Slavin' Away (Intro)

The Fiery Furnaces

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The Fiery Furnaces

The Fiery Furnaces are a U.S. indie rock band formed in 2000 in Brooklyn, New York. The band's primary members are Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger. The siblings are originally from Oak Park, Illinois, a near-western suburb of Chicago. more »


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Slavin' away, all for you my love.
And I've nothing to show for it,
except my dusty old book full of pictures.
My dusty old book,
Tell me a story,
about how I wasn't so tired
from my slavin' away.

I ran off,
put on corduroy knickers that I got from the coal shoveling kid,
and hitch-hiked in a rickety old Ford,
hitch-hiked in a rattly old Norton sidecar
"down strange roads
in the purring rain"
as the poet put it,
on up to St. Paul,
on a cold day in the middle of the fall.
And they picked me up
for not wearing a dress,
and suspended my sentence,
if I wore something with a strap that was pink,
and I scrubbed up good on somebody's sink.
So now I'll catch the Canadian Pacific, and not be too specific,
to somewhere up north,
and get into lumber and slumber when I like,
and in the spring ride down into Cheyenne on my bike.

I looked out the window
and I stuck my head out the door.
And the snow was melting so slow,
and the sky was light but so grey.

Slavin' away,
and all for nothing, my love.
Cooking and washing in the morning,
and starting at nine twenty-five
I assembled six boxes of little plastic Christmas trees
and put in the blue L.E.D.s
on kid toy cell phones with four batteries.
And then on to the sewing machine
to stick the labels on purple T-shirts,
and the arms on pull-over jumpers,
for the U.K.,
Slavin' away,
all for you, my love,
and I've nothing to show for it.
I've nothing to show for it.

I could see her, looking in the mirror at me,
wondering if it wasn't plain for everyone to see.
Nothing ever seemed to turn out how it might be.

I could see her, doubting now that it all had gone and went,
that anything she'd got was equal what that she'd spent.
That she never seemed to get back what that she'd lent.

Anyway they did have a son, and by that time he was married,
and I played at his wedding too, at Holy Trinity,
I was choir director myself.

Rehearsals in the basement,
twice a week,
I demanded we be in peak condition.

And everything seemed to be going quite well.
I got along well with the priest.

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