"Sleeping Ute" as written by Christopher Robert Bear, Daniel Raphael Rossen, Christopher M. Taylor and Edward Droste....
Dreamed a long day
Just wandering free
Though I'm far gone
You sleep nearer to me

If I could find peace
If this night bleeds
But I can't help myself

So I walk out
These wandering dreams
Of the north road
Dressed gold and green

If I could lie still
As that grey hill
But I can't help myself

But it's calm and it's clear
Collapsed here on the stone
Delivered to this place
A vision dark and cloaked

And those figures through the leaves
And that light through the smoke
And those countless empty days
Made me dizzy when I woke
And I live to see your face
And I hate to see you go
But I know no other way
Than straight on out the door

And I can't help myself
And I can't help myself
And I can't help myself

Lyrics submitted by cahooon, edited by ThisEvilRoss

"Sleeping Ute" as written by Christopher Robert Bear Christopher M. Taylor

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Sleeping Ute song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentSleeping Ute is a small mountain in southwest Colorado. if you're on the "north road" heading south and driving towards the mountain it looks like a man that is sleeping with his arms crossed over his chest. The Ute's believed that this was a chief that fell asleep nursing his wounds after battle. It is still a commonly held belief by the local natives that one day he will awaken and destroy the enemies of the Ute's.

    The phrase "If i could lie still like that grey hill" is referencing the mountain. If he could just stay still and patiently sleep until the opportune moment he would be better off, but he "can't help himself" and can't just lie there because he desperately needs to take action. Lying there won't solve anything. He need to do something outside of what he has always does. The mountain has always been lying there despite fires, despite the wrong-doing, the Ute's are a tribe that continue to struggle and the Sleeping Ute still lies there.
    Cate007on June 16, 2013   Link
  • +1
    Lyric CorrectionAnd I dizzy when I woke


    Made me dizzy when I woke
    Visneton June 10, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentDon't hate me, ladies and gentlemen, for making this comment about a band that I, undoubtedly like many other people who visit this page, love so dearly; but how many more songs about failed relationships is Grizzly Bear going to write? I mean, it seems like every hit single they release, namely, "The Knife" and "Two Weeks," as well as songs like "Easier," "All We Ask," and "Ready Able," all have to do with relationship problems. Don't get me wrong. I get the chills listening to the lush and almost magical soundscapes that this band creates in its music, but I often find myself craving something more novel and refreshing from the Grizzly Bear lyrics department. I think the group has yet to reach its full potential, and I eagerly await that moment.
    rthmjohnon September 26, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm starting to think its "and I live to see you phase, and I hate to see you go", reason being I don't hear "youR" in "your face" and its a soft "s" i hear in phase not a hard "s" from the "c" in face.
    mikeossoon August 25, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretationto me it's about addiction ..
    if I could find peace, if this night bleeds
    if I could lie still, as that grey hill (then I wouldn't need drugs)
    but I can't - help myself

    so the beginning of the song is about craving to get high
    then it's like the drugs have kicked in - the song takes a turn into a dreamy phase
    and suddenly it's calm (drugs kick in) collapsed here on this stone (!)
    then the dark visions - the light through the smoke (!)
    dizzy when I woke
    I know no other way than straight on out that door
    (and back into the addiction)
    and I can't help myself
    sullkyon September 16, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationWhen Rossen sings, "I can't help myself," I think he is talking about how he can't stop himself from leaving a relationship, even though he is still attached ("And I live to see your face/hate to see you go"). His emotions are pulling him away and toward new things and he doesn't feel like he is in control ("I know no other way...").
    jkaison September 20, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is just amazing, I absolutely love the synths in it. And what the hell is that crashing/whirring sound behind the second verse? It really adds something to the song, the arrangement is so dense.
    rottzn59on November 17, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationMy first idea after hearing this would be somnambulism - he cannot 'lie still' while sleeping an is just 'wandering free' through 'visions' and 'smoke' in spite of the second person 'sleeps nearer to him'. In more metaphorical sense I see a setting where subject feels lonely in relationship with another person so he resorts to escapism/daydreaming. He doesn't leave in a physical way since some sort of attachment ('I live to see your face, I hate to see you go') but isn't 'here' in a way he cannot center himself on reality. Perhaps this is the way to delay the ultimate break-up
    Tarsjusz69on March 28, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationUte is a Native American tribe, right? The whole thing to me has a sort of "vision quest" theme. From wikipedia:

    "Vision Quest consists of a person spending one to four days and nights secluded in nature. This provides time for deep communion with the fundamental forces and spiritual energies of creation and self-identity. During this time of intense spiritual communication a person can receive profound insight into themselves and the world. This insight, typically in the form of a dream of Vision, relates directly to their purpose and destiny in life..."

    "Wondering free... dressed in gold and green" Etc.

    Vision quests often involve disorientation, fatigue and hallucinations which is sort the vibe I get from the plaintive, beautiful bridge section ("But it's calm and it's clear...").

    As far as the refrain I'm in a loss. It's possible the native character he's describing can't help but think of a lover he left at home, instead of turning his thoughts to higher spiritual things (as in I can't help but think of worldly things when I'm trying to get to something greater). Probably not though...

    The other thing that is probably going on with this song is a parallel to his own life (relationships have been mentioned in this thread, and that could be). But mostly it seems like a meditation on life in a different culture that he feels connected with in some profound way. Channeling a past spirit maybe. Recall Jim Morrison's transformative childhood connection with an injured Native American family: "He always thought about that crying Indian"

    I wonder if Daniel Rossen has Native American heritage, his appearance and even demeanor sort of suggest it. I'd be surprised actually if he didn't.

    Ok, I just read an interview in which he talks about this song. I'd rather not post it though, it's usually better to wonder (though, I still don't think I'm far off).

    Love the song. I have it in my head all the time and it gives me a solemn, haunting feeling--a sense of dire worldly struggle but one couched in the larger context of an invisible cosmic peace.

    It gets at something big.
    Wisemeisteron April 27, 2013   Link

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