We Shall All Be Healed




the Mountain Goats



Previous track


Next Track

"Against Pollution"

Cotton is the 11th song on the album We Shall All Be Healed. It also appears as the 20th song on the 2020 live album The Jordan Lake Sessions: Volumes 1 and 2. It was featured in an episode of the television series Weeds.

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

This song is for the rats
Who hurled themselves in to the ocean
When they saw that the explosives in the cargo hold
Were just about to blow

This song is for the soil
That's toxic clear down to the bedrock
Where no thing of consequence can grow
Drop your seeds there
Let them go

Let them all go
Let 'em all go 

This song is for the people
Who tell their families that they're sorry
For things they can't and won't feel sorry for

And once there was a desk
And now it's in a storage locker somewhere
And this song is for the stick pins and the cottons
I left in the top drawer

Let 'em all go
Let 'em all go

I wanna sing one for the cars
That are right now headed silent down the highway
And it's dark and there is nobody driving
And something has got to give

I saw you waiting by the roadside
You didn't know that I was watching
Now you know
Let it all go 

Let 'em all go
Let it all go

Comments by John Darnielle About this Song[edit | edit source]

  • "This is a song about, um, a bunch -- well, an infinite number of people, uh, that's the nature of these people, is they have a replacement rate, usually about one to one. Somebody either gets better or vanishes into, uh, the system, or the Earth, and is replaced by somebody who looks exactly like him. It's sort of a, sort of a Body Snatchers kind of situation, but nobody's body actually gets snatched, they just sort of go places. Uh, jail. Rehab. Mom's house, for a while. Ever since Mom took sick leave, she's got access to all kinds of good pills." -- 2009-11-28 - Theater of Living Arts - Philadelphia, PA
  • "This is a song about things that you infuse too much of yourself into so that when you have to see them destroyed, or forget where they went, it gets to count as a greater loss than it otherwise might have. If you suffer from a certain type of neurosis-slash-mental-illness, this is a very appealing process to you, i.e. me." -- 2010-09-09 - Koko - London, England
  • [Referring to the previous song in the set, Letter from Belgium, which he said was about "some friends...who liked methamphetamine too much"] "This song is about those same friends, about two days later." -- 2017-12-04 - Harvester Performance Center - Rocky Mount, VA

Things Referenced in this Song[edit | edit source]

Live Shows this Song Was Played at[edit | edit source]

Videos of this Song[edit | edit source]

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.