Mountain Goats, The - Matthew 25:21 Lyrics




They'd hooked you up to a fentanyl drip
To mitigate the pain a little bit
I flew in from Pennsylvania
When I heard the hour was coming fast

And I docked in Santa Barbara
Tried to brace myself
But you can't brace yourself
When the time comes you just have to roll with the blast

And I'm an eighteen wheeler headed down the interstate
And my brakes are going to give and I won't know until it's too late
Tires screaming when I lose control
Try not to hurt too many people when I roll

Find the harbor freeway and head south
Real tired, head kind of light
I found Telegraph Road, I'd only seen the name on envelopes
Found the parking lot and turned right

I felt all the details carving out space in my head
Tropicana's on the walkway, neon red
Between the pain and the pills trying to hold it at bay
Stands a traveler going somewhere far away

And I am an airplane tumbling wing over wing
Tried to listen to my instruments, they don't say anything
People screaming when the engines quit
I hope we're all in crash position when we hit

And then came to your bedside
And as it turns out, I'm not ready
And as though you were speaking through a thick haze
You said hello to me

We all stood there around you
Happy to hear you speak
The last of something bright burning, still burning
Beyond the cancer and the chemotherapy

And you were a presence full of light upon this earth
And I am a witness to your life and to its worth
It's three days later when I get the call
And there's nobody around to break my fall





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Mountain Goats, The Matthew 25:21 Comments
  1. Lawrencium

    Ugh, how did someone blow the levels on this recording? Painful as the performance is very good.

  2. Alex Antifire

    it gets me every time

  3. oooMuMpYooo Baldwin

    My eyes well up almost every time i listen to this song on the record... But watching him get choked up "...between the cancer and the chemotherapy..." I just about went blind with tears man... Pure emotion.

  4. Robert Goulding

    I live a long way from my parents. When I first heard this song, it made me cry, partly because I couldn't bear to think of the long plane trip that I would take one day as one of them was dying.

    My mother died two days ago. I made the long journey a week ago, had some unforgettable moments with her, my sister, and my father; and I held her hand when she died. Thank you for this song. It means so much to so many people.

  5. Luigi Nazareno

    4:44 That break in his voice, it gets me everytime

  6. Wookie Sidecar

    I paste here the full lyrics to this song. (Keep reading this comment to see them)

    "Matthew 25:21"

    They'd hooked you up to a fentanyl drip
    To mitigate the pain a little bit
    I flew in from Pennsylvania
    When I heard the hour was coming fast

    And I docked in Santa Barbara
    Tried to brace myself
    But you can't brace yourself
    When the time comes you just have to roll with the blast

    And I'm an eighteen wheeler headed down the interstate
    And my brakes are going to give and I won't know until it's too late
    Tires screaming when I lose control
    Try not to hurt too many people when I roll

    Find the harbor freeway and head south
    Real tired, head kind of light
    I found Telegraph Road, I'd only seen the name on envelopes
    Found the parking lot and turned right

    I felt all the details carving out space in my head
    Tropicana's on the walkway, neon red
    Between the pain and the pills trying to hold it at bay
    Stands a traveler going somewhere far away

    And I am an airplane tumbling wing over wing
    Tried to listen to my instruments, they don't say anything
    People screaming when the engines quit
    I hope we're all in crash position when we hit

    And then came to your bedside
    And as it turns out, I'm not ready
    And as though you were speaking through a thick haze
    You said hello to me

    We all stood there around you
    Happy to hear you speak
    The last of something bright burning, still burning
    Beyond the cancer and the chemotherapy

    And you were a presence full of light upon this earth
    And I am a witness to your life and to its worth
    It's three days later when I get the call
    And there's nobody around to break my fall

    StylesV13

    It is Demerol drip not Fentanyl drip.

  7. Mark Boutilier

    Five and a half years ago my father, aged 64. Two years ago my mother, aged 64. Now my uncle, aged 64, diagnosed with late stage prostate cancer. Then I died inside to be able to handle the loss. Now I chain smoke and wait for 64, because I know what's coming....

  8. Lapis Vines

    It's okay to hurt, and to be prepared for what's coming yet it doesn't hurt any less

    Beautiful song

  9. joslin

    this reminds me of my gram

  10. robert goulet

    Four complete idiots appeared to have stumbled upon this song

  11. Snake Eater

    matthew is my actual name.

  12. Sarah Underwood

    There is never a time that I will be able to hear this song and not cry a little. Simply beautiful song.

  13. Jenna Brauer

    Coming up on six years since cancer took my father.  This is my go to song.  It doesn't get any more real than this.  I don't know what I would do without John's music.  

  14. Jdixon

    My grandad died of a heart attack when I was 5. Its very hard to lose someone, let alone write a song. I feel very sorry for the singer. I love the mountain goats.

  15. Snake Eater

    My name's Matthew.

  16. Wookie Sidecar

    The first time I heard this song, I cried. Now, with my my father more than 1000 kms away from me, dying of multiple cancers, this song is killing me because years ago I didn't know it was gonna be about me. It kills me yet I can't stop listening to it. Darnielle is the closest to an angel or a wise man that humans can get.
    "As it turns out, I'm not ready"

  17. Laura Gonzo

    John played this song last night at a NARAL benefit (after repeated pleas from the audience). Pretty sure I wasn't the only person in tears when it was done. 

  18. Outdoors Andy

    We lost my father to cancer late last year, and I had this played at his funeral. The story of that day played similarly to this. This is the first time I'ver heard it since, and I've gone through it twice already. I'm on the third listen. I owe a lot of credit to this song for helping me be able to grieve, and a lot to John and The Mountain Goats for helping me through a lot of strange patches in life. I know everybody says similar things about every band, but TMG has been a fitting soundtrack for my adult life. Thank you for this, poster Paul Martinez. And thank you John Darnielle.

    Anthony Fonteyne

    I created a youtube account just to like this comment and reply. Every time I watch this video I just bawl, thinking about my grandmother and everyone else that someone has inevitably lost and been terribly moved by. Thank you for reminding me that we are all humans on this struggle and obviously thanks to john and the mountain goats for making the songs that allow us to feel and share

  19. aidan d

    this is the only song i have ever heard that actually made me shed a few tears

  20. Malefic Muse

    My sincere thanks to John Darnielle for this song in particular.

  21. Wookie Sidecar

    It would be great if @edstipe uploaded the right lyrics to correct the faulty auto transcription. Songs like this deserve to be understood completely.

  22. Robert Walsh

    I think nearly every musical artist has at least one piece that reduces them to shambles. This song, along with perhaps Pale Green Things, are what I am lead to believe are those certain works that represent all the tremendous sadness that can boil inside anyone. John, you represent humanity itself.

  23. Jaybrony7

    Discovered this song the night my dad died.

  24. Dan Ensey

    If you don't like The Mountain Goats then we can't be friends.

  25. Bur

    The last few lines, my God, it aches in places I've wanted to hide for months now.

  26. KingKook

    And you, trying to say something interesting but failing... get a better life.

  27. Samson Lacroix

    trying to start a pointless argument when under such a serious song... get a life

  28. KingKook

    What's this Bible I keep hearing about? Must be one of them comic books...

  29. wgs2102

    Matthew 25:21 - His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

  30. mesokolowski

    My oldest brother died in 2001. This song is amazing--the details so vivid, but so different from my experience. But I listen and cry: it captures a true and clear memory (the details do carve out a space) and a good cry. I am still not ready.

  31. Jeff Cyrus

    when his voice catches

    that is not okay

    I feel fundamentally broken inside now.

  32. Channel de Chocobo

    a few chords and a little story can really knock the wind out of me

  33. Michelle Fonda

    I have to PREPARE to listen to this song. I can't listen to it regularly or I will weep. But I suppose you cannot truly prepare for anything, can you?

  34. John Doe

    at 27 I've lost too many friends form drugs. Fortunately(or unfortunately) im stilll here. but this song hits home everytime. its' a tough shitty society that promotes shit music, movies, and shit everything. great great song, with actual emotion, not ooo ooo ooo baby baby baby. ughhhh

  35. ForSkatan

    My best friend commited suicide this morning, shot his head off. I can not get over it this soon, but you, John Darnielle, honestly are the only reason I am partially sane right now. Thank you so much for you're impact on my life.

    Some 1

    You good now?

  36. easelnorela

    I've listened to this song many times, but not since my mother was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer last October. This is the first time I've really heard it.

    I love this man, so much.

  37. aoeulhs

    To the poster who wished they'd requested this song at a concert in Atlanta, wouldn't it be better if we just listened to this beautiful version?

  38. - alex l -

    try not to hurt too many people when I roll

  39. pangolins.unite

    ... so pure.

  40. TheYellowBird32

    This is so heartbreaking. I lost my grandmother to cancer last year and this song is always hard for me to hear, but its still an outstanding song..

  41. Gaius Cassius Longinus

    "I wasn't ready." Are we ever ready, John?

  42. roseypose

    every time!

  43. Mo Kennedy

    @TheKingofQwerty I love you too <3.

  44. TheKingofQwerty

    @MightyMo2901
    I really do. I really like it, and I love you so much. <3

  45. Mo Kennedy

    My boyfriend loves The Mountain Goats, so I wanted to surprise him by singing his favorite song. I asked him what that would be and he sent me this link. I understand why he likes it, this song is amazing. I almost lost my grandmother to cancer before I was even born, so this one hits home for me. :) I hope he likes it.

  46. Isaac Hughes

    Wish I'd requested this song live in Atlanta a few days ago. One of my most cherished. Damn. Great show though. Thanks for the upload.

  47. Courtney Noble

    I've never cried this much while watching a video. I just got lost in the song and his emotions.

  48. Tony Simmons

    Heard him sing this live last night in Seaside, FL, and the tears welled up. Its truth is devastating.

  49. Joseph Gregor

    perfect wording...

  50. tycho

    @slowdives Yeah I know, of course he has the right to do so.
    It just feels like I'm invading his personal life by listening to this song... Does that make sense?

  51. slowdives

    @MelleB90 this is a song about feelings he genuinely felt at the time. maybe one day when he's dying he'll write a song about that. why shouldn't he be able to grieve just because someone else has it worse?

  52. Isaac Hughes

    Definately one of my all-time favorite Darnielle compositions. The lyrics convey so much...

  53. TheEffinity

    @MelleB90 I see what you're saying. My thoughts were on the subject matter and the emotion of the performance.

  54. archy2frank2

    @MelleB90 If you watch him perform the song live he say demerol.

  55. tycho

    @TheEffinity I don't think I get it, then.

    TWO lines of the song are about the person actually suffering, the rest is "You died and this is how it made ME, myself and I feel"

    Doesn't really focus on the appropriate in my mind.

    Also, fentanyl became demerol ;]

  56. TheEffinity

    If your eyes are dry at the end of this, you have no pulse.

  57. archy2frank2

    Beautiful song. " Try not to hurt to many people when I roll" that line punches me in the stomach every time.

  58. MyWeaponIsLove

    Tears. Everywhere.

  59. Jennifer Hackett

    He is an extraordinary artist and human being. The fact that he wrote this about his mother-in-law really gets to me.

  60. Hakudohshi

    Do you enjoy making grown men weep John? >:(

  61. evilstormgnat

    I think this might even beat the In Flux version for how gutting it is. God.

  62. Joseph Gregor

    GREAT VIDEO!!!!!!!!!

  63. harukishinju

    Heartbreaking.

  64. Isaac Hughes

    Oh my god! Thank you so much for uploading this! This is one of my favorite songs of of The Life of the World to Come! Thank you, thank you, thank you!