"Murphy's Song" as written by and Kevin Patrick Devine....
I cry at her bowl, dog's dying day
A bone in her bowl, a watery grave

See, I am a sailor, but I'm not so great
I keep fishin' for roadkill, passin' out on the waves

Shimmering sea, stretched end to end
Shivering bowl, a flickering friend

See, that's Mr. Murphy, my leathery brave
He's whimpering "Taps" now, for his plank-walk grade

I've never been a joiner, no, I've quit every team I've been on

Now I'm crying in my coffee, that's not sea salt in my eyes
'Cause me and Murphy, we have been through it, and I hate watching him die

So I wait for my wisdom, like I wait for my wife
Like I wait for a story, helps me wait out the night

Like when I was an archer, but I couldn't shoot straight
I broke all of ma's windows, I poked holes through her drapes

And I laugh to myself, but I can't tell you why
The hung-over sun, sneaks back in the sky

But Murphy went peaceful, he went decent and right
At least better than I will, when it's my turn to die

And I wear his collar on my wrist
And I bury him down at the beach

No crying, no coffin, just a body and a hole
No praying, no singing, no saving any souls

The only thing I'm saving, yeah
Is a bone inside a bowl


Lyrics submitted by newwaveclassic, edited by bmclarnon

"Murphy's Song" as written by Kevin Patrick Devine

Lyrics © THE BICYCLE MUSIC COMPANY

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Murphy's Song song meanings
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  • 0
    General Comment*Actual lyrics
    (there are just a couple of mistakes)

    I cry at her bowl, dog's dying day
    A bone in a bowl, a watery grave

    See, I am a sailor, but I'm not so great
    I keep fishin' for road kill, passin' out on the waves

    A shimmering sea, stretched end to end
    Shivering bowl, a flickering friend

    See, that's Mr. Murphy, my leathery brave
    His whimpering taps now, for his plank-walk grave

    I've never been a joiner,
    No, I've quit every team I've been on
    Now I'm crying in my coffee,
    That's not sea salt in my eyes
    Cause me and Murphy, we’ve been through it,
    And I hate watching him die

    (whistling)

    So I wait for my wisdom, like I wait for my wife
    Like I wait for a story, helps me wait out the night

    Like when I was an archer, but I couldn't shoot straight
    I broke all of ma's windows, I poked holes through her drapes

    And I laugh to myself, but I can't tell you why
    The hung-over sun, sneaks back in the sky

    But Murphy went peaceful, he went decent and right
    At least better than I will, when it's my turn to die

    And I wear his collar on my wrist
    And I bury him down at the beach
    No crying, no coughing,
    Just a body and a hole
    No praying, no singing,
    No saving any souls
    The only thing I'm saving, yeah
    Is a bone inside a bowl
    techniicolor_girlon January 08, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment*He's whimpering taps now, for his plank-walk parade
    nikalicioussson January 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthanks :). and its not whimpering, "He is whimpering taps now" doesn't really make sense, its the whimperings that's tapping, not tapping in a whimpering way (simple verb/adverb mix-up)
    newwaveclassicon January 18, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"No crying, no coughing, just a body and a hole." that should be coffin there. it makes alot more sense and it sounds like coffin anyway. amazing song
    buriedalive119on January 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentactually, "whimpering taps" makes sense. it's referring to Taps, the bugle tribute they play at army funerals.

    the first two lines confuse me cos he changes the subject throughout the song from "she" to "he" (murphy). i'd imagine the song is about murphy but the first two lines throw it off. ideas?
    omgitsfinkelon January 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentkevin probably didn't mean this when he wrote the "tapping" part but it reminds me of when dogs get older and their teeth chatter. my dog died last month and the weeks up to his death his jowls always seemd to be going non stop and his teeth would chatter whenever he'd move.
    Antonskeyon January 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think the he/she thing may be talking about the dog (male, as obvious by the name 'murphy') as well as a girl
    kevindevineluvahon March 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti can really relate to being a dog lover.

    i like how he says "i've never been a joiner, no i've quit every team i've been on," because when you have a dog, there is a level of loyalty that dogs possess that you can't always find with people, and so kd, as a dog lover, will never give up on his dog. so cute :)
    kevindevineluvahon March 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this song is great; i'm sure the majority of you have read his explanation of it from the daytrotter session...

    "Around that same time, my friend, drummer, and sometimes producer Mike Skinner mentioned that he felt I could be too precious with my songs sometimes, that I let a lot of good stuff fall by the wayside because I feel this need to fine-tooth comb everything and if I feel like that’s not bearing results quickly enough, I get impatient and feel overmatched and kind of move on. I also have a tendency to shy away from writing stuff sometimes if I feel like it might sound ridiculous coming from me stylistically, and he was kinda gently chiding me about that too, to open it up a bit. He was encouraging me in the sense that it’s kind of remarkable how much I get done in spite of those instincts. So, I was walking around in my neighborhood one day in July and the start of this popped in my head, this weird sea story about this kind of half-assed loner rolling around on the sea with his dog, this mangy, affectionate stray he used as a stand in for all his failed connections in the world, and what would happen when the dog died. This drifter appealed to me – the first lyric I sang was, “I was an archer/but I couldn’t shoot straight/I broke all of Ma’s windows/Poked holes through her drapes.” That came in a shot and it gave me a pretty immediate and involved character sketch; I went home and wrote it in 20 minutes. That melody and Hawaiian sort of shuffle reminded me a little bit of certain Kinks things, or of Belle & Sebastian; I overrode my instinct to throttle it and decided to embrace it. My friend Jaymay says it reminds her of Chet Baker. I dunno."
    groundfloweron April 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think they actually say something like "A quieter bowl..." Perhaps it's "bow" or "boat..." not sure. But it doesn't sound to me like "I cry at her bowl." But alas, my lyric book is in my car and I'm too lazy to go get it to check.
    rocksolidgurlon May 12, 2009   Link

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