Palo Santo – Lyrics

Palo Santo

La Dame et la Licorne

Something is breathing in the air
Something is moving in the water
And the winds in you are blowing

Bring back my boy
I loved him
I loved him

Little flakes of snow
On the roads and the fences
My head is a flame
My body’s distant
And I am fading out
I can tell it all in time
I’ll go down in a flame
And wheel in the air like a swallow

All you border guards
So young and handsome in the light
Won’t you let me go through one more time?
One more time

Hold my arm
Will you hold my arm
There are islands in the sun
There are diamonds in the water

Red Sea, Black Sea

In place of the sun
In place of the moon
A terrible light
Will flood every room
And bathed in this light
We will swim again

From the high desert walls
To the seas red and black
Turn the transmitters off
We are not coming back
And the pearls of our eyes
Are turning black.

And when it occurred-
Oh yes sir! Yes sir!
The walls came down
It was a fucking disaster
The whole thing’s changed
In unthinkable ways
And why did you come
To inherit it?

And why did you come
To corral everyone
Boy, you’re just pushing
You’re just pushing the darkness around.

White Waves

I won’t go traveling tonight
I won’t go back to the wolves now
There’s something singing in the ice
In the deepest part of the world.
And the film across my eyes-
I’m watching all the waves turn white.

Took me out on the tide
to make pearls of my eyes
and uncover me, oh.
Tore every stitch, every line,
every hook, every eye
between him and the diamonds, diamonds!

Maybe tonight I’ll give in
with you holding my arms
and my stuttering heart is unbound
and flayed alive.

Oh, don’t go traveling tonight!
Hold that child in your arms, well
There’s no more canaries in the mine
And a cloud, black, over the water
And a voice, low in my ear
Says the things that we did here
will never die.

Palo Santo

A wind that lifts the leaves against the night
The reeds that bow and bend beneath its weight
The holy sap, its smoky light
I will not hide

The fish that swim inside the murky deep
The island shores that loom above the sea
The holy, holy melody
Will bring them all to me

And play again that melody
Hidden close to me

Seventy-four, Seventy-five

Seventy-four, seventy five
He’s getting used to it now
How each one falls away
In that hoary light

And they’ve gone
Gone from the age
Gone from the guards and their hands
Was no different today than in years gone by
But he won’t come out tonight
With his hands so thin and white

Gone! Gone from the age
Then he is gone from your eyes
As that splintering wave
Takes so many lives

Leaving your hands
Gripping the edge of such a waste
Every angel looks dead, every face a lie
But you won’t come out tonight
With your hands so thin and white

Seventy-four, seventy-five
Daddy, come back to me now
I would beat them away
I would pull you out
I would have washed
All the cinders from your eyes
And with silver and gold
I would adorn you

Let it all come out tonight
When they pull me out alive


His little hook, your little eyelid
The iris dilates while the heart implodes
And when he comes in your dreaming
His mouth still denies
What your heart just knows
Oh no

Nobody would ever have known
No light in the dark would have shown
How you would reply

When the bombs finished falling
And ashes were drifting along the roads
Little child, how you lifted
Your eyes through the air
And the ancient shapes of crows

Nobody would ever have known
No hand and no eye could have shown
How you would reply

Oh no
Nobody would ever have known
No light in the darkness would have shown
How you would reply

Sing, Little Birdie

Hey, little birdie, catching my eye
Sing little sweet things into this mind
And tug at my darker side

Fly to the bed where we are confined
Combing the cancers out of our lives
Oh, harness your song with mine

And whose tongue gave you life but mine

Johnny Viola

If you could ring the sky like a bell
Even such a sound would never suffice
If you could bang the world like a drum
It would only show it was hollow inside

And as love, it slips behind a little cloud
And your eyes are veiled
Is there a medical term
for a heart that’s been removed?

If you could wring the hours and the days
Of all their life, I think you would find
That the lovely faces crash like a wave
Upon a shore so frozen and white

And as love, it slips behind another cloud
The snow is like a feathery down
When the heart has been removed

And as love departs your life
Like silvery birds that leave the coast
Your eyes are as wild and lifeless as the moon

Failed Queen

These were the words of the wounded man
He came to me, you should understand
And he’s coming to you, all the way
From the hardest place
Through the hardest days

“Out on the roads of that winding plain
I took her in, took her all I had
Understanding everything
But her coldest eye
Should have changed my mind.”

So then he rose, and he rubbed his eyes
Crawled through a hole in a lake of ice
Just to show you all the way
Though the queen has died
She has multiplied

Hail, Mary

Oh hail, Mary, full of death
Sing me a bitter song
As dark as the day is long
And as blank as your eyes are wild
While the hail from the blackened cloud
Is raking the firmament
Destroying our argument
About the temperature and the time
Wild and unbroken

We lay like a wounded lamb
Facing a billy goat
Bowed down in our heavy coats
Under the force and the threat of his eyes
And we march in our rows and rows
Under a burning hand
Past the scars of the wounded land
Into a country of thorns and spines
Wild and unbroken

Oh, God save the chamberlain!
Oh, God save his appointed successor!
But God saved his hardest face for you
And all your kind
Oh, that’s what’s troubling me

So hail Mary

Oh, hail, Mary, sick and proud
And holding aloft a light
That would burn through a heaving night
And then lead us upon the rocks
And the child who is nearly born
Waits just to do you harm
Like the shock of a broken arm
Or a love that would burn you blind
Wild and unbroken

Going Is Song

Oh, daddy, I’m lost in your overcoat
I found my heart
Pulled it up by its root
Said it once
Said it twice
“If I live, or I die, I am free again”
And I was free

I came to love spaces inside of me
The winds that blow
The leaves of the almond trees
That would grow by the road
Brushed with light and with snow
And I would ride as far as it goes

Oh, joy of mine, swelling inside of me
I feel your eyes, hands as they form in me
I said it once, said it twice
While you live, when you die
You are free again
You are free

Bonus: My Only Boy

My only boy, be not so blind.
Open your eyelids wide.
In through your mouth, breathe soft, light…

There are no words, no hands, no eyes,
that show where a door stands wide.
In through your mouth, breathe soft, light…

And your heart stands open,
when silence trickles down, bright,
and softly, slowly surrounds
your little ghost town

Set all the silver lamps alight
And open the windows wide.
(Come to me now, in soft light.)

Show every world in its separate light-
(A gull’s wing, a crow’s dark eye)
Where all the city’s foundlings lie

When your heart stands open,
and offered to the crowd, draw lines
around your chosen life.
And let it burn, bright –
over all the lovely faces

(In place of the sun, in place of the moon…)