No foreign pair of dark sunglasses
will ever shield you from
the light that pierces your eyelids,
the screaming of the gulls
feeding off the bodies of the fish
thrashing up the bay till it was red
turning the sky a cold dark colour
as they circled overhead.

He swam out to the edge of the reef
there were cuts across his skin
saltwater on his eyes and arms,
but he could not feel the sting
there was no one left to hold him back
no one to call out his name
dress him feed him drive him home
say "Little boy it doesn't have to end this way"

He announced their trial separation
and spent the night in a Park Beach Motel bed
a total stranger lying next to him
rain hitting the roof hard over his head
she said "What's the matter now lover boy
has the cat run off with your tongue?
Are you drinking to get maudlin
or drinking to get numb?"

He called out to the seabirds "Take me now,
I'm no longer afraid to die"
but they pretended not to hear him
and just watched him with their hard and bright black eyes
they could pick the eye from any dying thing
that lay within their reach
but they would not touch the solitary figure
lying tossed up on the beach.

So, where were you?


Lyrics submitted by scatter_brain

The Seabirds song meanings
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2 Comments

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  • 0
    My OpinionWHAT a song.
    angelsflyon May 22, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love the guitar riff played throughout the song. If The Triffids were better known outside Australia, I bet it'd be ranked among the likes of Satisfaction and Sweet Child o' Mine.

    It's clearly a narrative poem, the only kind of poetry I can dig, and seems to tell the story of a man who separates from his wife, gets drunk and attempts suicide by swimming out too far into the ocean. All told much more artfully than my drab synopsis. It's ambiguous whether or not he actually dies, though; it is only said that the seabirds don't touch the figure washed ashore, who is clearly implied to be the man. It could be that the birds don't touch him because he hasn't died. Alternatively, perhaps they leave his corpse out of pity for the sorry state they heard him in.

    Very tragic song. But brilliant lyrics and music.
    SmashTheElderon August 04, 2015   Link

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