Know something about this song or lyrics? Add it to our wiki.
As the waves crash in
on the western shore
the wind blows fierce from the east.
Wavetops torn into flying spindrift.

As the waves crash in
on the western shore
it makes me feel uneasy.
The spray that's torn away
is an image of the way I feel.

What am I supposed to say?
Where are the words to answer you
when you talk that way?

As the sun goes down
on the western shore
the wind blows hard from the east.
It whips the sand intoa flying spindrift.

As the sun goes down
on the western shore
it makes me feel uneasy.
In the hot, dry rasp of the devil winds
who cares what a fool believes?

What am I supposed to say?
Where are the words to answer you
when you talk that way?
Words that fly against the wind and waves.

(A little closer to you.)
Where is the wave that will carry me
a little closer to you?

What am I suuposed to do?
Where are the words that will make you see
what I believe is true?


Lyrics submitted by stephanierush07

Spindrift song meanings
Add your thoughts

9 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    General CommentWhere are the waves that will carry me a little closer to you?

    I believe that the narrator of the song is lamenting a lost person, someone who "talks that way" and he is wondering why he's so distant and the person is being so cold to him, and he has mixed feelings of love, confusion and anger.

    Neil Peart is a lyrical genius. I admire him as both a godly percussionist, and a poet. He is a truly ethereal man.
    pengyon May 21, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is about the clash between the West and the Islamic Middle East. "As the waves crash in on the western shore the wind blows fierce from the east" is about the terrorist attacks on the West and the extreme and fierce fundamentalism of Islam (from the East). "Where are the words to answer when you talk that way" is a reference to the helplessness of meaningful dialogue with extreme fundamentalists who are not interested in dialogue but mere adherence to their faith.

    Ultimately, this song is about the clash between values of Western liberal tolerance and extreme religious intolerance. As someone said, "one can tolerate anything other than the intolerant".
    GuyTrittonon September 05, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI like Pearts multi-thematic message. Yes generally about the West and the Islamic Middle East. Or when you get a lot of crap talk from someone who is narrow minded, does not know the facts, very inflexible, and wrong. It's an A-holes defense mechanism. Like a pissing contest with a skunk, eh.
    kinglerxst2112on January 07, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song isn't about a romantic relationship. If you read the essay Neil wrote, it says that on this album, when 'you' is used, it refers to humanity as a whole. To quote:

    "The addressee, though, is not a 'significant other', but a significant proportion of the whole, wide world."
    Entity79on June 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEven so, that does not mean that it cannot be interpreted to refer to a romantic relationship. I can see pengy's point very clearly in the lyrics as well. The "spindrift" signifies the confusion and difficulty of dealing with the person, whether it be because (s)he's very coy or generally hard to deal with. Just another example of how lyrics mean different things to different people. Awesome song.
    ApexGTon July 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI heard that this song is a double megaphor. Waves and Spindrift are a metaphor for a personal relationship which in turn is a metaphor for humanity in general.
    SnowDog1942on January 11, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionI'm really bad at interpreting lyrics but I think "pengy" has got it right, this is an awesome song though.
    jakobrizzon April 16, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI remember reading somewhere that Neil claimed this was about a quarrel between two lovers. Not sure if it's true, but it seems to fit well, like pengy said, Neil is a truly ethereal man.

    However, seeing how other songs on the album are very critical of current conflicts (i.e The Way The Wind Blows), I can see how this could be more of a broader statement about the east and west.
    Dilanaduon November 26, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell. You gotta understand the natural phenomena of Spindrift to understand this song and all the other further analysis. I´ll make it easier:

    "Spindrift usually refers to spray, particularly to the spray blown from cresting waves during a gale. This spray, which "drifts" in the direction of the gale, is one of the characteristics of a wind speed of 8 Beaufort and higher at sea.

    lymingtonharbour.co.uk/tide%20weather/…"

    If you drive anything at a Spindrift( a ship or a plane, most likely a ship )..., your view is hardly damaged. It´s difficult to do maneuvres and a lot of accidents have happened because of Spindrift( youtube it ).

    So, the natural phenomena affects people´s view. Hmmm.

    As usual, Peart´s lyrics may have double meaning. It could be understood in a political and enviromentalist way. When something or somebody does something in the east, it reflects on the west side of the planet. And vice-versa. It could be related to the way we are treating the planet( when we polute the environment, we are poluting not only our country, but the whole planet ). The way politicians and countries "talk that away" with one another, may reflect how disconnected we are from a global point of view of catastrophes and human strives, generically speaking.

    And, of course, it could be understood in a personal way: When a person shocks with some other person, it may create a Spindrift, MEANING: The shock between these two may "blind" them and make them speechless ( "Where are the words to answer you?" "Where is the wave that will carry me?" - a clear reference to the phenomena here ).
    davialexanderon February 06, 2012   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