"The Whale Song" as written by Isaac Brock, Eric Judy, Tom Peloso, Jeremiah Green, Johnny Marr and Joe Plummer....
I guess I am a scout
So I should find a way out
So everyone can find a way out

They keep us in
To pull us out
I'm rising up
Wish I was sinking down
And it's not like
There was warning
We were happy
And it's not like
There was mourning
In the warning

I know I am a scout
I should've found a way out
So everyone can find a way out

I know I am a scout
I should've found a way out
So everyone can find a way out

Instead of seeing, a neighbor out
God, I wish I would've found a way out
It's the last time
We were happy
Ever happy

I know I was a scout
I should've found a way out
So everyone could find a way out

Well I know I was a scout
I should've found a way out
So everyone could find a way out

Well I know I was a scout
I should've found a way out
So everyone could find a way out


Lyrics submitted by CarbonStealer, edited by AemonLG, slothb77

"The Whale Song" as written by Isaac Brock Eric Judy

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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The Whale Song song meanings
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54 Comments

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  • +11
    Song MeaningFirst off. I absolutely love this song.
    The first few minutes of instrumental are amazing. It really reminds me of older Modest Mouse, with the jaunty guitar and what-not.

    Now, Reading over the lyrics, it does seem that it could be from a whales perspective, being captured by the fisherman, as applcobbler brought up.
    But at the same time, I wouldn't put it past Isaac to have more than one meaning to his song, or draw analogies between two things. (One of the best thing about Modest Mouse songs are that the meanings are often up to personal interpretation.)
    I feel that it could be drawing an analogy between whale hunting and as ButteryWaffles said, "Showbiz".

    Modest Mouse were the whales, swimming happily in their familiar waters. They weren't well known, the weren't really famous, but they were happy. Those major labels and interviews and popularity are the hunters. Maybe they didn't have a choice, it came without warning, or maybe they had to for whatever reason. But they were attacked, pulled out of the familiar waters and taken elsewhere, unfamiliarity, uncomfortable, to be made use of(I.E. Make "radio-friendly" songs and do interviews, for money. Basically doing the typical "rockstar" life. A whole cycle of just making more songs. Not really having fun with it anymore.) And he's saying that, they didn't have a choice in this, they were "Captured" against their will, but in retrospect, he wishes he could have found a way out. Find a way so that it wouldn't have had come to this.

    Buuuuuut this is all my personal take on it, after some thinking.
    Either way the song is awesome.
    ArcticSoundson July 06, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General CommentAnd it's not like
    There was warning
    We were happy
    And it's not like
    There was mourning
    In the warning


    DAMN I love Isaac's word play
    a9entsmithon June 23, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI get the idea that this is about drugs and that he believes if he could of found a way out, all the people around him would have been able to. He's getting high but wishes he wasn't. There was no warning or mourning because the drugs feel good and he didn't realize to what extent the damage was causing.
    XtinOfBigon July 20, 2012   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThere's nothing to do with drugs. Read the director's description below.

    After entering his personal sanctuary, an artist is presented with a hand-crafted drawing tool that assists him in materializing his mental impressions. The machine discharges his thoughts as an endless web of yarn that guides him through his physical thoughts. The story progresses to reveal that he is divided between two worlds, one of dull reality and the second of warped memories. In the process of finding a way out of his consciousness, he is trapped between the two competing spaces, which eventually inflict lethal damage, acting as metaphors to self-destruction.
    erasrheadon May 10, 2013   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThere are three vocal portions to this song. Naturally, everyone can only ever seem to transcribe the first two. The original vocal track sings:

    I guess I am a scout, so I should find a way out
    So everyone can find a way out

    And I know I am a scout, and I should find a way out
    So everyone could find a way out

    I know I am a scout, I should've found a way out
    So everyone can find a way out

    The second vocal layer sings:

    They keep us in, to pull us out
    I'm rising up, wish I was sinking down
    And it's not like there was warning, we were happy
    And it's not like there was mourning in the warning

    Instead of seeing a neighbor out
    God, I wish I would've found a way out
    It's the last time we were happy, ever happy

    But there's a third "megaphone" voice, singing something else between these two. I can't make out all the words, but it sounds like he's singing something along the lines of:

    No one's going to find a way out
    No one get's out on the first try

    Anyone have a better time deciphering it then me?
    SephNiteon May 15, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think this song is about the band itself and how they wish they could return to their less well-known days, etc., but like all MM songs it is really up for individual interpretation.

    No matter what it's really about, this is an unbelievable song.
    TexasLonghorn07on August 05, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe instrumentals of this song are fucking great.

    It brings me so so close to feeling the very edge of everything. I really can't describe it properly.
    yoursmileon July 17, 2011   Link
  • +2
    Song FactThis is about Team Fortress 2
    NeoDamiuon December 15, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOh my goddamn, this song is amazing.
    idogpaddleon June 21, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love the instrumental leading up to the singing reminds me of there earlier stuff... Anyway this song makes me think about how sometimes people look up to us as a decision maker, or a responsible person. When in actuality we don't want the responsibility of helping others we want to help ourselves. I don't know though, im putting to much thought into this and looking like a jackass. sweet song though!
    knockaproslickon June 25, 2009   Link

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