Dan Bern

Dan Bern - Lithuania

Song Lyrics

I'd like to be a good American and write an elegy to the automobile
But no matter where it takes me I don't really feel any different

I've had one foot in the black and white two dimensional ghosts of
Lithuania, and one foot in sunny California where the people are all friendly
as they drive their Mercedes to the mini-malls and take a lunch
or network with you or drive past and kill you for no reason

These are my ghosts: Uncle Emmanuel, Uncle Eli, Aunt Mia, and my
grandparents, Jenny and Tobias, none of whom I've ever met

I saw some letters once that they wrote to my dad in Palestine in
1940, not too long before they all got shot

My only bridge to them is my dad, he knew them and he knew me, but now he's gone too

Sometimes I want to get next to them, sometimes I want to push them
all away, say you're not my ghosts, I live in sunny California,
I drive a 1992 Red Chevrolet, I drive fast, and I drive as far
west as anyone can drive, eight thousand miles from Lithuania and
if I could escape by driving further then I would, but it doesn't get me anyplace new

I guess if I was a true American, I could write an elegy to the
automobile, but when I jump in I can't escape the way I feel

I sometimes want to dance on Hitler's grave, and shout out,
"Groucho Marx, Lenny Bruce, Leonard Cohen, Philip Roth, Bob Dylan,
Albert Einstein, Woody Allen, Abby Hoffman, Leonard Bernstein, Harry Houdini, Sandy Kofacs!"

And then I want to scream and sing as loud as I can,
to the chandeliers that sway dangerously overhead, proclaiming
Krystalnacht is over

I say that Krystalnacht is over! The only broken glass tonight
will be from wedding glasses shattered under boot heels

We're not the ones who are in the museum, its you,
your curious mustache and your chamber of horrors

I've a friend my age whose parents met in Auschwitz on the day of
Liberation, she works for a big company now in San Francisco, and
just moved into a new house

I've a friend who lies in her hospital bed after fifteen
operations from a botched appendectomy. I go to her with a heart
heavy from the things on my mind, she cheers me up.

I saw my dad tell jokes, and teach me how to laugh, thirty years
after his parents, and brothers, sister were all shot, murdered in
the streets of Lithuania.

I see trees growing tall and the sun coming up, and the ocean
roaring home, and know I must go on I must go on! It would be
cowardly to stop, it would be an aberration to do anything else.

Amid something you tried to remember for days,
The fog suddenly lifted
The haze is gone from your mind,
And its no so much that your memory finally heeded
Just that you gave up,
Needing to need it

Hey, the fog has gone,
Hey, the fog has gone
Its time for you to come out,
There's no longer a reason to die

And something is over, something else begins
The end of the century is coming
Like a blind woman relentlessly spinning

But before its sewed shut
You wanted to scream,
"Hold on just a minute, was this just a dream?
Or is there something to learn
Besides who got the gold,
And who's been losing and winning?

But the century's a man-made process,
An attempt to stick order on chaos
We're born with ten fingers,
So we count up to ten,
But if everyone counted the cracks on the wall,
Yeah, we'd count up to three, and then it wouldn't be
The end of the century at all

Hey, the fog has gone
Hey hey, the fog has gone

It showed signs early today
I knew when I woke in my bed
That something was going on
Throw up the window,
I want to scream out your name

Hey hey, the fog has gone
Hey hey, the fog has gone

C'mon, we'll drive up the coast
Its a Tuesday and Thursday
I can't remember, and I don't care
We'll drive to Seattle
Or else Oklahoma
Or else if we wanna
A boat to Hawaii
Or maybe Japan with the kings of karaoke
Come out!
Come on out now girl, you've gotta come out!

Maybe the only thing jumping in the car and driving can get us is
an empty tank of gas

Yeah, but it sure beats sitting around here
Maybe we'll be lucky, find our own private river valley,
or at least an all-night diner where they know how to poach and egg
Maybe we'll meet some nice people along the way,
and anyway, you know
I'll never leave you

You know I'll never leave you


These lyrics are on the following CD(s):

The Swastika EP (2002)
The Swastika EP

Buy at Amazon


1. Talkin' Al Kida Blues
2. My Little Swastika
3. Jail
4. Friends
5. Lithuania

This is a fan site. Dan's official site is at danbern.com.