This song was actually co-written by Thom Mooney (Nazz, Paris, Fuse/Cheap Trick, drummer) who brought the title and opening lyrics to Colin during one of their morning 'coffee and donuts' hangs. Thom was speaking of...
Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
I'll stand on the bow, feel the waves come crashing
Come crashing down, down, down, on me

And you say, be still my love
Open up your heart
Let the light shine in
But don't you understand
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

When I awoke today, suddenly nothing happened
But in my dreams, I slew the dragon
And down this beaten path, and up this cobbled lane
I'm walking in my old footsteps, once again
And you say, just be here now
Forget about the past, your mask is wearing thin
Let me throw one more dice
I know that I can win
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
And I'll check my machine, there's sure to be that call
It's gonna happen soon, soon, soon
It's just that times are lean

And you say, be still my love
Open up your heart, let the light shine in
Don't you understand
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

Lyrics submitted by BlueAndStarry

Waiting For My Real Life To Begin song meanings
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  • +3
    Song MeaningI saw Colin last night and he played this song as an encore. He prefaced the song talking about how he was dropped form MCA records in 1991, and this song was representing his state of mind and what he was going to do with the rest of his life. He rhetorically asked the crowd, "Is it good enough for me to play by myself to crowds on monday nights in places like Ann Arbor, Michigan?" The crowd responded with an emphatic Yes!

    Do not pass up the chance to see him live. It was one of the best live shows I've ever seen. He'll play all the songs you want to hear, and one thing people may not know about him is how incredibly funny he is. He could do stand up comedy. Go see him, you won't be sorry.
    ShineOnUon April 28, 2009   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningThis song is about a man with a dream he won't let go of, even though Time is slipping away from him while he waits for the plan he already has to work out. He's wasting time he can't get back waiting for it, and the world is passing him by.

    His lover tells him to open up his heart and let the light shine in, just be where he is and live in the moment he really is in. But he won't. The "real" life he's waiting to begin is all he wants, all he can or will accept.

    What he doesn't see is that his life and any chance for happiness based in reality is passing him by while he waits for his ship to come in. In the end, he still holds on the foolish hope that any minute now, his ship will come in and he'll start living the life he wants, even though he can see a very long way and it isn't in sight.

    It's not a happy or encouraging song in the least. It's a song about wasting what you could have, waiting for something that never happens.
    pickeron January 25, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti me this song is talking about restlessness and looking for somthing better when maybe the best thing is right in front of you. the one that loves him is right in front of him telling him to see the great things in his life right at the moment.
    littlewingon December 23, 2004   Link
  • +1
    My Opinioni think this song is about a heroine addict. he thinks death is the only way to beat his addiction, he knows he will die from it. he is anticipating that in the near future he will use and it will kill him. then his real life can begin.
    pondon June 25, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentLike many here, this song is about a dreamer, stuck in the familiar, with big dreams of fame/fortune/adventure, etc. His lover is urging him to get real, live in the present, before life slips him by...

    The VALUE I get from this song, and why I think it resonates with so many, is that we all have hopes/dreams from when we are younger that go unrealized, and it's fun to think about them from time to time, but that we must not allow ourselves to become complacent. I'm not saying that life is pushing hard 100% of the time - to me the song says do not become complacent, or you end up like this guy: slaying dragons, waiting for the phone to ring, and waking up everyday with the realization that suddenly nothing happens. Unless of course you make something happen instead.
    galluscioon February 19, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI dont know what this song means to the rest of you but to me this is about a new beginning. The person is obviously bored with his current situation and wants to move onto new pastures hense waiting for my real life to begin.
    Angel1234on November 23, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningWow. This one is extremely poignant and resonated within me instantly, like he was talking about my direct experience, I know exactly how he feels. It speaks to the dogged determination to keep up a restless quest, this relentless pursuit of an ever-shifting mirage.

    It is full of hope, in the worst sense of the word unfortunately - hope that things will be principally different one day and lasting happiness will finally become possible through "getting what I want". This vain hope shifting into despair at being stuck on the hamster wheel of samsara.

    I gather that this song was written in the concrete context of Colin being dropped from a label? and his aspirations for a successful career in music, and apparently the persuasions of his partner to keep him in the moment and to open up to the possibilities of the present as opposed to chasing ever-elusive popularity and success.

    And his responses to her are of course comically and tragically dogmatic and self-deprecating, he is definitely making dark fun of his own propensity to destroy any sense of peace by falling again and again into the fruitless chase of happiness through achieving success, including concretely hoping a promising voicemail about "the big break" awaits him.

    The rolling changes from hope to despair happen within each verse - standing on the bow on the ship of success and yet oh here come the waves of life to beat me down again. Winning illusory victories in his dreams against perceived demons and then finding himself falling right back into the habitual patterns of mind and retracing his steps again, falling into the same pit over and over.

    Finally the last two lines of the song are deliciously enigmatic. One way to interpret them is to say, when peering into the future of possibilities, straining to lean forward as far as he can, the goal seems almost within reach, in the intense urge of attainment.

    But another way is to interpret those lines as saying the exact opposite - that on "clear days" when different parts of the psyche are not taking over, when the poet has nearly unobstructed access to his true Self, he can almost just touch that realization that there is and always has been and always will be only this moment and all that he may ever seek is already present. But this is left as a mere hint, a faint whisper of a possibility, an unspoken pointer at attaining the unattainable.
    tunguska56on October 28, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard, I cant believe no one has posted anything about it before. Taken at face value I think its about a man who's restless about what will become of his life and he has this person ( a girl probably) who's telling him to be patient "and you say, be still my love" but he doesn't hear her. She loves him but he's just waiting for something to happen to him instead of the monotony of his life. It could be taken lots of ways, but its really beautiful all the same.
    Sugarbear0530on October 06, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAmazing song. Nuff said.
    burntfireon March 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentColin Hay just isn't appreciated as much as he should be. He is an incredible songwriter and why more people don't know about him, I'll never understand. At least he's getting more exposure thanks to the TV show Scrubs. They've done about 3 or 4 of his songs.

    This song is certainly about a wrestless man who wants more in life. However I don't necessarily see any folly in his stubborness. For some reason I completey sympathize and even agree with the man. I suppose this might mean there is some kind of acceptance of his own inability to accept things, as if to say "this is how I am. I won't change and so I'll keep hoping". It's tragic and beautiful at the same time.
    Colin Hay really is amazing. That's all I'm saying...
    LDFon June 02, 2005   Link

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