"Song To The Siren" as written by and Larry Beckett Tim Buckley....
Long afloat on shipless oceans
I did all my best to smile
'Til your singing eyes and fingers
Drew me loving to your isle
And you sang
Sail to me
Sail to me
Let me enfold you
Here I am
Here I am
Waiting to hold you

Did I dream you dreamed about me?
Were you hare when I was fox?
Now my foolish boat is leaning
Broken lovelorn on your rocks,
For you sing, "Touch me not, touch me not, come back tomorrow:
O my heart, O my heart shies from the sorrow"

I am puzzled as the newborn child
I am troubled at the tide:
Should I stand amid the breakers?
Should I lie with death my bride?
Hear me sing, "Swim to me, swim to me, let me enfold you:
Here I am, here I am, waiting to hold you"


Lyrics submitted by ruben, edited by mdelvecchio, blackaliss

"Song to the Siren" as written by Tim Buckley Larry Beckett

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Song Of The Siren song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentIt's about unrequited love. One of teh most beautiful and poetic songs ever written.
    jimmyjango2000on April 04, 2003   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI love this song. The Tim Buckley version is beautiful but poorly and unevenly recorded. The This Mortal Coil version featuring Liz Frazier is one of most gorgeous songs ever recorded, imo.
    genetruon January 20, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis is the song I associate with my first and only love. When we met I didn't really believe in 'love' and dismissed it as a load of sentimental nonsense. Then when I met him, I know what to do with my feelings, I was foolish and he left me after a few months. Towards the end of our relationship, I heard the Mortal Coil interpretation of this song, with the vocals by Elizabeth Fraser, and it was like it was written for me. In the months to come, I would listen to it over and over, and it never lost significance.

    Now, I suspect that nobody is interested in reading a line-by-line analysis of what this song means to me, but the beauty of the internet is that I can do it anyway, and those who don't want to read it don't have to :P

    'Long afloat on shipless oceans, I did all my best to smile / Till your singing eyes and fingers drew me loving to your isle.'

    This is how I was before I was in love. Going about my life, unaffected and detached.

    'Did I dream you dreamed about me?'

    I love this line. This was all the more meaningful to me after our split. Wondering if the other person still wants you.

    'Were you hare when I was fox?' or 'Were you here when I was flotsam' or 'full-sail' or whatever it is. Either way, I feel like it's questioning whether the other was noticing and watching for much longer than the narrator has realised.

    'Now my foolish boat is leaning.'

    I'm starting to change my ways...

    'For you sing / Touch me not, come back tomorrow / Oh my heart shies from the sorrow.'

    Elizabeth Fraser sings this line so beautifully. The fact that when one person is fickle and doesn't seem to know what they want, the other's heart is breaking.

    'I'm as puzzled as a newborn child.'

    Seeing the world afresh...

    'Should I stand amid the breakers, or should I lie with death my bride?'

    for me, this felt like a reference to my two states of mind... should I face up to the pain, or should I act as if it doesn't hurt?

    'Swim to me, let me enfold you, here I am waiting to hold you.'

    I love how the invitation is turned around in this song. First it is one person and then the other who is offering the love. This is just how it was with me and my partner.

    No other version of this song moves me, really. The original I find pretty dull. Fraser's voice is magic, she could take any lyrics and make them significant.

    After many months, the person I associate this with came back to me, and we're still together now. But this song still moves me just as much as ever. :)
    LittleRedShoeson July 31, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI didn't hear this song until I saw the preview of the recent remake of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" kinda fits the movie...kinda. I agree with Jimmy, I think it's about someone who leads you on and then when you're finally in love with them, they deny you and push you away, but you're still in love with them
    tkdcadet04on June 30, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFirstly I'd just like to say that this song is actually titled "Song to the Siren" not "Song of the Siren", and it was also written and originally sung by Tim Buckley.

    With that out of the way, I'd just like to say that this tribute to the song is beautifully and magnificently arranged and composed. It is so beautiful and lucious and just absolutely haunting and I personally believe it is better than Tim Buckley's version.

    This song is being sung TO a siren (hence the title) and it's basically about a man who has been tempted by a woman who is rejecting the man now that he is hers. The references to the boat being broken and whatnot may be about how this man has thrown everything in his life away for this woman. In the end of the song the man is just in love with the woman and being refused and is sort of like "what do I do now?"
    looizon February 15, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOnce upon a time there was a siren long afloat on shipless oceans who did her best to smile because everything was a bit chaotic around her and she thought she would feel so much better if only she could manage to see someone else in the same waters but … no dice. Forced to settle for the singing eyes and fingers drawing her lovingly to a parallel universe she did sing her siren song to others inviting them over however it was a paradoxical deal—come—don’t come—but still come—in a lengthy daydream. Were you hare when I was fox referred to more than a few things. Were you the hunted and I the hunter? Were you [someone else] the rabbit while I was your crafty strategist? The games have been complex. Her foolish boat—yes, it was very foolish—leaned more than a few times and she was largely ignored, casting her into dark despair on the rocks. She felt others were clearly saying “get away from me! Can’t we do this tomorrow? Hey chick, I am very busy with my own life right now and you are more than a little hard to buy. Take a hike.” Assuredly her heart shied from the endless sorrow, she was heartily confused, freaked out and even suicidal but sailing in highly protective arms. The fairy tale could have a happy ending but it’s tough to say at this point.
    Oh and, Calypso was a sea nymph—daughter of Atlas. Calypso was also what Perse—an Oceanid--named her daughter. This Calypso’s father was either Helios or Apollo.
    sillybunnyon August 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSheila Chandra also covered it I believe. I think(even though I like Tim a lot) that this is the definitive version. Kinda like Jimi Hendix's cover(yes cover) of Hey Joe. My question is why aren't there more comments on such an amazing song/performance? Oh because everyone's discussing Avril Lavigne's-Sk8er Boi.
    synthfreekon October 12, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI heard this song on a commercial for perfume before... I searched forever to find it and I've loved it ever since.
    Jillian04on January 21, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDuh, sorry, I forgot to include why I even post in the first place.

    I had to analyze the poem "Siren Song" by Margaret Atwood a few years ago, and basically it is about these mythical creatures who draw in sailors when they are out at sea. Then they get sucked in and... to make a long story short... get killed. So although the song is gorgeous, I think it's kind of creepy, in the sense that I believe all the lyrics in quotations are the " ladies' " way of drawing them in.
    Jillian04on January 21, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBreathtaking! This is such a beautiful version of the Tim Buckley song. I can't really make out what she is singing, but the way her voice almost becomes an instrument is fantastic!
    Tyler2004durdenon February 23, 2005   Link

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