What's He Building?

Album: Mule Variations (1999)
Play Video
  • What's he building in there?
    What the hell is he building in there?
    He has subscriptions to those magazines
    He never waves when he goes by

    And he's hiding something from the rest of us
    He's all to himself, I think I know why
    He took down the tire-swing from the pepper tree
    He has no children of his own, you see

    He has no dog, he has no friends
    And his lawn is dying
    And what about those packages he sends?
    What's he building in there?

    With that hook light on the stairs
    What's he building in there?
    I'll tell you one thing, he's not building a playhouse for the children
    What's he building in there?

    Now what's that sound from underneath the door?
    He's pounding nails into a hardwood floor
    And I swear to God I heard someone moaning low
    And I keep seeing the blue light of a TV show

    He has a router and a table saw
    And you won't believe what Mr. Sticha saw
    There's poison underneath the sink, of course
    There's also enough formaldehyde to choke a horse

    What's he building in there?
    What the hell is he building in there?
    I heard he has an ex-wife in some place called Mayor's Income, Tennessee
    And he used to have a consulting business in Indonesia

    But what's he building in there?
    He has no friends but he gets a lot of mail
    I bet he spent a little time in jail
    I heard he was up on the roof last night, signaling with a flashlight

    And what's that tune he's always whistling?
    What's he building in there?
    What's he building in there?
    We have a right to know Writer/s: THOMAS ALAN WAITS
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 2

  • Daniel from Seattle, WaA perfect video version of this would be various scenes from Universal Films of their old 1930s-1940s horror movies. You could run these scenes at half speed showing stuff from Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory with the sparking jacob's ladders, the dry ice fog, etc.

    At the end, the angry villiagers with their torches and bloodhounds are shown coming up the hill and Waits says the line, "We have a right to know."
  • Gary from Wilkesboro, NcThis song and the movie "The Burbs" with Tom Hanks have a lot of parallels.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Kim Thayil of Soundgarden

Kim Thayil of SoundgardenSongwriter Interviews

Their frontman (Chris Cornell) started out as their drummer, so Soundgarden takes a linear approach when it comes to songwriting. Kim explains how they do it.

Mike Campbell

Mike CampbellSongwriter Interviews

Mike is lead guitarist with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and co-writer of classic songs like "Boys Of Summer," "Refugee" and "The Heart Of The Matter."

Richard Marx

Richard MarxSongwriter Interviews

Richard explains how Joe Walsh kickstarted his career, and why he chose Hazard, Nebraska for a hit.

Adam Duritz of Counting Crows

Adam Duritz of Counting CrowsSongwriter Interviews

"Mr. Jones" took on new meaning when the song about a misguided view of fame made Adam famous.

N.W.A vs. the World

N.W.A vs. the WorldSong Writing

How the American gangsta rappers made history by getting banned in the UK.

Amanda Palmer

Amanda PalmerSongwriter Interviews

Call us crazy, but we like it when an artist comes around who doesn't mesh with the status quo.