Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie

lyrics as sung on Joanna Newsom and the Ys Street Band

That means no where I come from.
I am cold, out 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 that shy, no no no no no,
just give it up —
There are bats all dissolving in a row
into the wishy-washy dark that cannot let go.
Well I cannot let go,
so I thank the lord, and I thank his sword!
'tho it be mincing up the morning,
slightly bored

O, morning without warning like a hole,
And I watch you go.
There are some mornings
when the sky looks like a road.
And 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
(and they sting so terribly).

I do as I please.
And now I'm on my knees.
Your skin is something that I stir into my tea.
(Second voice: Your soul is something that I stir into my tea)
And I am watching you
and you are starry, starry, starry
and I'm tumbling down, and I check a frown.
Well, just look around.
It's why I love this town:
just see me serenaded hourly!
and celebrated sourly! and 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.

Other versions