You'll recall from the sagas, I hope, Grettis' last stand at Drangey
how his grip on the sword made his enemies cut off his hand
If he'd fled here instead and had tasted this terrible coffee
or read these letters you sent, he'd surrender and lay the blade down

And it's Halloween,
skinny ghosts dress like cowboys and rest
at the railing by my door
on their way from the Children's Ward

Bev Monroe and his Pembina Valley boys play at the party
and I practice my English on nurses, "Oh, that's a nice name"
And they may ask for mine, but the burns on my back from the x-rays
say I shouldn't show anyone anything ever again

In another year
I'll be buried or shivering here,
coughing at the grey spittoon
painted orange by the harvest moon

Pack up mother's clothes,
drive her down to the new Betel Home,
sell the boat to Arnison
and then go

Stand up straight
in the place you're longing for
and don't write to me anymore


Lyrics submitted by strakared, edited by HellionChild, Contaminator

Letter in Icelandic from the Ninette San song meanings
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    Song MeaningFrom an interview on Willamette Weekly (wweek.com/portland/…)

    So, back in the 1920s and 30s, there used to be a tuberculosis van that would head out from the Ninette Sanatorium and tour towns and take x-rays of citizens, and if you were found to have TB you would often be shipped off on the train to Ninette Manitoba and you wouldn’t know how long you’d be there or if you’d even survive. And at the same time I was studying this town of Riverton Manitoba where there are all these Icelandic immigrants, which is where my family is from. It’s the biggest Icelandic population outside of Iceland. So I invented this fiction about these two brothers whose father has died and they’re taking care of their mother–they saved up enough money to buy a boat–and they’re fishing on Lake Winnipeg, and the older brother gets tuberculosis and is shipped off to Ninette and the younger brother is left there to take care of the family and the business. That’s not what he wants to do with his life, so he writes kind of complaining letters to his older brother in the San saying this isn’t what I want to do. And the dying brother finally writes back and says “well, you’re just going to have to forget about me and forget about the family and get on with your life and go.”
    emd88on April 08, 2012   Link

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