Elliott Smith

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Elliott Smith in 2003

Elliott Smith (August 6, 1969October 21, 2003) was an American songwriter and musician.


  • I think the music business will eventually crush me, but I [smiles]... I'm ready.
  • I don't intend to write depressing songs and I'd probably rather write happy ones
    • in Spongey Monkey #3.
  • Here's a song I made up while I was watching Xena the Warrior Princess with the sound off. It's a fact. I had a secret crush on Xena. It was a secret to me too. I wouldn't admit it. She's pretty fuckin' tough. She has a good yell... she kills the stupid gladiators with the log-trap. Release the log-trap! She releases the log-trap and they all get... crushed. They'd all wanna be with her if they could, but unfortunately they're not on her side. It's a lot better with the sound off. Really, it is. And the song didn't have anything to do with Xena... but... I was about half a bottle through Jameson's... if that makes any sense.


Roman Candle (1994)[edit]

  • I'm a roman candle
    My head is full of flames
    I want to hurt him
    I want to give him pain
    And make him feel this pretty burn.
    • Roman Candle.
  • Church bells and now I'm awake
    And I guess it must be some kind of holiday
    I can't seem to join in the celebration
    But I'll go to the service
    And I'll go to pray
    And I'll sing the praises of my maker's name
    Like I was as good as she made me...
    • Last Call.

Elliott Smith (1995)[edit]

  • Your hand on his arm, the hay stack charm around your neck, strung out and thin, calling some friend trying to cash some check, he's acting dumb, that's what you've come to expect. * I can't beat myself
    I can't beat myself
    And I don't want to talk.
    I'm taking the cure so I can be quiet
    Whenever I want.
    So leave me alone
    You ought to be proud that I'm getting good marks.
    • Needle in the Hay.
  • You turned white, like a saint
    But I'm tired of dancing on a pot of gold...
    ...Flecked paint.
    • The Biggest Lie.
  • I'm a junkyard full of false starts
    And I don't need your permission
    To bury my love under this bare light bulb.
    The moon is a sickle cell
    It'll kill you in time.
    • Coming Up Roses.
  • I'm looking at a hand full of broken plans
    And I'm tired of playing it down
    You just want her to do anything to you
    There ain't nothing you won't allow
    You wake up in the middle of the night
    From a dream you won't remember flashing on like a cop's light
    You say she's waiting and I know what for
    The white lady loves you more
    • The White Lady Loves You More.

Either/Or (1997)[edit]

  • Drink up, baby, look at the stars
    I'll kiss you again
    Between the bars
    Where I'm seeing you there
    With your hands in the air
    Waiting to finally be caught
    Drink up one more time and I'll make you mine...
    • Between the Bars.
  • I could make you satisfied in everything you do,
    All your secret wishes could right now be coming true
    And be forever with my poisoned arms
    Around you.
    No one's gonna fool around with us.
    • Angeles.
  • I'm going out now like a baby
    A naïve unsatisfiable baby
    Grabbing onto whatever's around
    For the soaring high or the crushing down
    With hidden cracks that don't show, but that constantly just grow.
    • 2:45.
  • Crooked spin can't come to rest,
    I'm damaged bad at best.
    • Say Yes.
  • I'm in love with the world,
    Through the eyes of a girl,
    Who's still around the morning after.
    • Say Yes.

XO (1998)[edit]

  • It's a picture perfect evening
    And I'm staring down the sun
    Fully loaded, deaf, and dumb
    And done waiting for sedation to disconnect my head
    Or any situation where I'm better off than dead
    • Sweet Adeline.
  • They took your life apart
    And called your failures art
    They were wrong, though
    They won't know
    'Til tomorrow
    • Tomorrow Tomorrow.
  • She appears composed
    So she is, I suppose
    Who can really tell?
    She shows no emotion at all
    Stares into space like a dead china doll
    • Waltz #2 (XO).
  • London Bridge is safe and sound
    No matter what you keep repeating
    Nothing's gonna drag me down
    To a death that's not worth cheating
    • Baby Britain.
  • The first time I saw you
    I knew it would never last
    I'm not half what I wish I was
    I'm so angry
    I don't think it'll ever pass
    And I was bad news for you just because
    I never meant to hurt you
    • Pitseleh.
  • I waited for a bus
    To separate the both of us
    And take me off far away from you
    'Cause my feelings never change a bit
    I always feel like shit
    I don't know why; I guess that I "just do"
    • I Didn't Understand.

Figure 8 (2000)[edit]

  • Bored in a role, but he can't stop
    Standing up to sit back down,
    and lose the one thing found.
    Spinning the world like a toy top
    'till there's a ghost in every town.
    • Can't Make A Sound.
  • Everything here is free
    Everything but you and me
    This painting never dries
    Stupidity tries
    • Stupidity tries.
  • What I used to be will pass away, and then you'll see
    That all I want now is happiness for you and me.
    • Happiness.
  • The first true love that folded at the slightest touch,
    brought down like an old hotel,
    people digging through the rubble for things they can resell.
    • Junk Bond Trader.

From a Basement on the Hill (posthumous, 2004)[edit]

  • This is the place you end up when you lose the chase,
    Where you're dragged against your will from a basement on a hill,
    And all anybody knows, is you're not like them,
    So they kick you in the head...and send you back to bed.
    • Memory Lane.
  • I'm comfortable apart, it's all written on my chart
    And I take what's given me, most cooperatively
    I do what people say and lie in bed all day
    Absolutely horrified, I hope you're satisfied
    • Memory Lane.
  • So I wait for confirmation
    That you're never gonna use your starting gun.
    • Coast to Coast.
  • I met a girl, snowball in hell
    she was hard and as cracked as the liberty bell.
    • Don't Go Down.
  • I see you're leaving me and taking up with the enemy
    the cold comfort of the in between
    a little less than a human being
    a little less than a happy high
    a little less than a suicide
    the only things that you really tried.
    • Fond Farewell.
  • Veins full of disappearing ink
    Vomitting in the kitchen sink.
    • Fond Farewell.
  • The scraping subjects, ruled by fear, they told me
    whiskey works better than beer.
    • King's Crossing.
  • This is the place where time reverses.
    Dead men talk to all the pretty nurses.
    Instruments shine on a silver tray
    Don't let me get carried away.
    • King's Crossing.
  • Gimme one good reason not to do it
    (because we love you), so do it.
    • King's Crossing.
  • Because your candle burns too bright
    well, I almost forgot it was twilight.
    Even if I think that you are right,
    well, I'm tired of being down, I got no fight.
    You're wonderful, and it's beautiful,
    but I'm already somebody's baby.
    And if i went with you, I'd disappoint you, too.
    • Twilight.
  • Haven't laughed this hard in a long time
    I better stop now before I start crying
    Go off to sleep in the sunshine
    I don't want to see the day when its dying.
    • Twilight.
  • You don't deserve to be lonely,
    but those drugs you got won't make you feel better.
    Pretty soon you'll find it's the only
    little part of your life you're keeping together.
    • Twilight.
  • My mama told me 'baby stay clean
    there's no in between.'
    but all you ladies and you gentlemen,
    between is all you've ever seen or been.
    • A Distorted Reality Is Now A Necessity To Be Free.
  • You disappoint me,
    all you people raking in on the world.
    The devil's script sells
    you the heart of a blackbird.
    • A Distorted Reality Is Now A Necessity To Be Free.
  • Shine on me, baby
    cause it's raining
    in my heart.
    • A Distorted Reality Is Now A Necessity To Be Free.

New Moon (posthumous, 2007)[edit]

  • And though you'd rather see me gone
    then to see there come the day,
    I'll be waiting for you anyway
    • Miss Misery (Early version).
  • Next door, the TV's flashing
    blue frames on the wall.
    It's a comedy from the seventies
    with a lead no one recalls.
    He vanished into oblivion
    it's easy to do
    and I cried a sea when you talked to me
    the day you said we were through.
    But it's all right, some enchanted night
    I'll be with you
    • Miss Misery (Early version).
  • I'd say you make the
    perfect angel in the snow
    all crushed out on the way
    you are, I'd better stop before
    it goes too far.
    • Angel in the Snow.
  • Don't you know that I love you?
    sometimes I feel like
    only a cold still life
    only a frozen still life
    that fell down here to lay beside you.
    • Angel in the Snow.
  • Your arsenal of excuses
    you never told her
    when you walked out on the savannah shoulder
    with your veins all full of beer
    thinking 'well at least now everything is clear'
    • Georgia, Georgia.
  • Here come your pride and joy
    The comic little drunk you call your boy,
    Making everybody smile
    • All Cleaned Out.
  • I'm sorry you seem so stung,
    and I'm sorry you feel you have to hold your tongue
    when you're so pretty and smart
    • All Cleaned Out.
  • Wearing clothes that clash
    Wondering 'is this treasure, is this trash?'
    Still trying to decide
    • All Cleaned Out.
  • The clock moved a quarter of a turn,
    the time it took a cigarette to burn
    • Going Nowhere.
  • Elliott: "Do you want to hear a happy or a sad song?"
    Crowd: "Happy!"
    Elliott: "Old or new?"
    Crowd: "Old!"
    Elliott: "Happy and old, that's a strange choice."

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