Fog lifts from the harbor, dawn goes down today
An agent crests the shadows of the nearby alleyway
Piles of broken bricks, sign posts on the path
Every moment points towards the aftermath
Yeah ah ah

Sailors straggle back from their nights out on the town
Hopeless urchins from the city gather around
Spies from imperial China wash in with the tide
Every battle heads toward surrender on both sides

And I am coming home to you
With my own blood in my mouth
And I am coming home to you
If it’s the last thing that I do

Bells ring in the tower, wolves howl in the hills
Chalk marks show up on a few high windowsills
And a rabbit gives up somewhere, and a dozen hawks descend
Every moment leads toward its own sad end
Yeah ah ah

Ships loosed from their moorings capsize and then they’re gone
Sailors with no captains watch awhile and then move on
And an agent crests the shadows and I head in her direction
All roads lead toward the same blocked intersection

I am coming home to you
With my own blood in my mouth
And I am coming home to you
If it’s the last thing that I do

Lyrics submitted by mdon06

Sax Rohmer #1 song meanings
Add Your Thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +2
    General Commentjohn darnielle and jeffery lewis made a comic explaining each song on the new album, you can look at it here:…
    Sunset Rubdownon March 09, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHearing this song for the first time completely overwhelmed me.
    Naolson December 31, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Every moment leads toward its own sad end" is my favorite line.

    I like that this song stands on its own, but also could be a scene from a novel. Sax Rohmer was the author of the Fu Manchu books (…). While I haven't read them, this scene certainly seems like it could fit in.
    MsMollyon January 03, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti imagine it to be like a futuristic war setting, but this soldier is determined to see his sweetheart again

    "i am coming back to you, with my own blood in my mouth"

    probably wrong, but oh well this is such a powerful song, like all their songs!
    thenextpopeon October 05, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentcan't wait to hear this album, this was a great little tease though. I'm in love with this line personally:
    "a rabbit gives up somewhere, and a dozen hawks descend"
    mohawk1guyon January 18, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love the epic scope and mood of this song. Everything is falling apart around him, and he has his mind set only on getting back home.
    Soybomb42on February 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWill there be a Sax Rohmer #2?
    RedDwarfon March 09, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI am probably reading too much into this (but isn't that the fun with John's songs?) but the line "Dawn goes down today" is from Robert Frost's poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay". The last line of the poem is "So Dawn Goes Down Today/ Nothing Gold Can Stay". It could be a coincidence, but both the poem and a great deal of John's songs seem to deal with lost childhood. Just a thought!
    zriegleon March 26, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell, assuming that each song on 'Heretic Pride' fits in with the titular notion (i.e. people reviled for their beliefs/actions but stubbornly sticking to them), then this is about Sax Rohmer the author of the Fu Manchu novels.

    It seems to be a kind of snapshot of his creative mind's output, with all the associated Fu Manchu stuff (spies from imperial China etc.).

    For those who don't know, Wikipedia told me that Sax Rohmer once ridiculed the suggestion that his novels were racist in tone towards Chinese people by saying something like "but all Chinese people are like that". Hence, heretic pride...
    sad-violin-musicon August 26, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell, John said that with this song he just threw words against a wall and hoped they stuck, but I think that people could develop infinate meanings from it :)

    This is the first Mountain Goats song I ever heard, and I've been in love with Darnielle's work ever since :)
    Blithiumon October 16, 2008   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top