"Ocean Breathes Salty" as written by Isaac Brock, Eric Judy and Dann Gallucci....
Your body may be gone, I'm gonna carry you in.
In my head, in my heart, in my soul.
And maybe we'll get lucky and we'll both live again.
Well I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. Don't think so.

Well that is that and this is this.
You tell me what you want and I'll tell you what you get.
You get away from me. You get away from me.
Collected my belongings and I left the jail.
Well thanks for the time, I needed to think a spell.
I had to think awhile. I had to think awhile.

The ocean breathes salty, won't you carry it in?
In your head, in your mouth, in your soul.
And maybe we'll get lucky and we'll both grow old.
Well I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. I hope so.

Well that is that and this is this.
You tell me what you want and I'll tell you what you get.
You get away from me. (You get away from me) You get away from me.
Collected my belongings and I left the jail.
Well thanks for the time, I needed to think a spell.
I had to think awhile. (I had to think awhile) I had to think awhile.

Well that is that and this is this.
Will you tell me what you saw and I'll tell you what you missed,
when the ocean met the sky. (You missed, you missed)
You missed when time and life shook hands and said goodbye. (You missed)
When the earth folded in on itself. (You missed)
And said "Good luck, for your sake I hope heaven and hell (You missed, you missed)
are really there, but I wouldn't hold my breath." (You missed, you missed)
You wasted life, why wouldn't you waste death? (You missed, you missed)
You wasted life, why wouldn't you waste death?

The ocean breathes salty, won't you carry it in?
In your head, in your mouth, in your soul.
The more we move ahead the more we're stuck in rewind.
Well I don't mind. I don't mind. How the hell could I mind?

Well that is that and this is this.
You tell me what you want and I'll tell you what you get.
You get away from me. (You get away from me) You get away from me.

Well that is that and this is this.
Will you tell me what you saw and I'll tell you what you missed,
when the ocean met the sky. (You missed, you missed)
You wasted life, why wouldn't you waste the afterlife?


Lyrics submitted by zouyan

"Ocean Breathes Salty" as written by Isaac Brock, Eric Judy, Dann Gallucci

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Ocean Breathes Salty song meanings
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229 Comments

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  • +9
    General CommentWhat a splendid song. "When time met life shook hands and said goodbye," is such a beautiful line.

    If anyone is a true modest mouse fan, they should be embracing this album, not screaming 'sell out!'. Each album is different from the previous, and the most recent addition is no exception.

    Keep floatin'.

    To all of the above user comments, this lyric does not deserve your worthless blabberings.
    rolandon May 16, 2004   Link
  • +8
    General CommentHooray, studying for the AP Literature exam by analyzing songs...

    The speaker uses verbal irony at several points throughout the song via underhanded sarcasm. The object of his sarcasm? Religious folk.

    "Your body may be gone, I�m going to carry you in
    In my head, in my heart, in my soul"

    The speaker is half-sincerely, half-sarcastically saying this. The sincere part is that he's saying there's no need for a life after death to continue a memory because humans do this on their own. The sarcastic part is by saying he'll carry them "in [his] soul", when he's obviously making an argument against souls.

    "And maybe we�ll get lucky and we�ll both live again
    Well, I don�t know, I don�t know, I don�t know
    Don�t think so"

    Rather than taking an aggressive "No, you're wrong, I'm right" stance, the speaker chooses to be more subtle by sarcastically qualifying his argument.

    "Well, that is that and this is this
    You tell me what you want and I�ll tell you what you get
    You get away from me
    You get away from me"

    The speaker is criticizing the often unrealistic ideals of the religious ("tell me what you want") and is attempting to bring things back to reality ("what you get"). He ends this with a play on words using the word "get", which could be interpreted as the speaker's attempt to brush off religious society.

    "Collected my belongings and I left the jail
    Well, thanks for the time, I needed to think a spell
    I don�t think a while
    I had to think a while"

    The "jail" spoken of here is symbolic of the figurative prison the speaker has been placed in (or that he has placed himself in). The "jail" is a society structured around religion. In this "jail", he "[thought] a spell", formulated his own dissenting opinions ("my belongings"), and now is taking the first step towards freedom.

    "The ocean breathes salty, wont you carry it in?
    In you head, in your mouth, in your soul"

    Again, the speaker is sarcastically criticizing his audience by asking them a double-edged question. First, he is asking them if they will take the world as it is and remember it in this life as opposed to the afterlife. He is also asking them if they will accept the world as it is without their unrealistic dreams/ideals. He accomplishes this through parallelism with the first couplet ("Your body may be gone, I'm gonna carry you in" and "The ocean breathes salty, won't you carry it in?"). By replacing the word "heart" with "mouth", he makes the word "soul" seem even more out of place.

    "And maybe we�ll get lucky and we�ll both grow old
    Well, I don�t know, I don�t know, I don�t know
    I hope so"

    The speaker is again bringing things back down to rational reality through parallelism with the line "Maybe we'll get lucky and we'll both live again", replacing "live again" with a more common and believable phrase, "grow old."

    "Well, that is this and this is this
    Will you tell me what you saw and I�ll tell you what you missed"

    Through these lines, the author is making a snide remark about his audience's inability to understand truth because they are blinded by their ideals.

    "When the ocean met the sky
    You missed when Time and Life shook hands and said goodbye
    (You missed) When the earth folded in on itself
    (You missed) And said �Good luck
    For your sake I hope heaven and hell
    (You missed) Are really there, but I wouldn�t hold my breath�"

    This is by far the most sarcastic part of the poem. In the previous quote, the speaker foreshadowed that he was about to tell his audience some reasonable and believable facts that they missed. Instead, he employs dramatic irony by telling an entirely unbelievable story about personified versions of "Time" and "Life". This could also be an insult to his audience by saying that they have their heads so far under their respective rocks that they wouldn't even know it if the world ended.

    "(You missed) You wasted life, why wouldn�t you waste death?
    (You missed) You wasted life, when wouldn�t you waste death?"

    His audience wasted their lives by devoting themselves to religion, so he asks the rhetorical question of why death would be any different for them.

    "The more we move ahead the more we�re stuck in rewind
    Well, I don�t mind, I don�t mind, how the hell could I mind?"

    Possibly an allusion to the Dark Ages where overwhelming religious zeal inhibited scientific exploration and practically sent society into reverse. However, the speaker takes these lines more literally and highlights how he personally would not care if life were rewound because nothing ultimately awaits in the future but death.

    "You wasted life, why wouldn�t you waste the afterlife?"

    The speaker ends the song with a stinging comment that parallels the former line, "You wasted life, why wouldn't you waste death?" He now replaces "death" with "afterlife" to intensify the ethos supporting the statement. In doing this, he concludes the song with his strongest argument: if the religious are not productive in life because they're waiting for their afterlife, why do we have any reason to believe that they'll be productive in the afterlife?
    VonLauderon April 21, 2010   Link
  • +4
    General Commenti made an account just to tell you how much you guys fucking suck at identifying sarcasm
    FuriousGeorge945on April 29, 2004   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI think it basically pokes fun at christianity more than other religions, but he pokes fun at a lot of things. and this makes him god. (isaac)

    "maybe we'll live again" and then 'I don't know I don't know I hope so', could not only be him saying it, but saying it quoting other people. in other words, making fun of people who can't even understand their own beliefs enough to voice them.

    the title "ocean breathes salty" refers to what part of life he actually knows about. presenting actual physical things.

    when you breathe in ocean air, it's salty. that's all I know, but it's better than you and your religion that you can't even explain.
    ladiezman808on October 12, 2004   Link
  • +3
    Song Meaning"For your sake I hope heaven and hell are really there, but I wouldn't hold my breath"

    I think what Isaac is really saying in this is that you can't just live your life in anticipation of an afterlife, or you miss out on actually living. the last part "but I wouldn't hold my breath" has a double meaning - he's saying that you can't count on there being an afterlife but also that you should go out and do something with yourself an make the most of what you have!

    SarahDylanon July 03, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"You tell me what you saw/And I'll tell you what you missed" is a great line... and this is a great song. Possibly the best on the album.
    Spacecowon April 08, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAnother song from the album strongly showing thoughts of death. Another line that truely makes the religious think is "for your sake I hope heaven and hell are really there, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. You wasted life, why wouldn’t you waste death? "
    dhelmon April 15, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think this song is about someone he knew who was very religious and spent their entire life trying to be good and make sure they got into heaven. when they died he talks about how he hopes heaven and hell are really there (but he wouldnt hold his breathe). He thinks this person wasted their life for something that probably doesnt even exist so they're probably wasting their afterlife too.
    ariel20893on September 01, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Commentamazing song. above quote is my favorite too
    lilmil92on April 09, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is definitely my favourite song off their new album.
    Yrtlzmoon April 10, 2004   Link

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