Black Pear Tree
Black Pear Tree


Black Pear Tree EP




the Mountain Goats & Kaki King



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"Mosquito Repellent"

Black Pear Tree is the first song on the collaboration EP Black Pear Tree. Kaki King sings lead vocals on the studio version; when she and the Mountain Goats toured together, she would often split lead vocals with John Darnielle.


I dug a hole and filled it up with compost
Rested on the cool grass for a minute
I saw the future in a dream last night
There's nothing in it

I set the sapling in the hole
Started gently tamping down the dirt
I saw the future in a dream last night
Somebody's gonna get hurt, somebody's gonna get hurt
I hope it's not me
But I suspect it's going to have to be

I dug my heels in for the winter
And I waited for the snow
But something was stuck up in the clouds
Something was stuck up there
It couldn't let go

And when its time came I could see it happen
Blossoms black and sweet as Texas crude
I saw the future flowering like a ruptured vessel
Somebody's gonna get screwed
It won't be me
Someday I am going to walk out of here free

Comments by John Darnielle About this SongEdit

  • "And, uh, so we were in Sweden in the back of a very small tour car, it was just me and Peter and we were getting up to some of the clubs so it was a tiny little car and my driver was like 6'10 (this is not an exaggeration, big fella,) and so I'm just scrunched in the back seat there and then I start wondering why my chest hurts, I'm having chest pains, right? Well, can my fellow hypochondriacs testify? When you get a chest pain you know you've reached the holy land, y'know, of stuff to worry about. Especially if you've spent many years smoking you're gonna go "well, here it is, right? Okay, okay it's time to pay the piper, right here far away from your home, you can do that now", and I joke about it here but it's real it's like, I mean to make a really morbid comparison (and this dates me) but uh, the first time I got my AIDS test it was like in the first generation of people to go get the AIDS test and pretty much 99% of us who went to get it were certain that we were gonna leave there with our death sentences. And I remember, y'know, so, I mean I had virgin friends who went to their AIDS tests, and [were waiting to be?] told that something had gone wrong in the lunch line. Anyway, so I'm in Sweden and I went to the ER and I'm sitting there waiting to talk to the doctor - well, waiting for the doctor to tell me that I'd better get right with God and my friends and family because I only have seven days or something like that, y'know, and I wrote down some lyrics - and then I put them away, y'know because when I got finished he told me I had 'Lutheran syndrome', he said: "Are you Lutheran?" and I said "No, I'm Catholic"-/ "It's the same thing - you think you have to pay for the things you did before". And I would take issue, now that I'm a doctor, that it's I know I have to pay for the things I did. So yeah, I mean, the better part of a year passed and I had forgotten about most of it, I'm flipping through a notebook, looking for something to do and I ran across the lyrics I had written when in my gut I was pretty certain, thinking I was gonna have to go home and tell my wife I'm sorry I smoked for so long, better go find somebody to keep cause I'm going to rot in a grave and so these were the lyrics I found in the music I saved it for." -- 2009-03-25 - Somerville Theatre - Somerville, GA
  • "This is a song about feeling very far from God."  -- 2016-04-14 - Covenant Fine Arts Center - Calvin College - Grand Rapids, MI
  • "I don't know why I've had the urge to play this song lately. I feel... genuinely fine. When I wrote this song, I did not feel fine." -- 2016-04-16 - Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center - York, PA
  • "It's about chronic illness and pain." -- 2016-04-17 - City Winery - New York, NY

Things Referenced in this SongEdit

Live Shows this Song Was Played atEdit

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