Life is a clay urn on the mantle
And I am shattered on the floor
Life is a clay urn on the mantle
And I am scattered on the floor
We are the wounds and the great cold death of the earth

"Earth is floating on the waters like an island,
Hanging from four rawhide ropes
Fastened at the top of the sacred four directions
The ropes are tied to the ceiling of the sky
When the ropes break, this world will come
Tumbling down and all living things will fall with it and die"

Life is a clay urn on the mantle
And I am the fragments on the floor
Life is a clay urn on the mantle
And I am the ashes on the floor
We are the wounds and the great cold death of the earth
Darkness and silence, the light shall flicker out


Lyrics submitted by Disposition_987

...and the Great Cold Death of the Earth song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentThe middle quote is from a Cherokee myth.
    ChristWithCheeseon May 07, 2007   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationThis song is about the end of the world, but, more specifically, it is about how humanity will bring an end to the earth with our careless disrespect and misuse of our resources. Agalloch's lyrics are very Pantheistic, meaning they look at the Earth and nature in the way many look to a god.
    jeffwegeneron November 30, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe name sounds like a follow on from A Celebration to the Death of Man... I mean, think about it, A Celebration To The Death Of Man And The Great Cold Death Of The Earth... Sounds like an intended sentence
    Fade 2 blackon August 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsounds like the end of earth and memories treasured at a moment before its demise
    flaminmofoon August 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNot much of a specific meaning in this song, just a reflection on existence and mortality of things.
    The first and third verse describe the position of things, the second is about the worlds end and death.
    Ddaduttaon March 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI was thinking the same as Fade 2 Black.

    "Life is a clay urn on the mantle
    And I am shattered on the floor"

    Those first two lines got me hooked on this song immediately. Agalloch are simply amazing lyricists!
    catsquaredon July 14, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation"Life is a clay urn on the mantle
    And I am shattered on the floor"

    That's pretty much my favorite metaphor in a song. The urn in which life is said to be is made out of clay, as any form of life is very vulnerable to be destroyed or injured. It dwells in an urn as it is doomed to have an inevitable end. And finally, the urn is on a mantle because all living things dwell in the 'temple' of Earth, which is regarded as a precious think, something that must be taken care of, just like a mantle that is usually correlated to valuable things. When the person says that is shattered on the floor, I presume that she has died on the inside, no longer having interest in living.

    John Haughn shows his expertise as a lyricist in many ways, but I've found one that might be worth pointing out: He uses 4 synonyms for a word in the phrase after "Life is a clay urn on the mantle": shattered, scattered, fragments and ashes. To me it underlines his cautious work writing, putting a lot of thought into them,

    "We are the wounds and the great cold death of the Earth."

    The message it basically wants to convey is that we - humans - are the ones responsible for Earth's decay, dysharmony and gradual destruction. We shouldn't inhabit this land, we don't belong here.

    "Earth is floating on the waters like an island,
    Hanging from four rawhide ropes"

    Once again, our planet is perceived as fragile, it can easily be swallowed in the depths of death - so to speak-. (It is just suspended by 4 ropes)

    "Darkness and silence, the light shall flicker out"

    By this moment, Earth is approaching its end and the album meets its demise. (Desolation Song is outside the structure, it's just there as a bonus if you will. That, however, doesn't make it any worse than all the others in this Magnum Opus - The Mantle.)
    EugenioTMon August 13, 2013   Link

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