Written by: Beck Hansen
a.k.a. Spirit Moves
The Spirit Moves Me [Version (a)]:
Walkin' back to the burnin' schoolhouse and the kids drinkin' in the park
Late at night and the spirit moves me and I don't mind being afraid
Old man with no clothes leaning on my fence
Tell me where the money goes and the food don't taste the same
I'm gettin' fast at being the last, you know I don't need to waste no time
You can call me once a week, tell me where I been
Phony lady layin' flat on the road and the helicopter going by
And I'm down to the sound of the sky turned brown and I'm loving everything you say
I don't think it's funny when you shaved both of my arms
Lately I been spitting out things that I didn't mean to say
But that's alright now, you don't listen to me anyway
This odd little tune can be found on Stereopathetic Soulmanure
. The song is highlighted by the wonderful pedal steel guitar by Leo LeBlanc, and Beck's inspired vocals.
The mournful blues melody of the music led Beck to try and match with similar lyrics, which in between some absurd humor, read as a tale of a broken man wandering.
Played live once:March 26, 1994
One of the earliest known bootlegs from the Duke Coffee House in early 1994 has a version of "The Spirit Moves Me." Beck has a long monologue before the song (see below). The song itself is quick, and sounds like it is Beck playing an acoustic, while someone (Chris Ballew probably) adds some pedal steel. Lyrically, the song is as you hear it on the album, though his eyebrows were shaved, not his arms, and the last line is "Lately I been sayin' some stupid shit that I did not mean to say / But that's alright now, you don't notice me that much anyway."
- This song was originally titled just "Spirit Moves." It's listed as such on some promo compilations (Stereopathetic Soulmanure was originally to be called Telepathic Astro Manure).
- Here's Beck's monologue which preceded "The Spirit Moves Me" on March 30 1994. Thanks to Erik for having good ears and writing it down! Sometimes I just don't what Beck is going on about, so you can all make up your own minds on this:
In a cold, cold place there was all these trees and they cut up the wood and built this ship. They took this ship and they got these people and put them on and shackled them up and chained them up to the bottom of the boat. Hey, look there's more to the monologue! And so they put them in the bottom of the boat and the captain was up on the top, breakdancing. He rammed his head thru the ghettoblaster and was stood at the helm of his ship, pulling weasels out of his pocket and gun powder. So they crossed over the ocean, like the seventh son of Bon Jovi...and then the boat crumbled. Mice and all infestations left the boat. It sank and then these two prisoners, they swam and they got up to the land and they were all chained together for the rest of their lives. They couldn't brake the chains. And they built these houses and they grew corn. And then the fucking corn was growing up and then the fucking pigs came down and said "would you like us to grow the corn?" and they told them to fuck off. And so the pigs sent their giant birds to shit over the corn, destroyed it. So we went and burned the schoolhouses down.