Pere Ubu Lyrics
Song Of The Bailing Man
(1982)



The Long Walk Home

On the long walk home thoughts stride long and crankily.

The antelope are swaying
to the song of the buffalo groaning
Old buffalo moaning
as the heat beats down like a hammer.

The lay of the land is like a frying pan
as the heat beats down like a hammer.

Molecular excitement means nourishment
The orchestrations of biochemistry
are eloquent
Still the heat beats down like a hammer.

On the prairie floor the insects roar.

The nights were cool
The nights were cruel
The days are hot
The days are hot on the long walk home.

Writers: Fier - Maimone - Ravenstine - Thomas - Thompson.
©1982 Fire Songs, under license from Ubu Projex.


Use Of A Dog

It brings a tear to the eye
to see the kind of trust
that bears many strains
It brings a smile
to see trust that believes many things.

Who would question the worth of a dog?
Who would query the use of a dog?

Fidelity is a fine attribute
Loyalty to his master is never in dispute.

Watchfulness is a valuable trait
Here's a fellow who looks left and right to cross the street.

Who would question the worth of a dog?
Who would query the use?

Writers: Fier - Maimone - Ravenstine - Thomas - Thompson.
©1982 Fire Songs, under license from Ubu Projex.


Petrified

Not so many thousand years before
These old rocks were the bones of the haplocanthosaur
Old old rocks.

Tall as a house
Might've been gentle as a mouse.

Bare bones are petrified
Later they are classified
A skeleton may indicate but imagination animates
The mind's eye does need to see
The fluid grace and subtlety
Animals fitted perfectly to a world not like the one we see.

The bones of a flying animal now called the pterosaur
Have been found a hundred miles from the presumed seashore.
Old old rocks.

One kind had teeth like a whale
One kind had a hair covering
One kind would've been 37 feet wing to wing.

Bare bones are petrified
Later they are classified
A skeleton may indicate but imagination animates
The mind's eye does need to see
The fluid grace and subtlety
Animals fitted perfectly to a world not like the one we see.

Here's the sort of bird that we don't see
In some of the books it's not treated quite respectfully
Old old rocks.

Has the short end of the stick
been given archaeopteryx?

Writers: Fier - Maimone - Ravenstine - Thomas - Thompson.
©1982 Fire Songs, under license from Ubu Projex.


Stormy Weather

Stormy weather might get better
in a week or the wink of an eye.

It's clearing off by Monday
That's what the weathermen say.

It's good for ducks so don't complain
when the rain comes tap-tapping
on the window panes
when someone is napping.

When do you think it will quit?
What is the outcome of it?

Who who? Why so blue?
There's other things we can do.

Writers: Fier - Maimone - Ravenstine - Thomas - Thompson.
©1982 Fire Songs, under license from Ubu Projex.


West Side Story

He's on his feet and his feet are on the go
He anticipates a show
wWen winter comes home to Erie.

The day is burned away
Evening comes as an after-thought
Down below the lake salt mines are a subtler plot.

Ore boats cross the lake
Birds hurry up and down riding in the wakes
When winter comes home to Erie.

The clouds turn to stone
The city looks as frail as bone
Carved by a chinaman and left because he died alone.

That's Erie.

Writers: Fier - Maimone - Ravenstine - Thomas - Thompson.
©1982 Fire Songs, under license from Ubu Projex.


Thoughts That Go By Steam

(weigho-weigho)
Thoughts may go where the winds may blow
Or they may steam ahead wake in tow.

(sizz fizz)
Thoughts go by steam.

(weigho-weigho)
Thoughts may go where the tides dictate
Or they might navigate.

(sizz fizz)
Where are the thoughts that go by steam?
(sizz fizz)
Rolling over the ocean's expanse
How is it done?
(sizz fizz)
Stoking with coal
Thoughts go by steam.

Smoke curling in a cloudless sky
The hull churns the wash
The engines impel and the reply
The great wide sea unfolds in swells.

Thoughts that go by steam are something to see
As they come into view of
Tooting horns!
Tooting horns!

Thoughts that go by steam are met with jubilation
All the banners and bands and the
Tooting horns!
Tooting horns!

(sizz fizz)
Where are the thoughts that go by steam?
(sizz fizz)
Rolling over the ocean's expanse
How is it done?
(sizz fizz)
Stoking with coal
Thoughts go by steam.

Writers: Fier - Maimone - Ravenstine - Thomas - Thompson.
©1982 Fire Songs, under license from Ubu Projex.


Big Ed's Used Farms

I had a good time
Forgot to thank you for that good time
In went the good air and out went the bad
I like it there.

Alive!

I see him everywhere
He looks just like me
He's such a happy guy
Just like me.

Why-di-i-di-i?
Who can stop that happy guy?

I had a good time
Forgot to thank you for that good time
I looked back on a day well spent
I went to bed with a sense of accomplishment.

Beehive!

Beetle Man Beetle Man
scutters cross the field
Through waving grass plowing air
Like a ship he heels.

Who can stop that happy guy?

Writers: Fier - Maimone - Ravenstine - Thomas - Thompson.
©1982 Fire Songs, under license from Ubu Projex.


A Day Such As This

[Part 1]

On a day such as this
Insist on more than the truth
H Y P E R B O L E.

Today dear poet we must insist on more
More than the ordinary turn of phrase
Other than the usual stock in trade.

A day such as this cries out for emphasis
Where are the thoughts that swing from the trees?
Where are the hats that hang in the breeze?
Where are the words that will freshen the air?

On a day such as this
Insist on more than the truth
H Y P E R B O L E.

What is the designate etiquette on such a day?

[Part 2]

At last
By reasoning cast as a character peevishly bound
The solution comes clear
Persevere.
I was nearly drowned.

The folderol of fretful peregrination.

It rained cats
It rained dogs It rained logs
It rained hats
It rained trees It rained fleas
It rained spats
It rained boxes to put it all in.

The trumpet call of rampant exaggeration.

With each ensuing sneeze
Raindrops shake from the leaves
They shake from the trees
They shake from the leaves
of the sheltering trees.

Grumbling over the goats they go
Mumbling into their coats they know
Bundling into the boats they row
Who knows where they go?
They go where they go where they go.

The folderol of fretful peregrination.

Yo-ho Oh-ho
If the rain doesn't stop
And the boxes pile up
Then we'll pass on the notion
to bail out the ocean with buckets
That's the word that's overheard.

The trumpet call of rampant exaggeration
What is the designate etiquette on such a day?

[Part 3]

Some will say the feet
Some will say a dog
Some will say a man's best friend is hyperbole.

What is the designate etiquette on such a day?

Writers: Fier - Maimone - Ravenstine - Thomas - Thompson.
©1982 Fire Songs, under license from Ubu Projex.


The Vulgar Boatman Bird

I did not hear the vulgar boatman yesterday
or the day before
The dawn coming on the river reflecting
flashed a semaphore.

Tomorrow manyana
Manyana tomorrow
I'll get up early
Get up early and I'll wake you up.

Who would know where the vulgar boatman goes?

Writers: Fier - Maimone - Ravenstine - Thomas - Thompson.
©1982 Fire Songs, under license from Ubu Projex.


My Hat

Some hats are shaped like Oklahoma
Some hats are shaped like the Zuider Zee
Some hats are small and dusty objects
Some hats look like me.

Some hats are thinking caps
unmindful of their dinghy flaps
Some hats are springboks
startled by low-flying trucks.

I don't want to know why o-we-o-we-i

Some hats tumble and fly through the air
Some hats sit on foam heads and stare.

O-we-o-we-i please don't ask me why
I don't want to know why o-we-o-we-i.

Writers: Fier - Maimone - Ravenstine - Thomas - Thompson.
©1982 Fire Songs, under license from Ubu Projex.


Horns Are A Dilemma

As we roll out to sea
I think of some things we may need
They are awkward moments minutes rather
As we roll out to sea.

As we roll out to sea
I designate the horns 'A' and 'B'
As the alternatives are weighed
the coastline fades.

Square pegs Round holes
Round pins Square holes
Square pegs for round holes
Round pins for triangles.

No cause to be so glum
According to the rule of thumb
it may be a small thing
a small thing to overcome.

As we roll out to sea
We'll need to rely on ingenuity
As we roll out to sea
A passing remark referred to a part we may need.

As we roll out to sea
We think of the things we may need.

Writers: Fier - Maimone - Ravenstine - Thomas - Thompson.
©1982 Fire Songs, under license from Ubu Projex.