Purple Mountain Tragedies

By Susan Weiner & Nat Budin

We wrote this song for a Crisis Center gig at Cholmondeley's, the on-campus coffee house at Brandeis University.  The coffee house was to benefit Triskelion, the Brandeis LGBTQ+ organization, and we were sharing the bill with a lot of singer-songwriter groups.  In fact, I think we may have been the only musicians there that did not play anything by the Indigo Girls.

The idea of "Purple Mountain Tragedies" was to write a song that sounded like it was deep but in reality was devoid of meaning.  We thought it was hilarious, but in that group of singer-songwriters that night, it just kind of blended in.  There's probably a lesson there, but I steadfastly refuse to learn it.

Guitar chords:
Intro:  | Am    Am7  | (4x)
Verse:  | Am         | F          | C          | G         | (4x)
Chorus: | F          | G          | Am         | C         |
        | F          | G          | Am     Am7 |      %    |
Bridge: | Em         |   (tacet)  | Dm         |  (tacet)  | (2x) 
        | F          |      %     | E7         |      %    |

Verse 1:
Halfway down the gravel road stands a door that's halfway open
Through the door there stands a glass that's always halfway full
Purple mountain tragedies and red light shining through the window
Golden carpet leads the way to somewhere I don't know

Bombs bursting in my hand
Crumbling maps and telephones
My dreams are shattered 'cross the land

Verse 2:
Dying cries of magazines and dollar bills you never borrowed
Tabloid articles unwritten, papered on the wall
Where were you when we were flying underneath the unwashed masses?
Trudging through the sea of children marching through the hall?


Bloody statues, falling down
'Neath the hollow oak
And their staring eyes, underground
Dance a waltz with hope
Run away
Run away

Chorus (x2)