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when the rooks were laid in the piles
by the sides of the road,
they were crashing into the aerials,
hanging from the laundry lines.
and, gathered in a field,
they were burned in a feathering pyre,
with their cold, black eyes.

when the swallows fell from the eaves,
and the gulls from the spires,
the starlings, in millions,
would feed on the ground where they lie.
and the ambulance men said
"there's nowhere to flee for your life,"
so we stay inside,
and we'll sleep until the world of man is paralyzed.

oh, the falconer awakes to the sound of the bells.
overhead, and northbound,
they are leaving his life.
and each empty cage just rings in his heart
like a bell,
underneath these cold stars,
in their trembling light.
and he cries
"amen, let their kingdom come tonight.
let this dream be realized."


Lyrics submitted by thiagozero

Rooks song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThe last verse references the poem "The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats. It begins:

    "Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold"

    potw.org/archive/…

    The falcons in the song are not circling, but they are a sign of the end of days.
    zalbicollison October 02, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentone of the best shearwater song on their last album. just great.
    anfalason June 05, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe end of days... such an apocalyptic song...yet sung so beautifully
    daniwriteson June 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe end of days... such an apocalyptic song...yet sung so beautifully
    daniwriteson June 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti just love the subtly intricate melody of this song.
    zoolahon August 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti just love the subtly intricate melody of this song.
    zoolahon August 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationDefinitely an incredible, haunting song about the end of the world. Jonathan Meiburg loves birds, so mass deaths of birds would definitely signal the end for him.
    mrnovember09on December 02, 2013   Link

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