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This Dan Bern/Bernstein song is on the 2001 album New American Language but dates back to at least 1998 according to online concert set lists and so forth. Introduced at one concert as "a song about a guy who's taken a weird kind of vow of silence." Pseudoautobiographical at least: loneliness and traveling (driving from place to place in particular) are recurring themes in Dan/Bernstein's work, and "Oh Sister" and "Hannibal" both refer to dead fathers or other male relatives. Also, the line "if you judge me tonight, judge me by the songs I write" evokes "Jerusalem"'s "Don't ask what kind of music I'm gonna play tonight/Just stay awhile, see for yourself awhile".

Lyrics (reproduced by permission)

I've been speaking later and later in the day
Most days I don't talk 'till maybe 8 o'clock at night
It keeps me whole, keeps me holy
Keeps me way up in the mountains
even when I'm on the road
Keeps me coming up for air
Keeps me airing out some cum
Keeps me cool

And every place I go is one less place I can call home
And every girl I kiss, well, I just cross her off my list
I don't go far, I just go crazy
I buried all of my old clothes
Out in some field in West Des Moines
And if you judge me tonight, judge me by the songs I write
That's who I am to you

Chorus:
And there's a black tornado, black tornado
Spinning around in my body sometimes
Black tornado, black tornado
Spinning around in my body sometimes

Yeah I could deal tonight with someone soft and warm and furry
But that ain't likely to occur in south central Missouri
It's a day off, it's an off day
It's a Budweiser, Budgetel, Bukowski kind of night
All I gots what's on my back, guitar and a backpack
My soul is intact

And there's a black tornado, black tornado
Spinning around in my body sometimes
Black tornado, black tornado
Spinning around in my body sometimes

Everything is changing faster than I can describe
All I really know to do is grab the wheel and drive
I look for love, and some adventure
And I try not to let my own breathing scare me off the road
There's a tombstone of my father I visit sometimes

And there's a black tornado, black tornado
Spinning around in my body sometimes
Black tornado, black tornado
Spinning around in my body sometimes
Red tornado, red tornado
Spinning around in my body sometimes
Black tornado, black tornado
Spinning around in my body sometimes

---Dan Bern/Bernstein, New American Language

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