"Cherbourg" as written by and Zach Condon....
And a fall from you
Is a long way down
I've found a better way out
And a fall from you
Is a long way down
I know a better way out

Well it's been a long time
Since I've seen you smile
Gambled away my fright
Till the morning lights shine

Well it's been a long time
Since I've seen you smile
Gambled away my fright
Till the morning lights shine

Sunday morning
Only fog on the limbs
I called it again
What do you know
And I filled our days
With cards and gin
You're alight again, my dear

I will lead the way, oh, lead the way
When I know
And I'll sleep away, oh, sweep away
What I don't
Well seize the way, oh, seize the way
No, I won't
I will lead the way, oh, lead the day
When I know


Lyrics submitted by ahab3, edited by historicalline, EmilyP, marast, johnsstar, louis10899, midorka

"Cherbourg" as written by Zach Condon

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Cherbourg song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +2
    General Comment It seems to me that this song is an apology to a loved one; the beginning lyrics explicitly implies that he wants to be with someone (props to Zach for making a love song not mawkish and boring). Also, the end of the song seems to be something along the lines of a promise to do the right thing. Food for thought.
    Uulsikon January 30, 2010   Link
  • +2
    Lyric CorrectionThese lyrics are for the Un Dernier Verre. IT EVEN SAYS SO AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POSTED LYRICS.

    REAL LYRICS:

    And a fall from you
    is a long way down
    I've found a better way out
    And a fall from you
    is a long way down
    I know a better way out

    Well it's been a long time
    since I've seen you smile
    Gambled away my fright
    Till the morning lights shine
    x2

    Sunday morning
    only fog on the limbs
    I called it again
    what do you know
    And I filled our days
    with cards and gin
    You're alight again, my dear

    I will lead the way, oh, lead the way
    When I know
    And I'll sleep away, oh, sweep away
    What I don't
    Well sieze the way, oh, sieze the way
    No, I won't
    I will lead the way, oh, lead the day
    When I know
    grinch11on May 13, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is beautiful.
    unvdatlvion December 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe Port of Cherbourg is located in Normandy. This song is a continuation of Nantes, most definitely. It documents the mans time on the ship, after he’s set off to reconnect with his girlfriend.

    “And a fall from you / is a long way down. / I've found a better way out.”

    He has realized the pain he’s been through before with his girl, and insists that he shouldn’t have to endure it again because he knows something better.

    “Well it's been a long time / since I've seen you smile. / Gambled away my fright / till the morning lights shine.”

    An allusion to Nantes, what he once did.

    “Sunday morning / only fog on the limbs. / I called it again. / What do you know?”

    Imagery of a life on the sea, I believe.

    “And I filled our days / with cards and gin. / You're alight again, my dear.”

    He is clearly with friends, and is realizing that the “cards and gin” life is not so bad. She is alight, no longer so high up in his mind, in his life.

    “I will lead the way, oh, lead the way / when I know.”

    He plans to direct the ship (also a metaphor for his life) when he knows where he wants to go, meaning he doesn’t, meaning he is no longer going towards her.

    “And I'll sleep away, oh, sweep away / what I don't.”

    He is getting rid of the notion of her.

    “Well seize the way, oh, seize the way, / oh, I hope. / I will lead the way, oh, lead the day
    when I know.”

    The punch line, he is accepting his life on the sea, wandering. He is intending to enjoy, not make any plans as he was before. However, he realizes that at some point he will need direction. He simply does not have it yet.
    pricillacoxon December 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti'm really surprised that this song hasn't gotten more replies. i think it is beautiful, and i love how he repeats the line "it's been a long time since i've seen you smile..." from the song "nantes". probably my favorite song off the album.
    transatlantiqueon April 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song and whole album is so perfect
    ohfaithon August 17, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou all should see the french film "Umbrellas of Cherbourg" and you would appreciate this song infinitely more. It is a musical per se, except that it has regular film dialog but it is all sung and its lovely. Also the film incorporates intense uses of vibrant colors in the costumes and it is visual and audible ecstasy. Please give it a look!
    rymert19on September 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs most of you have mentioned, this song is most definitely a continuation of "Nantes."

    It is a gorgeous song about loneliness and despair.
    He obviously wants to make this clear if he dedicated two songs to this point. He mentions "it is a long way down," probably referring/reflecting on the time that has passed between him and this person he misses. He misses someone's (a lover's perhaps?) smile. And he has taken up the habit of gambling and drinking. Overall he's depressed.He says he will "lead the way" indicating that he will do anything to get that smile back.

    The music is beautiful too. I love the accordion and the ambient trumpet in the background. It gives a very sad and eerie feeling to the tune.
    CheckMyTimeon April 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI do believe its:

    "Gambled away my fright,
    Till the morning light tonight" instead of 'shine'

    Such a beautiful song. I cannot help it but feel uplifted when I hear this song especially during the end.
    x
    oohlushon September 28, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFor me, it evokes the paratroopers that landed at Normandy. Probably only cause of the "And a fall from you
    is a long way down". Maybe I've just been watching too much 'Band of Brothers'.
    But it definitely feels to me as if it's about a soldier.
    tajnaon January 08, 2011   Link

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