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Sprout and the Bean - Joanna Newsom

Sprout and the Bean

The Milk-Eyed Mender
folk female vocalists indie singer-songwriter harp


"Sprout and the Bean" is a single by Joanna Newsom. The A-side is from her album The Milk-Eyed Mender, while the B-side, "What We Have Known", is a re-recording of the track originally appearing on the self-released Yarn and Glue EP. The CD also contains the video for "Sprout and the Bean" which was directed by Terri Timely. The song has been used in commercials and films such as The Strangers, as well as a tourism advert for Melbourne, Australia. The harp intro was also used in a Victoria's Secret ad. In 2009, Pitchfork Media named "Sprout & The Bean" the 229th best song of the 2000s.


Joanna Newsom (born January 18, 1982) started taking piano lessons at a very early age and played for a couple of years, but switched to the harp at seven. Her approach to the harp, from the percussive aspects of her playing to her chord changes, was also influenced by West African and Venezuelan harp music, which she began studying at a folk music camp she attended in her early teens. At the same time, she also listened to more vocal-based folk, punk, and jazz like Karen Dalton, Texas Gladden, Patti Smith, and Billie Holiday. Show more ...

Sprout and the Bean - Joanna Newsom

I slept all day
Awoke with distaste
And I railed
And I raved
That the difference between
The sprout and the bean
It is a golden ring
It is a twisted string

And you can ask the counsellor
And you can ask the king
And I'll say the same thing
And it's a funny thing

Should we go outside
Should we go outside
Should we break some bread
Are you interested

And as I said
I slept as though dead
Dreaming seamless dreams
Of lead

When you go away
I am big-boned and fey
In the dust of the day
In the dirt of the day

And Danger! Danger!
Drawing near them was a white coat
And Danger! Danger!
Drawing near them was a broad boat
And the water! Water!
Running clear beneath a white throat
And the hollow chatter of the talking of the Tadpoles

Who know the outside
Should we go outside
Should we break some bread
Are you interested



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