The Emperor's Suit

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Vince Welnick

Vince Welnick has performed this and made mp3's available for download.

The Emperor's Suit was of scarlet and green
Brighter than moonlight on the edges of dream
The thread was of fire, the weave was of fate
As for the cut, it was right up to date

I wasn't around to see his world explode
I was playing Atlanta, I was out on the road
Licking my wounds by the time I returned
Throat in a sling, exhausted and burned

Went to see you with some gifts from the road
Christ in a bubble, when you shook it, it snowed
wrapped in a pillow slip from Asbury Park
crushed black velvet that glowed in the dark

Take up where you left off
when the world blows apart (note 1)
Take it how you find it
They say that's the art
Circles what you run in
when you do not walk the line
If you ever need a friend
put your hand in mine


I knocked at your door but nobody came
I sat on your porch and looked at the rain
Kept hearing the words you said when I split
how we both needed time to think about it

Saw the Emperor's suit on your washing line
Whatever became of its sparkle and shine?
Pretty threadbare, close nothing at all
Winter was coming, it was late in the Fall

I heard he moved in while I was away
You have a bad habit of helping that way
You can't say no, you're such an easy touch
It bothered me a little but not that much

Take up where you left off
when the world blows apart
Take it how you find it
They say that's the art
Circles what you run in
when you do not walk the line
If you ever need a friend
put your hand in mine


I folded this suit up, how could it dry
with all that rain fallin' out of the sky?
Put the suit in a spinner at the laundromat
Fed it eight quarters and turned up the gas

I left to take care of a matter or two
to get cigarettes and write a letter to you
Guess I turned the heat up a little too high
Only smoke in the dryer when I came back by

I believe I'll deliver this letter myself
I hope it finds you in the best of health
I do what I love, I don't work for pay
If that doesn't suit you, we got nothing to say

Take up where you left off
when the world blows apart
Take it how you find it
They say that's the art
Circles what you run in
when you do not walk the line
If you ever need a friend
put your hand in mine


On the way to your house I stopped by mine (note 2)
Music was playin' - it was party time
Peeked in my room at four feet in the bed
We didn't expect you yet, somebody said

I thought about you - I thought about me
Of the Emperor's suit and its destiny
When fate comes knockin' don't play it too smart
Grab it by the face with love in your heart

There's a naked man crying in the parking lot,
wearing only the rain, his brain is shot
Wrap my black jacket around his neck
Get me another when I cash my check
Notes
(1) Vince Welnick sings "When your world blows apart"
(2) Vince Welnick doesn't sing the last three verses.