"A Sea Chanty of Sorts" as written by and Richard Charles Edwards....
Do what you like
you dont have to be nice
just pour yourself a cup of coffee
leave anytime you dont have to be right
youve gotta live the best you know how

and if you love well that should be enough
instead it turns your joy int0 sorrow
and i cant breath with the dust of retreat
im choking on the fumes of my wayward back

my women lied
she was a witch in disguise
and she dressed her wounds
in sackcloth and ashes
the children weep
at their dead mothers feet
her husbands drunk
a wolf in a sheepskin coat

and when we kissed
it didnt feel poisonous
and when you cried
i dried off your blue eyes
she smiles at me as she is falling asleep
says we've gotta live
the best we know how to


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"A Sea Chanty of Sorts" as written by Richard Charles Edwards

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A Sea Chanty of Sorts song meanings
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  • +1
    My Interpretationi guess this is totally about margot tenenbaum [richie's pov]. every single line. explaining some of them that might not seem too obvious:

    "and if you love, well, that should be enough
    instead, it turns your joy into sorrow" -> he's loved her since they were kids and something happens in the movie because loving her is just not enough to richie. he needs to touch her.
    "and i can't breath with the dust of retreat
    i'm choking on the fumes of my wayward back" -> this might be related to coming back to archer avenue.

    "my woman lied
    she was a witch in disguise
    and she dressed her wounds
    in sackcloth and ashes" -> margot's secrets.
    "the children weep
    at their dead mother's feet
    her husband's drunk
    a wolf in a sheepskin coat" -> might refer to the three tenenbaum children while their parents got divorced, probably because of royal's infidelities, like he said, or even to 22 years later.

    "she smiles at me as she is falling asleep
    says 'we've gotta live
    the best we know how to.'" -> margot lives the best she knows how to, and it explains her behavior.

    if you don't understand and you love margot and the nuclear so & so's, you should definitely watch the royal tenenbaums ;)
    disantion October 20, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEXCELLENT.
    elleonon September 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentexellent. he sounds so vulnerable. the ending is beautiful
    slinkstersarson October 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've grown a great love for this song, it's so perfect.
    loveisfictionon December 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI randomly read about MATNS&S (haha um just trying out an abbreviation, my friend prefers "Margot and the Nukes") over the summer and I'm so happy I did...this was my first song by them.
    The first and last stanzas make me think of two people who care a lot for one another, but one of them isn't ready to make a commitment or doesn't want to. But it's really hard on the other person.
    adamanteveon January 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think i read that the whole album are stories that interlinked and that got me thinking that maybe being the first track it llinked with the second track skeleton key. I think sea chanty is about a couple, the guy thinking he found the love of his life but always seemed to have a sadness about her because she never told him she was married and is having an affair (plus she is a habitual cheater living "the best she knows how" but more on that later). Later he goes to her funeral to discover she had a family and suspects she was killed by her husband who is a "wolf in sheeps clothing".

    Skeleton key i think takes the perspective of the husband who has an unfaithful lover who "left her man and attended to me" probably because she cheated on her current boyfriend at the time with her soon to be husband from sea chanty whom she marries. The husband finds out about the affair she had with the guy in sea chanty and realizes she doesn't really love him and "did a horrible thing to that girl", meaning killed her. Also another thing was the line "she cooked for me" you know kind of like a wifely duty for her husband which i guess is more evidence the couple in this song are probably married.

    I could be wrong but it seemed to make sense after listening to the two songs consectutively.
    chinofishon March 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmy favourite.
    shut up hannah.on April 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is beautiful. I've been listening to it on repeat for the past two days haha. & I agree with chinofish about the meaning.
    michelle__x3on June 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt sounds to me as though he's trying to talk to her reasonably. He's so tired of what they've become (which is exemplified in the second stanza). Their relationship has hurt them and their children. And the last stanza seems as though he's remembering at the beginning of their relationship, how they were so hopeful and excited about their future.
    agentxownsuon September 20, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbreaks my heart every time. it's so beautiful, and so...painful.
    dixyon October 08, 2007   Link

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