"I am stretched on your grave" as written by Philip King and Frank O'connor....
I am stretched on your grave
And will lie there forever
If your hands were in mine
I'd be sure we'd not sever

My apple tree my brightness
It's time we were together
For I smell of the earth
And am worn by the weather

When my family thinks
That I'm safe in my bed
From night until morning
I am stretched at your head

Calling out to the air
With tears hot and wild
My grief for the girl
That I loved as a child

Do you remember
The night we were lost
In the shade of the blackthorn
And the chill of the frost

Thanks be to Jesus
We did what was right
And your maiden head still
Is your pillar of light

The priests and the friars
Approach me in dread
Because I still love you
My love and you're dead

I still would be your shelter
Through rain and through storm
And with you in your cold grave
I cannot sleep warm

So I'm stretched on your grave
And will lie there forever
If your hands were in mine
I'd be sure we'd not sever

My apple tree my brightness
It's time we were together
For I smell of the earth
And am worn by the weather

Lyrics submitted by HumanGame

"I Am Stretched on Your Grave" as written by P. King F. O'connor


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I am stretched on your grave song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentThis is actually a centuries-old Celtic ballad, also known as "The Unquiet Grave." You can find it in _A Celtic Miscellany_, and it's been covered by a number of artists, including Dead Can Dance and Eden.
    Uraniumon September 17, 2006   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think she is singing about her childhood - the young girl, inside, who is dead. To Sinead this girl has "buried", but is still alive and waiting for the older girl/the woman to return. Sinead is attached and in love with herself as a girl and returns there even as others shun here (the priests, etc.) As the dead girl rests, the older woman will be her shelter - keeping the girl alive in her heart and mind.

    For the woman the girl is HER pillar of light and brightness. The woman is tired and surrendering, she is choosing to perhaps "return" to the girl soon (death - suicide, madness or old age - but she is happy the end approaches). Any comments around this notion ???
    InfiniteHearton June 19, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's about a man mourning for his dead love. The first few verses are self-explanatory - he is sat by (or lying on) her grave, crazed by his grief and wishing he were dead too so they could be reunited ("it's time we were together, for I smell of the earth).

    The third verse is him remembering a night that they spent together where he is grateful that they "did what was right" - not having sex before they were married. He goes on to say "your maidenhead still is you pillar of light" so she still has her honour because she's a virgin. I personally don't have a problem with premarital sex but this song is based on a much older Irish poem that was later translated into English and obviously in those days, it was considered sacriledge.

    He then goes on to talk about how the priests and friars "approach me in dread" although in other versions of the song they are angry with him. It's all for the same reason though - he is taking too long to mourn and him wishing he was dead is wrong/goes against God because in those days suicide was also considered sinful (ergo, the big "Oh, that this too too sullied flesh would melt, Thaw and resolve itself into a dew. Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd His canon 'gainst self slaughter..." in Hamlet).

    And then the rest is, again, pretty self explantory.
    Wambson August 04, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentnot too impress you with my uber-hipness, but i have this on vinyl & the remixes are wonderful. k.
    theChemistmusicon March 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentokeee, you might think that your vinyls make you "so cool" but the whole point of this site is to discuss possible meanings of the songs! not tell what you own, cuz no one else cares about that.

    so does anyone know the story behind this song? do you think its really about someone who died or is it symbolic of something else?
    jackrabbit37on May 22, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really haven't researched this one but its an amazing song. I get this feeling that it's a split she may have had with a lover or friend about God, sprituality etc..Sinead is known for her spirituality..dunno just a guest. The live version is amazing especially when the bag pipes (i think they are bag pipes) kick in.
    waking_life_n_y_con December 18, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis makes me think of Wuthering Heights, from a Heathcliff point of view.
    finechildon January 15, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy grandmother used to sing this song to me as a child, along with many other traditional Irish songs. My grandmothers was a little more sombre.
    Ken1968on January 16, 2010   Link

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