"Clay" as written by and Ian Stephen/sergeant Mcculloch....
Am I the half of half-and-half
Or am I the half that's whole?
I've got to be one with all my halves
It's my worthy earthly goal
It's my worthy earthly goal
It's my worthy earthly goal


Are you the heavy half
Of the lighter me
Are you the ready part
Of the lighter me


When I came apart
I wasn't made of sand
When you fell apart
Clay crumbled in my hands
Long way a life load
Statues and haloes


Am I the half of half-and-half
Or am I the half that's whole
Am I the half that's whole
Am I the half that's whole


Are you the wrongful half
Of the rightful me
Are you the mongol half
Of the cerebral me


When I came apart
I wasn't made of sand
When you fell apart
Clay crumbled in my hands
When I came apart
I wasn't made of sand
When you fell apart
Clay crumbled in my hands


If we exercise just some control
When we exercise our sum control


Oh isn't it nice
When your heart is made out of ice
Oh isn't it nice
When your heart is made out of ice


Are you the heavy half
Of the lighter me
Are you the ready part
That has entered me


Am I the "shall" in po-ten-tial
Or am I the "suck" in "cess"
Pools of delusion
Deluge me
Am I the more or less
Am I the more or less
Am I the more or less


When I came apart
I wasn't made of sand
When you fell apart
Clay crumbled in my hands
When I came apart
I wasn't made of sand


When I was the cain
You were the abel
When I came apart
Clay crumbled in my hands


Lyrics submitted by Golgotha, edited by epiwoosh

"Clay" as written by Leslie Pattinson Ian Stephen Mcculloch

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Clay song meanings
Add your thoughts

5 Comments

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about the inner struggle each person has between doing good or evil. Excellent song, as are all of the Bunnymen's songs.
    monster36604on January 21, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHis accent makes 'half' come out as 'hoff'
    regardless, gotta love it.
    mediocremurphyon January 03, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always thought this was about Ian asking whether he's the main man and the rest of the band are just his backing band "Am I the half of half-and-half Or am I the half that's whole?". All through the song he's asking the same question "Are you the wrongful half Of the rightful me Are you the mongol half Of the cerebral me" and "Am I the "shall" in po-ten-tial, Or am I the "suck" in "cess", Pools of delusion Deluge me, Am I the more or less."
    cobbymanon January 08, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI was just disappointed to find out that he's actually saying "am I the "suck" in "cess"?" instead of "am I the sucking cess?" I thought he was asking himself if he's just another representative of the sucking cesspool that is society, and it just sounds more powerful that way. But I understand it goes along with the "Am I the "shall" in po-ten-tial" line before it, which I had also hoped (but doubted) said "Am I the Shaolin potential?" But I suppose I can still give those lines double meanings even if they weren't intended if they help me appreciate the song. As for the rest of it, I always thought the line "Oh isn't it nice /When your heart is made out of ice?" related back to the "sucking cesspool that is society" in its accusatory tone, condemning society and its keepers for their cold and callous ways.
    epiwooshon May 03, 2014   Link
  • -1
    General CommentThis song I think is another AMAZING one. I've always looked at the Cain and Abel line as the biggest clue. Taking a point from the Cain and Abel story, they were the first brothers to exist on this planet (according to the Bible- I'm not taking the Bible literally here, just talking about what the reference represents). Cain was the "bad-half" and Abel was the "good-half." They both had opportunities to do well and make the most out of their lives, and Cain gave into the sins of jealousy, sloth, anxiety, and this eventually led to the murder of his "better half," Abel. So Cain and Abel can be seen as a representation of the duality of man, of the constant battle we have within ourselves to be "whole." And the clay reference, well that can be a religious reference too. That we are made in God's image, in the way that someone makes something out of clay, but like clay, we can be molded, but still the molder can never have complete control over the object, the way it dries, etc. So, while God has some control, he doesn't have complete control over how we turn out- ultimately have the free will to make the decisions that affect our behaviour.

    Another analogy could be that he's imagining a statue of himself, a physical representation of him being able to have control of himself, but even that cannot be controlled entirely. He could also be saying that he doesn't believe in God at all, that he is the moral-less. And the "isn't it nice, when your heart is made out of ice" represents his wish that he didn't have a conscience, but that his religious upbringing forces him to deal with all of this imagery. I was raised Catholic, and while I'm a recovering Catholic, and an agnostic, I still get these residual pangs of guilt that seem to be common to other people I talk to in with similar backgrounds. It seems that Ian's young life was steeped in these religious symbols and images as well. The fact that he says he wasn't made of sand also points to the fact that he doesn't feel like he's the same as everyone else, that he's not just a speck of sand in a universe of infinite specks of sand. It could also mean that he doesn’t believe in God.

    But he’s constantly going back and forth between “I” and the “you,” as if he were having a conversation with himself and asking himself these moral questions, trying to resolve an internal conflict, not only with himself, but with the things perceived as man-made vs. the things that could be considered “God made,” i.e., “statues” vs. “halos.”

    I guess the final thing he says is that when he came apart, clay crumbled in his hands, possibly meaning that when he lost his “wholeness,” he did it himself, he was responsible for it. What “came apart” means is entirely up for interpretation of course. Could mean that he isn’t “whole” anymore, that he’s been somehow separated from the ideal person that he wants to be or was when he was younger. Of course it could also be the everpresent masturbation, sex reference. “Came apart” meaning that when he ejaculated into his hand, the clay (which could represent semen, the building block, or “clay” of life, which is man-made), or the potential for creating life crumbled in his hands. That brings into question the whole God notion again: Does God make people? Or do people make people? I’ll stop ranting now, it’s just that I’ve been a huge Echo fan since forever and wanted to share my ideas on the brilliance of this band. Thanks for reading this if you do!
    OneTwoon April 16, 2005   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