Originally appeared on Strictly Personal

Well my cigarette died when I washed my face
Dropped some drops in an ashtray hit a wrong place
Open up my blinds to see spiders spinning nines
Its uh safe as milk it’s uh safe as milk
I never heard it put quite that way
The shape I’m in is uh worn a way
They called a day they called a day
Yesterday’s paper headlines approach rain gutter teasing rusty cat sneezing
Soppin wet hammer dusty and wheezing
Lusty alley whining trashcan blues
Children running after rainbows stocking poor
Gracious ladies nylon hanging onto line
Jumping onto leg looking mighty fine

Sorrows lollipop lands stick-broken on a dark carnival ground
Pop up toaster cracklin
Aluminum rhythm and sound
Ev’ry day pencil lazy and sharp
Icebox inside looking like a harp
Electric bulb been out for years
Freezer fumes feezin’ gas tears
Cheese in the corner with a mile long beard
Bacon blue bread dog eared (repeat twice)

I may be hungry but I sure ain’t weird


Lyrics confirmed by Gary Lucas on his Facebook page. He wrote “I watched Jan write them out for Don on huge cue cards on the 198 tour”.


  1. Tom Gunn-Hill says:

    Captain Beefheart was/is one of the very few rock composers/musicians worth listening to then and still now. I bought ‘Safe as Milk’ on vinyl when it first came out almost half a century ago. However, I have difficulty understanding the lyrics of this particular song. Can you please ask John French or someone to explain the meaning of the lyrics, if it is at all possible to explain them. This request is genuine!

    Tom Gunn-Hill London April 2013

  2. Fred Janosy says:

    line 3, I believe, should read
    “Open up my blinds to see spiders spinning lines”

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