Dilaudid 1

Cover of Dilaudid Back of Dilaudid

Released: 2005
Label: 4AD

Liner notes 2

the first two tracks on this download only ep are taken from the bands forthcoming 3rd album for 4ad. on previous albums songwriter john darnielle created songs around a fictional theme, however his last album for us, 'we shall all be healed' marked a change in his songwriting approach by revisiting and reconstructing a dark period in his early life; a time of seedy apartments, makeshift friendships, cheap substances and unscheduled trips to hospital. this new record goes further still. darnielle's stepfather died in december 2003; and shortly afterwards, as the mountain goats toured europe, these new, intensely personal songs started to flow. they were begun in a paris hotel, worked on in dingy dressing rooms and hired vans, and four of them were road-tested in a wonderful session recorded for john peel at the end of the tour.

Dilaudid is a single from The Sunset Tree; for more information, see the annotations there.

Table of contents

  1. Dilaudid
  2. This Year
  3. Collapsing Stars
  4. Dilaudid (Marrtronix mix)


Dilaudid is annotated with The Sunset Tree.

This Year

This Year is annotated with The Sunset Tree.

Collapsing Stars 3 4 5

When we hid out behind the risers 6 at the high school
Working bitter calculations with a slide rule
The grim particulars of poisoning the swimming pool
Well, you looked me in the eye
Ready to die

We were becoming what we are
Collapsing stars

When we chewed up pseudoephedrine 7 8 9 like bubblegum
'Til our hearts were beating deep and rich as kettle drums
We knew if we waited long enough the change would come
And then the day did come, and at last

Hold tight
Hold fast
Catch lightning in a jar
Collapsing stars

I told you to load up on provisions
'Cause we wouldn't be back for a while
Load up your troubles in your old kit bag
Turn toward the camera and smile, smile, smile

When we ditched the plan to poison all our enemies
Tucked our weapons in a clearing and covered them with leaves 10
We are gonna come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves 11
One day, and we are on our way

You can look, but you won't find
Another love like ours
Collapsing stars

Dilaudid (Marrtronix mix)

Dilaudid (Marrtronix mix) is annotated with The Sunset Tree.

  1. Dilaudid, Nall, accessed June 22, 2014.


Love you, Caliclimber — thanks for the Flickr page and letting me use the images for the album art.


  1. Dilaudid is a common brand name for hydromorphone hydrochloride, an extremely potent opiate analgesic. Several times more potent than heroin, it has high recreational abuse potential alongside numerous medical uses for treatment of severe pain. 

  2. Dilaudid was a digital-only released downloadable from 4AD's website. 12 The cover images were provided with the download, however, no physical media has ever been available. The image erroneously lists This Year as Dance Music, which was not included.

    These liner notes are taken from the image on Nall's site, which appears to be a promotional CD that was not available for official release. 

  3. Collapsing Stars is part of the informal series of Biblical references and informal series of demos

  4. A demo of Collapsing Stars was released on the Come, Come to the Sunset Tree bonus LP. 

  5. Star collapse is the final stage in the evolution of a star. As a star generates light and heat through nuclear fusion, it increases in size, with its thermal pressure resisting gravitational forces. Over billions of years, it expends all its fuel, and the star subsequently collapses into a compact star, ejecting its outer layers to form a planetary nebula. This process takes tens of thousands of years. Depending on whether the mass of the star is above or below the Chandrasekhar limit, the post-collapse star will either be a white dwarf or a neutron star; truly enormous stars above the Tolman–Oppenheimer–Volkoff limit collapse below their Schwarzschild radius to form black holes. 

  6. Risers are a type of seating platform similar to bleachers. 

  7. Pseudoephedrine is an over-the-counter decongestant. Being only a single hydroxyl group away from methamphetamine, it is often illegally used for methamphetamine synthesis. It is also used recreationally or off-label to improve alertness or as a performance-enhancing drug in athletics. 

  8. Sung as, "When we chewed up baby aspirin like bubblegum" on the demo. Baby aspirin refers to aspirin in 81 mg tablets, generally taken for prevention of heart attacks. The nomenclature, although persisting to the modern era, does not imply that use is appropriate for infants; aspirin in any dosage should not be given to children due to the risk of Reye syndrome

  9. Also sung, "When we chewed up children's Tylenol like bubblegum". Tylenol is a brand name for acetaminophen, an over-the-counter mild analgesic. WELH session, January 26, 2005. 

  10. Sung as, "Stuffed our weapons..." on the demo

  11. A reference to Psalm 126:6:

    Though one goes along weeping,
    carrying the bag of seed,
    he will surely come back with shouts of joy,
    carrying his sheaves.

    Also inspired by this verse, Bringing in the Sheaves is a gospel hymn written by Knowles Shaw.

    Psalm 126:6, Holman Christian Standard Bible, retrieved June 22, 2014. 

  12. Mountain Goats news. Dilaudid EP available. March 24, 2005. Retrieved June 22, 2014.