In Violet Light (2002) Lyrics And Backing Vocals
  In Violet Light (2002) Lyrics And Backing Vocals
Museum Entrance

Lyrics &
Backing Vocals

Hip Directory

One Stop
Reference Shop

Unreleased
Song Info

Exhibit Hall

Hipstories

Are You Ready

Hear the ol' whistle blowin'
they're pulling the plug
we got to get goin'
they got our hole dug
are you ready? are you ready, are you ready to love? (Ready)
And are you ready? ready, are you ready to love? (Ready)

the Devils in the Blues
smoke it to the stub
never accept
then accept with a shrug

Are you ready? Are you ready, are you ready to love? (Ready)
And are you ready? Ready, are you ready to love? (Ready)
To love (To love)
To love
To love (To love)
To love

They got safety fifth
and they take the world straight
whatever it is
they'll just have to wait
to get pretend back
who wants to be tough
to be permanent
permanent enough

Are you ready? Are you ready, are you ready to love? (Ready)
And are you ready? Ready, are you ready to love? (Ready)
Are you ready? Are you ready, are you ready to love? (Ready)
And are you ready? Ready, are you ready to love? (Ready)
To love (To love)
To love
To love (To love)
To love
To love

'Use It Up'
Reference Window

Use it up, use it all up
Don't save a thing for later
If there's music out there laying in wait
To pounce and drain every ounce if you
wait or hesitate

And music that'll help you be tough
and come together on more than Springsteen
though most days it's been enough
Then there's music that can take you away (Away)
Away
Away (Away)
Away

So use it up. Use it all up
Don't save a thing for later
Use it up. Use it all up
Don't save a thing for later

If there's music out there staying awake
To cry and drain every eye until hatred's eliminated
And music that can help you feel great
And come together in 'the fictive dream'*
with a kinda Randy Newman take
There's music that can take you away (Away)
Away
Away (Away)
Away

Where we can jump to our feet, agape
cause nothing is cruel
and even if it is or was
indefeasibly cruel
We don't care because....
yer a fool
I'm a fool
yer a fool
and I'm a fool...

For music that can take you away (Away)
For music that can take you away (Away)
For music that can take you away (Away)
Music that can take you away (Away)

*from On Becoming a Novelist by John Gardner

'Use it up. Don't save a thing for later.'-Raymond Carver

The Darkest One

Come in, come in, come in, come in
From under these darling skies come in
It's warm and it's safe here and almost harkening
Off to a time and place now lost in our imagination

Where you don't complain- but you still do
and you don't explain-but you still want to-explain
Where you believe what you say without shame, 'I just do'
To say what you mean you don't mean what you say
-or you do

Where the wild are strong (Wild are strong)
And the strong are the darkest ones (The strong are the darkest ones)
And you're the darkest one

Come in, come in, come in, come in
From thin and wicked prairie winds, come in
It's warm and it's safe here and almost heartening
Here in a time and place not lost in our imagination

Where you don't explain-but you still do
And you can complain-if you want to-complain (To complain)
Where you're real instrumental or supple 
Or sexy as hell
Where you say "I believe" or say without shame
'I can't tell'

Where the wild are strong (Wild are strong)
And the strong are the darkest ones (The strong are the darkest ones)
And you're the darkest one
O' and you're the darkest one
And if that's what you want
O' then you're the darkest one

It's A Good Life If You Don't Weaken*
Reference Window

When the colour of the night
And all the smoke for one life
Gives way to shaky movements,
Improvisational skills,
A forest of whispering speakers
Let’s swear that we will
Get with the times,
In a current health to stay
Let’s get friendship right
Get life day-to-day
In the forget-yer-skates dream (Forget-yer-skates dream)
Full of countervailing woes (Full of countervailing woes)
In diverse-as-ever scenes (In diverse-as-ever scenes)
Proceeding on a need-to-know (Proceeding on a need-to-know)
In a face so full of meaning
As to almost make it glow (Almost make it glow)

O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken

And find somewhere to go (Find somewhere to go)
Go somewhere we’re needed (Go somewhere we’re needed)
Find somewhere to grow (Find somewhere to grow)
Grow somewhere we’re needed (Grow somewhere we’re needed)

When the colour of the night
And all the smoke in one life
Gives way to shaky movements,
Improvisational skills
In the forest of whispering speakers
Let’s swear that we will
Get with the times,
In a current health to stay
Let’s get friendship right
Get life day-to-day
In the forget-yer-skates dream (Forget-yer-skates dream)
Full of countervailing woes (Full of countervailing woes)
In diverse-as-ever scenes (In diverse-as-ever scenes)
Proceeding on a need-to-know (Proceeding on a need-to-know)
In a face so full of meaning
As to almost make it glow (Almost make it glow)

O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken

And find somewhere to go (Go somewhere we’re needed)
Find somewhere to grow (Grow somewhere we’re needed)
Find somewhere to go (Let’s go somewhere we’re needed)
Find somewhere to grow (We grow where we are needed)

Cause in the forget-yer-skates dream
You can hang your head in woe
And this diverse-as-ever scene
Know which way to go

*Molly Lorimer

Silver Jet
Reference Window

There's a still in the night a tuneless moonlight
Just the I-need-you-and-here's-whys of
Snoring Gords and Cheryls

There's a heron outside
Inviolate light
There's an urge to go, a shadow
A heightened air of peril

Your heart jumps to
And my heart jumps too (My heart jumps too)
I think, to myself "I don't really know my heart"
And as you whisper 'me too' (Me too)

A silver jet roars overhead (Silver jet)
Rocks the nocturne all everglade
n' grey sheers (Grey sheers)

Silver jet, so far off already (Silver jet)
Ya fought the hot spurs off all the way
to Cape Spear (Cape Spear)

It's quiet again
When a car like Big Ben
It's radio dopplerin'
'...and for all you Gregory Peck fans...
-Let Us Now Praise Famous Men-
To take some pressure off all the wondrous
to fight' and your heart jumps to 
And my heart jumps too (My heart jumps too)
As if the Wolves of Northumberland themselves
were rumoured to be en route (En route)

Silver jet, way overhead (Silver jet)
Yer an archipelago, a satellite, a green star (Green star)
Silver jet, so far off already (Silver jet)
With your I-need-you-and-here's-why
Flying to the next part (Flying to the next part)

Your heart jumps to
and my heart jumps too (My heart jumps too)
I'm thinking, to myself, 'packing, is a secret heart'
and as you whisper, 'me too' (Me too)

Silver jet roars overhead (Silver jet)
Silver jet flying to the next part
Silver jet so far off already (Silver jet)
Silver jet, a satellite, a green star
Silver jet way overhead
Silver jet evergladed grey sheers
Silver jet, so far off already
Silver jet Clayqout sound to Cape Spear

Throwing Off Glass

"Why is the world so creepy?" she asked
After a car full of haircuts drove past
A backseat full of 'the boys'

I told her that 'It isn't...
that...that it's exquisite
but like love, it has it's barbarous threats

Still in spite of the cads
and the stoop-shouldered teens
I know I'm losing you
I know what that means, yea

I told her that it isn't
That it's real exquisite
but like love, it can have it's
stubbed-toe effects

And just like after she heard
the word 'iridescent'
and everything was iridescent for awhile,
It wasn't long
before she exalted out of nowhere,
'Isn't this exquisite?'

Once you've said 'mmm' in unison
and 'oh' in double surprise
and shared relief with a mutual 'phew'
and a look in each others' eyes

I tell her that is isn't
Insisted that it isn't
because like love
it has too-cunning effects

I told her that it isn't
that it's just exquisite
because like love it has
it's barbarous threats

'Why is the world so creepy?' she asked
after a car full of haircuts drove past
a backseat full of the boys
Breaking glass
Throwing off glass.

All Tore Up
Reference Window

We were a blow-out of wicked proportions
An accidental company
If we said, 'We're gonna go out
and get all tore-up tonight
then we did
we got a little happenin'

Play yer Tonight's-The-Nights right
and don't clear the place
Sweep up a little on your way out
We might make it

With Dottie, the bluegrass singer
baring her local breast
singing, "You want an open concept!?
-I'll give ya open concepts!"

Ya play yer Fuck-Off-Nows right
and don't clear the place
Wreak some havoc on the way out
You might make it (You might make it)

"Drink up folks it's getting' on time to close"

They said, "we don't even like you."
'I'm with you,' I said,
but perhaps you think the road
is a means to have an end
where it's a living in the end,
the living end
the living image of the end

Play yer Tonight's The Nights right
don't clear the place
Sweep up a little on your way out
you might make it (You might make it)
If yer Tonight's The Nights right
ya don't clear the place
sweep up a little on your way out
you might make it (You might make it)

Tonight's the night
Tonight's the night, tonight
Tonight's the night (Tonight's the night)
Tonight (Tonight)

Leave
Reference Window

'Do you mean the attack is routine?'
A bird asked of a bird
'In this context, a concave nest,
how do we learn to hurt?'

'Do you mean there's no variation?'
Watching a dog charge a flock
of birds exploding in congregation
"Why plan when we stop?"

'I dunno...but why suppose
it's not the way it should be?
When you can fly above the great waiting list,
as the crow implies we won't be missed,
We can
Leave (Leave)
We can
Leave (Leave)
We can
Leave. (Leave)

It's a routine flight for this bird tonight
There's more worms than earth
in the afterlife
Where the blind feed the blind,
whispering things like;
'On the money' and 'Bullseye'
She picks up the little leaves (She picks up the little leaves)
Where human wrecks are left to seed (Where human wrecks are left to seed)
Left to repaint their deities (Left to repaint their deities)
And plaster away at their villainies (And plaster away at their villainies)

Where there's love
there's hope

'And do you hope those earthbound poets
could learn to sing as good as us?
so we can sit back and enjoy our illusions
and our quietus?'

'Well I don't now...but why suppose it's
not the way it should be?
When you can squawk and wait for word from above
and change yourself into something you love
When you
Leave (Leave)
When you
Leave (Leave)
You leave?

A Beautiful Thing
Reference Window

In the ulcerating silence
Perspective comes
The way it always does-for it's random
So randomly...somebody calls...
The phone rings and it brings Niagara Falls
At 3 o'clock in the morning
'You'd better be dyin'-and you were
-So we talked about time
and where it went,
unremarkable events,
and how one day took two days
and they got spent.
How you'd continue, carefully, in degrees
trying to do one true beautiful thing

And your beautiful thing (Beautiful thing)
It'd be 
A beautiful thing (Beautiful thing)
To see
That beautiful thing (Beautiful thing)
Continuing

'I don't live there, I just commute'
Secretly cradling a joint and I might puke.
A fumble with the keys, under duress
The point is, this is, practise duress
At 3 o'clock in the morning-
'you'd better be dying'- and you were
-So we talked about things and where they went
Big remarkable events
And how each day's a new day
And they get spent
How you'd continue, artfully, like the breeze (How you'd continue, artfully, like the breeze)
Trying to do one true beautiful thing (Trying to do one true beautiful thing)

Your beautiful thing (Beautiful thing)
It'd be
A beautiful thing (Beautiful thing)
To see
That beautiful thing (Beautiful thing)
Continuing
Your beautiful thing (Beautiful thing)
Continuing

Your beautiful thing (Beautiful thing)
Will be
A beautiful thing (Beautiful thing)
To me
A beautiful thing (Beautiful thing)
Continuing
Your beautiful thing (Beautiful thing)
Continuing


The Dire Wolf*
Reference Window

in that September off
Isle aux Morts
the desultory sea
grew more so through the night

and made one think of
tawny ports,
as aspen tremblin'
in tomorrow's thorough light
and of Tallulah Bankhead
and Canada Lee
somewhere far-off, peaceful, sleeping
and done with acting

past the Dire Wolf's lair
on a Newfoundland's paws
close to nowhere
and halfway across

but never more 'here'
expanse getting broader
though bigger boats been
done by less water
tho better boats been done by this water
tho better boats been done by less water

in that September off
Isle aux Morts
colourable seas
grew more to through the night

And made one think of
yawnin' shores
Gambier-bleached
in tomorrow's thorough light

and the Tallulah Bankhead
and Canada Lee
somewhere far-off, peaceful, sleeping
they learned to love sleep

at the Dire Wolf's crest (Ooo)
the Newfoundland paused (Ooo
desolate's best (Ooo)
was gotten across (Ooo)

we were never more 'here' (Ooo)
expanse getting broader (Ooo)
when better boats been (Ooo)
done by this water (Ooo)

at the Dire Wolf's best (Ooo)
the Newfoundland paused (Ooo)
so desperate as (Ooo)
to be a lost cause (Ooo)

you were never more hear (Ooo)
expanse getting broader (Ooo)
when better boats been (Ooo)
done by this water (Ooo)
where bigger boats been done by less water (Ooo)
and betting boats been done by this water (Ooo)
when bigger boats been done by less water (Ooo)
and better boats been done by this water (Ooo)

* Inspired by Wallace Stevens' "Sea Surface Full Of Clouds"

The Dark Canuck
Reference Window

This one is for you
and it goes on and on and on
when nothing seems to do
for when the doubtless and the wrong
ask; 'can I help you?'
in that way that says, 'I can't'
or claim we're all the same
just inconsistent
or pretend all understanding
turned out to be pretense
then pretend the pretense of understanding
How long does it take depends

You can cast your doubts
Turn em inside-out
Hang em upside-down
Til their art falls out-the short answer's; forty-eight hours
Let your heart all out-the short answer's; forty-eight hours
Til your art falls out-the short answer's; forty-eight hours
Let your heart all out
Summon up your power

If you need a good connection for drugs
or a strong tolerance for alcohol
Too little religious education
Some pain threshold
If from the outside
There's no demand for what you do
And inside there's an army waiting
For their marching orders for you
Come sit on my swing-set
Come sit on my porch
After Ten at night, smoke your cigarettes
if you like, of course

You can cast your doubts
Turn em inside-out
Hang em upside-down
Til their art falls out- the short answer's; forty-eight hours
let your heart all out- the short answer's; forty-eight hours
Til their art falls out- the short answer's; forty-eight hours
Let your heart all out
Summon up all your power

And it does on and on and on

If we ever get home
let's don't compare
let's relinquish all our holidays
and Drive-In Premieres

if we ever get home
gonna have me three children
Apple, Zippo, and Metronome
that's what I'm gonna name them

and get celebrity skin
the illusion of tough
I'm gonna talk about nothing
til nothing's enough

if we ever get home
and the subject comes up
this War isn't for children
War is nothing's enough

O' in the clouds of blood at the end of JAWS
in the misted cars honking their applause
at the Drive-In Double Feature
at the heart of dark enough
O' it's JAWS and The Dark Canuck (JAWS and The Dark Canuck)
should we stay for The Dark Canuck? (Should we stay for The Dark Canuck?)
yea. Everyone, hands up!? (Everyone, hands up)
Who's for 'The Dark Canuck'? (Who's for 'The Dark Canuck'?)

I think we relinquished enough
and it's still dark enough
and it goes on and on and on

Problem Bears (Released as Bonus Track)
Reference Window

Writing a song about Lake Memphremagog
And tonight I don't believe
There are words to spare and be a tip and a nod
Admitting it's half the defeat

Tonight the non-essential worker
Is hunting the problem bears
One sounds cornered and one can go no further
And it all sounds like it's happening upstairs

Do you hear that?
Like dry leaves a-straggling
Or a guard dog's claws on cement
Or an idea that's gettin' more determined
To get where it's gettin'

This might be harder than keeping it simple
Yeah, this can be simpler than keeping it real
This might be harder than keeping it simple
Yeah, this can be simpler than keeping it real

Shakespeare, you're a drunken savage
Well, you're a sober and green-eyed Voltaire
It almost sounds funny
Like two tough-talking goalies
Who are really going at it upstairs

This might be harder than keeping it simple
Yeah, this can be simpler than keeping it real
This might be harder than keeping it simple
Yeah, this can be simpler than keeping it real

Tonight the non-essential worker
Takes on the green-eyed Voltaire
Who won't go further than sounding just like murder
When everything is quiet upstairs

Now do you hear that?
The song of Memphremagog
The shush-shush of his gentle lament
It's maybe a song that can't quite be determined
Till it gets where it's getting

Ultra Mundane (Released as Bonus Track)
Reference Window

Come the ultra mundane of another life
You know it by the trail of the nervousness
Your memories compress, your senses are sly
And portions of your shadowiness
On your everyday nights (Nights)
Into northern lights (Lights)
Pour it all at their service

Start beginning by beginning
It's time, it's time, it's time (It's time)
A new tradition, a new beginning
It's time, it's time, it's time (It's time)
It's time to make ya inside with a wristband, alright
To see Etobicoke coyotes
To get pretend scars, to see like a pair
To feel as welcome as a sneeze in a motorcycle helmet

Feel the ultra mundane of another life (Mundane, life)
A poet in the service

Start beginning, new traditions
It's time, it's time, it's time (It's time)
The demolition is beginning
It's time, it's time, it's time (It's time)
They're underpinning the tradition
It's time, it's time, it's time (It's time)
No perdition in the beginning
It's time, it's time (It's time)

But there's no time to ask,
"Hey, whatcha building? Another ocean?"
You looked at me like I was eating runny eggs in slow motion (Motion)
Maybe, maybe I saw you soften, baby
When your angst had me over your shoulder
You're a beleaguered old lady

Start beginning, a new tradition
It's time, it's time, it's time (It's time)
No tradition of dereliction
It's time, it's time, it's time (It's time)
No conditions, no sedition
It's time, it's time, it's time (It's time)
A new beginning, a new tradition (It's time)

And at the end I'll burn so unkind
You might ask,
"Hey, whatcha building? Another ocean? Another ocean?"

Forest Edge (Released as Bonus Track)
Reference Window

I’m a rock and roller, wary of winfall
Staying at the “Get Out Now Hotel”
And I want it all, the forest edge
In the deepest darkest depths
On the forest edge
With a blind, benign absentmindedness

You picked up the phone (You picked up the phone)
And heard what sounded like a really big car (And heard what sounded like a really big car)
Revving way too hot outside (Revving way too hot outside)
You said: tell me where you are (You said: tell me where you are)

Forest edge (Forest edge)
For Christ sakes it’s darkness (For Christ sakes it’s darkness)
On the edge of town (On the edge of town)
A sweet and mean, unassailing sound (A sweet and mean, unassailing sound)

A dream, dream, Springsteen scene, naturally (Dream)
A dream, dream, torn up in dream, naturally (Dream)

You detected me shaking (You detected me shaking)
Even when I wasn’t shaking (Even when I wasn’t shaking)
Like all great relationships (Like all great relationships)
This one started with an apology (This one started with an apology)

Forest edge, in the deepest darkest depths (Forest edge, in the deepest darkest depths)
On the forest edge (On the forest edge)
With a kind, sublime absentmindedness (With a kind, sublime absentmindedness)

A dream, dream, guitar dream, naturally (Dream)
Dream, dream, reoccurring dream, naturally (Dream)

Dream, dream, Springsteen scene
Dream, d
ream, guitar dream





All non-lyric content and Hip photographs © 2006 Stephen Dame
Lyrics are the property and copyright of The Tragically Hip, Gordon Downie and Stripper's Union respectively.
Lyrics are provided for reference, education and personal use only.