Palmcorder Yajna 1

Cover of Palmcorder Yajna Back of Palmcorder Yajna

Released: 2003
Label: 4AD

Jump to the table of contents

Liner notes


Palmcorder Yajna is a single from We Shall All Be Healed.

Table of contents

  1. Palmcorder Yajna
  2. Butter Teeth
  3. Snakeheads

Palmcorder Yajna

Palmcorder Yajna is annotated with We Shall All Be Healed.

Butter Teeth 2 3

We spilled out through the front door
Into the blinding late light
Sun reflected on the storefront windows
Tremendously bright

We were Norwegians come down from the north
Attacking the walls of the fortress
I was permanently at the point of exhaustion
You were gorgeous

Who's here
Just us
Nobody else around
Stray electrical currents
Trying to find the ground

We haunted the halls of the pharmacy
Artlessly shoplifting random things
Painkillers, cough syrup, Tiger Balm 4
Bubblegum, cigarettes, and shower curtain rings

We were Portuguese warships cresting the waves
Cannons raised, ready to dock
You were counting down the hours and the minutes
I was trying to find a way of stopping the clock

Who's here
Just us
Nobody else around
Stray electrical currents
Trying to find the ground

Snakeheads 5 6

Weather cell 7 from northern Canada
Due in before the afternoon is over
Brown cows in the fields
Eating their way slowly through the clover

And the canopy of apple trees before us
Symmetrical and pure as a pagoda 8
Me and Li Chong from Chicago in a U-Haul 9
Headed out through Western Minnesota

Headed for the islands
Headed for the islands

Our load is heavy, you can hear it shifting
Say what you like, I'm never gonna stop
Everyone will eat when we've arrived
White apple blossoms soften up the blacktop

Two days from now we'll get to where we were going
The western sky will pitch-correct its whining
Our cargo's gonna spill out from the cabin
And rub its eyes and see the silver lining
Yeah, yeah

Headed for the islands
Headed for the islands

  1. Palmcorder Yajna, Nall, accessed June 22, 2014.


Thanks as always to the amazing Caliclimber, whose Flickr page provided the album art.


  1. Palmcorder is a brand of Panasonic hand-held video camera recorder. Yajna is a Hindi word meaning "sacrifice". — Bottom of the Hill, October 23, 2002. 

  2. John has confirmed that this is about methamphetamine use. Court Square Theater, MACRoCk, Harrisonburg, April 4, 2003.

    "The people in this song are essentially roaches, but they have two legs instead of six." — Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, July 17, 2004 

  3. Butter Teeth is part of the informal series of outtakes

  4. Tiger Balm is a heat rub used for aches made since the 1870s. 

  5. Snakeheads is part of the informal series of outtakes

  6. A snakehead is a term for a Chinese people smuggler. This is not the same as trafficking, similarly to a Mexican coyotaje, snakeheads are paid by the people they smuggle, who are trying to leave China and escape into wealthier, safer places. 

  7. A weather cell is a mass of air that moves and behaves cohesively, being the smallest unit of a storm system. 

  8. A pagoda is a repeating, geometric, tiered tower, often with a Buddhist or Taoist religious function, found throughout multiple Asian cultures. 

  9. U-Haul is a moving vehicle rental company operating throughout the United States.

    I don't know that Li Chong is referencing a specific person rather than a general name; if you know more about this, please let me know