lyrics as sung on Have One on Me

I can feel a difference.
Today, a difference:
all of us, in our tents,
fearing god like a mistress.

We lay on the rocks, in the sun,
watching you and your mama row in,
I sat up and blinked,
when you appeared,
so pale you were nearly clear!

Later, I stumbled to my bed,
all alone in the branches.
I laid in the dark,
thinking about all of my friends,
and their changes.

And I do not know
if you know just what you have done.
You are the sweetest one
I have ever laid my eyes upon.

It's a beautiful town,
with the rain coming down.
Blackberry, rosemary,
You've got the run of the place,
now that you're running around;
and may kindness,
kindness, kindness abound.

In this hour of our lives —
hour of effortless plenty —
how do we know
which parts of our hearts want what,
with such base generosity?

Taking so many photographs —
so amazed! —
we've never seen a baby so newlyborn.
And, when the bulbs do flash,
as bright as morning,
the crowd keeps on gathering
like an electric storm.

The phantom of love
moves among us at will.
Each phantom-limb lost,
has got an angel
(so confused,
like the wagging bobbed-tail
of a bulldog):
kindness, kindness prevails.

Kindness prevails!
Ties and rails, ties and rails fall into line,
bearing kindness.
Where will you go, if not here?
What will you say,
when you write to us?

And this is a world of terrible hardship,
and I search for words
to set you at ease.
But there, in the looking-glass,
a kite is soaring,
stilling my warring heart
and my trembling knees.

Clean as a breeze,
bright as the day:
all of the people gather to say:
"Sweet Esme! Sweet Esme!
Oh, oh, oh!"

I believe love will always surround you —
brave as a bear,
with a heart rare and true.
But if you are scared,
if you are blue,
I have prepared this small song for you:
Sweet Esme! Sweet Esme!
Oh, oh, oh!

Sweet Esme! Sweet Esme!
Oh, oh, oh!
Sweet Esme! Esme!
Sweet Esme! Sweet Esme!
Oh, oh, oh!


There's a great bootleg recording from before the album was released.

Other versions