Scoop my brains and let my heart have action
In its thousand million lots,
In the dumb city dawn I am senseless and drawn to the sun
as the blackbirds and the toppyknots.
And in biting down on the great foam world
What is the looming thing?
Not money, not flesh, not happiness,
But this, which makes me sing.
O scoop my brains and let my heart have action
In its thousand million lots,
And feel the subterranean movement a fraction
and deep under ocean, the celibate rocks.
Has it borne me down?
Has it run me through?
If I give it a name do I contract it too?
More likely this thing has been growing in me,
Like I have grown in you.

Scoop my brains and let my heart have action
In its thousand million lots,
In the dumb city dawn we dispense with the forlorn beasts
that we were in the night, grown lean on love.
A love which will pierce and callous and tumesce,
O upon the birth oath the morbid bloom
Is a child's sense of impending doom
in a womb that is ambushed,
in a womb that is ambushed.
In biting down on the great foam world,
What is the looming thing?
Not money, not flesh, not happiness,
But this, which makes me sing.
Not money, not flesh, not happiness,
But this, which makes me sing.


Lyrics submitted by Guffle

Heartbeat And Sails song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI've listened to this song for 15 years but never tried to make sense of it, I'm trying today. After an hour I've got this far:

    "biting down on the great foam world"

    - he's talking about fish but also about himself processing the vastness of life and Earth, which one does when they look out to the horizon over the ocean.

    "I am senseless and drawn to the sun"

    - seeing the sun rise over the water on a pre-dawn fishing trip


    Also the song is called "Heartbeat and Sails", it's about emotion and... boats, fishing, I dunno.

    "... feel the subterranean movement a fraction
    and deep under ocean, the celibate rocks"

    He's talking about feeling a pull on the rod when the fish has a nibble



    Anyway I think he's catching fish and having thoughts about mortality when he gets one, "scoop my brains" is visceral imagery and is probably inspired by his gutting the fish once it's caught. He's relating his own life to that of the fish and thinking about his own mortality and "what is the looming thing" --- a sense of inevitable doom or whatever. I can't work out if he's talking about a literal "looming thing", like, did he almost die out on the rocks by a wave, or did he have a run-in with a shark? Or is it just figurative, I dunno.

    Perhaps his happiness, the thing that "makes him sing" is only something he can appreciate when he fully realizes his own vitality in the moment, his "Heartbeat" in the song, and in a context where he is thinking about death/mortality/his own small self in the expanse of the sea.

    I can't make much sense of the second half. He's gotten up from his bed where he's colourfully said that he had sex all night (beasts that we were in the night), but I can't decide if he's talking about love "tumescing"/growing within him or if he's literally talking about love "tumescing" into a baby - and then he's thinking about how love brings a baby into the world and then you have to "ambush" the baby with the knowledge that they're gonna die one day. It's unclear.

    Anyway I think there's a lot going on here, it's hard to decipher.
    avavaon May 07, 2016   Link
  • -2
    Lyric Correction d
    Sehnsuchton July 31, 2011   Link

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