They take apart their bodies like toys for the local boys
Because they're always there at the edge of the water
They come from the capitol, these city girls go way down
Where the stones meet the sea
And all you young girls with your hide
Down by the water, the restless tide

And the local boys hide on the mound and watch
Reaching for the speech and the word to be heard
And the boys grow hard, hard to be heard
Hard to be heard as they reach for the speech
And search for the word on the water's edge
But you grow old and you grow cold
Yea you grow old and you grow cold

They will come in their hordes, these city girls
With white strings flowing from their ears
As the local boys behind the mound
Think long and hard about the girls from the capitol
Who dance at the water's edge, shaking their asses
And all you long lovers where you hide
Down by the water, the restless tide

With a bible of tricks they do with their legs
The girls reach for the speech and the speech to be heard
To be hard, the local boys teem down the mound
And seize the girls from the capitol
Who shriek at the edge of the water
Shriek to speak, and reach for the speech
Reach for the speech to be heard
But you grow old and you grow cold
Yea you grow old and you grow cold
You grow old

Their legs wide to the world like bibles open
To be speared and taking their bodies apart like toys
They dismantle themselves by the water's edge
And reach for the speech and the wide wide world
God knows the local boys

Yes the will of love
The thrill of love
But the chill of love is coming on

Yes the will of love
It's the thrill of love
Ah but the chill of love is coming on

It's the will of love
It's the thrill of love
Ah but the chill of love is coming down, people


Lyrics submitted by smallwonderrobot

Water's Edge song meanings
Add your thoughts

3 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    My InterpretationBecause Nick lives in Brighton, I think it sounds like a typical summers day, when hoards of Londoners head down there to get out of the big smoke. "Where the stones meet the sea" - The beach in Brighton is stoney, rather than sandy. Pretty straight forward song really. Hot city girls visit the beach, local lads perve on them.
    Also, "White strings flowing from their ears" - iPod headphones maybe?
    Murtlesonon April 29, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWith this being a Cave song I imagine the song to be much more morose and grim.
    It might just be a simple scenario of a group of girls, naive and carefree, thinking they're alone, set upon by a group of horny teenagers, raped, perhaps even killed. The bodies coming apart like toys is mentioned twice, first to refer to clothing coming off, then later in a more sinister, perhaps a more way. The "reach for the speech to be heard" is quite evidently a cry for help.
    The eternal wild hunt, the hunt of men for women, driven mad by lust, tragically and brutally on display.
    Brassfinchon May 17, 2015   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI also do think that this song is heavy influenced by what Nick observed in Brighton. But I think it's a bit more to that, especially since the narrative on "Push the sky away" is more open.
    For me, the most important lines are: "Reach for the speech to be heard" and
    "But you grow old and you grow cold"
    I read in a YouTube comment that some parent felt a bit sad while listening because he or she had a son who has problems with speaking (I believe deaf-mute was behind this). So I thought about this. While I don't think this is adressed in the text, the song is a bit more about youth in general.
    Young people seem so struggeling. We people in the western world also seem to struggle even when we have fancy iPod headphones in our ear. To find the right answer, the right path and the best idea of this world seems to essential in this song. But this is the world on the water's edge: It's wide open, and if you're an optimist and you have the ability to talk to the girls, who mean everything, who can mean the world, even in your little hometown, you do it good. And maybe, when one gets older, he remembers that he hasn't this hunger and this good, maybe a bit naive, but nontheless lovely feelings anymore.
    This is not everything, there is some wordplay who's very mysterious (like "Bible of tricks"), but I like this idea. But what's with the pessimist worldview? :\
    Dohleon April 19, 2014   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