world - her mother's womb. She "tilled it" with her very own, and no one could take that place from her.

    "the whole place had just cleared right out
    it was hotter'n hell, so i lay me by the spring
    for a spell, as naked as a trout"

    In the womb, it was "hotter'n hell" - thus she was born "as naked as a trout".

    "the wandering eye that i have caught
    is as hot as a wandering sun
    but i will want for nothing more
    in my garden; start again"

    The "wandering eye" could be the fame, or where she's gotten since leaving the "Garden of Eden". It's time to "start again".

    "we are gonna have ourselves a time
    we are gonna have a garden party
    it's on me
    no siree, it's my dime"

    I assume she's talking about giving back, in my opinion, to her mother, who put up with a lot in the process. Perhaps she also means to the people who have helped her get to where she is.

    "we broke our hearts in the war between
    St. George and the dragon,"

    This is a story about St. George saving the princess from the dragon - the result is that the city in the story converted from paganism to Christianity. Read about it here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…

    "but both in equal parts are welcome
    to come along
    i'm inviting everyone"

    No matter what side people are on (believing that innocence is lost with making love OR the lack of such belief), Joanna is accepting.

    "tell me, what is meant by sittin' alone
    in a garden"

    Again, getting out of the spotlight. After all, she's succeeded in this (for the most part) for over two years...

    "a garden, seceded
    from the Union in the year of '81?"

    Joanna Newsom was born in January, 1982, meaning that she would have been conceived in 1981. At that time, her mother "seceded" her innocence by no longer being a virgin (assuming Joanna was a first-born). I assume she was the first child, but either way, this is the only tie I can make to 1981, and it's a rather personal one at that.

    "the unending amends you made
    are enough for one life; be done"

    Enough beating yourself up about it...

    "i believe, regardless
    i believe in everyone "

    She places a belief on the human being, not the belief within.

    That's what I think, at least. Regardless, this is a gorgeous song. I preordered the 3xLP the day it opened, and I will never regret that $25.
    jkdeaditeon January 27, 2010   Link

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