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Indigo Girls — Sugar Tongue
Album: Poseidon And The Bitter Bug
Avg rating:
7.1

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1544









Released: 2009
Length: 3:32
Plays (last 30 days): 1
All the fur and fin will lose again
Cause our better is their worst reckonin'
And our fine-feathered friends will sing until they bleed
And how will we replace that symphony?

I've got the blackest boots, the whitest skin
Satisfy my sugar tongue again
Sing me lullabies of shoe-shine days
Gilded verses for your ethylene
And sing it to me free and clean

All the kids come home with foreign limbs
from hunting trips abroad they lose again
and we'll teach them how to talk
and whistle while they walk
and do the dirty work of battle hymns

I've got the blackest boots, the whitest skin
Satisfy my sugar tongue again
Sing me lullabies of shoe-shine days
Gilded verses for your atheling
And sing it to me free and clean

Drinking tea with milk and Janjaweed
Pontificate on genocide or greed
With a spoonful of dissent
For the orchestra of need
Is just enough to please this colony

I've got the blackest boots, the whitest skin
Satisfy my sugar tongue again
Bring me lullabies and morphine dreams
Belladonna with her atropine
And sing it to me free and clean
Comments (224)add comment
They really are poets. Their lyrics are powerful and easy to connect to.
Lyrically brilliant if you like that sort of thing.  I reckon I do.
 unclehud wrote:
 rdo wrote:
This song is about genocide. See my comment below.{#Arrowd}  A serious issue.  Maybe instead of repeating the same thing over and over and over and over................you could...............maybe comment on something.......
Beg to differ.  It's about how humans consume the Earth at the peril of fin and feather. 

If your definition of "genocide" includes the eradication of animals, then YES!!!  We agree!!!


 
You're both correct.  The last verse  "Drinking tea...." is referencing the Darfur genocide in the Sudan, Africa.
 Lazarus wrote:
 
Where's Mr. Lazarus been lately?  Holed up in a hotel somewhere?  Some of us (ME!) are missing your gypsy mule-skinning bucknaked dancing!!  Long Live RP!!
Another masterpiece from the Indigo Girls.
bumped from a 6 to an 8. I just rock out to it here on RP, and on my ipod. Incredible lyrics, smooth, chilled ..
 nickhanks wrote:
It's a nice tune, well performed and engineered.  Let's not over-analyze it.

 
If that's what the artist intended the lyrics would be:

tra la la la la la la
la la la la la la la
doo di doo dah di doo doo di day

Go deep people.

Or not. It's your mind.
They just keep putting out good music year after year.  It never sounds the same, but you always hear a familiar sound.  
A beautiful melody with chilling lyrics.  I love the Indigo Girls' work.

I could be wrong, but I think the lyrics refer to the slave trade that grew up in the early colonial sugar industry, which was indeed brutal.

Cheers to all RP listeners!
This line jumped out at me:  "and do the dirty work of battle hymns"

Such soft beautiful melody, with such powerful lyrics.  
All the more cutting to deliver a line like "I got the blackest boots, the whitest skin," with the sweetest of voices. Must be my mood this night, but I'm giving it a 9.
 the_jake wrote:

This song inspired me to do the same and pickup an IG album.   

 
I did the same 7 years ago after hearing this on RP. Awesome album.
 bindi wrote:

Wow!

I normally do not like the Indigo Girls, but this tune really grabbed me - and now, seeing these lyrics. . .wow!  It reminds me of some Steely Dan tunes, . . . light, (albeit musically complex) happy melody, with some kinda light,  semi cryptic lyrics about some really nasty stuff.  Love it. . .  I will be picking up my first IG CD
 
This song inspired me to do the same and pickup an IG album.   
Cool song.  Always enjoy it when it plays  :-)
What nice harmonies! 
These girls can sing.  
It's a nice tune, well performed and engineered.  Let's not over-analyze it.
 ScottishWillie wrote:

I totally agree that most of what Lazarus says is nonsense. However I cant help but feel that the world would be a greyer less interesting place without him and others like him. I’ve never seen a posting from him that rubbishes anyone and I for one wouldn’t want to live in a world that cant accommodate amusing head cases like Lazarus.

No disrespect intended Lazarus.

  

None taken...  everybody in my galactic presidential campaign loves this song...  we be dancing like Willy Shakes...  keep on rockin' in the free world, ScottishWillie...  time flies when we're having fun...
Very nice. It doesn't and then it does sound like them; which is the mark of a good band.

Ya gotta keep evolving. Get busy living or get busy dying.  
It's weird...I really this song, but this is the firs time I realized its the Indigo Girls. Duh...the Indigo Girls.  
 rdo wrote:
This song is about genocide. See my comment below.{#Arrowd}  A serious issue.  Maybe instead of repeating the same thing over and over and over and over................you could...............maybe comment on something.......
 

I totally agree that most of what Lazarus says is nonsense. However I cant help but feel that the world would be a greyer less interesting place without him and others like him. I’ve never seen a posting from him that rubbishes anyone and I for one wouldn’t want to live in a world that cant accommodate amusing head cases like Lazarus.

No disrespect intended Lazarus.


 rdo wrote:
This song is about genocide. See my comment below.{#Arrowd}  A serious issue.  Maybe instead of repeating the same thing over and over and over and over................you could...............maybe comment on something.......

Beg to differ.  It's about how humans consume the Earth at the peril of fin and feather. 

If your definition of "genocide" includes the eradication of animals, then YES!!!  We agree!!!


 kcar wrote:

Aren't you the same &*#@! who bitches at Lazarus for posting comments and links about current events on song boards? 
  
This song is marvelous...  everybody in my alien space craft loves this song...  hope you be having a splendid time right this minute, kcar...

 Jannne wrote:
             {#Daisy}{#Daisy}{#Clap}  so love this tuneful, easy, very very pleasant song...

 
About the horrors of civil war.
             {#Daisy}{#Daisy}{#Clap}  so love this tuneful, easy, very very pleasant song...
 rdo wrote:


This song is about genocide. See my comment below.{#Arrowd}  A serious issue.  Maybe instead of repeating the same thing over and over and over and over................you could...............maybe comment on something.......
 
This song is marvelous...  everybody in my homeless camp loves this song...  hope you be having a splendid time right this minute, rdo...
Somewhat surprised to be giving positive feedback for Indigo Girls....
 k1j2cat wrote:
In the posted lyrics, "atheling" should read ethylene. Just sayng...

 
Right you are. thanks.
In the posted lyrics, "atheling" should read ethylene. Just sayng...
Out of my head!  Out of my head!
An important song - for our times - it's been going on for generations.
In you go....indigo girl,  Love my Layla

marvelous...  love this song...
 
 Lazarus wrote:

Such things are not possible...

love this marvelous song...
 

 

This song is about genocide. See my comment below.{#Arrowd}  A serious issue.  Maybe instead of repeating the same thing over and over and over and over................you could...............maybe comment on something.......
 Lazarus wrote:


Everybody in my church loves this song...  sure wish Sugar were here...

 
 
Such things are not possible...

love this marvelous song...
Overplayed 
Every time I hear this, its melodic poignancy catches me off guard and I am blown away...indeed, these tuneful, talented gals still have lots to offer.  Sounds great anytime, but sounded especially nice coming after Stars' "The North."
sometime after 2003 I lost almost complete interest in the Indigo Girls.  Seems like we've come full circle because I LOVE this song.
 Segue wrote:
Brilliant
 

Yes, I agree... love this song....

Brilliant
 Stratocaster wrote:


Well said, Romeo.  

Regarding the song...I too am of the opinion that this song is an Indigo Girls highlight.
 

Thanks!  Hope you are having a great time right now...  this is one sweet song...  love it...
 
 (former member) wrote:

A "poacher" is by definition "one who hunts or fishes illegally on the property of another"... and that is not some derogatory name someone else calls you— that is your name for yourself... you call yourself a common thief...  if you have no respect for yourself, how can we expect you to have respect for others?

These song forums are for song comments, and I am an honest commentator...  this song is absolutely marvelous...


 
 

Well said, Romeo.  ^

Regarding the song...I too am of the opinion that this song is an Indigo Girls highlight.

This song is soooo delicious...
 


Everybody in my church loves this song...  sure wish Sugar were here...

 
 Misterfixit wrote:
Wonder if Hiroshige is receiving any royalties for his cover illustration?
 

I'm sure you were only joking....but it got me wondering all the same.  Here's what I found:
 

What about the title of this album...there's a reference to Poseidon in your song "Fleet of Hope," but what was the impetus behind the title of the record?
Mitchell Froom came up with that and it was a joke, really. We were just sitting around doing pre-production for the record and he said, "You should call it Poseidon and the Bitter Bug," and we all burst out into laughter. For whatever reason it stuck with us. I like it because I think it's quite whimsical. And I like the fact that Poseidon is from my song and bitter bug is from Amy's song. We've never done that before. I like the joining of the two lyrics. It's fun, it's playful. The artwork is hand-drawn by our graphic artist friend, and there's a bit of whimsy to it. You can't quite put your finger on it and I like that.
 rdo wrote:
Drinking Milk with Janjaweed?  Wow, now that could be dangerous.
 
The full lyric is Drinking Tea with Milk and Janjaweed.

When I first wrote this, I was kind of joking, thinking that it just sounded like Janjaweed, the genocidal militia from Sudan.  In fact, the lyric is the genocidal militia from Sudan.   
  
Indigo
faan vilken bra låt
 joelbb wrote:
Normally the Indigo Girls are just a little too perfectly politically correct for me.  But this tune has a lot going on in it.  It's easy to forget what good arrangers they are.
 


I echo your sentiments in that I am not a fan but find this one sweet...
Normally the Indigo Girls are just a little too perfectly politically correct for me.  But this tune has a lot going on in it.  It's easy to forget what good arrangers they are.
Liking this a lot.

most excellent.  love the tune.  very catchy...


 romeotuma wrote:

Yes, isn't this song awesome?  Good to see you here...

 
 
Yes, Awesome...
That's it! I have one-click turned on, I'm ordering this from Amazon - through the RP Android app, of course!
Wonder if Hiroshige is receiving any royalties for his cover illustration?
 


This song puts a spring in my step this spring day...

Just curious, would the DJ ever follow this song with "Take Your Momma Out Tonight" by Scissor Sisters?  {#Nyah}
 number7 wrote:
The guitar stuff kinda reminds me of The Beatles.
 
I hear that too.  Give it a 7 first listen (that I remember anyway).
 number7 wrote:
The guitar stuff kinda reminds me of The Beatles.
 
Yeah, this song is that good...  love it...

 
The guitar stuff kinda reminds me of The Beatles.
God, I love how this sounds!
 ziakut wrote:
This tune is sweet and a pleasure.
 

I agree...  love it...



This tune is sweet and a pleasure.
 GawgaBoy wrote:

everyone in my Vegas hotel room does also.... of course, that's only me.
 


That's good enough!  This song is soooo marvelous...  we be happy...

 
Notwithstanding the cheap shots flying aboot the hoose, I shall relax and just enjoy this track.
 romeotuma wrote:

Everybody in my hotel room loves this song...


 
 
everyone in my Vegas hotel room does also.... of course, that's only me.
 Poacher wrote:
Welcome to the Romeotuma blithering comments section

/sarc 
 


A "poacher" is by definition "one who hunts or fishes illegally on the property of another"... and that is not some derogatory name someone else calls you— that is your name for yourself... you call yourself a common thief...  if you have no respect for yourself, how can we expect you to have respect for others?

These song forums are for song comments, and I am an honest commentator...  this song is absolutely marvelous...


 
Welcome to the Romeotuma blithering comments section

/sarc 
I'm no Indigo Girls fan — their other work just doesn't resonate with me — but there's no denying that this is a lovely tune.
 Carl wrote:

I, too, agree, RT.
 

Yes, this song is fantastic...

 


marvelous...

 
 Groogrux69 wrote:

Going great...love this song ass well.
 


Yes, isn't this song awesome?  Good to see you here...

 
 romeotuma wrote:

I am right here...  hope everything is going well for you!

I love this song...

 
 
Going great...love this song ass well.
 Groogrux69 wrote:
romeotuma where are you?  I like this song more every time I hear it.
 


I am right here...  hope everything is going well for you!

I love this song...

 
 Groogrux69 wrote:
romeotuma where are you?  I like this song more every time I hear it.
 
Don't encourage him, he pollutes enough without it.

 romeotuma wrote:

This is one fine groove...  love this song...
 
I, too, agree, RT.


This is one fine groove...  love this song...




Everybody in my hotel room loves this song...


 
Srsly, play some Marti!!

 
bokey wrote:

That'll never happen for some odd reason.

 


I saw them the other night in Rockville, MD at Strathmore Hall - wonderful small venue.   They were great!   Such pros, and perfect harmonies.   They played for 90 mins. straight with hardly a break; not this song unfort.

 Groogrux69 wrote:
romeotuma where are you?  I like this song more every time I hear it.
 

I be here...

love this song... 


romeotuma where are you?  I like this song more every time I hear it.




I'll dance to this...

 


love this sweet song...


 oldman wrote:
Had to look, I thought a Marti Jones song had made it to RP
Foiled again.  
 
That'll never happen for some odd reason.

 Cynaera wrote:
I've been listening to the acoustic version of "Galileo" they did for a radio station, and the more I hear of them, the more I love them.  They're so interwoven and in tune - the vocals slide around so easily and fit so nicely... I really love their music!
 


Yes, they are awesome... and this is a great song...

 
 NigelTufnel wrote:
I'm hearing "You Belong To Me"

Why'd you tell me this...

anyone?

 

Egad, you're right! Maybe that's why I keep thinking this song is a cover.
I gave it a 6.  Not a really big fan of them but I probably like this one the best.
I've been listening to the acoustic version of "Galileo" they did for a radio station, and the more I hear of them, the more I love them.  They're so interwoven and in tune - the vocals slide around so easily and fit so nicely... I really love their music!
Drinking Milk with Janjaweed?  Wow, now that could be dangerous.
 romeotuma wrote:


yup...  love it...

 
 
excellent base line



yup...  love it...

 


This is such a fantastic song...  love it...

 
Had to look, I thought a Marti Jones song had made it to RP
Foiled again. 

I like the cover art. Looks like a Hokusai (my fave.)


 Cynaera wrote:

Agreed.  Strangely, I heard some Crowded House here, but I was tired and half-delirious from a fever, so I was probably mistaken.  Like this song. It's not what I'm used to hearing from Indigo Girls, but that's a good thing!

 

Not crazy or delirious or prejudiced for being from New Zealand.  If someone told me Neil Finn wrote this I would have said sure.
Yep, I'm witcha. There is no Carly Simon on RP.  Bet there are a couple songs that would do.
I'm hearing "You Belong To Me"

Why'd you tell me this...

anyone?

 coding_to_music wrote:
amazing
I never would have guessed it was Indigo Girls

Good stuff 
 
Agreed.  Strangely, I heard some Crowded House here, but I was tired and half-delirious from a fever, so I was probably mistaken.  Like this song. It's not what I'm used to hearing from Indigo Girls, but that's a good thing!

Thank you. I missed this. 


berry berry good...  love it...

Indigo Girls

 


So glad to hear this.  I was worried, when it was in high rotation, that I'd get tired of it.  
I'm happy to say that it was a joy to listen tonight.
 roulleau wrote:
7>9

Sounds like The I.G.s have gotten a little Beth Orton-y.  Which I wouldn't expect to work, but it really does.
 
I think it's safe to say that Beth Orton got a little Blue Girlie ;) 

I do agree though, this whole album was a left hook from a band I thought I had said everything they had to say... 
amazing
I never would have guessed it was Indigo Girls

Good stuff 
7>9

Sounds like The I.G.s have gotten a little Beth Orton-y.  Which I wouldn't expect to work, but it really does.
Holy crap this is good.  Who knew?  Thanks RP!!!

Downloaded this album and never regretted it. Every song is good.


made my night - thanks
Who knew?
what a beautiful and deceptive song


love it...

 



excellent...

 
these ones especially:

All the fur and fin will lose again
Cause our better is their worst reckonin'
 sqqqrly wrote:
Thanks.  I liked this song until I read the lyrics.   I don't feel guilty in the least.   8 —> 3
 
Haha... got to you anyway didn't they?  Lowered your rating because you didn't like the message eh?  Seems like some latent guilt to me.

The lyrics of this song are so sincere! They try to convey the pain, confusion, impotence, and also anger felt but which is rarely spoken about openly, thus helping perpetuate simple lies that lead to the loss of precious human lives, and also to the strengthening of a vortex of destruction and desolation ... :( It is a beautiful song that always moves me ... When the singer sings, I can hear the mother in anguish talking about her son/daughter ...
Saw the IG many years ago, and couldn't wait to get out of there—but this is really, really nice.


Soooo smooth...  love it...

 


This really is a fantastic song...

 


Yessss... we are on a roll...  love it...

 


Sweet!  This song hits the spot...  love it...