"Onilley's Strange Dream" as written by and Dave August/tielli Bidini....
Some sailors never die. They rot at sea.

Hello my friend;
My name is Onilley McNoan - to me.
I went to war on the Caroline.
Remember from that other song?
Well?
There the author got it wrong.
Survive did I - I did not drown.
I lived on Turtle Isle.

I jumped the Caroline
For she'd been had by Neptune.
Gadungder burped the sea;
Now coral grows inside her hull.

Me and Jim,
My life-boat friend-
Strips of flesh torn from his limbs.
Well? Chicken Jimmy kept me alive.
(Though he wasn't much for conversation.)
Life-boat this and life-boat that;
For days and days
I fought the waves
And landed on an open beach of gold and blue.

I picked myself up off the sand,
Hauled my body onto the land
And from the jungle there they stand ...

They layered colours on my face and on my arms.
Hornbills squawked; I fed on fruit and wild boars
I showed them guns
And taught them how to sing Lang Syne
And everyone was happy.

She was the queen with funny teeth.
She tried to hide them underneath
Her dainty hands and nervous lips.

Though I could not tell her so,
She was the one who kept me breathing.
Whil the wild volcanoes flared.

She told me I was sick with pride-
All pumped up and sentimental.

The sky grew dark with ash
And powder settled on the water.
Gadungder burped the sea
And funnels spiralled down to take her.
I climbed the highest tree
And from the sky I heard her call.

From this dream - as I awoke -
I could have sworn that Jimmy spoke,
But it was probably just the boat.

Some sailors never die.
I woke up under an ocean sky
With a pile of bones laying at my side.


Lyrics submitted by JTP

"Onilley's Strange Dream" as written by Dave August Bidini Dave Clark

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Onilley's Strange Dream song meanings
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2 Comments

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  • 0
    General Commentthis is a sequel to the song "Saskatchewan" referring to the ship the Caroline. It is another in a series of songs based around Martin's obsession with the sea and ships. Which is odd for a guy born in Etiboke, Ontario.

    This is a long with a lot of Martin's trademark weird imagery, and the imagery is so amazingly reproduced in the music, you can can hear Dave Clarke making his drumkit sound like a creaking wooden deck or Martin making his guitar sound like a lightning strike. I always hoped Martin would have made some paintings about this song, I can see them in my head if I close my eyes. "Gadunger burped the sea" is one of the strangest lines ever written. "Chicken Jimmy" refers to stories of sailors reportedly sacrificing themselves to save a crew. oh well, enough from me. goodo martin.
    alloowishuson June 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis has always been my fave Rheos' track. Mainly because it showcases the awesome gifts of Martin Tielli.

    As suggested, there's nothing very mysterious about the words, but for me, this is the kind of epic only a poet would even bother writing.
    kaaton July 10, 2008   Link

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