The Lies We Tell Grandma

from How It Is Nowadays (2003) by Mailbox

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $1 USD



This is a new song based on a couple of old ideas. When I was living in Somerville, MA in 1998/99 there was this homeless lady who always hung around Davis Square picking the garbage cans and asking for change. She had a little goatee going on as well - an endearing trait. So I had this melody in my head for months "The bearded lady of Davis Square..." I had a few verses figured out in my head. I never wrote it down, just sang it to myself for a year or three. Finally, I fleshed out all the words and recorded a ukulele demo of it. It was cute but I doubted I'd ever do anything with it.

Meanwhile, in another part of my brain, I had a title for a song "The Lies We Tell Grandma" just waiting for a lyric. This was similar to "My Uncle and the Goons" which existed as just the chorus lyric for 4 or 5 years before I wrote everything else around it. Inspiration and timing met up and I wrote three verses for "The Lies" and that is what you hear today.


Here comes Grandma, let's smile for show
Don't tell her something she won't need to know
Everything's fine so just plug up the drain
The lies we tell grandma will keep her sane

We told her the pills were for my hair
Either she bought it or just doesn't care
The lies we tell grandma are nothing new
Grandmother told them to her mother, too
And greatgrandma told them to her mother, too

The lies we tell grandma will never die
Long after she has we'll always lie
This is one thing we know is true
for delusions make us feel better, too
delusions make us feel better, too


from How It Is Nowadays (2003), released October 31, 2003
music: Adam Rabin
lyrics: Adam Rabin


all rights reserved



Adam Rabin Burlington

Where Prog Rock meets Geek Rock. Adam Rabin is a Vermont songwriter/multi-instrumentalist who has also played with Elephants of Scotland, Mailbox, and musical improv troupe She Thicc. You can also hear Adam’s music on the podcasts: Improvised Weapons, Improv Overdrive, What The Hell Are You Watching, and Vermont Favorites. ... more

contact / help

Contact Adam Rabin

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Report this track or account

If you like How It Is Nowadays (2003), you may also like: