"Undertow" as written by and Anthony Banks....
I know what I wanted.
I know what I wanted.
I know how I wanted this to be.
You go down to the water.
Drink down of the water.
Walk up off the water, leave it be.

This is not my dream sister.
It is cold in heaven and I'm not sprouting wings.
I'm drowning, me.
I'm drowning, me, yeah.

Brother can you see those birds?
They don't look to heaven.
They don't need religion they can see.
They go down to the water,
Drink down on the water,
Fly up off the water, leave it be.

This is not my time sister,
It is cold in heaven
And no one's coming after me.
I'm drowning (breathing ourselves) me (breathing ourselves).
I'm drowning (breathing ourselves) me (breathing ourselves) yeah.

You know I am tired.
Cold and bony tired.
Nothing's gonna save me, I can see.
I can't say I'm fearful, I can't say I'm not afraid.
But I am not resisting, I can see.
I don't need a heaven, I don't need religion.
I am in the place where I should be.

I am breathing water, I am breathing water.
You know a body's got to breathe.
I'm drowning (breathing ourselves) me (breathing ourselves).
I'm drowning (breathing ourselves) me (breathing ourselves).
I'm drowning (breathing ourselves) me (breathing ourselves).


Lyrics submitted by rieve

"Undertow" as written by Anthony Banks

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., IMAGEM MUSIC INC

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Undertow song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentIt's so goofy how people read into the lyricism whatever their personal worldview is. I mean, in no way is this song about finding god or some variation of god. Give me a break. That's ridiculous. It's pretty blatant what the intent is here: "It is cold in heaven" (In other words, the opposite of what most religious people think. It's not a warm place.) "I'm not sprouting wings" (This idea of become angelic and floating away into heaven is going to happen to the person in the song. He doesn't believe it, because it's nonsense.) He looks to nature's example instead: "Brother can you see those birds? / They don't look to heaven. / They don't need religion, they can see." Yes, the song isn't knocking someone's religion -- but it is saying (the speaker of the song) that for him he will NEVER believe that stuff. In fact, if he's drowning or dying of cold -- he doesn't believe in god or the devil coming to get him ("Nothing's coming after me") -- you just end and become part of nature once again: "Breathing ourselves". That last bit is very Walt Whitman like. We all die and fall into the earth to become the leaves of grass, the air, etc. It's quite beautiful.
    rimbaud1bon February 22, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti agree it could be about not being able to and not really needing to understand "god" or religion, in that the world itself as we experience it is beautiful and euphoric enough without it. i think it also may be a testament to losing or "drowning" oneself in truth, escaping superstition and the strict confines of religion to embrace life in all it's grand and stark reality, and maybe only in that can we find true escape, enlightenment, and deliverance.
    ripelivejamon August 17, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentand if i could add that this is a beautiful song, and for one that seems aimed towards agnostics/atheists is very uplifting and hopeful. when rem are on the are ON.
    ripelivejamon August 17, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Brother can you see those birds?
    They don't look to heaven
    They don't need religion, they can see"

    "I don't need a heaven
    I don't need religion
    I am in the place where I should be"

    How exactly is this about finding god?

    Delusional.
    xdvron June 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThere is only God. Religion is the constructs of men and men alone. Let it fall away with the rest of it all. You don't need heaven as some far off prize or goal just to make you believe in God. Just let it all take you and wash you away, just go drown and let the water clean you as it kills you and let yourself find God and God alone.
    ishmaelDuston September 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenttheres hopelessness in ther i think, a recognition that faith/religion/god is no good, and that is more alarming than comforting. at least thats my take.
    ramshotelon October 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't think that the song's saying that God is no good, i thinks it's saying that everytime man tries to interpret or understand God we fuck it up, and terribly too, and that we always have and always will.
    ishmaelDuston November 30, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs an atheist, I think this song has some major points that really makes sense. For instance the focus on being conscious about independence ("I know what I wanted, I know how I wanted this to be"). And the focus on being independent shines through in the last verse, where the narrator is tired, but still he manages to push on through instead of being broken down. Why? Because he knows that he is where he's supposed to be, and he knows that he doesn't need religion. What's important isn't a fictive "god", but the creations inside of yourself.

    The metaphor about breathing water makes me think about the way science explains our evolution, and evolution beats religion when it comes to how humans are created. We are, most likely, improved after small molecules in the water (hence the "breathing water" lyric). So, it's a song about knowing yourself and understanding what's around you. At least to me.
    Low Feedbackon March 12, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree totally with the first poster. It is about finding God despite religions' attempts to focus people's attention to completely insignificant, unspiritual things. A very Tom Harpur like view of God.
    PotMon April 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentreminds me of
    "Pour new seas in mine eyes, that so I might
    Drown my world with my weeping earnestly,
    Or wash it if it must be drowned no more:
    But oh it must be burnt!"
    eleventyon May 01, 2008   Link

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