"Ocean of Noise" as written by Win Butler, Regine Chassagne, Tim Kingsbury, Richard R Parry, William Butler and Jeremy Gara....
In an ocean of noise
I first heard your voice
Ringing like a bell
As if I had a choice
Oh well!

Left in the morning
While you were fast asleep
Into an ocean of violence
A world of empty streets

You've got your reasons
And, me - I've got mine
But all the reasons I gave
Were just lies to buy myself some time

In an ocean of noise
I first heard your voice
Now who here among us
Still believes in choice?
Not I!

No way of knowing
What any man will do
An ocean of violence
Between me and you

You've got your reasons
And, me - I've got mine
But all the reasons I gave
Were just lies to buy myself some time

I'm gonna work it out
'Cause time won't work it out
I'm gonna work it out
'Cause time won't work it our for you
I'm gonna work it on out
'Cause time won't work it our for you
I'm gonna work it on out
'Cause time won't work it our for you
I'm gonna work it on out


Lyrics submitted by afimrtl

"Ocean of Noise" as written by Regine Chassagne Jeremy Gara

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Ocean of Noise song meanings
Add your thoughts

51 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    General CommentThis is perfection.
    The" Now who here among us still believes in choice? Not I"-part gets me every time.

    To me, this is about a destructive relationship. Possibly even an one night stand.
    voddoon January 30, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOne of the best songs on Neon Bible. I love how it turns at the end from a really depressing portrait of a bad relationship to a somewhat hopeful message of working it out. And that piano and string section... WOW. And that line "Now who here among us/still believes in choice?/Not I " is utter perfection. These guys are truly amazing.
    NubNubon January 31, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Commentwow describes the relationship i'm in right now down to every fucking period
    dagrimon February 07, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt could be either about a relationship between two people or a relationship between two "things" ie. countries, ideas...ect.
    Beautiful song. Uplifting. The music is very nostalgic for some reason.
    nursejenon March 06, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is more like a voice in an ocean of voilent noises that is calling for peace. Will it be lost in all the other voices and become part of the noise ... or will it be heard ... At least a few will hear it, just like the songwriter heard someone's voice ringing like a bell calling him towards peace ... it made him wonder if he had a choice ... to make a change ... and end the voilence. It led to him to ponder more deeply and ask difficult questions of himself ... eventually it shook him to the core of his soul ... and now he too screams just like the voice of this other person that "Its time we work it all out"... "its time to work it out" ... the change has begun ... this is the era of change ... we have a choice ...
    TheLastMessiahon March 11, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentDoes anyone else hear Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" when they hear this song?
    thepenguinboxeron April 18, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think that this can be taken as descriptive of a relationship. Of course it could have other connontations to world affairs. But as far as the relationship aspect is concerned, I think there is substantial meaning. I really like the part "all of the reasons I gave were just lies, to by myself some time" (it is myself and not yourself - also logical because of all of the reasons "I" gave). It makes me think of a particular relationship of my own and the reasons he has given for us to not be together - which have not actually been articulated, but alluded to. This line is all the more descriptive of a person afriad of being in a relationship given the context within the entire song. The song seems to indicate that the character in the song fell in love with a girl - he spotted her in a crowd, and for some reason she stood out among the rest - her voice was a bell, a pleasant sound against background nonesense and people.
    The character didn't have a choice to not be with her, she was irresistable. But the character then got scared - perhaps as the relationship progressed. And he left in the middle of the night because he didn't want to deal with the situation or have a conflict with this woman about not being with her. A typical male-comitment freak-out type of situation.
    Then it seems there was some kind of contact and he explained with some general garbage lies about why they couldn't be together and he wanted to buy himself some time to instead figure out what he really wanted and to reconcile his fear of commitment - or his own issues - which also seems to be a possibility given the lyrics.
    The fact he left to an ocean of violence- and later refers to the same ocean of violence between you and I seems to indicate that his leaving is what caused what I interpret as a fight between them. And empty streets I take to mean as he left, but instead of feeling good about his decision he felt empty. This could also mean that he left and then had other relationships - and fights with those individuals - leaving him searching empty streets and winding up at dead ends rather than being happy that he left.
    The fact that they both have their reasons to not be together - hers perhaps becasue he is flakey or difficult - and his because he is afraid of commitment or has baggage or other problems indicated by the ocean of noise refrence.
    So it seems that he has realized what was actually going on in his head this whole time and he wants to work it out with this person.
    Anyone agree?
    eastofthemoonon April 23, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIn an interview with the New Musical Express December 8, 2007, the interviewer asked about this song and Arcade Fire's fascination with the power of the sea. Multi instrumentalist Wim Butler explained: "My parents live near the ocean and we've gone there quite a bit over the history of our band. It's really isolated there by the ocean. I remember one time we went out on the 4th of July. It was dusk and we had a little motorboat, so we went out and the fog was starting to roll. We stopped and all of a sudden we were surrounded by fog. We had no idea where we were. And there was a fog horn. It's like you're never less in control of your own life than when you're in the ocean underneath a big wave and there is fog all around you. You can just see that you're a passenger in a weird sense. Things are out of your control. It was just that kind of feeling that I wanted to express."
    FloridaGuyon October 18, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWow. Amazing song. I love the way he sings "You've got your reasons / And me, I've got mine".
    obsessedon January 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Now who here among us still believes in choice? Not I" As others have said, amazing. I think this song is about a mutually abusive relationship. This is probably my favorite track in Neon Bible.
    never_say_foreveron February 09, 2007   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain