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The Shins - Port of Morrow

Through the rain and all the clatter
Under the Fremont bridge I saw a pigeon fly
Fly in fear from the raptor come to take its life

And as it closed in for the capture
I funneled the fear through my ancient eyes
To see in flight, what I know are the bitter mechanics of life

Under my hat it reads "the lines are all imagined"
A fact of life I know to hide from my little girls
I know my place amongst the bugs and all the animals
And it's from these ordinary people you are longing to be free

My hotel and on the TV
A preacher on a stage like a buzzard cries
Out a warning of phony sorrow, he's trying to get a rise

The cyanide from an almond
Let him look at your hands, get the angles right
Ace of spades, port of morrow, life is death is life

I saw a photograph: Cologne in '27
And then a postcard after the bombs in '45
Must've been a world of evil clowns that let it happen

But now I recognize, dear listeners
That you were there and so was I
Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah

Under my hat I know the lines are all imagined
A fact of life I must impress on my little girls
I know my place amongst the creatures in the pageant
And there are flowers in the garbage, and a skull under your curls

Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah...

The Port Of Morrow Songfacts says that The Port of Morrow is a port site on the Columbia River in Boardman, Morrow County, Oregon. This ends symbolically the musical journey that The Shins embarked on throughout the album. "Port of Morrow, you know, I don't know too much about what the actual place is," Mercer said to Spinner about the titular port of call. "I know it's an industrial port over here in Portland, Oregon. What I do know is at the end of every tour when we return home to Portland, in eastern Oregon you pass this little sign and it says 'Port of Morrow' and it's something about the mood that you're in at the end of the tour and just the strange evocative nature of that phrase. It ended up being a line in the song 'Port of Morrow' that, to me," he added, "ended up symbolizing the exit point of everyone's life... which is death. So that's what 'Port of Morrow' is about: death and mortality and understanding that's what awaits you and the strange dichotomy of life being beautiful and engaging and fascinating and wonderful, but also dark." Mercer concluded: "I think that's something in the last few years that I've come to realize - that strong artistic experiences are always coupled. There's always a moment of beauty with its fragile and transient nature."

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