official lyrics from The Milk-Eyed Mender

Sadie, white coat,
carry me home.
Bury this bone,
take this pine-cone.

Bury this bone to gnaw on it later;
gnaw on the telephone.
'Till then, we pray & suspend
the notion that these lives do never end.

And all day long we talk about mercy:
lead me to water lord, I sure am thirsty.
Down in the ditch where I nearly served you,
up in the clouds where he almost heard you.

And all that we built
and all that we breathed,
and all that we spilt, or pulled up like weeds
is piled up in back;
it burns irrevocably.
(we spoke up in turns,
'till the silence crept over me)

Bless you and I deeply do
no longer resolute, and I call to you

But the water got so cold,
and you do lose
what you don't hold.

This is an old song, these are old blues.
This is not my tune, but it's mine to use.
And the seabirds where the fear once grew
will flock with a fury,
and they will bury what'd come for you.

Down where I darn with the milk-eyed mender
you and I, and a love so tender,
is stretched-on the hoop where I stitch-this adage:
"Bless our house and its heart so savage."

And all that I want, and all that I need,
and all that I've got is scattered like seed.
And all that I knew is moving away from me.
(and all that I know is blowing
like tumbleweed)

And the mealy worms
in the brine will burn
in a salty pyre,
among the fauns and ferns.

And the love we hold,
and the love we spurn,
will never grow cold
only taciturn.

And I'll tell you tomorrow.
Sadie, go on home now.
Bless those who've sickened below;
bless us who've chosen so.

And all that I got
and all that I need
I tie in a knot
that I lay at your feet.
I have not forgot,
but a silence crept over me.
(So dig up your bone,
exhume your pine-cone, my Sadie)


Joanna explains this song in the Tiny Mix Tapes interview.

Other versions