"The End Of The World" lyrics - LAURIE ANDERSON

"The End Of The World"


This evening I'll be reading from a book I just finished
And since a lot of it is about the future,
I'm going to start more or less on the last page,
And tell you about my grandmother.

Now, she was a Southern Baptist Holy Ruler
And she had a very clear idea about the future,
And of how the world would end.

- In fire.

In fire.

- Like in Revelations.

Like in Revelations.

And when I was ten my grandmother told me the world would end in a year.
So I spent the whole year praying and reading the Bible
And alienating all my friends and relatives.
And finally the big day came.
And absolutely nothing happened.
Just another day.


Now my grandmother was a missionary
And she had heard that the largest religion in the world
Was Buddhism.
So she decided to go to Japan to convert Buddhists.

- And to inform them about the end of the world.

And to inform them about the end of the world.

And she didn't speak Japanese.
So she tried to convert them with a combination of hand gestures,
Sign language and hymns,
In English.


The Japanese had absolutely no idea what she was trying to get at.
And when she got back to the United States
She was still talking about the end of the world.
And I remember the day she died.
She was very excited.
She was like a small bird
Perched on the edge of her bed
Near the window in the hospital.
Waiting to die.
And she was wearing these pink nightgowns
And combing her hair so she'd look pretty
For the big moment when Christ came to get her.


And she wasn't afraid
But then, just at the very last minute
Something happened that changed everything.
Because suddenly, at the very last minute
She panicked.

After a whole life of praying and predicting the end of the world,
She panicked.
And she panicked because she couldn't decide
Whether or not... to wear... a hat.


And so when she died
She went into the future
In a panic
With absolutely no idea
Of what would be next.