So so long ago and so far away
When time was just a line that you fed me when you wanted to stay
We'd talk as soft as chalk till morning came, pale as a pearl
No time, no, no time, now I have got all the time in the world

Say, honey, did you belong to me
Tell me honey, was your heart at rest
When darlin, all the mourning doves were howling us
A song of love's oh godawful lawlessness
Lawlessness

Say, honey, did you belong to me
Tell me honey, did I pass your test
I lay as still as death until the dawn
Whereupon I wrested from y'r godawful lawlessness
Lawlessness

I roam around the tidy grounds of my dappled sanatorium
Coatless I sit amongst the molds adrift and I dote upon my pinesap gum
And the light through the pines in brassy tines lays over me, dim as rum
And thick as molasses, and so time passes, and so, my heart, tomorrow comes

I feel you leaning out back with the crickets
Loyal heart marking the soon-ness, darkness tonight
Still, the mourning doves will summon us their song
Of love's neverdoneing lawlessness
Lawlessness

While over and over: rear up, stand down, lay round
Trying to sound-out or guess the reasons
I sleep like a soldier -- without rest
But there is no treason where there is only lawlessness
Lawlessness

In the last week of the last year I was aware
I took a blind shot across the creek at the black bear
When he roused me in the night and left me cowering with my light calling out
Who is there
Who's there
Who is there

I watched you sleep repeating my prayers,
You give love a little shove and it becomes terror, and now I am
Calling in a sadness beyond anger and beyond fear
Who is there
Who's there
Who is there

I glare and nod like the character God bearing down upon the houses and lawns
I knew a little bit, but darling, you were it, and darling, now it is long gone
Sweetheart in your clean bright start back there behind a hill and a dell
And a state line or two I'll be thinking of you, yes, I'll be thinking and be wishing you well

We land, I stand, but I wait for the sound of the bell
I have to catch a cab and my bags are at the carousel
And then, Lord, just then, time alone will only tell
Go on little dove


Lyrics submitted by animalcollector

Soft as Chalk song meanings
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17 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI just saw her at Town Hall NYC this week, and watching her play this on piano was NUTS. I'm pretty sure this is the song that requires some serious crossover technique??? And the whole time, she was nodding and smiling and bobbing like it was The Greatest Thing she's ever done.
    Which it was.
    The show, I mean. We were all breathless.

    I feel like the whole album is her unraveling relationship with Bill Callahan and the developments with Andy Samberg... So this song is like a nostalgic malaise that comes from looking back on ANY relationship. ("Give love a little shove and it becomes terror")
    It is 2am.
    jxnarcoticzon March 22, 2010   Link

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