Hyacinths and Thistles

All songs written by Stephin Merritt.

As You Turn To Go

Let the camera linger on your perfect skin, your widow's peak, and your lucky grin -- and the bluest eyes I know -- as you turn to go. Let there be a record of your gorgeous voice, the turn of phrase that filled my days with joy -- something like Bing singing soft and low -- as you turn to go. I know I'm not supposed to say I'm sorry, I know you've had more loves than Mata Hari, but you know you're the star of my life story, and I'm so sorry. Let the poets struggle to describe your heart, your art of love and your love of art. Well, if you ever loved me, tell me so as you turn to go...

Give Me Back My Dreams

Give me back my dreams. I've been counting these sheep since I can't remember when. Give me back my sleep. I'll be dreaming of you till I wake up crying again. I have lain awake through the longest hours wondering whether to cry or scream. You can take my heart. It was always yours, but give me back my dreams. When the clock strikes three, I don't care anymore about you or anything. When the clock strikes four, I could sell my soul just to hear my telephone ring. You don't have to talk to me the way we used to talk for hours. We don't have to talk at all, but may I send you flowers?

He Didn't

Will you dance with me? Take my hands and lead me, with all my faults, in the ballroom waltz that we might have done had we ever been young. It'll end in tears, but not for years if you dance with me. Will you dance with me, me, with two left feet? You'd be showing me how. I'm no dancer now, but soon you and I could step into the sky. We'll go down in flames, of course, but love remains if you dance with me. I'll make only sunny weather for you. The sky will be blue forever. I'll make only sunny weather for you to keep me and you together, and you'll dance with me in the rain, maybe, but we won't really mind. In the end we'll find it was just a dance and our little romance. It'll fall to dust, but only just if you dance with me.

I've Got New York

Surprise! It's me. It's drunk. I'm three. Four a couple hours, the city was my dance floor. Then I wandered around, wondering why you don't love me anymore. Surprise! I'm real. I think and feel. And I used to be a person in some way. So I can't imagine why I'm wasting quarters on the telephone to say: I've got New York all to myself--from the Great White Way to Little West Twelfth; from the big blue bridge to the Hudson's swells--I've got New York all to myself. The day is gone; the night is too. Everywhere to go, but nothing to do. I had a lover once, but that fell through. I've got New York, but I ain't got you. Got all New York to be lonely in. Got cigarettes and I've got gin, and though I feel just like I've got no skin, I've got New York and the winter wind.

Just Like a Movie Star

I spent all day dreaming of the way I'd like to hold you. So I got absolutely nothing done, but it was so much fun, and have I told you how beautiful you are tonight, just like a movie star? Quit your job, dear. Then you can stay here at home beside me. You be James Dean, I'll be Sal Mineo, you can hide me. How beautiful you are tonight, just like a movie star.

Kissing Things

It was a shallow ocean. It was a very low sky. They're not too wide to get around, given the old school try, and you must have had nothing better to do. I've been kissing my cigarette wishing it was you. True, you gave me the moon and the silver stars. They float outside the window of this tedious bar, but just like their master they just drift in the blue. I've been kissing my bottle wishing it was you. So Gibraltar has tumbled. The world came to an end, and the joke was on me, you're not even my friend, but with all my new lovers -- and there've been twenty-two -- I've been kissing the mirror wishing it was you.


I haven't got a diamond ring for you. I have not got a thing for you. All I can really do is sing for you, my lovely Lindy-Lou. Who would have thought that you could care for me, that you could walk on air for me? Say that you will always be there for me, my lovely Lindy-Lou. And should it rain, I'll hold the parasol and call the raindrops falling stars. And though we'll never get to Paris, I'll build Paris wherever we are.

Night Falls Like a Grand Piano

Quiet, please: there are leaves falling. Trees do their striptease. Summer is ending. I wonder why you look so far away against the sky, in fifty shades of gray. Night falls like a grand piano. Outside it could be China. Let's watch the trees that trickled toward the sun, dance in the rain, dying to have some fun. Thunder sings a requiem. Lightning is taking pictures of everything from every point of view. Let's go outside and have our picture taken too. I love you.

The Dead Only Quickly

Priests and fools say we are but animate clay, but rude vessels housing immortal souls. But the dead only quickly decay. They don't go around being born and reborn and rising and falling like soufflé. The dead only quickly decay. It would be swell to see some folks burn in hell, but when they go it's just as pleasant to know that the dead only quickly decay.

The Sailor In Love with the Sea

Sigh and grow every day paler, bowed by a mortal ennui. I fell in love with a sailor, a sailor in love with the sea. Cry like Elizabeth Taylor out on the end of the quay. I fell in love with a sailor, a sailor in love with the sea.


Tahitian hashish and a vermilion moon, impure kiss of orchids. She's waiting for you. She'll drown you in hot lava. Volcana! The luau, like, wow! The limpid lagoons. She tries on your chevron, inflates your balloon.

Waltzing Me All the Way Home

You were a soldier from the war, waltzing me all the way home. I'd never seen your kind before. Your every word was a poem. Thank you for giving me reasons for living, more reasons than I've ever known. Thank you for giving me new worlds to live in, and waltzing me all the way home. Now that you're just a memory, waltzing me all the way home, I hope they treat you tenderly in London, Paris, and Rome. You'll find a lover who looks like your mother. For heaven's sake, don't be alone. And I'll find a lover who looks like your brother, but never another for waltzing me all the way home.

You You You You You

Even though I met you only recently, I find myself falling in love with you. I don't know quite how to put this decently, but what's the chance that you could love me too? Who, who, who, who, who has made my dreams come true and turned my gray skies blue? Why it's you you you you you you. Woo, woo, woo, woo, woo like amorous lovebirds do. Who made my world seem new? 'Tis, 'tis you you you you you. You make me feel like I'm seventeen again. You make everything beautiful seem true. I can't wait to go to sleep and dream again, cause every dream I dream's a dream dreamy little you. You make the world go round, the sun go up and down, the flowers bloom in May, the children laugh and play. Shall we choose the day?


I was the restless kind with a heart inclined to play games of chance, when a dark-eyed girl from another world led me a dangerous dance on the cliffs of Oahu. We became the slaves of the Pacific waves that come hard and slow. Sometimes a coral reef shelters a gentle beach, but there's an undertow on the shores of Oahu. It wasn't meant to be. She had no time for me cause she was writing her novel. I'm just a haole now, but I'll go back somehow and I'll stay there forever for the love of Oahu.

Copyright (c) Sep 2002 - Jun 2008 by The Distant Plastic Treehouse