The Great Unknown Lyrics - Dar Williams

Dar Williams The Honesty Room cover art
publisher: ©BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC , Universal Music Publishing Group
writers: Elvis Costello
release date: 1995
genres: Folk, World, & Country
styles: Folk
length: 4:16
Words and music by dar williams

Once upon a time there was a nuclear family,
And we lived in a family time,
And we’d unite in a family way.
And off the ancient mountain,
They were splitting every nucleus.
They said ’don’t be alarmed,
Just don’t try this at home.’
And they were the mystery that made the world run
And we had the power, ’cause they were the sun
And we called them our heroes, and the future had come.
They said,’look at the light we’re giving you,
And the darkness we’re saving you from.’

Soon they were bringing it into our showroom,
And they’d unveil it with it’s title,
Bring your family, bring your family,
It’s the great unknown.
You can look, but you can’t fathom,
It’s the great unknown.

I’m no ordinary princess, I was born in the cold war,
And my team is the rockets.
Go team, it’s a dangerous time.
And I dream of the moon and building lunar clone colonies.
And I build my peace with strength, that’s the best weapon you’ve
Oh, I am the brainchild, I am the mortar,
With a plastic trophy and an eating disorder,
And vision as big as a great big wall,
And they tell me that I’ll move forward for the good of us all,
And the good of nuclear families all.

And they think I think I am important.
I know I never was, no I wasn’t.
No I never, and how could I be?
It’s the great unknown.
Now we’ve built it, now it’s ticking,
It’s the great unknown.

And I am your children, I am millions.
And I wanted to sell out, I wanted to try,
But you know the sky got too low, and the ocean got too high.
And I tried to take God into my own hands.
Am I too late? is it over?
Have I sacrificed my family to the great unknown?
There’s a war between my conscience and the great unknown.

So I walked out into the gamma fields
Out in mercury, nevada.
Where I stood in circle and that circle started to pray.
And the wind at the nuclear test sights floats the data at the radiation.
From the underground testing,
Cross the line, you’ll get arrested.
And we came from all over in a silent appeal
As the drill comes down like a presidential seal.
And we stand for the living, and we stand for the dead,
And we looked out to see your enemies,
And we see that you’re looking all at us instead.

And you think I am being disruptive?
But no I’m running home, I’m running,
’cause I’m trying to put the atom back together.
It’s the great unknown.
I’m just trying to put the atom back together.
It’s the great unknown.

Lyrics licensed by
CD 1
  • 1 When I Was a Boy
  • 2 Alleluia
  • 3 The Great Unknown
  • 4 When Sal's Burned Down
  • 5 The Babysitter's Here
  • 6 You're Aging Well
  • 7 Traveling Again (Traveling I)
  • 8 In Love but Not at Peace
  • 9 Mark Rothko Song
  • 10 This Is Not the House That Pain Built
  • 11 I Love, I Love (Traveling II)
  • 12 Flinty Kind of Woman
  • 13 Arrival