I see you chippin' away again
Your own icicle island
Howling alone, the lies and the bone
Hoping to fade and disappear into the white
A polar bear

A moat of icy water
No end in sight save your own
I know that look of fear, I'm well-aware
No need to brave it all alone
I'll be there

I see you chippin' away again
Your own icicle island
I know that look of fear, I'm well-aware
No need to brave it all alone
I'll be there

Hoping to fade and disappear into the white
A polar


Lyrics submitted by Lody

Polar Bear song meanings
Add your thoughts

23 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +4
    General Comment A lot of people don't know this, but, because of melting polar ice caps, polar bears in the northern Canada/ Artic regions are dying because what used to be a short swim to the ice caps where they would birth and rear their cubs is now hundreds of miles causing death through exhaustion, drowning, hypothermia and just plan getting lost 'en route'.
    I believe this is what MJK is referencing here. I think he is using the image of the polar bear to represent humanity and suggesting with the first stanza that we as a species are "chipping away at our island" (earth).
    I'm also of the opinion that the lines "no need to bare it all alone / Ill be there" is, in true MJK style, religious satire referencing the huge portion of the population who believe that 'God' will come in once the degradation of our home has surpassed habitable and deliver(*)the 'good' unto salvation (**)or heaven.

    *No end in sight save your own
    **Hoping to fade and disappear into the white
    LuckyOleafon November 10, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think it's the narrator speaking to a depressed, or rock-bottomed friend/loved one. "Hoping to fade into the white"= hoping to end it all or just disappear. Also the visualization and metaphor of someone cast out alone and slowly sinking on a melting block of ice. I think Puscifer did an amazing job in setting the cold, distant, frigid mood, very reminiscent of H.P.Lovecraft's "At The Mountain's Of Madness".
    kraken890on November 04, 2009   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningLet me clear this up for you all...


    This soul candy of a song is actually about Maynard himself...

    You see, in dreams, polar bears are representitive of someone around you who is going to decieve you... and usually it means its someone who is going to come in the form of a friend...

    Hence, the narrator is a person/persons around him trying to gain his confidence...

    Maynard is the bear who has been deceived and taken advantage of too many times... and that is why he is hauling around his bag of lies and bones...And hes chipping away his own icicle island to float away from the rest of society and be happy for once and "fade into the white" with normal people... however, its dangerous because of the icy waters (icy people) surrounding him...and the more he chips away at the ice, the more likely his chances of falling in...

    He is having the same trouble that Kurt Cobain had... His love for music and his want to express himself through it has been overcome by the BS that comes with the fame and the stupidity of man...

    I implore you all, to listen to every song he has written with deep thought and open mind...- The DR
    DrPariahon December 10, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentEric Avery (original bassist for Janes Addiction) was one of the first people asked to jam with tool after D'amour left/was fired. His band after Janes Addiction was called Polar Bear. Theres also a janes addiction song called "Chippin' Away".

    Coincidence?


    just thought of that as I am a huge tool and janes fan... its ok to be a music conspiracy theorist, right?

    any thoughts?
    JessePetason August 11, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwoops ignore that last post about styx...wrong forum room.
    DrPariahon December 12, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationA person has been distancing himself, shutting himself off to friends and family, burning a lot of bridges, perhaps due to depression or some other need for isolation and they have probably stepped on some toes trying to run away and hide.

    The tone when the words "I'll be there" are spoken, followed immediately by what is rather frightening and intense music..... I wouldn't want him there for me :P I don't get the impression that the narrator is there to help, more to watch the subject suffer, or help him sink faster.

    Polar bears on their rapidly melting ice floats is lovely imagery for an ANALOGY but this song is mostly likely NOT a political stand against global warming.
    latteraliceon March 28, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThe first time I heard this, I was positive it was in reference to someone who had just begun to re-develop physical addiction to heroin or another injectable opiate.

    from Urban Dictionary:
    "chipping:
    To occaisonally or recreationally use heroin without becoming trully addicted.

    I've been chipping for years, but I'm lucky I've never got hooked and had to experience withdrawl symptoms. "

    "Icicle island" refers to piles of used syringes in the place the subject shoots up.

    "Howling alone, the lies and the bone
    Hoping to fade and disappear into the white"

    refers to the desperation and motivations behind getting to the point where the subject feels it necessary to start shooting up again, "the bone" I interpret as day to day pain and fatigue, "disappear into the white" is to get high on "china white" which is either fentanyl - an extremely powerful sythetic pharmaceutical opiate - or it can also be in reference to high quality, high potency heroin in lighter brown or white powder form as opposed black tar.

    in the second stanza, the first person, the "I," can either refer to a "friend" who provides the drug, or abstractly, the subconscious voice given to the drug by the subject of the song, the "you." The moat of icy water can either refer to the barrier around the self-imposed isolation that the addict creates around themselves due to the stigma and shame of being an addict and the lies and deceptions they use to score, get money, and keep those that care about the addict oblivious to their situation, or it could refer to the chills and sweating that announce a coming wave of dope sickness (opiate withdrawal).

    "No end in sight save your own
    I know that look of fear, I'm well-aware"

    the first line refers to the mental place an addict arives at once they realize that they're physically hooked again - they realize they'll either have to go through withdrawal (the pain of death,) or suicide in order to get out of the vicious cycle of maintaining their habit. The second line goes back to the voice of either the drug itself or the "friend" & dealer, that now knows they've got their hooks in the subject again, and the last line is of the stanza - "I'll be there," is the only voice of solace the subject can hear at this point. It placates them, letting them know that they'll always have the drug to fall back on to feel better, but the tone of the song and the repetition of the line imply that it just compounds that self imposed isolation on their icicle island by widening the moat.

    now the "polar bear" basically exists the cold reality of their situation (the icy water) with occasional respites of the island (the relief that the drugs provide.)
    Hoping to fade and disappear into the white - hoping that they won't ever retun from the respite provided by the high.


    I don't mean to down-play the interpretations of those that saw the metaphor of deression here, as depression is certainly a regular emotion experienced by addicts, I just think this song was written with a more specific set of circumstances in mind. The words are too specifically chosen for it to be anything else, IMHO.
    h3rm35on August 22, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commentim not sure.... the friend is depressed because of lies... he's saying dont be afraid he's there and well aware.. saying he knows whats going on... cold, depressing, lies, all negatives... he's reaching out.... he's been there, understands. not sure why he uses "polar bear" not sure what this is referencing.
    newyearssuckson January 01, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJust added the lyrics for this. Need a little help hearing some parts correctly...

    Suggestions welcome
    Lodyon October 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentChanged "pain" to "fame" and added "A moat of" after listening carefully. Still having doubts about the third line though.
    Lodyon October 23, 2009   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain