10000 Maniacs Grey Victory

There was light and atomic fission

Swelling wind

Rising ash

Tide of black rain

Cement seared shadow traces

Reminiscent of their last commands

Instantly one thousand flames arising

Ill scent the burning hides surrounding

A settlement debased entirely

Enola gay had made a casual delivery

Please build a future, darling

With our bomb

Cherish and love it

For the sake of

Earth bound kingdom come

The undersides of fallen metal trusses

Evil debris of human bodies

Each window’s glass shards pelted

Secure confines

Brittle collapse

Neighbors lay beside

Each other unknowing

Faces scorched of all familiar bearing

Too few hands

Many wounds for closing

Marred by



Fear lamenting

Here we stand

At the door to gold atomic age

Don’t spoil your face with worry

Trust in

Earth bound kingdom come

10000 Maniacs Gold Rush Brides

Follow the typical signs, the hand-painted lines, down prairie roads.

Pass the lone church spire.

Pass the talking wire from where to who knows?

There’s no way to divide the beauty of the sky from the wild western plains.

Where a man could drift, in legendary myth, by roaming over spaces.

The land was free and the price was right.

Dakota on the wall is a white-robed woman, broad yet maidenly.

Such power in her hand as she hails the wagon man’s family.

I see Indians that crawl through this mural that recalls our history.

Who were the homestead wives?

Who were the gold rush brides?

Does anybody know?

Do their works survive their yellow fever lives in the pages they wrote?

The land was free, yet it cost their lives.

In miner’s lust for gold.

A family’s house was bought and sold, piece by piece.

A widow staked her claim on a dollar and his name, so painfully.

In letters mailed back home her Eastern sisters they would moan

as they would read accounts of madness, childbirth, loneliness and grief.

10000 Maniacs The Big Parade

Detroit to D.C. night train, Capitol, parts East.

Lone young man takes a seat.

And by the rhythm of the rails, reading all his mother’s mail from a city boy in a jungle town postmarked Saigon.

He’ll go live his mother’s dream, join the slowest parade he’ll ever see.

Her weight of sorrows carried long and carried far.

“Take these, Tommy, to The Wall.”

Metro line to the Mall site with a tour of Japanese.

He’s wandering and lost until a vet in worn fatigues takes him down to where they belong.

Near a soldier, an ex-Marine with a tattooed dagger and eagle trembling, he bites his lip beside a widow breaking down.

She takes her Purple Heart, makes a fist, strikes The Wall.

All come to live a dream, to join the slowest parade they’ll ever see.

Their weight of sorrows carried long and carried far, taken to The Wall.

It’s 40 paces to the year that he was slain.

His hand’s slipping down The Wall for it’s slick with rain.

How would life have ever been the same if this wall had carved in it one less name?

But for Christ’s sake, he’s been dead over 20 years.

He leaves the letters asking, “Who caused my mother’s tears, was it Washington or the Viet Cong?”

Slow deliberate steps are involved.

He takes them away from the black granite wall toward the other monuments so white and clean.

O, Potomac, what you’ve seen.

Abraham had his war too, but an honest war.

Or so it’s taught in school.

10000 Maniacs Big Star

I saw a big star running from me, a world from a record on my bed.

Turn the tables on me, what would happen if I fell to the tune of a dreamer,

to the tune of my heart?

A big start running from me, I saw a world out sunning on my head.

Turn the tables on me now. I would fall from heaven and ring your bell.

Baby, catch me in the middle of a lie.

The boys are out tonight, yeah the boys are out tonight.

The big shots singin’ from me, I saw a world out sunning on my head.

Pity my heart signals: center of a storm inside my head.

Center of my heart, center of my out of time simple mind.

From the moon out my window a wink and a blink and a nod.

Had a wish on a start but now it’s falling.

The boys are out tonight, big skies above me signal in my horoscope it said:

never heed a caution, never fought a lover,

never cross a street alone in the middle of a signal red,

middle of a drinker’s heart, middle of a big parade, a signal in my horoscope.

10000 Maniacs The Earth Pressed Flat

Detroit, L.A., Boston, San Francisco,

first time o’er the ocean on a plane a billion stars below me lay,

circle slowly JFK,

so much there to see inside of a week they came looking for something new

try to press it flat inside of a few days Old Dominion Saturday,

Arlington’s eternal flame Sunday tour Niagara Falls in the mist.

Monday I’ll be heading south New Orleans the Cajun sound

Tuesday’s Tupelo Elvis’s home . . .

try to press it flat inside of a few days what a wonderful stay,

on a mule Grand Canyon ride on Wednesday,

hope to get to Denver in a day Friday ride to Washington,

in the glacial mountain sun hop a train for Canada

to the east they came looking for something new

try to press it flat inside of a few days what a wonderful stay

10000 Maniacs My Mother The War

She borders the pavement

Flanks avenues

Parades pass white glove attended by

My mother the war

She’ll raise a shaft

Lift a banner

Toss a rose

My mother the war

She’s made every effort

To salvage the few

Bought fourteen liberty bonds

My mother the war

Mother the war

She knows every neighbor

Chats at their doors

Compare econosize electric appliances

My mother the war

Share tea and a seat

By my cradle with

My mother the war

Mother the war

Caressing the globe

Touch on his isle

She wrings hands in pensive waiting

My mother the war

Haunts her doorway

Begs her postman

Is there word for

My mother the war

Moments of distant vigil

Three years each tour

“hands of god enfold him” prayed

My mother the war

Mother the war

In bitter defiance

She’s spitting the corps

She’s wet a brood short league for combat

My mother the war

Well acquainted with sorrow

Left millions in grief

My mother the war







Mother the war

10000 Maniacs Can’t Ignore The Train

Steep is the water tower

Painted off-blue to match the sky

Can’t ignore the train

Night walks in the valley silent

You could swear the earth just moved

Can’t ignore the train

Dust to be kicked up

In the crack-faced idle sinister town

Screen door to the rail station

Devil in her, she ran alongside the wasted tracks

Hem pins darted in her calves

Can’t ignore the train

One spoiled girl with the tidiest apology

Somehow wedged inside her throat

Can’t ignore the train

Patience their virtue

But I never could abide by that

Dungeon life with electric light

A clean towel and a basin

Mantel figures mind their places

And laughs where they belong

Through adventure

We are not adventuresome

Rage to share with a wardrobe mirror

In a room so beige and cold

Can’t ignore the train

Window days saw the children pick their street games on thirty, thirty

Thirty afternoons

Molly, the boys are

Starting in that rhyme again

Teasing more and more the second daughter

How she fell

Young locked in some folks’ prison

Made to dwell

Till they’re braiding her gray hair

Sitting in the wishing chair

Sitting in the wishing chair

Sitting in the wishing chair

10000 Maniacs The Colonial Wing

Here is the store house of Her Majesty

Well guarded by sentry

But looks are free

Call this the rayless and benighted age

Witches by tallow candles shifted

Shifted their shapes

Here is the pestle and mortar

That ground the poison seed

A lute, a suit for jousting

And the poems of a balladeer

When all the Latin books were copied off

In golden script

Well hoarded away in

A monastery crypt


Superstition beyond belief

Over mountain, over dune and over sea

Crude map and compass lead the caravan

And lead the fleet

Here’s the loot and plunder

They bore home

Ivory tusk inlaid with precious stone

Raw silk and spices by the barrel load

A soft skin drum with mallets

Of human bone

A world wide rampage

Rampage of greed

So here the tour concludes

The Colonial Wing

The rooms of the most refined

Museum property

An early pair of spectacles

A claw footed divan

Ornate clocks with birds that strut

On the half hours and quarter hours

Hear them chime

10000 Maniacs Tension

Frail hinges pivot

On a cases door


Souvenirs from places

Containers change

With each occasion

Cellophane encased

Displaying paper


Credit years of service

A tool of

Central enterprises

The early hope

For permanence the

Words the rings


And social security the

Miracles high tragedy

A thought mistaken

For a memory

Dress lengths


Fractured family ties


Local posts they

List your friends

In order of


Lawn scattered tins

Feed birds the

Portion baked for

Absent guests

Mass edition icon

God sent comfort is

Your salvation

But who grants

Absolution for sins

That never were committed


Makes a tangle

Of each thought becomes


Sound never penetrate

As servile edges

Break and faint

A thought mistaken

For a memory

Clear the dust from

Smiles in boxes

Cross a patterned floor

Recall the voices

10000 Maniacs Groove Dub

Imitate that soured old song

There is no individuality

Only guises

Shades of


There is no individuality

Selling vantage points

Low rate

There is no individuality

Questions ancient

No words claimed

Perform motions borrowed

Thoughts following

Ima tima ima tima intima




Gesture display


Limits appeal

Media dictates the latest



Motions borrowed

Selling vantage points

Low rate

For you

Media begged