Going to Bolivia






the Mountain Goats



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Going to Bolivia is the 11th song on the album Sweden.


I cut myself a two-foot switch from some tropical hardwood nearby
And the sounds of a carnival drifted miraculously 
Through the air from a thousand miles away
The monkeys jumped from tree to tree
It sent a deathly chill through me 
In Bolivia 

Wildcats I had never seen claimed places in my room
Animal noises rang through the thick brush like voices from the tomb
I saw the freshly-polished chrome
Gleaming in the midday sun
And I knew that you were coming home
To Bolivia
Hey hey

Comments by John Darnielle About this SongEdit

  • "This is kind of an unlikely candidate for a character song, but that is kind of why it has always held a special place for me. You come into the story already lacking pretty much any information that might be helpful in understanding what's going on, and a short while later you'll leave the song in more or less the same condition. That's because the speaker is either a little crazy or is so deeply into his own trip that he can't imagine everybody else doesn't already know the basics. And, actually, we run into people like this all the time, right? We work with them, run into them at bus stops, they're pretty much the gold standard for your online random encounter. Sometimes you'll get a voicemail from a stranger who dialed the wrong number — that's the speaker in this song. He comes correct with plenty of physical detail, which would be useful in figuring out why he's getting bad chills from the stuff that's going on around him; if he'd only explain what his position in the whole thing is. He won't, though. As close as he gets is the "chrome/home" rhyme interrupted by the "sun" off-rhyme, and then we get the sense that he's been isolated for a little while. Why am I partial to this dude? Because sometimes I get the feeling that I am this dude." -- "My Five Favorite Mountain Goats Characters" -- eMusic article

Things Referenced in this SongEdit

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