Thursday, May 04, 2006

Jerdacuttup Man

Dear Reader, I bring you the lyrics of "Jerdacuttup Man", a song written by David McComb and issued on Australian rock band The Triffids's 1987 album Calenture.

It's a pretty folky melody in 3/4 time with a bagpipe solo, but it's the lyrics that really make "Jerdacuttup Man" one of the all-time-greatest archaeology songs. McComb deliberately mixes up bog bodies and mummies and Ă–tzies, but still he portrays the people whose remains archaeologists handle in such a sympathetic way. I'm not a very romantic soul, but it still happens that I caress a bone or a skull briefly and murmur sad endearments to the dead.

Old and lonely, dirty and cold -- won't you please take me home?
Jerdacuttup Man
By David McComb

I live under glass in the British Museum
I'm wrinkled and black, I am ten thousand years
I once lost in business, I once lost in love
I took a hard fall, I couldn't get up

I was frozen out in the lean winter years
When the dollars were few and the faces were mean
I was frozen in business and frozen in love
I took a ten-minute nap, man, I never woke up

Old and lonely, dirty and cold
I am the Jerdacuttup Man

They stitched up my eyelids so l couldn't see
They sewed up my mouth so very carefully
They stitched up the wound they had made in my side
They wrapped me up tight and they threw me inside

I tried to object but the words didn't come
Say, "You're making a mistake, boys, you've got the wrong one,
I'm a little out of shape, but I'm too young to go!"
But my throat just seized up and it started to snow

Old and lonely, dirty and cold
l am the Jerdacuttup Man

They soaked me in brine and thy stewed me in juice
Thy took out my eyes and replaced them with glass
And with skin made of leather, and teeth made of dice
I slept in the peat under ten feet of ice

I had no luck in business and no luck in love
I guess I'm a fool, you could say I'm a chump
I'm shrivelled and black and my bandage is torn
But my fingers are cold, won't you please take me home?

Old and lonely, dirty and cold
I am the Jerdacuttup Man
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great song, poetry for heart and bones. One of my favourite Triffids-songs

30 May, 2006 15:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


25 July, 2006 14:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad you like the song. Here's my recollections of the time Dave and I wrote it:,1605.msg25396.html#msg25396

Dr. James Paterson (History Ph.D).

30 June, 2007 09:14  

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