Streak the windows
Smear the walls with cocnut oil, yeah
Fill a cast-iron kettle with water and a magnolia blosson
Let it boil
Let the water roll
Let the fire take its toll, I'm coming home
I'm coming home

Dust off the idols, give them something to eat
I think they're hungry
I know I'm starving half to death
I know you're waiting
I know you've been waiting for a long, long time, and I'm
Coming home
I'm coming home

Set the table, those three extra places
One for me
One for your doubts
And one for God

Let the insence burn
In every room
Feel the fullness of time
In the empty tomb
Feel the future
Kicking in your womb - I'm
Coming home
I'm coming home.

Lyrics submitted by shipwright

Elijah song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI don't think this song is necessarily about any specific ritual, it apparently has a intense Hindu/Indian theme to it like a lot of other songs (Prana Ferox, Palmcorder Yajna, Raja Vocative).

    Coconut oils, cast iron kettle (A Kalasha vessel), incense, and the fire.

    In plenty of Hindu rituals and festivals, coconuts and their oils are used in connection with Kalashas; of course incense plays a role (c'mon, they sell it in every freakin' Indian gas station); and idols are everywhere too...

    The thing I find interesting is the line "let the fire take it's toll/I'm coming home"- I kinda feel that it goes along with the "set the table/those three extra places, One for me, one for your doubts, and one for God" because with fire "taking it's toll" It sort-of goes along with the theme of sacrifice...incidentally sacrifice is essential during a Yajna.

    Now looking into that, it could open up a ton of possibilities in relating to the Alpha Couple.
    RedLeafon November 03, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is focused on the tradition of the Jewish Passover and the symbolism within (interestingly enough it seems from a specific latter-day saints point of view). When John said "this song is about jail...kinda"... I believe he is telling the story of him being released from jail (one of the times). This makes sense because passover is at the same time both the celebration of the freedom of the Israelites shortly following the (biblical) plagues (the literal part), as well as a symbolic celebration of redemption via God (the figurative part).

    As for the lyrics (I'll just cover a few)...

    The first part of the song seems to refer to cooking a Kosher meal. Coconut oil is a very common ingredient when cooking Kosher.

    The second part of the song refers to idols and finally eating the food cooked in the first part because now he is starving (from fasting/lent/etc). This again is direct reference to passover.

    "set the table, those three extra places one for you, one for your doubts, one for god" : this refers to the order in which the return of the messiah will occur: Elias, Elijah, God. In that way it may also be seen as a symbolism of time.

    "feel the fulness (yes one 'L") of time, in the empty tomb" : The term "fulness of time" in the biblical sense refers to the idea of all time had between start (in this case the start of passover) and end (the return of the messiah). This is a clear reference to the tomb of the risen Christ. This could go a million different ways with analysis ... whether you place the character in this song in jail, finally home, home but thinking about jail, or just in a bad relationship and thinking about the end of the world... etc. Do with it however it relates to you best.

    "Feel the future, kicking in your womb" : I find this possibly the most interesting part of the song. This I actually had to research a bit and the best I can come up with is from the King James version of the Bible, Luke 1:44 which states ":For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy". This is the story of Elizabeth visiting Mary to tell her that she is the mother of god. Mary basically tells her that as soon as Elizabeth began speaking baby Jesus started kicking inside her womb.

    * Just an FYI that I am actually agnostic. I didn't want to leave the impression that I am a crazed theist with too much time on his hands. I guess I'm an agnostic with too much time on his hands... and a general interest in things that I don't subscribe to.

    **I've never written here (or anywhere) before, nor have I ever really gone into detail with anyone about my opinion behind the meaning of John's songs. I hope that this wasn't too horrible and boring and drawn out for people that just want to enjoy the damn song. If so, I apologize.
    Crimeninjaon January 04, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is an awesome song, how many people can comment on Tallahassee and Sunset Tree songs and YET not listen to these songs!!!?!?!
    kozmikon September 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentRedLeaf, it's also about the Passover seder as celebrated by Jews: Elijah supposedly visits each seder magically, and you are supposed to leave an extra plate and glass of wine for him.

    Elijah is also supposed to return to announce the coming of the Messiah, and many Christians connect him to John the Baptist. I can't remember off the top of my head but I think there's something in the New Testament about John the Baptist kicking in his mother's womb. The empty tomb is also a kind of obvious allusion to the risen Christ.

    Didn't know about the Hindu ritual elements though. It's an interesting mashup of different religious traditions.
    jfruhon April 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe parallels between elijah and john the baptist, the wild prophets, are many, so jfruh is probably where it's at.
    GentlemanSkeletonon September 15, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJD said this song was "about jail...kinda"
    pickingpocketson December 18, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNo, Crimeninja, that was a beautiful analysis. I also respect your curiosity and open-mindedness to things you don't subscribe to. After all, the gathering, expanding and understanding of knowledge is a respectable journey in itself. I also appreciate the break down of each part of the song. It helps people know the background knowledge and reveal how well-read JD really is. Kudos and keep it up!

    P.S: I believe this to be one of the more elegant songs of tMG musically and lyrically, despite the tape-hissing in the background. The way he sings it is almost patient but resigned. The way his voice is on the verge of cracking gets me every time.
    ulykimon March 16, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs far as I understand from what john has said and what i know about world religions it's about setting up a beautiful homecoming for someone who had spent time in prison/jail.
    baboon420on January 27, 2011   Link

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