Newsom, Joanna - Soft As Chalk Lyrics

So, so long ago and so far away
When time was just a line that you fed me when you wanted to stay
We'd talk as soft as chalk till morning came, pale as a pearl
No time, no time, mow, I have got all the time in the world

Say, honey, did you belong to me?
Tell me, honey, was your heart at rest when, darlin'
All the mourning doves were howling us
A song of love's oh god-awful lawlessness? Lawlessness
Say, honey, did you belong to me?
Tell me, honey, did I pass your test?
I lay, as still as death, until the dawn
Whereupon I wrested from your god-awful lawlessness, lawlessness

I roam around the tidy grounds of my dappled sanatorium
Coatless, I sit amongst the motes, adrift, and I dote upon my pinesap gum
And the light, through the pines in brassy tones lays over me, dim as rum
And thick as molasses, and so time passes, and so, my heart, tomorrow comes

I feel you leaning out back with the crickets
Loyal heart marking the soon-ness
Darkness, tonight, still the mourning doves will summon us
Their song of love's neverdoneing lawlessness, lawlessness

While, over and over, rear up, stand down, lay round
Trying to sound-out, or guess the reasons
I sleep like a soldier, without rest
But there is no treason, where there is only lawlessness, lawlessness

In the last week of the last year, I was aware
I took a blind shot, across the creek at the black bear
When he roused me in the night and left me cowering with my light, calling out
"Who is there? Who's there?
Who is there?"

I watched you sleep, repeating my prayer
You give love a little shove and it becomes terror
And now I am calling in a sadness beyond anger and beyond fear
"Who is there? Who's there?
Who is there?"

I glare and nod like the character God bearing down upon the houses and lawns
I knew a little bit, but, darling, you were it and, darling, now it is long gone
Sweetheart, in your clean, bright start back there, behind a hill, and a dell
And a state line or two, I'll be thinking of you, yes, I'll be thinking and be wishing you well
We land, I stand but I wait for the sound of the bell
I have to catch a cab and my bags are at the carousel
And then, Lord, just then time alone will only tell, you mourning dove

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Newsom, Joanna Soft As Chalk Comments
  1. Antony Edge

    An absolute stare performance any reference to Popeye is a fucking joke, piss off to the fucking lot of you

  2. Samantha Bumgarner

    Why does she sound like she’s baby talking when she sings?!!!!!!!!! Is they’re anyway she can just not do that?!!! And stop faking an accent!!!!!

  3. Sylvia T

    A forever favorite. No one else has ever accomplished half of what Newsom does with tone and timbre!

    Mark Kershek

    I agree. It is one of my favorite Youtube videos.

  4. Lee Nuxunumo

    Samburg you sonavabitch

  5. Jascha Bull

    Who else just listened to this video in the background and didn't actually watch it, and was kind of confused by all the comments on the faces she makes while singing?

  6. PR B


  7. Tommy Nico

    And thick as molasses, and so time passes

  8. Radgeagainstthemachete

    She's just fuckin brilliant.

  9. Kristina Tykhonyuk

    Her faces look like Miranda Sings and that vine where the guy sings "welcome to my keeeechen" in an indie girl voice

    Master Monkey

    She is different/unique but insanely talented and one of the finest songwriters of modern times. I highly recommend you check out her discography.

  10. Tom Gordon

    Is it just me or is she like a modern day version of Kate Bush?

  11. Massive Douche

    I love how the tempo is completely fluid.

  12. camelpissflavour

    she's mentally ill

  13. Guia Marié

    She's amazing

  14. Looonatick Stick

    still my fave

  15. Tim McKenney Skateboard

    #joshmosh skating to this got me here... I almost cry everytime I hear it.. it don't get any better baby!!!

  16. Nathan G

    "I glare and nod like the character God, bearing down upon the houses and lawns"

    That shit is too real for cable television

  17. Rare Music #2


  18. TheMonolake

    Did she twerk at the grammys.

  19. David Gerardi

    Lawlessness !

  20. RadDad Films

    sweet voice. so my crush

  21. Commie 1776

    Her mouth is mesmerizing.

  22. spozbucket

    Imagine a world without artists like Joanna newsom! what a poor world that would be.

  23. Milky Way Galaxy

    A beautiful girl with the voice of an old lady.

  24. Phoenix Force

    These kind of music makes me hate the current mainstream music even more..

  25. NinjaPatman

    She's just a Zoeey Deschanel wanna-be ripoff.


  26. plasticvis

    ughh my favourite song

  27. Alexa Martin

    She has such amazing vocal control, I love Joanna so much :-‘)

  28. J J

    Lol everyone in Austin sings likes this. Y’all need to get out more.

  29. Sheryl Goldstein

    Amazing talent and refreshing style

  30. DoctorMeatDic

    Another year, another comment. Astonishing, astonishing singer, performer, writer.

  31. Gonzalo Vazquez Avila

    That was a great performance

  32. kim

    a truly chilling performance, which u know if uve ever tried singing her songs. as u have, who could resist. me i like her little looks right here. like she's just created a tripple cd box of magic, putting us all to shame or whatever

  33. EIIiot Rodger

    she makes faces like lyle lovett lmao

  34. Oshadhie Nanayakkara

    Their kids are going to be geniuses

  35. synth3tic

    Her songs are meandering bits of nothing.

  36. Hunter Scott

    She is weird and wonderful

  37. PH Piano Cover


  38. ken holman

    Love this every time I watch it . That's feeling your music .

  39. Jonathan Antoine


  40. mollieangel

    i swear to god she pulls something out of me that i didn't know was there

  41. Josh Mosh

    this chick needs to hook up with CLAYPOOL


    I'm in love with her voice and talent

  43. ธนภัทร อารีย์

    She's adorable!!!!😍😍😍

  44. Dan Thompson

    Does she sing at an angle because she's used to singing with her face against a harp? Just thought. What a song this is.

  45. s1rrah

    I have to echo a certain previous post ... "That is the sexiest girl who slightly resembles Popeye that I've ever seen" .. I know, right?

  46. Vinz RR

    I want to kill her.


    Vinz RR why

  47. Mark Kershek

    I can't stop listening to this incredible song. If I think I understand the meaning of the lyrics, it couldn't be a sadder song with a terribly horrific subject matter.

  48. folkfingerstylefreddy

    Reminds me a bit of Amanda Palmer

  49. David Puig


  50. helena maria

    better than the original version

  51. Just Peachy

    She is such a story telling genius!!😩👏🏻💕

  52. Niller Symphony

    Man I love her. Fuck you, youtube people.

  53. Drew

    This was all very confusing to my ears. But I dig it

  54. Charles McMillion

    The Joanna Newsom Challenge: Listen to all 5 1/2 mins of this at full volume *without* killing yourself.

  55. James Minos

    Hard to stop listening. She is unique, extremely talented and I love the time changes. Makes me glad I am a drummer.

  56. caleb basile

    I was watching peach plum pear and it reminded me of Kate bush and now that I’m watching this and she has the all red dress and flower in her hair it really reminds me of Kate bush in the wuthering heights video. Both strikingly beautiful and also weird.

  57. Ferrao Franck

    incroyable comme elle peut me faire penser a tori amos

  58. Elias Veine Wiig

    She's weird

  59. L. C.

    Who could judge what he sees listening to what he hears? Even if you ignore the one beauty and decide there is none to see at all if you have a beauty like this in your ears?

  60. giggabyt78

    is it me or does her song go know were

  61. Mark Kershek

    And... the drummer is outstanding.

  62. j t

    my favorite version and my first exposure, when it first aired/ wow!!

  63. red drib

    da fuck yer bags doing at the carousel?

  64. Jeena R.

    This is my favorite recording of this song! ❤

  65. xonlyxjojox

    I love how she manipulates her voice... WOOOW

  66. Brian McInnis

    Jimmy Fallon can blow me.

  67. Soleil Aleda

    Mamrie Hart?

  68. D Mc

    Sometimes I come across a new (well, new to me) artist who peaks my interest and I want to hear and learn more about them—Joanna Newsome is one of those to me, at this point. It's funny how I stumble upon these people sometimes considering that it rarely happens as a random "click", often it's as a result of recommendation from another artist that I admire. That's the case here. In an interview from a few years back Lisa Hannigan mentioned Joanna Newsome as someone that she would like to see in concert, so that was all the recommendation that I needed to check her out here. If Lisa likes you, I'll definitely give you a listen and maybe become a devoted fan. I see and hear some real potential here; Joanna's different—I like that.

  69. Vanda Julia Feher

    She is like a Disney princess and her voice is so clear and beautiful! <3

  70. Hollie Staniford

    Almost every single one of her songs make my eyes fill with tears, even the happy ones!! Beautiful music and lyrics <3

  71. vickie g

    While you're all making fun of her I'll be disappearing Andy

  72. Marsh Sherrif

    this is a talent

  73. Entierren Estas Manos!

    The drummer did a superb job as well.

  74. carl

    now that is what i call unique

  75. bnbv

    that part between 03:14-03:23 reminds me of a song (probably an indie song) but I can't remember which one! does any of you know a song that is similar to this part??? i need this

  76. kuratr

    "Look at me. I'm so quirky and different and make faces and have a quirky accent when I sing, so that makes me special"

  77. Verichai

    So. Damn. Beautiful.

  78. Nathan Bittel

    she's great i have that cd i love listening to that i would love to see her in concert also Regina spektor

  79. Meadow Rye

    low-cost Kate Bush

    Melinda Newland

    She's exactly who came to mind! :)

  80. петр киреев

    необычная мимика, оператор даже перешел на показ в профиль, а так хорошо

  81. Halima Hosh

    I love this :-)

  82. dukegreened

    if it is not abundantly clear that this music is delivered through pure genius than i would have to say. . . have some more flouride.

  83. Sam El Paso

    Just... Wow. America doesn't deserve someone as amazing and talented as her. So original and unique... A rare bird indeed.

  84. Musicsavedme

    She's so talented

  85. grapefruitiswinning

    She is SUCH an amazing song writer!

  86. Brian Barber

    Angelic, weird, and perfect!

  87. Josh B

    What every lady wants to be.

    Josh B

    well every white lady

  88. Ivan Chua

    What a singer!!!

  89. mechanik

    still the best thing on the internet ever.

  90. The Moment

    Sounds an awful lot like Regina Spektor to me!

    Jackson Catlett

    I love them both but I see no similarities (besides lyrically I guess?)

    John Johnson

    All quirky white girls that play piano get compared to each other (piano isn't even Joanna's main instrument). They barely have any similarities vocally, lyrically or the way they structure their songs.

    Rob Talin

    fuck regina she s way more talented

  91. Mary Chela

    She sing like the Asian women and I find this charming just I would like she use more her voice not short world it is a very competitive time and if you don't show real talent when you don't use sex and entertainment dancing move well you better have talent

  92. TheQuietGeneration

    This young lady makes me happy.

  93. Daniel Whisenhunt

    I jizzed in my pants

    aj soria

    Daniel Whisenhunt I jizzed your pants too

  94. Eric L

    I Love Her.

  95. Hardy

    I'm a huge metal fan but music like I just find amazing

    Anna Little

    Last week I saw kings X, the week before I saw Helmet twice, in a few weeks I'll be seeing Clutch twice, and I have loved this woman and her music since I was 11. It's just good shit.

  96. Ricky Leger

    She looks like Joseph gordin-levit in good drag (huge compliment). I just discovered her music and I love her!!!

  97. Tommaso Baldi


  98. Witcher Crafts

    This song is so enchanting

  99. Jackson Catlett

    I hate people making comments about her facial expressions. You're here for music, not for a model.