"Sea Lion" as written by and Sage Francis Brendon Whitney....
(A healthy distrust)

(Will Oldham)
The force of my love was strong
The sea lion laying down on
The song in the air
Was fritting her care
With singer can be among song
(x2)

(Sage Francis)
Ma, ma look what I did ma
Look what I did to my hands
I broke 'em
You gave me the stone, gave me the chisel
Didn't say how to hold 'em
Didn't say give away every piece of the puzzle
Till I was left with nothin'
But I took it upon myself to crush it up and distribute the dust
Get in the bus, hop in the van
Jump in the water, crawl to the land
Build another castle out of the sand
Break it down and then I get into the saddle again
Gone city to city
I'm already lost to the boss
Who is new in town
I'ma ride this horse till it bucks me off
And I'm forced to shoot it down
I'ma take him out for some gasoline
I'ma trade this cow for some magic beans
Make mom proud of the deals that I've made
Cause I'm just a modern day Johnny Appleseed
But I'm glad that I never passed the gins
And I never put down the axe
Piano man got checkered dance floor
The grace and the painful look on his face
Cause the crowd is packed
And the louder they clapped
The less he is able to make the connection
Between what he sees when he hears certain notes
And the hurt that is shown in his facial expression
I don't need your 'go-ahead' to go ahead
y'all don't know if sales gon' be-easy
But sweet Jesus who wants to sleep with me
Way to many moves to learn
But not enough people to put 'em on
Look it mom
No hands
I built a suit of armor with wooden arms

(Will Oldham)
The force of my love was strong
The sea lion laying down on
The song in the air
Was fritting her care
With singer can be among song
(x2)


Lyrics submitted by ScottXcore

"Sea Lion" as written by Joseph Will Oldham Brendon Patrick Whitney

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Sea Lion song meanings
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  • +2
    General Commentsaul's verse:

    Oh God I think I’m dead
    I can’t see outside my head
    Brains and bloods and cryptic gang men
    Czars and warlords breaking bread
    Thoughts are thought
    What’s said is said
    I thought that ‘fore you said it
    I didn’t mean to think out loud
    My tongue slipped but who let it?
    Let it be, let me be, let me go, nah let me out
    My manhood nods and whispers when my father screams and shouts
    Dear dad I’m sad you’re dead
    A new man standing in the pulpit
    He bows before a wooden cross and forces praise the culprit
    I’m a tenor in the choir but I sing a different song
    Of how the wheres and whys of now all prove I don’t belong
    But I’m staying I've planted seeds and plan to watch them grow
    I've watered all my wishes dreams fulfilled more seeds to sow
    And I promise to learn to love the way I've learned to fear
    To unknot all the inhibitions tangled in my hair
    To let my ego mound in piles around the barber chair
    And make a graceful exit from my vexed troubled years
    I've decided I've been invited to my own resort
    Where knights can leave their armor neatly piled by the door
    And every woman, child, and man will gather by the shore
    and study how sea lions swim in cursive
    RomanCandleon February 16, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Sea Lion" – from the album "A Healthy Distrust"



    The force of my love was strong. The sea lion lay down long. Song in the air. Why should singer care? When singer can be among song.





    These lines in my opinion are about Sage's love for rap music (the force of my love was strong), his subsequent desire to create the music, but hesitation to jump right in (the sea lion lay down long) and finally a question is proposed as to why other artist's are hating on him and his style (Song in the air, why should singer care, when singer can be among song?)



    Ma, Ma--look what i did, Ma. Look what i did to my hands, I broke 'em.
    You gave me the stone, gave me the chisel, didn't say how to hold 'em.
    Didn't say to give away every piece of the puzzle 'til i was left with nothin'.
    But i took it upon myself to crush it up and distribute the dust.

    The above lines are essentially Sage talking to his mother. He's telling her to look

    at him, and his "Broken Hands". He says she gave him the stone, and the chisel, but didn't tell him how to hold them. I feel that he's talking about a talent, physical ability or a general mindset that he inherited through his mother's genes, and/or the way she raised him.



    The stone and chisel may also be metaphors for the fire that was ignited during his attendance to that fateful concert where he seen Public Enemy. He also came from a strict family which he had to keep his true ambition secret from, which the "didn't say how to hold 'em" metaphor could be referring to. Meaning he had the ambition and the love for rap, but didn't know how to create the beats, and or produce his music.



    When he took it upon himself to "Crush them up and distribute the dust" could mean that he didn't care if he didn't exactly know how things are supposed to be done and he went ahead with it anyway.





    Get in the bus. Hop in the van. Jump in the water. Crawl to the land.
    Build another castle out of sand. Break it down and then get into the saddle again.
    I'm going city to city - i'm already lost. Tell the boss who is new in town.
    I'll ride this horse 'til it it bucks me off and i'm forced to shoot it down.
    I'll take him out for some gasoline. Trade this cow for some magic beans.
    Gonna make mom proud of the deals that I made, 'cause I'm just a modern day Johnny Appleseed

    The above lines in my opinion are about Sage traveling great lengths to try and promote his music (get in the bus, hop in the van, jump in the water, crawl to the land)



    Releasing another song or album that gives you an image as to what Sage Francis is. (Build another Castle out of the sand.) and his subsequent inevitable reinvention. (Break it down and then get into the saddle again.)



    (I'm going city to city – I'm already lost. Tell the boss who is new in town) Is another line about his touring to promote his music, this time he's speaking to the higher powers in the industry and the respective scenes he's playing.



    He's not going to stop touring, performing and releasing albums until he's washed up. (I'm a ride this horse till it bucks me off and I'm forced to shoot it down.) But even immediately following that Sage retracts his previous statement with (I'll take him out for some gasoline, trade this cow for some magic beans) which I think he means he'll re-invent himself once again, with the trading of the cow for the magic beans. Although that line might just mean he's going to cash out at the end of his career and live off royalties, but that's not really the Sage Francis attitude, and I don't think his music will start popping up in any media anytime soon, let alone if he'd even let it be used in any mainstream movies or television.



    He then speaks of his mother again saying that he's going to make her proud with his choices to help promote himself (Gonna make mom proud of the deals that I made cuz I'm just a modern day Johnny Appleseed)


    But i'm glad that I never passed the genes, and I never put down the axe.
    Piano man got a checkered dance floor to grace and a painful look on his face.
    'Cause the crowd is packed and the louder they clap
    the less he is able to make the connection between what he sees
    when he hears certain notes and the hurt that is shown in his facial expression. Ahhhhhh.

    The lines above this are essentially saying that he's happy he never had a child because he doesn't necessarily like himself and he knows his child would essentially be the same person he is.(But I'm glad that I never passed the genes)



    He's also saying he's glad he's kept up the fight to maintain a will to live, and that he's glad he never gave up on his musical career. (and I never put down the axe.)



    And that he's a musician who needs to perform live to promote his music and be able to stay on his respective label, regardless of how much it hurts him to put himself on display in front of all those people. (Piano man got a checkered dance floor to grace and a painful look on his face)



    The three lines following the ones I just analyzed are about his disassociation with reality due to audience misperception, or not so much audience misperception as it is his problems with their applause, lots of times Sage's lyrics are about his faults, personal experiences that aren't applaudable and social injustice, their applause confuses him and his mission. ('Cause the crowd is packed and the louder they clap the less he is able to make the connection between what he sees when he hears certain notes and the hurt that is shown in his facial expression. Ahhhhhh.)





    I don't need your "go ahead" to go ahead. No, I know no one said it was gonna be easy,
    but sweet jesus who wants to sleep with me?
    Too many moves to learn. Not enough people to put 'em on.
    Look it, mom! No hands. I built this suit of armor with wooden arms.



    The above lines which end the song are about how he went forward with his dream regardless of what anyone could of told him. (I don't need your go ahead to go ahead)



    His understanding that it was going to be hard, and his desire for people to appreciate him (No I know no one said it was gonna be easy, but sweet Jesus who wants to sleep with me?)



    All the different techniques involved in rapping, and his lack of audience. (way too many moves to learn, but not enough people to put 'em on.)



    And that he's reached a certain level in his career where he's safe. (Look it mom! I built this suit of armour with wooden arms)
    DoctorGloomon August 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSage is saying he was given life, but no one ever told him what to do with it. he took it upon himself to become what he is today and stir things up like he does.
    benRuon April 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti don't quite understand these lines tho:

    Piano man got checkered dance floor
    The grace and the painful look on his face
    Cause the crowd is packed
    And the louder they clapped
    The less he is able to make the connection
    Between what he sees when he hears certain notes
    And the hurt that is shown in his facial expression
    benRuon April 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song. It's haunting...aching....beautiful.
    DubC4Lifeon June 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti believe the end of those lines may be about how he gets too emotionally attached to his songs while performing them live? i'm not too sure about some things in this song but the chorus is supposed to be

    "The force of my love was strong
    the sea lion laying down long
    the song in the air
    why should singer care
    when singer can be among song"
    brians.accounton June 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's hard to figure out the meaning of the song but I think the main meaning is that everyone is not just handed the chance to do something, but they have to go look for it and work for it and learn how to get it themselves... I think there's also a lot of other meanings hidden within the song. But it is a great song... I love it!
    mirracle4on December 22, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've always interpreted the song as Sage is frustrated because this is his passion and other people can't understand how much it means to him. The lines:
    "Get in the bus, hop in the van
    Jump in the water, crawl to the land
    Build another castle out of the sand
    Break it down and then I get into the saddle again
    Gone city to city
    I'm already lost to the boss
    Who is new in town
    I'ma ride this horse till it bucks me off
    And I'm forced to shoot it down
    I'ma take him out for some gasoline
    I'ma trade this cow for some magic beans
    Make mom proud of the deals that I've made
    Cause I'm just a modern day Johnny Appleseed"
    Could refer to relentless touring to support his dream and spread his message.
    and the lines:
    "Piano man got checkered dance floor
    The grace and the painful look on his face
    Cause the crowd is packed
    And the louder they clapped
    The less he is able to make the connection
    Between what he sees when he hears certain notes
    And the hurt that is shown in his facial expression"
    I think means that he feels like his life and hardships have been reduced to a show
    even the the title sea lion i think could mean that sometimes he feels like a trained seal, but it is all worth it because he is doing what he want to.
    1218eighty-twoon January 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is one of the most amazing songs I've ever heard in my life.
    nitsirhcon March 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is haunting, it makes me reflect upon life in general, i agree, i think it's about him expressing his life, i also like the chorus
    theraskalsgrinon March 15, 2006   Link

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