"Orpheus" as written by and David Sylvian....
Standing firm on this stony ground
The wind blows hard
Pulls these clothes around
I harbour all the same worries as most
The temptations to leave or to give up the ghost
I wrestle with an outlook on life
That shifts between darkness and shadowy light
I struggle with words for fear that they'll hear
But orpheus sleeps on his back still dead to the world

Sunlight falls, my wings open wide
There's a beauty here I cannot deny
And bottles that tumble and crash on the stairs
Are just so many people I knew never cared
Down below on the wreck of the ship
Are a stronghold of pleasures I couldn't regret
But the baggage is swallowed up by the tide
As orpheus keeps to his promise and stays by my side

Tell me, I've still a lot to learn
Understand, these fires never stop
Believe me, when this joke is tired of laughing
I will hear the promise of my orpheus sing

Sleepers sleep as we row the boat
Just you the weather and I gave up hope
But all of the hurdles that fell in our laps
Were fuel for the fire and straw for our backs
Still the voices have stories to tell
Of the power struggles in heaven and hell
But we feel secure against such mighty dreams
As orpheus sings of the promise tomorrow may bring

Tell me, I've still a lot to learn
Understand, these fires never stop
Please believe, when this joke is tired of laughing
I will hear the promise of my orpheus sing


Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery

"Orpheus" as written by David Sylvian

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, MUSIC SALES CORPORATION

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Orpheus song meanings
Add your thoughts

7 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +4
    General CommentI'm gonna take a guess at this beautiful song, as nobody seems to have tried to look for the meaning.

    I think this song is about a search for inspiration, the need to create music and the pressures associated with the expectations put on you. Orpheus being the greatest poet and musician of Ancient Greece, which Sylvian will have known having an interest in this myth (Eurydice, Orpheus's wife, was also in the title of a Sylvian track). I think Orpheus represents his inspiration as a musician.

    In verse 1 he stands firm against the pressures though he has been tempted to "give up the ghost". He struggles with words (lyrics perhaps) while his Orpheus lays on his back, there is no inspiration.

    In verse two he finds inspiration, the "sunlight falls" and his "wings open wide". Everything else has fallen to the wayside, like the people he knew never cared, but Orpheus has stayed by his side.

    Verse 3 he talks of the obstacles in life being the fuel for the fire. He finds that the "voices" still have stories to tell, that he still has something to express.

    The chorus is about his desire, he wants the inspiration, as the fire/desire never stops, and ultimately he knows when all is said and done, he will be inspired, as he hears the promise of his Orpheus sing.
    Martelon November 15, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song
    little_carloson May 08, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti feel this song matches a part in my life when i had matured past being an egotistical child and i was pissed off with the person i used to be ('Please believe, when this joke is tired of laughing') but realised that i still had a lot that i wanted to learn ('Understand, these fires never stop'), and that one day maybe i'll be able to produce something beautiful with the knowledge i gain ('I will hear the promise of my Orpheus sing')
    milkmirukuon June 03, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti feel this song matches a part in my life when i had matured past being an egotistical child and i was pissed off with the person i used to be ('Please believe, when this joke is tired of laughing') but realised that i still had a lot that i wanted to learn ('Understand, these fires never stop'), and that one day maybe i'll be able to produce something beautiful with the knowledge i gain ('I will hear the promise of my Orpheus sing').
    milkmirukuon June 03, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song. Seems to be about having inspiration and finding inner guidance dispite what other people think. Trying to realize some inner light, guidance and inspiration that will fulfill kind of potential.

    Reminds me a bit of the line "This light inside can never die" from Wave off Gone ot Earth. Only in this case he's sort of seeking the inspiration or light inside that he has sometimes and not at others.
    sbfisheron August 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    Link(s)Orpheus is one of the most beautiful of Sylvian's songs. To see why it is so special to me and others' views on many other Sylvian songs click here simplysylvian.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/orpheus/
    mcb1063207on November 07, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI don't mean this flippantly, but this song would have great and accessible meaning if Orpheus was a dog. They day to day wrestle with life "As Orpheus keeps to his promise and stays by my side" would fit so perfectly. I admit the chorus becomes even more obscure in this context, but when I sing it to guitar on a hazy summer evening I just say it's about a dog, and the dog owners just get it and know the comfort that they bring to a life of turmoil. No disrespect intended David :)
    martin8370on March 02, 2016   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain