A Cautionary Song Lyrics

A Cautionary Song
The Decemberists

there's a place your mother goes when everybody else is soundly sleeping
through the lights of beacon street
and if you listen you can hear her weeping, she's weeping,
cause the gentlemen are calling and the snow is softly falling
on her petticoats.
and she's standing in the harbour and she's waiting for the sailors
in the jolly boat.
see how they approach

with dirty hands and trousers torn they grapple 'til she's safe within their keeping
a gag is placed between her lips to keep her sorry tongue from any speaking,
or screaming
and they row her out to packets where the sailor's sorry racket calls for maidenhead
and she's scarce above the gunwales when her clothes fall to a bundle and she's laid in bed
on the upper deck

and so she goes from ship to ship,
her ankles clasped,
her arms so rudely pinioned
'til at last she's satisfied the lot of the marina's teeming minions,
and their opinions

and they tell her not to say a thing
to cousin, kindred, kith or kin
or she'll end up dead
and they throw her thirty dollars
and return her to the habor where she goes to bed,
and this is how you're fed

so be kind to your mother,
though she may seem an awful bother,
and the next time she tries to feed you collard greens,
remember what she does when you're asleep

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