Clam Crab Cockle Cowrie
lyrics as sung on Walnut Whales
That means no where I come from.
I am cold, and waiting for the day to come.
I chew my lips, and I scratch my nose:
feels so good to be a rose.
Oh don't, don't you lift me up
like I'm so shy, no no no no no,
just give it up —
See there are bats all dissolving in a row
into the wishy-washy dark that can't let go.
I cannot let go,
so I thank the lord, and I thank his sword!
'tho it be mincing up the morning,
O, morning without warning like a hole,
And I watch you go.
There are some mornings
when the sky looks like a road.
There are some dragons
who were built to have and hold.
And some machines
are dropped from great heights lovingly.
And some great bellies ache with many bumblebees.
I do as I please.
Now I'm on my knees.
Your skin is something that I stir into my tea.
And I am watching you
and you are starry, starry, starry
and you will never ever know how very sorry
you will be... I am.
Now I'm tumbling down, and I check a frown.
That's why I love this town.
Well, just look around
to see me serenaded hourly!
celebrated sourly! dedicated dourly;
waltzing with the open sea —
clam, crab, cockle, cowrie:
will you just look at me?
The only song Joanna Newsom has recorded three times. Its title picked up commas somewhere between Walnut Whales and The Milk-Eyed Mender — maybe found at low tide. On the Ys Street Band EP version, Neal Morgan adds a second voice.