"Charlie Darwin" as written by and Jocelyn Jager Adams Jeffrey Carl Prystowsky....
Set the sails, I feel the winds a'stirring
Towards the bright horizon set the way
Cast your reckless dreams upon our Mayflower
The haven from the world and her decay

Who could heed the words of Charlie Darwin
Fighting for a system built to fail
Spooning water from the broken vessels
As far as I can see, there is no land

Oh my god
The water's all around us
Oh my god, it's all around

Who could heed the words of Charlie Darwin
Lords of war just profit from decay
And trade the children's promise for the jingle
The way we trade our hard earned time for pay

Oh my god
The water's cold and shapeless
Oh my god, it's all around

Oh my god
Life is cold and formless
Oh my god, it's all around


Lyrics submitted by WinterLungs

"Charlie Darwin" as written by Jeffrey Carl Prystowsky Benjamin Knox Miller

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Charlie Darwin song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentIt's a song about capitalism, or 'a system built to fail', and how futile our efforts are to escape from it.

    The first verse relates to the hopes and dreams we all start out with in life.

    The key verse is the second:

    'Who could heed the words of Charlie Darwin
    Lords of war just profit from decay
    And trade the children's promise for the jingle
    The way we trade our hard earned time for pay'

    This is the idea that we have gone past evolution now - we are self-sufficient - and we've replaced Darwin's 'survival of the fittest' with a decaying and corrupt system, led by 'Lords of war' who trade 'our children's promise' for the pursuit of money ('the jingle'). There are a few rich people at the top of the pile stopping most of us from ever fulfilling our hopes and dreams.

    It's actually a very political song, albeit quite a cryptic one.
    Buck Fastardon February 06, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Commentbeautiful. i love the usage of 'oh my god' and 'charlie darwin' in the same song
    daveklimon July 03, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think Buck Fastard is on the right lines that the song is a comment on the broken system of global capitalism and credit and the american dream. A world that depends on 2/3rd of the global population living on less than a dollar a day so a tiny minority can attain massive wealth, and where less than a quarter of the population live anything like comfortable lives. Where even in the richest country in the world the USA, millions of people are malnourished, and don't have adequate housing, nor healthcare.

    The song is about the false promise that working hard, and striving to achive the dream of success will somehow free you from your poverty or lift you from your station in life. But that the bright horizon, is just that, a false dawn. Hope that can never be fulfilled. That like the pilgrim fathers on the mayflower, half of whom died, the chances of success are slim to none; and that if you do succeed it will mainly be by standing on other people's failure.

    The song goes on to ask how it's possible to accept such a flawed system, that's built on Charles Darwin imperetive of 'survival of the fittest'. Where most members of a species that are born, die in order that the strongest, and fittest can succeed. A system that's bound to fail, (and bulit of the failure of the many) eventually as the population grows and resources become scarecer. The pyramid of credit created wealth become unsustainabale.

    It goes on to talk about the broken vessel, the ship that is sinking. Your own, as you struggle to make ends meet, or the world's as it sinks deepr into wars, and a scarcity of resource; and that spooning water out of a sinking ship is a futile excercise, and you, it, and the world are going to sink into the cold depths.

    The lords of war reffered to are the countries and rulers, the rich, and the corporations that exploit and destroy global resources, in the fight to retain their wealth - the oil wars (iraq) and (for example) resource wars being fought in africa, by the chinese, and so on. Expoliting the lives of countless children, in order to keep the cash flowing, and persuading everyone to spend their lives in the pursuit of (in most cases) fruitless sucesss, in return for low wages.'
    That in most cases, most people don't 'succeed' regardless of how hard they work. And end up sinking into the cold depths of wasted, brutal lives.
    Not the cheerist of songs really - but a pretty damming inditement of the American Dream!

    big_eeon March 22, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti don't think its completely evident if the songwriter is a believer in God or not. but i think he's definitely saying the world is in decay, its full of war, greed and hardship. darwin, or an athiest's viewpoint is that the world is the way it is because of scientific chance, it could possibly end the same way. there is ultimately no end purpose to life.

    while a believer's viewpoint is that the world is messed up, but there's hope, and that existence is because of intelligent purpose and the possibility of an afterlife. a believer's life and an athiest's life are physically the same, but its their view of the world that can affect the way they live.

    much like classical hymns, the songwriter empathises with struggle and identifies his hope and longing for God. i find that this song exudes an intelligent meditation on existence and not merely a blind faith in religion.
    jhawksmooron October 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI tend to think the speaker's god is actually Charles Darwin- much in the sense that people are anti-religion because it creates war, the singer is entranced with the idea that Charlie Darwin's philosophy can restore the earth.
    You can also see that the exclamation of "Oh my God" as a realization, that the speaker suddenly finds himself alone in the cold, dark world, without a concept of God or a higher power to protect him.
    It could also be the actual voice of Charles Darwin at his epiphany of the concept of evolution. In the beginning stanza, there is hope- but it quickly shifts to horror as the previously hopeful world collapses around the speaker.
    madamdepompon July 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI thought I would take a shot at the meaning of this one as there are few songs that contrast creationism and evolution. I doubt my interpretation of the meaning will be popular, even with me, but I base it on the words of the song and the delivery.

    The use of the “Charlie Darwin” line in both verses two and three seem to emphasis that a point is being made that the theory of evolution is at the center of the song. The description of the water as a symbol of nature, and perhaps science, fits as an antagonistic theory to creationism as the “system built to fail.”

    The first verse sets the stage for a voyage to a new world (Mayflower) with new ideas (“reckless dreams”) that will be separate (“haven”) from a world of lost direction (“her decay”). The Mayflower, as a boat choice, places the religious pilgrims in a situation at sea and with nature.

    The second verse asks why people did not listen (“heed the words of Darwin”), but instead continued to believe in an idea (creationism) that was under attack from science (“fight for a system build to fail”). The futility of supporting creationism (“broken vessel”) is the lack of solid support (“there is no land as far as I can see”).

    The chorus is the cry of those trying to keep the idea of creationism (“broken vessel”) alive by small actions (“spooning water”) while realizing the vastness of nature (water) that is washing over their ideas. The science (“cold, shapeless and formless”) is represented by the water. The great irony is the trust and belief that they will be saved that is repeated four times each more urgently but with more despair (“Oh my God, the water is all around us”).

    The third verse again asks why people did not listen, but instead of advancing, or evolving, instead chose to profit from the failure of advancement (“profit from decay”). The “promise of the children” is the concept of natural selection that causes beneficial traits to become more prevalent while less desirable traits to disappear. Instead of that occurring, children are taught catchy phrases (“jingles” or maybe commandments) similar to the way adults are encouraged to work more than evolve (“we trade our hard earned time for pay”).

    The delivery of the song as a thoughtful hymn with the ironic surprise line of “Oh my God the water is all around us” as opposed to a more scientific delivery (cold and shapeless), adds to the sense of futility. The added lines in the chorus form a building sense of desperation that the boat is sinking.

    Perhaps, the most interesting part of the song is the telling of the story from the point of view of the believers on the ship (broken vessel). Their surprise, and despair, at vast amount of water in nature, and the evolutionary theory, tells the story better than any representative of Darwin.
    wildasuon November 07, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat a beautiful song. I somewhat agree with Buck Fastard, but I'm going to go out on a limb here:

    I think it could be written to represent the perspective of a resident in New Orleans experiencing Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath. The "system built to fail" would be the levees; "lords of war just profit from decay" would be a dig at Bush and Cheney.

    Regardless of the true meaning, it is truly a beautiful and soothing song. The lyrics are brilliant in how they allow one to draw their own conclusion, which is probably the whole point to the song! Great music!
    lighthumoron March 10, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThis song is a existential take on the end of man and his demise by his own nature.
    greysquirrelon January 08, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionTo me this song is talking more about how sad it is that a lot of the world is blinded to Charlie Darwin's work and about how Charlie Darwin did believe in God and how he did have an internal struggle when he was trying to decide whether or not to publish his work =D And I think wasn't it the Mayflower that brought the first pilgrims to america so in a way it could be like Charlie Darwin is being likened to the early pilgrims who helped pave the way for the future generations.
    Laimickelon January 15, 2011   Link

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