Unreleased songs: G – L

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Table of contents

Garbage Eaters 1

I recognize your dirty face
I know you're from uptown
Hold your head high
Hold your head high

We're going to colonize this place
And stop the sun from going down
By and by all right
By and by

Keep your countenance as bright as can be
And hold the dumpster open for me

The water level's going down
The table's never going to rise
We will be all right
We will be all right

Come in alone, go out alone
Feel lonesome in between
Keep your hands wet
In the red clay

Let your light be a beacon
To cruel and heartless men
Learn from your mistakes
Then make the same mistakes again

Going through Pomona

The lights are on in your room, so tell me
Who's your friend?
And the lights are burning in the
Little house on East End

And I remembered who I was
And what I came here for
The moon was caught
High in the branches of the sycamore

And on my neck
I felt the cold wind
And it licked around my ears and it asked me to ask you
Yeah — who's your friend?

And the lights came down over Pomona
Blazed again before your front door
The moon was caught
High in the branches of the sycamore

Going to Brazil

"For the record, this is the fifth attempt at get — Going to Brazil."

You've got something magic in your eyes
You don't have to say you're sorry
You've got a sentence waiting on your tongue
Pronounce it now

I'm going where the air is hot
Where they speak a language sort of like one I can speak
I'm going to South America
Don't wait up for me

You've got what I need but I can't have it
That's all right
You're everything I want and I can't touch you
Let me touch you anyhow

I'm going where the air is hot
Where they speak a language sort of like one I can speak
Yeah, I am going to South America
Don't wait up for me

I've got what you want but that's enough of that
That'll be enough of that for now
It's gonna clear cut twenty thousand acres
When I touch your hair

I'm going where the air is hot
Where they speak a language sort of like one I can speak
Yeah, I am going to South America
Don't wait up for me

I'm going where the air is hot
Where they speak a language sort of like one I can speak
Yeah I am going to South America
Don't wait up for me

Going to Bridlington 2 3 4

Stopped by for the coffee and cake that you promised
Saw your porch light on
Saw your wire-haired terrier 5
Lazing on the lawn
Came right in through the front door
Went right down the main hall
Turned right into the kitchen
There you were, all right

The moon was rising over Bridlington
And you had blood all over your hands
Someone was singing in the yard next door
And you had blood all over your hands

Sat down on the kitchen floor
Looked up at you
Saw you smoothing down your skirt around your thighs
Wondered what good that was supposed to do
And I saw you pull your hair back
Saw you messing with your earrings 6
Saw you trying to smile
Hey, you don't have to smile for me

The moon was rising over Bridlington
And you had blood all over your hands
Something was cracking in the rafters of our house 7
And you had blood all over your hands
The moon was rising over Bridlington
The moon was rising over Bridlington
The moon was rising

Going to Buffalo

Lay down just a little while
Honey lemon chamomile
Very soon the plane's coming in

One hour worth of quicksand
The glass warm against your hand
Very soon the airplane will take me away

I will nuzzle up against you and then
I will never see you again

Fires burning
The world's turning

Words that lose their meanings
And then swell up like balloons
Very soon the taxi will come

All the lies you told me
Can no longer hold me
Very soon the taxi will take me away

I will forget how you've done me wrong
How you've strung me along

Fires burning
To breathe

Going to Dade County

When the rainbows disappeared from the skies of northern Florida
'Cause the rain had gone away
And I looked out on the front lawn and I saw you there
It was 6:31 AM on a Saturday

And you turned into a housecat
And you all think I'm making this part up
But you're wrong

And the wind came through the window
And licked at my face
And I heard the sound of about a thousand housecats 8
Squalling up from all over the place

And you all think I'm crazy
Or trying to make up some kind of a cheap story
Or telling little stories to amuse myself with
But you're wrong

I am going to Dade County
Right now

Going to France

You say
It's too cold over there anyway
It's far too cold

I'm going to France
And I'm taking you with me

Wild berries
Wild sheep
You know you want to see them

Well I'm going to France
And I'm taking you with me

We always said one day we were going there
Well I don't know about you
But I keep my promises

And I'm going to France
And I'm taking you with me

Going to Palestine

That woman set herself on fire
They said it on the radio
They said she lit up the skies of Palestine
I could not stand to hear them say so

I saw the stars come out
Smelled the oranges on the breeze
Later on they played some Caribbean song
Man they sure know how to pick 'em

The rich voice burning like a fuse
The syncopated rhythms
I saw the stars come out
I saw the oranges cracking open

I saw you standing there
Orange blossom in your hair
Going to Palestine
Going to Palestine

Going to San Diego

Long rain
It must be June again
Warm air
And it's so warm down there

I'm coming soon, open the blinds
Your friends all tell me that you've lost your mind
I don't believe them

The seashore
I don't want to see it anymore
The bus runs smoothly
The back window's open and the burning air cools me

Hold your breath
Your friends all swear you're one step away from death
I don't believe them

Mmm, here it comes
My head is throbbing and my hands are numb
It's you
What was I thinking, what should I do

Your eyes are open, it's more than I can take
My friends all told me I was making a mistake
I don't believe them

Going to Some Damned English City

Your skirt was red and flowing, your blouse was blue
On the night I locked eyes with you
It seemed to me like I hadn't seen your eyes since last December

My shredding muscles, my popping joints
I saw the pupils of your eyes by the firelight shrinking down to pinpoints
You were poking at the embers

There's a cold wind coming off the ocean
There's a cold wind coming off the ocean

I wet my finger with my tongue and pressed it in the ashes
Rubbed it up against your perfect eyelashes
You said something really important, something pretty seems to have slipped my mind

Walls were freezing, so was the floor
I didn't want to hurt you anymore
You had a sad, sad friend in front of you, that dying fire behind

There was a cold wind coming off the ocean
There was a cold wind coming off the ocean

Going to Spirit Lake

Why did you say what you said
When the hummingbird vanished from sight
In the sudden swelling heat
Of the dark October night

You were laughing and your eyes were alive
And I knew that the moment had finally arrived
And I reached out through the air for your hand
And held on tight

You said the right thing
You fixed everything
As the stars formed a canopy
Over Spirit Lake

You said what you said
The stars grew softer overhead
I was on fire
I was on fire for you

Good Morning to All Vultures

not yet transcribed

Greasepaint Friday

not yet transcribed

Green Olives

not yet transcribed

Hail St. Sebastian

not yet transcribed

Heel Turn 1

not yet transcribed

Hello Sarah

not yet transcribed

High School Confidential

not yet transcribed

History of the Church (Part 1)

not yet transcribed

Hommel West

not yet transcribed

[Horse and Master]

not yet transcribed

I Meant Every Word I Said in New Delhi

not yet transcribed

[I Might Compare]

not yet transcribed

I've Got the Sex 9 10 11

Crushing strawberries one by one
Watching the juice drip down
Four and a half 12 months ahead of schedule
The leaves on the trees were turning brown
We got ready for winter as the sun rose up in the sky
There was something almost soothing in the hard to define
Note of terror in your eye

Watching the strawberries lose their shapes
As the wind blew through the elm tree
The wind was far too cold for the middle of April
And you reached out your hand to me
It was good to have your hand in mine
It was good to know you felt the chill too
I scooped up a palmful of strawberry pulp
And smeared it all over you

The wild strawberries drove me on
As I lapped them up off of your skin
And I could feel your basal body temperature rise as the cold came in
Hey hey

If England Were What England Seems, Then We Would Only Have Our Dreams 13

I told you I was never coming back
I was trying to breathe evenly
When the phone stopped ringing for the first time in a long time
And you flashed that smile at me
And then you opened up the window
I felt the air roll in
In the place where the world stops forever
In the place where your body begins

You were staring down at the street below
There was nobody there
They'd built a fire down there in the alley
I saw the fires rising everywhere
And then you opened up the window
The north wind began to blow
We were just a few short hours from something really special
And I heard you singing soft and low


In the Cane Fields

not yet transcribed

John 4:35

not yet transcribed

Kittens in Mittens

not yet transcribed

[Let Me Go]

not yet transcribed

Let the Dogs Come Out

not yet transcribed

Letter from a Motel

not yet transcribed

Like a Bullet

not yet transcribed

Love Superhighway

not yet transcribed


Thank you tremendously to Austin Campbell, who transcribed and annotated I've Got the Sex, as well as transcribing If England Were What England Seemed, Then We Would Only Have Our Dreams. Similarly, thank you to Sam Duncan for transcribing and annotating Going to Bridlington.

As always, thanks to the superlative Caliclimber, whose Flickr pages provided essential information and release details.


  1. Written for a friend's wedding. "As most wedding songs are called eventually, it's called Garbage Eaters. It's a love song." — Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, July 17, 2004. 

  2. John has said multiple times that he doesn't like this song:

    "I have no love for this song because I think it blows esp. the lyrics are plenty lame but am happy if people are getting pleasure from it."

    Mountain Goats forums, Going to Bridlington, September 22, 2008, retrieved June 17, 2015.

    "Now, you know, I'll tell you the truth, it's that I don't like that song, but I'll play it, if you want to hear it. ... I mean, I'm gonna play this song, that I don't like, but — I get into it anyway. <plays song>

    "I mean, let me tell you why I don't like it. It's like, it seems like a decent enough idea, but when I hear the chorus, it just sounds like the laziest little placeholder of all time. It just sounds like, 'Yeah, I know, John had an idea, but he was so anxious to get the second verse of it — yeah, we'll put some blood on the hands in the chorus and we'll come back and fix it later'. But then, I was on a radio show that day, and so I went and played it. Well, then, once you play it on a radio show, then it's set in stone and you must play it the same forever, otherwise you suffer in Hell for eternity, and — this is an obscure provision of the Bible that you guys don't know about, but I'm here to tell you about it — radio shows and playing songs the same way. So yeah, so that's what happened with that one. One of these days I'll fix it, maybe, after I retire. It'll be my hobby — you know, some people woodwork? I'll iron out the choruses of songs that were denied the good choruses they deserved." — Attucks Theatre, Norfolk, March 20, 2009 

  3. Going to Bridlington is part of the Going to ... series

  4. Bridlington is a town in Yorkshire, England. 

  5. Likely referring to a wire fox terrier

  6. Also sung, "Saw you look toward me", and "Saw you tie it together". Olde Club, Swarthmore, April 21, 2001; Attucks Theatre, Norfolk, March 20, 2009. 

  7. Also sung, "Someone was kicking at the floorboards underneath". Attucks Theatre, Norfolk, March 20, 2009 

  8. Also sung, "... a thousand tomcats". Under Acme, New York, August 18, 1994. 

  9. "It's about that moment at which you pass from thinking that maybe it's all right to trust somebody that you were pretty sure was gonna do wrong by you, but you think you've gotten past all that... to knowing that they'll to kill you for sure. And getting excited about that. You know, feeling the love in that. — CBGBs, New York, New York, July 23, 1999

    "So there you are, in your room, and you're not by yourself though you feel as though you are. And the same thing is going on in your intended's mind, but nobody's saying anything about it, because a lot of people, including the people in this song, think, you know, 'If I just don't say anything, then magic will happen and everything will change.' Nothing will change. The only thing that's gonna happen is that they're going to fall back into a old behavior pattern. And for somewhere between 20 minutes and 3 hours, depending on how much they've had to drink, it's going to feel really, really intense. But then afterwards it's a bad situation. — Will's Pub, Orlando, Florida, April 9, 2003

    "This is a song about a moment that all of you are gonna come to sooner or later and I want you to think of me and curse my name when you do." — University of Wisconsin–Madison, June 12, 1997 

  10. "This was supposed to be the first song on Sweden, but when I got to the John Golden mastering place it turned out that the song — the tape that this song was on — I had left it at home. So you might say, 'Oh, we'll add that in later'. That was not the Mountain Goats style in 1995. Our style was, you show up and you use the tools you brought with you. So we made the second song [The Recognition Scene] the first song, and this one was sent down to perdition and the ignominy of just being played live." — Swedish-American Music Hall, San Francisco, February 28, 2016 

  11. I've Got the Sex is part of the informal series of outtakes

  12. Also sung "two and half". See for example University of Wisconsin–Madison, June 12, 1997. 

  13. "This is part of a new series of songs — tonight is its world debut! They are songs that Graeme Jefferies and I are working on. This one's just by me, though. I expect at some later date Graeme will do something with it." — WNUR session, January 18, 1996

    "It's part of an eight-song cycle that never made it past the planning stages." — WNUR session, March 8, 2002

    I'm not aware of other songs written collaboratively with Graeme, but if you are, please reach out!

    Graeme Jefferies is a Kiwi musician who toured with John in the early days of the Mountain Goats. He played in The Cakekitchen, Nocturnal Projections, and This Kind of Punishment.