Distant Plastic Trees

All songs written by Stephin Merritt except where noted.

Railroad Boy

I will not sing your ugly song. I won't put on your ugly play. I cannot join your ugly priesthood and if I die I won't come home. Railroad Boy of mine... I bought you crows and candelabra and I went moth-eating with you. I held you down when you had seizures and read to you at bedtime. We went to see a beaver dam. We went to see a coral ref. But life is more than going to see things, and that's too bad.

Smoke Signals

Well, you've got a really long name. It won't fit on any forms. You have me all your mirrors, and they made me deformed. You're sending smoke signals. I know your secret code. We travel in the plaid van and we give our puppet show. And we picnic in the winter on maple syrup and snow. Well, you made a Molotov cocktail, and you threw it on the ground, and it sent us flying, and now we're flying about.

You Love To Fail

Maybe tomorrow I'll see love in your eyes and mine will dry. Maybe tomorrow we can learn how to fly on these nasty little wings. And I wanna take you out but you always refuse, 'cause you only play the games that you know you can lose. You love to fail, that's all you love. We don't know why you've been gone. Somebody said you're on the run. You're living where wild horses run. Well, hey, whatever turns you on.

I'll be your confidante. Come and go as you please. I'll honor and protect my Wagner in dungarees.


All day, snow covered us. Night-time: it was always night. The people on the street were made of meat. Black girl, trucks ran us down. Blue boy... The people on the sidewalk were traced in chalk. Whale embryos filled your enormous room. Screech-owl kachinas built your spiritual room. We were kings, kings!

Babies Falling

Where the workers stand in querulous rows awaiting dislocation I will be there too. When you're cashing in your food stamps, when you're sleeping in a cattle train I'll be with you. Pushing up against the ticket counter window, face against the glass, bleeding from the waist and kissing to be chaste. It is said that those who will not rest have been cursed to tramp like soldiers through the marshes, or that blessed are the ones who leave the stage like babies falling fast asleep. So I twice am cursed and twice am stuck affixed to this corner of the earth. That old river keeps on rolling, but the old man doesn't see it, he just stands there with his eyes closed, asking, "Where'd you go? Where'd you go?" So wherever you may sleep tonight, be it bed or bedrock, home, or open field: when your breathing slows and your eyes are closed and you begin to yield, then whatever you have taken as your pillow may it serve as mine as well. Underneath the weeping willow I will wait for you forever, my eyes forever closed, asking, "Where'd you go? Where'd you go?"

Living in an Abandoned Firehouse with You

You're in your own little world: an expensive birdcage; like a plastic baby in a Fabergé egg. I saw you today at the Cafe Blasé and thought of the nights when we had fire fights. Nameless seaside ghost town... that's where I go when I see the moon. Living in an abandoned firehouse with you. You're in your own little head in a field of sunflowers, and there's blood in your mouth, and there's rats all over town. Take me out to the beach and I'll tell you my secret name. Take me under the sea and we'll derail the trains. Let's run away into the caves. I still love you, I still love you, baby. You're in your own little box with ribbons in your hair, and there's dust in your mouth and worms in the air. Hideous city of unknown words... that's where I live when I go to sleep in an abandoned firehouse with you.

Tar-Heel Boy

Tar-Heel Boy sings a song about a girl who ain't comin' home by n by. She worked too long in the mill. She gone to those rollin' hills in the sky. We're barely off mama's milk and we're locked in here weavin' silk we can't buy. While you been off in Oregon, I been drinkin' here all alone. All night long, all day long. They shot a nine-year-old boy for a hundred dollars.

Falling in Love with the Wolfboy

She can make you feel like filth. She can make you feel like a star. She will scratch till her hand is bloody, but she'll love you more for the scar. She remembers the recent past. She's something the cat dragged in. She's a trollop in paisley, so take her down to the woods where the wolfboy lives, so the villagers say, and the three of you evaporate into the night till you both fall in love with him. With a face like an African mask and the strength of ten men when she's wrong, she's in charge of the world at large and her novels are all very long. She belongs on the astral plane. She's probably a hologram. Put her back in the padded cell. So you'll dress head to foot in lame and you'll dance in December snow. When the sky turns to wine you'll embrace and forget everything that you know. She can tell you the will of the gods. Butter won't melt in her mouth, but you will. Don't bother to ask her name.


If I were Napoleon, you could be my Josephine. We could go to drive-in films in my red convertible. If I were Napoleon, I might be in magazines. I'd write some science fiction--science fiction about you. You could be my Josephine: just you and your chaperone. Let you be my Josephine, Josephine. If I were Napoleon, you could be my lady love. Look into my soft blue eyes. Run your fingers through my hair. If I were Napoleon, you could be my turtle-dove--living out in Corsica in our summer cottages and you could be my Josephine, and you could be my Josephine, and we could be Siamese twins. Let you be my Josephine, Josephine.

100,000 Fireflies

I have a mandolin. I play it all night long. It makes me want to kill myself. I also have a dobro made in some mountain range--sounds like a mountain range in love. But when I turn up the tone on my electric guitar, I'm afraid of the dark without you close to me. I went out to the forest and caught 100,000 fireflies. As they ricochet round the room they remind me of your starry eyes. Someone else's might not have made me so sad, but this is the worst night I ever had, 'cause I'm afraid of the dark without you close to me. You won't be happy with me, but give me one more chance--you won't be happy anyway. Why do we still live here in this repulsive town? All our friends are in New York. Why do we keep shrieking when we mean soft things? We should be whispering all the time...

Copyright (c) Sep 1999 - Mar 2006 by The Distant Plastic Treehouse