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Misery Is the River of the World
Tom Waits Lyrics


The higher that the monkey can climb
The more he shows his tail
Call no man happy 'till he dies
There's no milk at the bottom of the pail

God builds a church
The devil builds a chapel
Like the thistles that are growing
'Round the trunk of a tree

All the good in the world
You can put inside a thimble
And still have room for you and me

If there's one thing you can say about mankind
There's nothing kind about man
You can drive out nature with a pitch fork
But it always comes roaring back again

Misery's the river of the world
Misery's the river of the world
Misery's the river of the world

The higher that the monkey can climb
The more he shows his tail
Call no man happy 'till he dies
There's no milk at the bottom of the pail

God tempers all the ruins for the new shorn lands
The devil knows the Bible like the back of his hand
All the good in the world
You can put inside a thimble
And still have room for you and me

If there's one thing you can say about mankind
There's nothing kind about man
You can drive out nature with a pitch fork
But it always comes roaring back again

For want of a bird
The sky was lost
For want of a nail
A shoe was lost
For want of a life
A knife was lost
For want of a toy
A child was lost

And misery's the river of the world
Misery's the river of the world
Everybody row! Everybody row!
Misery's the river of the world

Misery's the river of the world
Misery's the river of the world
Everybody row! Everybody row!
Everybody row! Everybody row!

Misery's the river of the world
Misery's the river of the world
Everybody row! Everybody row!
Everybody row! Everybody row!
Everybody row!

Misery's the river of the world
Misery's the river of the world
Misery's the river of the world
Misery's the river of the world
Everybody row! Everybody row!
Everybody row!

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Written by: Kathleen Brennan, Thomas Alan Waits

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
To comment on specific lyrics, highlight them
Most interesting comment from YouTube:

Emmanuel Moreno

The higher that the monkey can climb
The more he shows his tail
Call no man happy 'till he dies
There's no milk at the bottom of the pail

God builds a church
The devil builds a chapel
Like the thistles that are growing
'Round the trunk of a tree
All the good in the world
You can put inside a thimble
And still have room for you and me

If there's one thing you can say about mankind
There's nothing kind about man
You can drive out nature with a pitch fork
But it always comes roaring back again

Misery's the river of the world
Misery's the river of the world
Misery's the river of the world

The higher that the monkey can climb
The more he shows his tail
Call no man happy 'till he dies
There's no milk at the bottom of the pail

God tempers all the ruins for the new shorn lands
The devil knows the Bible like the back of his hand
All the good in the world
You can put inside a thimble
And still have room for you and me

If there's one thing you can say about mankind
There's nothing kind about man
You can drive out nature with a pitch fork
But it always comes roaring back again

For want of a bird
The sky was lost
For want of a nail
A shoe was lost
For want of a life
A knife was lost
For want of a toy
A child was lost

And misery's the river of the world
Misery's the river of the world
Everybody row! Everybody row!
Misery's the river of the world

Misery's the river of the world
Misery's the river of the world
Everybody row! Everybody row!
Everybody row! Everybody row!

Misery's the river of the world
Misery's the river of the world
Everybody row! Everybody row!
Everybody row! Everybody row!
Everybody row!

Misery's the river of the world
Misery's the river of the world
Misery's the river of the world
Misery's the river of the world
Everybody row! Everybody row!
Everybody row!



All comments from YouTube:

Miguel Bento

This album is like a living organism.

ZZombyWooff

yea it keeps crawling from my stereo speakers like some mutant horror monster every once in a while. but I keep it in order with my torch and musket

Chris Pfeiffer

A living organism from another galaxy sent to end humanity... yes...I agree.

PsychoLogicalSigma

The same could be said for you buddy 😏😂

Rob Belk

I love how his later work is very percusion driven. The marimba reminds me of a zappa esqe vibe on the dark side👍👍👍

Garatzeos

Actually, in Greece we say "the higher the monkey will climb, the more you can see its a$$"....Tom, you 're the best!

Zaganim

@PsychoLogicalSigma i think its more about what sounds nice in a song tho. rhymewise etc

PsychoLogicalSigma

Modesty, back then.

Or over censored

Barış Saraç

Another great song from Tom Waits

Daunte Mesman

Tom Waits, you are my hero. You are a big inspiration to me, thank you for sharing your talent with the world; lord knows it needs it.

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