[Intro]
(Well
Sometimes
I think that you
Meet someone
You
Give and you give
And you give until there’s nothing left
No matter what
It’s never
Ever going to be good enough for them)

[Verse I]
Drove up to the river with the barrel in the back of the trunk
The grill chased the carrot moon the headlights hang out in front
Mr. Merle and Johnny Cash swear I’m leaving at once
I punch the gas the leaves all laugh
The wind wheezes and coughs
The water wash sprays off, pinpricks my lips
Wet wood fram, moonlight barely, barrel slips
I came too far to watch it drift off now I can't
Let my ship slide alone right off the cliff
Right off the cliff
Right off the cliff

[Verse II]
I could’ve said you were rust
I could’ve told you that I loved you to death
Make a “me” of memories, cheap talk and wasted breath
Wave my hat, beat my chest, ride this thing till it hits
You love the mess, I’ll give you one that you never forget
A man of letters knows the best of broken nets and frayed respects
The promised catch of a cloud of breath or a fog in wind set
Hands that get and hands that beg and hands that always forget
You count on the tips but you can never ever count on the catch
Count on the catch
Count on the catch

[Verse III]
My little ship drifts with the leaves and water spraying across my lips
Mr. Moon’s good work, blue earth been kissed
The tube shifts, soft hiss in the sparkling mist
That old lift in your falling chest just before the hit
Never thought it would come to this
My parents never taught me to drift
Something I learned watching bridges burn down to sticks
There’s nothing left but a mess of splinters, flailing limbs
The water sounds just like the record’s end
Just like the record’s end
Just like the record’s end

[Outro]
There’s no big bang there’s no big mess
There’s no big parade no big checks
There’s no big bang there’s no big mess
There’s no big parade no big checks
There’s no big bang there’s no big mess
There’s no big parade no big checks
There’s no big bang there’s no big mess
There’s no big parade no big checks
There’s no big bang there’s no big mess
There’s no big parade no big checks
There’s no big bang there’s no big mess
There’s no big parade no big checks
There’s no big bang there’s no big mess
There’s no big bang there’s no big mess
There’s no big bang there’s no big mess
There’s no big bang there’s no big mess
There’s no big bang there’s no…


Lyrics submitted by SecondFig, edited by stagnate

Barrel Jumping (A Man of Letters) song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentMy favourite song on The Mighty Ocean, I just love how resigned and weary he sounds...

    I'm not at all sure, but it sounds like he's describing going over a waterfall in a barrel - as a way out, an end. A love gone wrong that he's escaping...?
    SecondFigon October 01, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is beautiful, incredibly vivid in description, and open to being interpreted a number of ways. I see it on the surface as a description of a man killing himself by going over the falls in a barrel, but also as a metaphor for the death of a relationship that is seen as one-sided.

    in regards to the end of the song:

    there's nothing left but a mess of splinters, flailing limbs,
    the water sounds just like the record's end.
    Just like the record's end.
    Just like the record's end.

    There's no big bang there's no big mess,
    there's no big parade no big cheques.

    It's not about him coming to terms with his death/the death of the relationship, or learning to live with things, just a description of the end. Quiet, insignificant, unnoticed by the outside world. All that's left in the end is a small mess that gets swept away in the swirling waters.

    supersaladon October 03, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationOne change I would make to this for certain would be to the line
    "Your lovliness"

    I really think it goes
    "You love the mess? I'll give you one that you'll never forget."

    As in a mess of himself after riding a barrel off of Niagara Falls.

    In the end, he survives the fall (no big bang, no big mess), which I think mimics thinking you'll never get over someone, and then slowly learning to live with things.
    thomhaleon November 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsongz brilliant
    Dasuitekillaon October 29, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment'I could have told you that I loved you to death.
    Make a million memories, you talk in wasted breath.
    Wave my hat and beat my chest while listening 'til it hits,
    you love the mess, I'll give you one that you never forget.'

    A song to not kill yourself to.
    Manifest0on August 10, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI can't say I agree ManifestO (but I want too)...
    This song just reminds me of getting everything BACK to nothing. Big bang could be taken to reference creation as well as destruction/suicide or even just plain emotion. Without it? This 'nothing'.
    Maybe...
    Else maybe just having to feel NOTHING for a while, in order to get over something big, something painful, something you never thought you could get over.
    I don't know.
    Just
    damn incredible song. One of my favourite songs ever, at the moment (things may change with time, I have only recently started listening to this band) but I just love how they sound, and how their music effects my moods/reflects them.

    Could have set you to rest,

    I could have told you that I loved you to death.

    Make a million memories, you talk in wasted breath.
    Wave my hat and beat my chest while listening 'til it hits,
    you love the mess, I'll give you one that you never forget.

    Wheretofindyouon September 10, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionThis song is so full of emotion, it's hard not to be drawn into.
    Meghindon May 29, 2011   Link
  • -1
    General CommentSomeone please transcribe these lyrics from the album liner notes.
    RaygunShaunon May 09, 2011   Link

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