"The Sulphur Man" as written by and Jimi/williams Goodwin....
Back, I'm back in town
In which we're stuck, I couldn't get out
And that old man, will soon be us
Now if we're too late
Not if we can't escape
All of my time,
you were on my mind
And all of my thoughts
You're so hard to find
And your shadow, it lay across his life
Time, a time in the past
We couldn't care less, wanted to live fast
And our old house, I can't find
'Cause it ain't there
'Cause it ain't there, it's gone
All of my time
you were on my mind
And all of my love
You're so hard to find
And your shadow, it lay across my life, my life

Lyrics submitted by MDMaster

"The Sulphur Man" as written by Jez Williams Andy Williams

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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The Sulphur Man song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentMan, I just had a revelation!
    It's all about suicide, and I think the sulphur man is a mention of the devil (fire and brimstone = sulphur etc)
    brought you
    brought you next to ghosts (well, you attempted suicide because you were fatefully depressed)
    talk in code
    looking for the way out (they are all other people who are only half living, and they are struggling but no one understands them)

    I hope you'll want to live a day
    and learn to cope
    I hope you will find what matters (yet again, an obvious message of support)

    Through the streets and on your own
    Almost lost and almost gone
    We'll be looking all we can
    We'll be searching for the sulphur man (you're nearly dead, and we're searching for the devil because we know we'll find you there)

    Pills stop you
    Stopped you feeling life
    Into a home
    Sympathy and all
    A soul in tatters
    A soul as black as coal
    I hope, I hope
    I wish you could find what matters (a really obvious pointer - pills = attempted suicide, a soul in tatters = depression)
    So that's all I can think of that fits, really. Please, someone else comment!
    louisagiffardon June 14, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is definitely about someone in deep depression and suicidal. 'The sulphur man' is death or maybe a personification of the person as death. The 'pills' could be anti-depressants, but I think they more likely represent drug misuse that intensified his depression. 'Fate brought you next to ghosts' suggests that he got into this state as a result of personal suffering, probably the loss of someone close. 'They talk in code, looking for the way out' is people in the same state as this guy all share a common goal that no-one sane can really understand, they want to kill themselves. This guy cannot be helped anymore, he has to save himself, he needs to 'want to live', 'learn to cope' with his problems and 'find what really matters' to him. All anyone else can do is 'hope'.
    delhoyaon March 10, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentLouisaG., totally get the idea about sulphur man being the devil; sulphur was referred to as brimstone...

    but here are a couple more ideas:

    sulphur man is a man on drugs as sulphur is a major pharmecutical feedstock as well as being used by itself for treating diseases


    Sulphur man is called that due to his skin tone? such as caused by jaundice, often a side effect of heavy drug use, disease, etc.


    Sulphur man was a coal miner who survived a cave in (fate brought you next to ghosts... his coworkers who died next to him? and they are looking for a way out...) Sulphur is common in coal excavation, some grades are high in sulphur, and england has a lot of high sulphur coal...

    any thoughts?

    gladtobeadadon June 23, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI can't believe no one's commented! This is one of the Doves' most awesome songs - maybe about someone who's depressed - and the person's friends realise, but they can't do anything about it.
    Don't quite get what the hell the sulphur man is. It sounds like something radioactive.
    louisagiffardon May 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMaybe "pills stop you" refers to medication stabilizing a mood disorder/major depressive disorder... ? Stops a person from feeling the extreme highs and lows. Falls into a care center ("home")?
    tdamcbigityon November 30, 2007   Link

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