"The Water" as written by and John Patrick Vivian Flynn....
All that I have is a river
The river is always my home
Lord, take me away
For I just cannot stay
Or I'll sink in my skin and my bones

The water sustains me without even trying
The water can't drown me, I'm done
With my dying

Please help me build a small boat
One that'll ride on the flow
Where the river runs deep
And the larger fish creep
I'm glad of what keeps me afloat

The water sustains me without even trying
The water can't drown me, I'm done
With my dying

Now deeper the water I sail
And faster the current I'm in
That each night brings the stars
And the song in my heart
Is a tune for the journeyman's tale

The water sustains me without even trying
The water can't drown me, I'm done
With my dying

Now the land that I knew is a dream
And the line on the distance grows faint
So wide is my river
The horizon a sliver
The artist has run out of paint

Where the blue of the sea meets the sky
And the big yellow sun leads me home
I'm everywhere now
The way is a vow
To the wind of each breath by and by

The water sustains me without even trying
The water can't drown me, I'm done
With my dying


Lyrics submitted by TheHeartThatSkipsABeat, edited by ZimOfRite

"The Water" as written by John Patrick Vivian Flynn

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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The Water song meanings
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10 Comments

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  • +2
    Song MeaningI feel this song is about death and going through the stages of leaving the body..the 'bardo' stages (as the Tibetan Buddhist would say). It is about the stage of leaving the body, being done with dying, passing through to the next level where the sea meets the sky, back to the sun and being everywhere..
    Can we ask Johnny Flynn what he says its about?
    bollyleson May 31, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My Opinion"The water can't drown me, I'm done
    With my dying"

    One of the most beautiful things I have EVER heard. Completely genius line right there.
    Exordiomon October 11, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionI'm not someone who gets emotional listening to music usually, but this song got tears in my eyes. The second voice by Marling is just perfect. Love it!
    Tolsyaon June 13, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionI'm not someone who gets emotional listening to music usually, but this song got tears in my eyes. The second voice by Marling is just perfect. Love it!
    Tolsyaon June 13, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionThis is one of my favourite songs ever, the words and music are just perfect to me. This is my wedding waltz song!
    beanbeanon May 23, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSo beautiful. Albeit obviously about a song about suicide and facing death as by fate.
    Chatizon August 15, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThis song seems to me to be about a sense of ennui or an existential crisis. Maybe even a sort of wander lust. The river is his(the narrator's) home, but it's constantly changing, he can't stay in one place or he'll fall into ennui: "Lord take me away/ for I just can not stay/ Or I'll sink in my skin and my bones." The second verse shows how he "goes with the flow" (pardon the awful cliche). The third verse seems to me to be talking baout finding a lack of satisfaction, even with a faster pace or a "deeper" or more interesting life. The narrator just sees it as "A tune for the journeyman's tale." Which reminds me of the line from Macbeth, "Life is a tale told by a fool, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
    The song seems to be a person going through his/her life, each verse getting a little older. By verse four everything seems repetitive. the water is so wide you can hardly see the horizon. By verse five, the only landmark left is the Sun. "I'm everywhere now" is probably more metaphorical than literal. Philisophically he's "everywhere." He doesn't have any boundries, but he also doens't have any direction. "The way" means his personal philosophy, his guiding principals. His "way" is a promise to something so ephemeral that it only lasts a second or two. No philosophy sticks for very long.
    The Chorus feels to me like his apathy towards dying. "The water can't drown me" because I don't care if I live or die.
    So... yeah. There it is...
    dcmorganon August 22, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the meaning is that:

    The river is his path to his destiny or dream
    The water is the essence of his purpose. Wherein when he said "I'm done with my dying" means that he understood and accepted that nothing can stop him even death in achieving his destiny.
    allanbron August 15, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationGood interpretation connected with "death and stages". What I could doubt, is symbolism of water itself: in many cultures it means "life path" and "faith". This song seems to be a lot about leaving from earthly attachments and finding ourselves in eternal spiritual side of this world.
    Polychroon September 05, 2015   Link
  • -1
    General CommentMaybe the words ' the water' could be replaced by the words 'my craziness'?
    random2012on December 17, 2012   Link

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