Just one island
In an ugly string
Of prehistoric penal colonies
This island
Is a most remote inhabited spot on Earth
Each family possesses a registered trademark
That is chipped into the truck of a tree

Oh, bring back the egg unbroken
The egg of the sooty nesting tern
And you will be made king
Of this island now

The women
Have gone on up the Cliffside
They’re gathering eggs
Of their own
We’ll have them at the celebration
When the king is chosen now

Jump off the cliff into the ocean
You grab an egg
You swim back
Holding it aloft
You hold it high above the roughest
Of the shark infested water, now
Oh, my love
You bring the egg unbroken back
You are the king

You are the king
Oh, bring the egg unbroken back
You are the king
Oh, we’ll be thinking
Of the ocean
When the king brings back unbroken
The egg of the sooty nesting tern

Some well known lost but ancient wisdom
The point and purpose
Which was mysterious
Or even vague
It says the truth is worse
Than you could possibly imagine
And we islanders,
We’ll be thinking of escape

Oh, we’ll be thinking
We’ll be thinking
We’ll be thinking of escape

We’ll be thinking
We’ll be thinking
We’ll be thinking of escape

Lyrics submitted by boneyardsorceress

Oh, Bring Back The Egg Unbroken song meanings
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  • +1
    General Comment"Oh Bring Back the Egg Unbroken" is about the Tangata manu competition of the inhabitants from Easter Island.
    PeachFanon August 26, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentshe was being an odd ball... she was here in Seattle and she said the same thing

    it IS about the Tangata manu competition on easter island.

    it even says so if u purchase the album Oh Perilous World. There's keywords on most of the pages.

    "That was a sad, sad, song wasn't it? I feel so sad for manipulating you into such sadness, that i want to make it up to you by sharing something that's very deep and personal and actually none of you're business... and that is that... recently, i briefly concidered suicide after cannibalizing a homosexual family member that i've been having sex with."

    duh. lol.
    PeachFanon September 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlthough it's clear not what it's about, Melora told us at the Ottobar on august 8th that the song is about a gay family member who was killed, whom she was sleeping with.
    Thepruningon September 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationLet's take a look at this song line by line.

    The first verse introduces the setting as "Just one island / In an ugly string / Of prehistoric penal colonies". In fact, the song claims that this island is "the most remote inhabited spot on Earth". Right away the song introduces its themes of confinement, isolation, and the bleakness of existence. (The island being referred to is Easter Island, an island in the Pacific Ocean more than 2,000 miles to the west of South America. Pitcairn Island lies another 1,300 miles or so further west.) The next two lines of the first verse state that "Each family possesses a registered trademark / which is chipped into the trunk of a tree". Here the author draws an ironic comparison between company trademarks and the island's clan system. The irony cuts both ways -- it portrays modern business practice as nothing more than glorified tribalism, and it reduces the islander's culture to the level of brand creation and intellectual property. From this first verse we can see that the island is intended to be taken allegorically as some kind of reflection on modern life or the human condition.

    The next two verses describe the basic premise of the song. The song centers around the bird-man (tangata manu) competition of Easter Island. The basic idea of the competition is that contestants would swim to a small islet called Motu Nui to collect the first Sooty Tern egg of the season. In these verses we see the set-up for the competition, the reward of glory and power, the preparations for a ritual celebration.

    The next two verses describe the successful contestant braving extreme risks to become the king. And at the end of the latter of the two verses come the crucial lines: "Oh we'll be thinking of the ocean / When the king brings back unbroken / The egg of the sooty nesting tern". Clearly from the rest of the song we see that this is a day of excitement and celebration... and yet, at the back of the islander's heads lurks the awareness of the ever-present ocean that surrounds them and keeps them trapped on the island. Perhaps the very nature of the competition, which pits man against the dangers of nature, serves as a reminder of the islanders' insignificance and impotency in comparison to the massive ocean. Yes, the winner has become the king... but of what? Of a "prehistoric penal colony" out there in the middle of nowhere.

    The next verse is even more grim. It describes some "Well-known lost but ancient wisdom / the point and purpose / [of] which was mysterious / or even vague". Like the previous verses, this pokes fun at the grandeur of long-held traditions and rituals. This "wisdom" has been around so long that its purpose is mysterious -- perhaps there is none. The substance of this message is this: "The truth is worse than you could possibly imagine". The world is a bleak and terrible place, and the mainland is farther than the islanders could possibly know. And perhaps things aren't any better there. And then there's the second half of the message: "We islanders will be thinking of escape". Here the word "escape" could mean many things -- a doomed attempt to leave the island, an escape into the shared fantasy of rituals and traditions, or, perhaps most likely, suicide.

    In summary, this song offers a cynical, depressing view of human existence. Despite the distractions we make for ourselves, we remain trapped in our island existence, forever isolated from one another and from the higher things in life.
    treanton July 09, 2012   Link

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