"Ghost Of The Navigator" as written by Bruce Dickinson, Janick Gers and David Harris Stephen....
I have sailed to many lands, now I make my final journey
On the bow I stand, west is where I go
Through the night I plough, still my heart, calculate and pray
As the compass swings, my will is strong, I will not be led astray
Mysteries of time clouds that hide the sun
But I know, but I know, but I know

I see the ghosts of navigators but they are lost
As they sail into the sunset they'll count the cost
As their skeletons accusing emerge from the sea
The sirens of the rocks, they beckon me

Take my heart and set it free, carried forward by the waves
Nowhere left to run, navigator's son,
Chasing rainbows all my days

Where I go I do not know, I only know the place I've been
Dreams they come and go, ever shall be so,
Nothing's real until you feel

I steer between the crashing rocks, the sirens call my name
Lash my hands onto the helm, blood surging with the strain
I will not fail now as sunrise comes the darkness left behind
For eternity I follow on there is no other way
Mysteries of time clouds that hide the sun
But I know, I know

I see the ghosts of navigators but they are lost
As they sail into the sunset they'll count the cost
As their skeletons accusing emerge from the sea
The sirens of the rocks, they beckon me

Take my heart and set it free, carried forward by the waves
Nowhere left to run, Navigator's son
Chasing rainbows all my days

Where I go I do not know, I only know the place I've been
Dreams they come and go, ever shall be so
Nothing's real until you feel

I see the ghosts of navigators but they are lost
As they sail into the sunset they'll count the cost
As their skeletons accusing emerge from the sea
The sirens of the rocks, they beckon me

Take my heart and set it free, carried forward by the waves
Nowhere left to run, Navigator's son
Chasing rainbows all my days

Where I go I do not know, I only know the place I've been
Dreams they come and go, ever shall be so
Nothing's real until you feel


Lyrics submitted by numb

"Ghost of the Navigator" as written by Janick Gers Bruce Dickinson

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Ghost Of The Navigator song meanings
Add your thoughts

18 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    General CommentI think the Odyssey is simply used as imagery in this song. The whole piece to me seems to be based on an extended metaphor of life via the sea.

    The first verse are the words of an aging man, who has "sailed" to many place in life, etc, and is about to embark on his final journey before he dies. He is heading west as that is the great unknown. The ancients knew well enough of Asia to the east, but not of the lands across the Atlantic. This therefore suggests that the old man wishes to see something new before he goes. He starts to "calculate and pray" as that is the only way one can pass through life: control things that are within his power, and hope those that aren't work his way. The sun that is hidden by the clouds represents the objective good, be it God, Providence or some other, elusive meaning of life, hidden behind the clouds but which the old sailor "know"s is there for him to find.

    The chorus is there to contrast with the resolve of the verses. A navigator's task is to determine the sea, to guide the ships safely to where they want to reach. The navigators of life, therefore, are the moralists, prophets, leaders of history who have guided the human race across the stormy waves of history. Yet in retrospect, looking back on these "ghosts", one does conclude that they are lost. If there is an objective meaning of life, they don't seem to have found it. Every generation a new navigator, full of self confidence, guides the human race in a unique direction yet dies seemingly just like all the rest did. And thus sailing to the sunset of their lives, they "count the costs" of dedicating it all to chasing what appeared to be the sun, but appeared to be just a rainbow, an optical illusion. And thus comes their final advice to the sailor, which he perceives to be "sirens" calling him off his rightful path, 'Take your heart and set it free'.

    The second verse returns to the narrative of the sailor, intent on his chosen course, steering past the rocks, the dangers in the life, and the sirens, temptations, both of which can equally detain him from his quest. His blood surges with the self inflicted strain, the pain he causes to himself out of dedication to the hope of seeing "sunrise".

    Yet the "darkness" he leaves behind is in actuality the whole of his life. The years he could have spent "carried forward by the waves" he instead struggled against them. Like the navigators before him, he sails into eternity with no assurance that the "sun" is actually there, but that is the path he chose for himself. "There is no other way".
    Isenon September 08, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti must agree with raidbow demon however theres a mistake in the lyrics even in their album
    the lyrics say :

    "Nothing's real until you see"
    but its actually
    "Nothing's real until you feel"
    smurfson September 03, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSmurfs is right. And the "Carried forward by the wind" part isn't that "Carried forward by the waves"?
    This song is about a journey and they cleverly based it on the Odyssey. It is a nice interpretation of the difficulties that a person goes through and the "rainbows" that we chase, our dreams.
    Hermes_Harbingeron December 13, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI know this was not their intent, but I always picture the Flying Dutchman when I hear this song
    Frojoemorrisonon September 14, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt reminds me of a poem by John Browning about an aged Ulysses leaving Ithaca and setting out on one last voyage.
    Necro Butcheron May 07, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think that that's what the song is based on.
    TheJoeInMeon May 11, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis album was written for the book Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. This song talks about Bernard's life and his journey to the outer lands where he meets John the Savage. Meeting John sets him free from the restraints his world puts upon him. He is free of the mockery he always received from more properly built people, but then he realises he is "chasing rainbows" and that the society is full of a bunch of garbage. His dreams and glory go away and he eventually leaves to go to a place where those who understand the society too well go with his friend Helmholtz.
    RainbowDemonon January 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI know it's probably about some book or some historical event, but it can being interprated as a song about having to do something as last resort that you don't want to do, but you know you have to.
    LackofNameon October 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this one from the rock in rio album
    sugar magnoliaon May 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs far as all the talk about the sirens beckoning him and lashing him to the helm, I believe it's referring to The Odyssey, by Homer.
    Hunterman875on July 29, 2007   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