"Act of the Apostle" as written by and Martin/murdoch/cooke/geddes/jackson/kildea/colburn....
Morning prayers took the girl unawares
She was late for class and she knew it
The broadcaster had a voice that was soothing
She couldn't tell if it was a man or woman
A patch of sun fell onto her neck
She put her head on her arms on her desk

The lesson today was Acts of Apostles
The crazy hippies, they're running scared
She shut her eyes and imagined the desert
No cars, no mobiles, just sun and bread
What would she look like standing by the well?
More like a women and less like a girl

Oh, if I could make sense of it all!
I wish that I could sing
I'd stay in a melody
I would float along in my everlasting song
What would I do to believe?

Later on she plays Morning Has Broken
She knows she's bad
She is slowing everybody down
The choirmaster, usually a bastard, knows her mother's sick
He'll be nice to her
She thinks that she shouldn't be there at all
Her worries make everything else seem trivial

Oh, if I could make sense of it all!
I wish that I could sing
I'd stay in a melody
I would float along in my everlasting song
What would I do to believe?


Lyrics submitted by madedge

"Act of the Apostle" as written by Christopher Geddes Bob Kildea

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Act of the Apostle song meanings
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15 Comments

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  • +2
    General Commenti think this is about a girl who feels out of place in her own religion.
    "what would i do to believe?" makes it seem like she really wants to be a part of it all, thinking it would help her make sense of her life. she thinks that even her singing in the church choir would improve. she imagines being back in biblical times with "just sun and bread," living a simple life. she wants a piece of religion, but she can't figure out how. that's my take on it, anyway.
    norasauruson January 30, 2008   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationIf you look at it through the lens of religion then the song's theme is that of a girl out of step with the religion of those all around her.

    "Morning prayers took the girl unawares
    She was late for class and she knew it"
    Already shows she's out of step. She's 'late' compared to everyone else.
    "The broadcaster had a voice that was soothing
    She couldn't tell if it was a man or woman"
    She's not really listening to the message, but daydreaming and wondering if it's a man or woman speaking.
    "A patch of sun fell onto her (desk)
    She put her head on her arms on her (neck)"
    Assuming neck and desk are switched in the lyrics provided, the light's sitting right there on her desk and she's leaning back not paying attention to it (wondering where it is, maybe?)
    The rest of the song just goes on repeating the same themes of religion being all around her but her being uninterested. The second stanza ends with and the chorus dictates the message of wishing she could be a part of everyone else's religion, even literally (by her daydreaming), thinking she'd be happy forever if she could just fit in.
    The first lines of the next stanza more or less repeat the same theme ("Morning Has Broken" is apparently a hymn about a birth of the world, so her being bad at it indicates her own 'birth' isn't quite going off as it should).
    But even so, she doesn't seem to be any good at the things everyone else is, like singing. So in this context, the line
    "The choirmaster, usually a bastard, knows her mother's sick
    He'll be nice to her"
    Would mean that he can tell she's going through some issues ('her mother' either being her views or her faith) and deciding not to make it worse by yelling at her.

    But at its heart and stripped of religion, the song's ultimately a lament about not being able to fit in with the rest of the world (in school or wherever), and the idea that everything would be okay if she could just fit in.
    In this context she grapples with being uninterested in the things everyone else is interested in...the choirmaster (chorusmaster) and the line about her mother being sick might instead denote that it's understandable that she doesn't fit in (to the 'chorus') because she came from a bad background, wondering if she should "even be there at all." Therefore it could just as easily be a dig at the turbulence of adolescent existentialism.

    There are a dozen interpretations for pretty much any of the lyrics in here, so it's really a bit of a blank slate. The religion aspect's a pretext, but ultimately irrelevant and a placeholder for similar situations of dissimilarity.
    Lazybrainon August 29, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"What would she look like standing by the well? More like a women and less like a girl"

    I think this line might be a reference to Jesus and the Samaritan Woman (John 4:3-30).

    Check this out: youtube.com/…
    onceandalloveragainon January 02, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMy thoughts are the song is about a girl who thinks everyday things are pointless and unnecessarily complicated. she wants to get away from modern society to a simpler life-She shut her eyes and imagined the desert No cars, no mobiles, just sun and bread . < this is also the relevance of religion in it, because its a simpler time that she wishes for.however the fact she calls them hippies shows that she considers religion a bit of a cult or club, not to be respected. However, this thought may be wrong considering the fact that B&S at=re very religious. Though it mentions the mother is sick, I don't think that's why she feels this way, its more her nature. In fact considering the fact that the comment about her mums health is so late in the song its not relevant, and considering the context ("The choirmaster, usually a bastard, knows her mother's sick. He'll be nice to her,")I think its more to portray the irrationality, predictability and fickle human nature she recognises and condemns.
    booktoothon July 01, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdesk and neck are mixed up in the first verse. i checked itunes every 20 minutes on tuesday waiting for this album to be put up. so far i fucking love it.
    dexteron February 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me, this seems to be a beautiful song about a girl whose life is full of the worries ('The choirmaster, usually a bastard, knows her mother’s sick, he’ll be nice to her'). With all this, everything else seems useless.

    This is especially obvious to me in the line:

    She shut her eyes and imagined the desert
    No cars, no mobiles, just sun and bread
    Eternieon March 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwell, the line that make everything obvious to me is:
    "Her worries make everything else seem trivial"
    softasfireon May 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment“Oh, if I could make sense of it all!
    I wish that I could sing
    I’d stay in a melody
    I would float along in my everlasting song
    What would I do to believe?”

    probably the best chorus of the year so far
    nickvbon May 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love belle and sebastian!!! they totally rock XD
    personno.1on September 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love the chorus.
    bandersnatch42on May 06, 2007   Link

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