The Tragically Hip

all lyrics written by The Tragically Hip

I don't promise to understand 'em all
I just enjoy 'em

this page contains language some people may find offensive

Can't live to die - too easy
Why stick around
I want my life to please me
Not another small town hometown bringdown

from The Tragically Hip's "Small Town Bringdown"

It gets so sticky down here
Better butter your cue-finger up
It's the start of another new year
Better call the newspaper up
2.50 for a hi-ball
And buck and a half for a beer
Happy hour, happy hour
Happy hour is here

So regal and decadent here
Coffin cheaters dance on their graves
Music, all its delicate fear
Is the only thing that don't change
2.50 for an eyeball
And a buck and a half for an ear
Happy hour, happy hour
Happy hour is here

from "Little Bones"


You just hit me where I live
I guess it looked quite primitive
What was that supposed to prove?
Throw the calf or he'll throw you

Martyrs don't do much for me
Though I enjoy them vicariously
After you. No! After me.
No, I insist! Please, after me.

from "Twist My Arm"

Angst on the planks, spittin' from a bridge
Just to see how far down it really is

Treading the boards, screaming out Macbeth
Just to see how much bad luck you really get
Jump in the ring with your hidden cape
The bull can't decide what it is that he really hates

Thief lingers on, on his hands and knees
Must be one more thing here I really need
Die in your dreams, falling on your knife
A thief blinded on the job has to steal for life

It takes all your power
To prove that you don't care
I'm not Cordelia, I will not be there

from "Cordelia"


Prisonyard stares and fleur-de-lis tattoos
Cannibals are saving all their bones for soup

She says, "Why are you partial to that Playboy con?
When you can see me naked anytime you want?"
If I had loads o' money to make me tame and sour
I could pay you to remind me of my baby by the hour

from "The Luxury"

Does your mother tell you things?
Long, long when I'm gone?
Who you talking to?
Is she telling you I'm the one?
It's a grave mistake and I'm wide awake

We don't go anywhere
Just on trips
We haven't seen a thing
We still don't know where it is
It's a safe mistake

It's been a long time running
It's been a long time coming

from "Long Time Running"


I'd been carving you
To see what form you'd take
You were hiding in ivory
I just wanted to free your shape

from "Bring It All Back"

Tom Thompson came paddling past
I'm pretty sure it was him
And he spoke so softly in accordance
To the growing of the dim
He said, "Bring on the brand new renaissance
Cause I think I'm ready
I've been shaking all night long
But my hands are steady."

Three pistols came and three people went, on their way
Three pistols strong and three people spent

from "Three Pistols"


We wake up different
rifle through our dreams
Another placid day
ripples at the seams

Do you think I bow out
'cause I think you're right?
Or 'cause I don't wanna fight?
So tangle-minded then so becalmed
It's all so subway-grim and then it's gone

from "Fight"

Here we are, now where are we?
It's like nothing I've ever seen
We got hoarse-throated huckster's whispered gimmicks
Rubbernecking the curious cynics
And headlong-walkers, one born every minute
Do I plug it in? Or do I stick it in it?

I don't know what came over me
I'm too dumb for words
I didn't think I'd like it here at all
But I swear, I swear I'm on the verge

Here we are, now who are you?
The long lost Queen's of some Hoodoo?
Well we're the last of the big-time penetrators
Playin' dead to fuck the undertaker
The movie'll come out a little bit later
The Men, The Legend, The Goat, The Satyr

I don't know what came over me
I'm too dumb for words
I didn't say I'd like it here at all
But I swear, I swear I'm on the verge

Here we are, now don't ask how
The time to leave was kinda now
Well don't cry, baby, there's no cause for grief
Deadheading's never gonna kill the Chief
It's an empty road without relief
And I'm a highway romance milking thief

I don't know what came over me
I'm too dumb for words
I didn't think I'd like it here at all
But I swear, I swear I'm on the verge

"On The Verge"

I stood at your sink
and I felt your warm water
I washed your dishes
and I looked out your kitchen window
where I saw a soulful gymnast
melt in the air and shudder
just above the snow
making moves that just weren't there

from "Greasy Jungle"

Take a look at this photograph
Clearly his teeth were bared
He coulda been yawning or snarling
The story was never clear

And a bat sees a bug
with the sound of a linger
Night time when the shadows cough

from "Yawning or Snarling"

Interesting and sophisticated
refusing to be celebrated
it's a monumental big screen kiss
it's so deep it's meaningless
one day you'll just up and quit
and that'll be it
just then the stripper stopped in a coughing fit
she said sorry I can't go on with this

Yeah that's awful close
but that's not why
I'm so hard done by

from "So Hard Done By"

I had this dream where I relished the fray
and the screaming filled my head all day
It was as though I had been spit here, settled in
into the pocket of a lighthouse on some rocky socket
off the coast of France, dear

One afternoon, four thousand men died in the water here
and five hundred more were thrashing madly
as parasites might in your blood
Now I was in a lifeboat designed for ten and ten only
anything that systematic would get you hated
It's not a deal not a test nor a love of something fated
The selection was quick, the crew was picked
and those left in the water
got kicked off our pantleg and we headed for home

Then the dream ends when the phone rings
you doing alright he said
it's out there most days and nights
but only a fool would complain
Anyway Susan, if you like
our conversation is as faint as a sound in my memory
as those fingernails scratching on my hull

"Nautical Disaster"


Everyone's got their breaking point
with me it's spiders and with you it's me
thugs in perpetuity
when we're excited little birds around the feeder
the cat's indifferent or he's just furious
it seems that he's never neither

from "Thugs"

Puffy lips glistening skin
And everything comes rushing in
We don't go to hell
Memories of us do

from "Inevitability Of Death"

I want a book that'll make me drunk
full of freaks and disenfranchised punks
no amount of hate no load of junk
no bag of words no costume trunk
could make me feel the same way
an inch an hour two feet a day
to move through night
in this most fashionable way

from "Inch An Hour"

I've often dreamt of a conversation
that just keeps coming up again and again
We're sitting in the Baby Bar bereft
at a shadowy table out past the sentences end
From until it's no longer fun
to that's no longer relevant
From until we're no longer one
to the bona-fide embodiment of an endless
emergency without end
We're an endless emergency without end

your finger starts to wiggle
landscapes emerge

from "Emergency"

Roses are worth more dried than alive
such a thing to say
O how I adore you
when you reinvent a rose cliche
Can you spare some change dear
we've only got three hundred feet to go
and with impossibilium for a payload
we lift the rocket
out of the pocket
nothing can stop it

from "Impossibilium"

They shot a movie once, in my hometown
Everybody was in it, from miles around
Out at the speedway, some kinda Elvis thing
Well I ain't no movie star
But I can get behind anything
Yea I can get behind anything

Sometimes the faster it gets
The less you need to know
But you gotta remember
The smarter it gets
The further it's gonna go
When you blow at high dough
When you blow at high dough

Whoa baby I feel fine
I'm pretty sure it's genuine
It makes no sense, no it makes no sense
But I'll take it free any time
Whoever fits her usually gets her
It was the strangest thing
How'd she move so fast, move so fast
Into that wedding ring

from "Blow At High Dough"


Bourbon blues on the street, loose and complete
Under skies all smokey blue-green
I can't forsake a Dixie dead-shake
So we danced the sidewalk clean
My memory is muddy, what's this river that I'm in?
New Orleans is sinking man and I don't wanna swim

Colonel Tom, what's wrong? What's going on?
You can't tie yourself up for a deal
He said, "Hey North you're South shut your big mouth,
You gotta do what you feel is real"
Ain't got no picture postcards, ain't got no souvenirs
My baby, she don't know me when I'm thinking 'bout those years

Pale as a light bulb hanging on a wire
Sucking up to someone just to stoke the fire
Picking out the highlights of the scenery
Saw a little cloud that looked a little like me

I had my hands in the river
My feet back up on the banks
Looked up to the Lord above
And said, "Hey Man thanks"
Sometimes I feel so good, I gotta scream
She said Gordie baby I know exactly what you mean
She said, she said, I swear to God she said...

My memory is muddy, what's this river that I'm in?
New Orleans is sinking man and I don't wanna swim

"New Orleans Is Sinking"


Twelve men broke loose in seventy-three
From Millhaven Maximum Security
Twelve pictures lined up, across the front page
Seems the Mounties had a summertime war to wage
The chief told the people they had nothing to fear
Said, "The last thing they wanna do, is hang around here"
They mostly came from towns with long French names
But one of the dozen was a hometown shame

Same pattern on the table
Same clock on the wall
Been one seat empty, eighteen years in all
Freezing slow time, away from the world
He's 38 years old, never kissed a girl
He's 38 years old, never kissed a girl

We were sitting round the table, heard the telephone ring
Father said he'd tell 'em if he saw anything
Heard the tap on my window in the middle of the night
Held back the curtains for my older brother Mike

See my sister got raped, so a man got killed
Local boy went to prison, man's buried on the hill
Folks went back to normal when they closed the case
But they still stare at their shoes when they pass our place

My mother cried, "The horror has finally ceased!"
He whispered, "Yeah, for the time being, at least"
Over her shoulder, on the squad car megaphone
Said, "Let's go Michael, son, we're taking you home"

Same pattern on the table
Same clock on the wall
Been one seat empty, eighteen years in all
Freezing slow time, away from the world
He's 38 years old, never kissed a girl

"Thirty-Eight Years Old"


Learn a language baby, it's that kind of place
Low card is hunger and high card is taste

You can fly your own colours as long as they're right

from "She Didn't Know"


I feel I've stepped out of the wilderness
All squint-eyed and confused
But even babies raised by wolves
They know exactly when they've been used

See when it starts to fall apart
It really falls apart
Like boots or hearts, oh when they start
They really fall apart

Fingers and toes, fingers and toes
Forty things we share
Forty-one if you include
The fact that we don't care
Now you've blocked off most of Main Street
For your Faith parade
Everyone in town now, they probably all agree
I'm lying in the bed I made

from "Boots Or Hearts"


Pulled down his birthday suitcase
Brown with dust from no place
Said, "I think it's time we made a start"
They danced the waltz of charity
No car garage, two kids for free
They were pissing bliss and playing parts

from "Everytime You Go"

In the night a girl who doesn't mind her ragged sleeves
Knows someone soon is gonna grieve
And a man he tells her a story, she just don't believe
Called, "Adam Never Could Do Right By Eve"

In my dreams, a candy coated train comes to my door
With a little girl, I can't have anymore
You know a letter washes up to the shore
That I cannot read and I probably should ignore

from "When The Weight Comes Down"

Lining up, waiting on the trickle down
Something's up, taking time to get around
Belly up, all the drinks are on the crown
It's just a matter of trickle down

from "Trickle Down"

He was a coal miner in the spring
Blinded with its dusty resolutions
Broke his back for higher contributions
Now he'd take anything
Well she was 1970
Burning like a cigarette long season
Heir to all her family's old treasons
She makes love hard like an enemy
Oh Ma he's dying

Perhaps we're an election day
Pumping hands and kissing all the babies
Ain't no time for shadowed doubts or maybes
Is there another way?
Or we're a stolen Cadillac
Racing for a roadblock in the distance
Flashing by a lifetime in an instance
Can we take it back?

from "Another Midnight"

So there's no simple explanation
for anything important any of us do
and yea the human tragedy
consists in the necessity
of living with the consequences
under pressure, under pressure
Courage, my word
it didn't come, it doesn't matter

from "Courage (for Hugh Maclennan)"


I've got a job, I explore, I follow every little whiff
And I want my life to smell like this
To find a place, ancient race
The kind you'd like to gamble with
Where they'd stamp on burning bags of shit
Looking for a place to happen
making stops along the way

So I'll paint a scene, from memory
so I'd know who murdered me
It's a vain pursuit, but it helps me to sleep

Jacques Cartier, right this way
I'll put your coat up on the bed
Hey man you've got a real bum's eye for clothes
And come on in, sit right down
no you're not the first to show
We've all been here since, God, who knows?

from "Looking for a place to happen"

Me debunk an American myth?
And take my life in my hands?
Where the great plains begin
at the hundredth meridian

I remember, I remember Buffalo
and I remember Hengelo
It would seem to me
I remember every single fucking thing I know

If I die of vanity, promise me, promise me
they bury me someplace I don't want to be
you'll dig me up and transport me, unceremoniously
away from the swollen city-breeze, garbage-bag trees
whispers of disease amid the acts of enormity
and lower me slowly, and sadly and properly
Get Ry Cooder to sing my eulogy

from "At The Hundredth Meridian"


Cold wind blowing over your private parts
I know a lack you've got
and it makes a strong case for art
Billboard breasts, they don't have a face
I know that fact you've got
no girl could ever trace
Lionized, lionize

from "Lionized"

They don't know how old I am
they found armour in my belly
from the 16th century, conquistador, I think
They don't know how old I am
they found armour in my belly
Passion out of machine-reving tension
lashing out at machine-reving tension
brushing by the machine-reving tension

Morning broke out the backside of a truck-stop
the end of a line a real, rainbow-likening, luck stop
where you could say I became chronologically fucked up
Put ten bucks in just to get the tank topped off
Then, I found a place it's dark and it's rotted
It's a cool, sweet kinda place
where the 'copters won't spot it
and I destroyed the map, I even thought I'd forgot it
however, every day I'm dumping the body
It'd be better for us if you don't understand
It'd be better for me if you don't understand

from "Locked in the Trunk of a Car"


Bring me back in shackles
hang me long out in the sun
exonerate me, forget about me
I recommend measures for ending it
Lover, she simply slammed the door
She said, "you're gonna miss me
Wait and you'll see"
fully, completely
I ponder the endlessness of the stars
ignoring said same of my father
Either it'll move me
or it'll move right through me
fully, completely

"Fully Completely"

Bill Barilko disappeared that summer
he was on a fishing trip
The last goal he ever scored
won the Leafs the cup
They didn't win another until 1962
the year he was discovered
I stole this from a hockey card
I keep tucked up under
my fifty mission cap
I worked it in
to look like that

"Fifty-Mission Cap"


Sundown in the Paris of the prairies
Wheat kings have all their treasures buried
And all you hear are the rusty breezes
Pushing around the weather vane Jesus

In his Zippo lighter, he sees the killer's face
Maybe it's someone standing in a killer's place
Twenty years for nothing, well that's nothing new
besides no one's interested in something you didn't do
Wheat kings and pretty things
let's just see what the morning brings

There's a dream he dreams where the high school is dead and stark
It's a museum and we're all locked up in it after dark
The walls are lined all yellow, grey and sinister
Hung with pictures of our parents' prime ministers
Wheat Kings and pretty things
wait and see what tomorrow brings

Late-breaking story on the CBC
A nation whispers, "we always knew that he'd go free"
They add, "you can't be fond of living in the past
'cause if you are then there's no way that you're gonna last"
Wheat Kings and pretty things
let's just see what tomorrow brings
Wheat kings and pretty things
that's what tomorrow brings

"Wheat Kings"
(this is about David Milgaard, a Canadian man who spent
more than 20 years in jail for a murder he didn't commit
glad to say he was fully exonerated a few years ago
we met briefly in '82, I've believed in his innocence ever since
you'll find a youthful poem on My Words page)

He's a man-sized Eldorado
Hooved a doo
who could blame him
who could blame them
Where we going?
What's that ticking?
Just the mention of Berlin makes me sexy
it makes me sexy
and tired of thinking about drinking
for thinking of drinking while thinking
about drinking and thinking about drinking
It's a man-sized inside

Look in here it's all hardwood
What's that smell? Smells like coffee
Smells like coffee
If you regret it please say something
I've got no genius for evil
that makes me common
it makes me common
and tired of loving, recovering, loving
It's a man-sized inside

He's a man-sized Eldorado, whoopty-do
if you can't take it
you can't take it
Where he's going?
What's that ticking?
Just the mention of Berlin makes me sexy
it makes me sexy
and tired of thinkingaboutdrinkingforthinking
Tired of lovingrecoveringlovingrecoveringlovingrecoveringloving
It's a man-sized inside
It's a man-sized inside


Next artist: Billy Joel

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