"Seal Driver" as written by and Ian Anderson....
Take you away for my magic ship.
I have two hundred diesel horses thundering loud.
Sea birds call your name and the mountain's on fire
As the summer lightening cuts the sky like a hot wire.
And you ride on the swell and your heart is alive,
Think I'll make you my seal driver.

I'm no great looker, I'm no fast shakes.
I'll give you a steady push on a six knot simmering high tide.
I can hold us down keep our head to the wind,
Or let us roll on the broadside, cold spray flying in,
And we'll ride on the swell and our hearts are alive.
Let me make you my seal driver.

I could captain you if you'd crew for me
Follow white flecked spindrift float on a moonkissed sea.

Could you fancy me as a pirate bold,
Or a longship Viking warrior with the old gods on his side?
Well I'm an inshore man and I'm nobody's hero,
But I'll make you tight for a windy night and a dark ride.
Let me take you in hand and bring you alive.
Going to make you my seal driver.


Lyrics submitted by The Rocker, edited by Manetherin

"Seal Driver" as written by Ian Anderson

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Seal Driver song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentA seal driver is a boat. Up in the Shetlands they still hunted seals into the 70s. A seal driver would herd the seals up onto the beach where the hunters could get to them. The water around the Shetlands is very rough, very dangerous, and the sealers were famously sentimental about their boats. I think that by the time Ian wrote this the last of the seal drivers had been retired but he captured the feeling of driving seals in an open boat with a big diesel roaring.
    SkyBluon August 04, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentInteresting that a google search on "Seal Driver" turns up a type of machine tool, which can be made by hand/lathe if you have the right bits. I suspect this is Mr Anderson's sense of humour, turning the name of a machine tool (for a deisel engine???) into some kind of folk personification. He probably needs a seal driver to make sure his boat works OK.
    McWulfon June 16, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't know about that one but I like this song because everyone has always called me pirate. I think it is about a ship's captain looking for a mate. And it's 'well I'm a midshoreman and I'm nobody's hero.'
    pirate87on February 04, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationWell, the album itself seems to have a theme of reality vs. fantasy, and this song seems to go along with that. To me it seems to be about the romantic fantasy of captaining a ship on the sea, and how appealing it seems to someone who's never been a hero.
    TAIon October 02, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commentno the seal driver is old norse mythology you guys and gals they were harnessed together and on tethers and by old folklore a maiden rode them with a whip not to be messed with on the high seas but also tull sings about the 200 hundred diesel horses so in my opinion the seal driver is the name of a simple boat with long history and tull has once again after trains has captured the essence of deep high sea travel in his lyrics once again the man ian anderson is a master of lyrics watching the world go by watching him watching you
    mick104439on October 13, 2017   Link

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