"The Ocean" as written by Laura Jane Grace....
If I could have chosen where God would hide his heaven
I'd wish for it to be the salt and swell of the ocean
Carried by the currents to all continents' shores
Reaching into the depths where the sun's light is never shown
Mixed with algae and coral, breathed in by sharks and dolphins
Sailed by tanker ships, private yachts, swam in by tourists
Working its way up through inlets, lakes, and rivers
Swamps, and estuaries, down through limestone into the aquifer

Purified by the county, pumped through pipes and out faucets
Filled into a glass to meet the thirst of our children

And if I could have chosen, I would have been born a woman
My mother once told me she would have named me Laura
I'd grow up to be strong and beautiful like her
One day, I'd find an honest man to make my husband
We would have two children, build our home on the Gulf of Mexico
Our family would spend hot summer days at the beach together
The sun would kiss our skin as we played in the sand and water
And we would know we loved each other without having to say it

At night, we would sleep with the windows of our house left open
Letting the cool ocean air soothe the sunburned shoulders of our children

There is an ocean in my soul where the waters do not curve
There is an ocean in my soul where the waters do not curve
There is an ocean in my soul where the waters do not curve
There is an ocean in my soul where the waters do not curve!


Lyrics submitted by kokakola

"The Ocean" as written by Thomas James Gabel

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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The Ocean song meanings
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35 Comments

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  • +9
    General CommentWow, this song really was more literal than we all thought. Good for her, so much respect.
    brooks450on May 08, 2012   Link
  • +4
    General Commentpersonally, the ocean is heaven on earth.
    that's all it is to me.
    sharkswateron October 03, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentRocktheballs, Tom is married.

    "...New Wave is garbage, and Tom and the rest of Against Me! are sellouts. " It seems like anyone who feels the need to seem cool pastes this at the end of everything they say when referring to Against Me!. The argument is old, man. Just shut up, it has nothing to do with the song.
    abelpriscon June 04, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI love reading all the comments and seeing just how wrong people were. The bisexual guess wasn't as far off the mark as many replies to that comment suggested! The one guessing the second verse is about George Bush is particularly funny!

    Just goes to show how much our preconceptions shape our beliefs. Where else are we misguided?
    leakegon May 09, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis song is absolute poetry, in particular the first section actually about the ocean. :)

    The second section is a topic near and dear to my transsexual heart, and now that Laura has managed to find her way to blossom as well (quite beautifully, I'd add!), the confession of a secret pain is so beautifully done.

    Love you, Laura Jane Grace! :D
    ncc74656mon July 11, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentTom said this song is related to the lyrics of "Searching For a Former Clarity" and "The Disco Before The Breakdown". But he didn't reveal what he meant by the line "If I could have chosen, I would have been born a woman", he said he wanted to leave it up to personal interpretation.
    greenzobon July 17, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is so brilliant ever since Tom Gabel (Laura Jane) comes out as a transsexual. It's funny reading up on the comments before the reveal on how this made people scratch their heads on the meaning of this song but it's so clear now. Love this song, the lyrics are powerful and amazing. Absolutely brave.
    Gawesomeon June 15, 2012   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThere is a very powerful song that I think has a very similar message to this song, though from a very different perspective. In their song "Suffer." Bad Religion stated that "the masses of humanity will always, always have to suffer."

    If heaven were in the salt and swell of the ocean, as Tom wishes it were, everyone would have access to it. The masses would not have to suffer! The sad realization in this song is that Tom cannot have his dream. He is one of Bad Religion's suffering masses, stuck in his reality rather than her dream.

    Notice, though, the use of the phrase "do not" in the last line. Tom is not without hope. The line is not "cannot", just 'currently does not'.

    Laura's story does have a happy ending. The point remains, though, that that the masses do still have to suffer: heaven is not in the ocean.

    This is a beautifully sad song that has set the stage for an even more beautiful story. This song has and will make a difference to people; it will, I hope, lessen even a little the suffering in this world. It gives me courage knowing that Laura told such a personal secret in so public a way, and that is has so far turned out very well for her, as far as I know.

    Thank you for making a difference to me and, I'm sure, to many others, Laura.
    Chiralpoidon August 07, 2012   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationFixed version of my last post (I'm new to this):

    There is a very powerful song that I think has a very similar message to this song, though from a very different perspective. In their song "Suffer." Bad Religion stated that "the masses of humanity will always, always have to suffer."

    If heaven were in the salt and swell of the ocean, as Laura wishes it were, everyone would have access to it. The masses would not have to suffer! The sad realization in this song is that Laura cannot have his dream. She is one of Bad Religion's suffering masses, stuck in his reality rather than her dream.

    Notice, though, the use of the phrase "do not" in the last line. Laura is not without hope. The line is not "cannot", just 'currently does not'.

    We don’t know if Laura's story will be a happy one, but the recent news is! The point remains, though, that that the masses do still have to suffer: heaven is not in the ocean.

    This is a beautifully sad song that has set the stage for an even more beautiful story. This song has and will make a difference to people; it will, I hope, lessen even a little the suffering in this world. It gives me courage knowing that Laura told such a personal secret in so public a way, and that is has so far turned out very well for her, as far as I know.

    Thank you for making a difference to me and, I'm sure, to many others, Laura.
    Chiralpoidon August 15, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song, one correction though i believe he is saying Countless shores instead of Continents shores. I think we'll have to wait for the album to come out to be positive
    wyliekyleon July 01, 2007   Link

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