"Shark Fin Blues" as written by and Gareth Michael R Liddiard....
Standing on the deck watching my shadow stretch
The sun pours my shadow upon the deck
The waters licking round my ankles now
There ain't no sunshine way way down

I see the sharks out in the water like slicks of ink
Well, there's one there bigger than a submarine
As he circles I look in his eye
I see Jonah in his belly by the campfire light

See the albatross up in the windy lofts
He gets to beating his wings while he sleeps it off
I hear the jettisoned cries from his dreams unkind
Gets to whippin' my ears like a riding crop

The captain once as able as a fink dandy
He's now laid up in the galley like a dried out mink
He's laying dying of thirst and he says or I think
Well, we're gonna be alone from here on in

Well you are all my brothers, and you have been kind
But what were you expecting to find?
Now your eyes turn inwards, countenance turns blank
And I'm floating away on a barrel of pain
It looks like nothing but the sea and sky remain

A harpoon's shaft is short and wide
A grappling hook's is cracked and dry
I said, why don't you get down in the sea
Turn the water red like you want to be?

Cause if I cry another tear I'll be turned to dust
No the sharks won't get me they don't feel loss
Just keep one eye on the horizon man, you best not blink
They're coming fin by fin until the whole boat sinks



Lyrics submitted by Dressed2Depress

Shark Fin Blues song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +2
    General Commenti'd love to hear peoples opinions on what this is about.
    Very cool and introspective, that last verse is brilliant. He just grits his teeth and keeps sinking
    *jasper*on April 02, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Commenttalking about it with a couple of ppl we generally agree its about depression. The water being the feelings of depression, that its lickin at his feet and that hes going to be dragged in and eaten by sharks. has a really dreamlike, ludic quality this song. like many of the Drones songs thier about colonial Australia, so it feel it can be read like its a shipwreck at the same time also tho.
    pocketisagreatwordon August 06, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThese guys are so awesome live I can't believe it! I saw them with Band of Horses and they totally stole the show (in my opinion). Please go see them live!! You won't regret it!

    Anyway, I just wrote a paper about The Old Man and the Sea and argued a point about how the sharks keep circling around the boat and this symbolizes a cyclic pattern which the Old Man cannot stop that ends in some sort of self destruction. In the case of the book, the Old Man loses his prize catch to the sharks and no one gets to see his victory!

    I think the song is about despair and a self-destructive personality that comes out of that despair. Any artist can relate to this song. It's about that weird moment when you realize that everyone around you is totally indifferent to what you think is important. So what can you do? You just go crazy...the whole thing is very sort of self-destructive no? Like the boat is sinking more and more as the song goes on...

    One line that sticks out for me: "Turn the water red like you want it to be" Like all he wants for himself is just to get torn apart by the sharks. And yet the sharks, "Don't feel loss" So even the sharks are indifferent to the killing of him! Interesting...
    Bungleon November 29, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHi Jasper and fellow posters,

    Yes, 'Shark Fin Blues' is indeed about depression - written by Drones Frontman Gareth Liddiard shortly after the death of his mother. By the way, I really loved reading your comments here many years later during a sleepless Australian summer night post knee surgery - it kept my head from turning in on itself "...'cause there ain't no sunshine way way down..." If you'd like to read an article about the song, see:

    theguardian.com/music/2014/dec/29/…

    take care, BF x
    3:12am, 13 Feb 2016
    BubblesFlaton February 12, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis has to be one of the greatest australian songs ever.
    i saw them at splendour this year, and was totally blown away. i knew they were good live but not that amazing. he was totally possesed by something, like the devil. his songs remind me a lot like nick caves stuff. i do believe this has to be about sucicde of contemplating life. theimagery in this tune is amazing. can't believe not many people have posted about this song.
    jacobstormon September 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSometimes I wonder if music is a literal manifestation of pain(or any other emotion, depending on the mood) via sound. In terms of a concert, it is the artist's oppritunity to express the ocean of pain that's been welling up inside of him or her. When I saw the drones, I saw this on stage, almost haunting. I don't know exactly what the answer to people's pain is, maybe a person on stage is a cathartic ordeal. My fix for any pain, a soul fix, is to pray to Christ. The soul cannot just not say anything, like a concert of pain, prayer to Jesus is a inner concert/conversation of asking and hoping, faith.

    The build ups in this song are amazing, as are the genuity of the singer's voice.
    Soundboyon December 11, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song's about Jonah from the Bible. damn I'm not even religious and I get it before everyone. yesssssss
    Hancockensteinon April 26, 2015   Link

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