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This song is the set-up for the whole album. The intro tells the general story; The Devil is drinking away the night at a local bar and he is talking up a shitstorm, lying his face off and being the cocky bastard he is.
Basically, before the sun comes up, some local has had enough so he pumps him full of lead. The song kicks in and begins with The Devil dying in a hospital bed. He is physically bleeding crude oil from his wounds, and some greedy people in the town have begun to put pails beneath him to collect the oil to sell. So, like a chick getting naked in a horror movie, they're pretty much fucked. Ol' Satan vows to wipe out the town where he got shot.

He lays there in bed, still talking shit, making threats, empty promises, feeling sorry for himself. He is very bitter. There are tiny hints that the guy who shot him was actually in league with the Devil, but he betrays him and "shoots the plan to Hell". The part about the slivers of lead in the food is a reference to a bizzare situation of a poisoning that we read about.

The Judas character who betrays Satan starts to realize that even though he has turned to the light, he isn't going to make it out alive, and starts to drink and overdose himself to death.

The end of the song, the part that goes "Someone say a Hail Mary for this house" is about the shit hitting the fan. The line "Bless the corners and burn devil out" is actually from a Mexican chant used to keep witches and demons out of the homes of those who utter it.

It goes, "Cuatro esquinas tiene mi casa Cuatro angeles que la adoran, Lucas, Marcos, Juan, y Mateo. Ni brujas, ni hechiceras, Ni hombre malchechor. En el Nombre del Padre, Y del Hijo, y del Espiritu Santo."

Or, in English, "Four corners has my house. Four angels adore it, Luke, Mark, John, and Matthew. Neither witches, nor charmers, Nor maleficent man can harm me. In the Name of the Father, And of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."

lyrics

well i'll take two shots said the devil to the man and layed a little book on the bar well lord knows the devil he only talks shit and only drinks whiskey from the jar and his hands were raw and his eyes were cold and his breath was pure alcohol and the sound of his voice it never got old and he talked and talked and talked through the night kept sippin his shine till the mornin light tumbled in through the shades and as he started to go i put three bullets in his back.

well the devil's bleedin' crude oil from a hole in his chest and it's panging on the bedpan drippin' through the bedsheets and all the businessmen are putting pails beneath his wounds and pawnin' the oil at the market. well his heart ain't made of nothin' but piss and vinegar and his boots have trampled more than you would know and his breath has split open the thermometer on the sill it's so fucking cold in here since you brought in the snow. black heart leaking oil in the pan, dealin' insults with his free hand in this hospital bed bleedin' black heart you shot the plan to hell and the apathy ate you up inside like slivers of lead inside your food he's the poison inside you and you eat until you're full and you eat until youre full he lit the fires inside your belly full of medicine and whiskey the aspirin, valium, codiene pills and silver rum someone say a hail mary for this house bless the corners and burn the devil out.

credits

from Who Will Survive and What Will be Left of Them?, track released October 13, 2003

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