"O Song" as written by Glen Richards....
You don't keep me company,
You all turn out wrong,
If you are my daughters, if you are my sons,
I can only hold you inside for so long,
O song, did I lead you on?

If you are my love, well love what's wrong?
You don't keep me company for near enough long,
I can't feel or touch you, or hold you for long,
O song, are you leading me on?

Friends come in time, and then they are gone,
I know what it's like to be floating along
Without a warm body to heap your cares on,
O on and into the night.

For I have been bad now for twenty years long,
For centuries you have been pure and strong,
If you thought me a good place to stay you were wrong,
O song, did I lead you on?

Lyrics submitted by leonperkin, edited by Tolme

"O Song" as written by

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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O Song song meanings
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  • +1
    My InterpretationI believe that ‘O Song’ is an ode to a song that, despite the songwriter’s efforts, he was never able to justly form. The songwriter, perhaps Richards himself, had an earnest desire to express something, an inkling, a glimpse, an inchoate or ineffable thought, but through his own inadequacies, was unable to capture and articulate it into lyric and music.

    In the first stanza, the songwriter expresses his solemn frustration that what he writes, his intimate creation, ‘turns out all wrong’. In the second stanza, he likens the process of song-writing to friend whom he wishes to confide in. He wishes to find solace in the song, but he cannot – an experience he likens to loneliness.

    With the lines ‘For centuries you have been pure and strong. If you thought me a good place to stay you were wrong…’ the songwriter expresses a perspective where the poem exist beyond the poet; where the poem finds the poet, and if the poet cannot capture it, the poem continues on its way, perhaps to find someone else. I was first introduced to this perspective though a TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert (available to watch at: ted.com/talks/…)

    In some ways, ‘O Song’ is almost like an apology: the song is a beautiful thing that the songwriter was unworthy of holding. The songwriter is realising that he was mistaken to think he could do the song justice and is almost seeking internal reconciliation in writing this ode.

    Personally, I see an unintended irony in that ‘O Song’ is a beautiful piece that came out just right. Perhaps Richards felt that he found a friend in writing ‘O Song’; that it was a warm body for him to heap his cares on.
    Tolmeon September 20, 2014   Link

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