"Martha" as written by and Rufus Wainwright....
Martha it's your brother calling
Time to go up north and see mother,
Things are harder for her now
And neither of us is really that much older than each other

Martha it's your brother calling
Have you had a chance to see father?
Wondering how's he doing and
There's not much time for us
To really be that angry at each other

It's your brother calling Martha
It's your brother calling Martha
Please call me back.

I know how it goes
You gotta ring your little finger,
Hit the tree and see what falls
And make the sun come out
On Sunday afternoon.

All the while you heat the plates
And serve a little wine
And wear a hat and make 'em laugh
And forget that there is nobody
In the room

It's your brother calling Martha
Its your brother calling Martha
Please call me back

Lyrics submitted by amycarys

"Martha" as written by Rufus Wainwright

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Martha song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentI think, for obvious reasons, this is to/about his sister Martha Wainwright and about wanting to finally move past all the drama and difficulties their family has faced. This is a recurring theme on the new album, All Days Are Nights, particularily in the song Zebulon.

    The first verse, talking about his mother makes me sad. She passed away just a few months ago. :(
    I think though, that this ending brought their family closer together, and I'm glad Rufus and Martha were there for Kate in her last days.
    amycaryson March 24, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is an insight into the relationship between a gay man and a straight woman, here Wainwright and his sister. He recognises, painfully and a little jealously, that she is weaving herself into domestic life and won't have as much time for him.
    "I know how it goes, you gotta ring/Your little finger" - allusion to marriage here, I think. "Make the sun come out on Sunday afternoon" - the role of the wife in the family, keeping the whole thing together.

    Against the backdrop of their mother's illness, "things are harder for her now", both Wainwrights are forced to confront their own mortality: "neither of us is really that much older than each other anymore". But while his sister is able to take comfort in the family that she has made, Rufus has to accept the fact that he will never be able to play the conventional happy homemaker, who "heats the plates/And serves a little wine". As their family has crumbled and there is "nobody in the room anymore", he reminds her of their relationship, making a desperate cry out for his sister to "call him back", to give him a sign that they are still connected somehow. The hollow echo behind his voice signals however that he is indeed alone, and talking to thin air.
    musicmaxon March 31, 2011   Link

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