I love my mother
I love my father
I love my sisters too

I bought this guitar
To pledge my love
To pledge my love to you

I am a rock
Bottom riser
And I owe it all to you

I saw a gold ring
At the bottom of the river
Glinting
At my foolish heart
Oh my foolish heart
Had to go diving
Diving diving
Into the murk

And from the bottom of the river
I looked up for the sun
Which had shattered in the water
And the pieces were raining down
Like gold rings
That passed through my hands
As I thrashed and grabbed
I started rising rising

I left my mother
I left my father
Left my sisters too
Left them standing on the banks
And they pulled me out
Of this mighty mighty river
I am a rock
Bottom riser
And I owe it all to you



Lyrics submitted by thither

Rock Bottom Riser song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commenttoo good to be true.
    mopsklopson February 15, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentso many of his songs are about being at the edge and coming on back... quite triumphantly or amazingly... miraculously even.

    but it's really not that simple at all.
    ieatseedson January 21, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've always thought this song is about recovering from addiction (being at rock bottom, making pledges, the drowning imagery, getting by with the help of loved ones, etc).

    On an unrelated note, because this song was released around the same time as the lord of the rings films, I often picture that scene where Smeagol strangles his cousin when Callahan talks about diving for the ring (which I guess the Smeagol / Gollum story also has a lot to do with addiction).
    thitheron February 21, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm not sure about this being about addiction. It's certainly about being pulled back from the edge, but the nature of that edge is unclear. I'm inclined to agree with thepowercut- this is a more general song about the people who are there for you if you ever need them
    jeglikerkukenon May 08, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAll good points, but what else i love about these lyrics is that he's diving for a gold ring... a material thing, the symbol of worldly riches; but he rises to the glimmer of pieces of sun, shattered by the water, and raining down. Beauty, ephemeral and more real than any tangible gold.
    laurajion November 06, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI second the motion.
    If you ever suffered because love tore you apart, because your life ruined beneath your feet then you will understand what this song means; and you're a rock bottom riser, too.
    mischaon October 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree with thither; the word "pledge" strikes a chord in me. but regardless the melody reminds me of waking up wanting to dissapear because of the hyperphysical.
    ussrlittowhyon November 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a great ode to one's family and the way a good family will always support you and help you no matter what crazy dreams you go chasing, they will always bail you out and set you down.

    I guess you could apply this to helping someone recover from an addiction, but even more generally just the way they will be there for you when you leave home for city and it's gold-pavements and then get out of your depth and need to come home.

    If I had to pick one, I guess this one is probably the my favorite Smog song.
    thepowercuton July 09, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is absolutely about recovery. The term rock bottom is used almost exclusively for alcohol and drug addiction,I'm guessing alcohol because the river is a metaphor for drowning in liquid which is commonly used in alcohol recovery and his family on the edge of the banks pulling him out of the bottle.
    Rock Bottom Riser is someone who has climbed out of addiction, "ieatseeds" in addiction it is absolutely that simple. there is more to it sure but when you have recovered from it you are a new man and sobriety feels like a superpower to those who have been handicapped by addiction. you feel as though the weight of the world has been lifted.
    samjusting10on March 30, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDoes this remind anyone else of Déagol from Lord of the Rings? Just the ring part. I don't actually think that's what it's about but I think it's kinda funny how much it reminds me of it. Anyway, I do think this song is about recovery with the help of your family. Not sure if it's about drugs or having your heart broken, but I think that's open to interpretation.
    curulunuon December 20, 2012   Link

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