Going to Alaska


Taboo VI: The Homecoming




the Mountain Goats



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Going to Alaska is the eighth song on The Mountain Goats' first cassette, Taboo VI: The Homecoming.


The jacaranda are wet with color, 
and the heat is a great paint brush, lending color to our lives, 
and to the air, and to our faces; but I'm going to Alaska 
where there's snow to suck the sound out from the air. 

Up, yes, in the branches, 
the purple blossoms, go pale at the edges;
there is meaning in the shifting of the sap, and I see in them traces 
of last year, but then they hadn't grown so strong, 
and their limbs were more like wires. Now they are cables.
thick and alive with alien electricity, and I am going to Alaska,
where you can go blind just by looking at the ground,
where fat is eaten by itself
just to keep the body warm.

Because from where we are now, it seems, really,
that everything is growing in a thousand different ways;
that the soil is soaked through with old blood and with relatives
who were buried here, or close to here, and they are giving rise
to what is happening. Or can you tell me otherwise?
I am going to Alaska, where the animals can kill you,
but they do so in silence, as though if no-one hears them,
then it really won't matter. I am going to Alaska.
They tell me that it's perfect for my purposes.

Comments by John Darnielle About this SongEdit

  • "I had written some songs, and I don’t know where in the writing of that first batch I did this, but I still consider this the first Mountain Goats song (or second; “The Pieman” also vies for the title). It began life as a poem, which I’ll transcribe below..." -- John's Tumblr

Things Referenced in this SongEdit

Live Shows this Song Was Played atEdit