"Flying Over Water" as written by and Jason Isbell....
From the sky we look so organized and brave

Walls that make up barricades and graves

Daddy's little empire built by hands and built by slaves

From the sky we look so organized and brave



In the heat I saw you rising from the dirt

Drunken tears and tugging at your skirt

If only you could tell me then what part of you got hurt

In the heat I saw you rising from the dirt 



Take my hand, baby we're over land

I know flying over water makes you cry

Where's that liquor cart?

Maybe we shouldn't start

But I can't for the life of me say why



From the sky the highway's straight as it could be

A string pulled tight from home to Tennessee

And still somehow those ditches took a better part of me

From the sky the highway's straight as it could be



Take my hand, baby we're over land

I know flying over water makes you cry

Been in the sky so long

Feels like a long way home

But I can't for the life of me say why



Do we leave our love behind?

Would we leave our love behind?

Did we leave our love behind?

Would we leave our love behind?



Take my hand, baby we're over land

I know flying over water makes you cry

Been in the sky so long

Seems like the long way home

But I can't for the life of me say why



Did we leave our love behind?

Did we leave our love behind?


Lyrics submitted by SongMeanings, edited by jfoxx

"Flying Over Water" as written by Jason Isbell

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Flying Over Water song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment"Flying over water makes you cry"?

    I *LOVE* this album & this song, and even this line -- but I can't quite wrap my head around it. Any suggestions?
    RayBobon November 09, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI get goosebumps just READING these lyrics.
    hottoddyon July 21, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song gives me chicken skin too. And I don't even understand the meaning of the song. That's how good of a songwriter Jason is...
    Branjawnon September 20, 2016   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationTo me, it's about fear and uncertainty in general life as well as in a relationship.

    "Flying over water" is something people fear - that sets the stage.

    First verse - from the sky everything looks so buttoned up but the truth is that it was all built on slave labor and there's so much fighting and death going on.

    Second verse - he's witnessed the woman in his life fighting and struggling to survive on her own. He didn't seem to help her - maybe he couldn't or maybe he just didn't. And he still doesn't quite know what happened or what she needs.

    Chorus - in spite of all that, he wants to help. He recognizes what she fears but also tries to remind her that what she fears isn't always true (being over land can over water).

    Verse three - again reflects on how everything looks clean and straight from on high, but the day to day challenges of living have taken their toll on him too.

    Chorus - same as before, only now he's no longer interested in the liquor cart. Instead, he's identifying with her weariness and noticing how long they've been in the sky - the struggle goes in and on.

    Bridge - do we, would we, did we, will we, should we leave our love behind? Should we just walk away from the relationship in the face of this difficult existence?

    Ultimately I find this a hopeful song - it represents the kind of unfiltered questioning that goes on in all our heads, I think: "everything else looks so squared away, but I and my life seemed so f***ed up...maybe I ought to just chuck it all and walk away?"

    But in the end, I think (I hope) we end up coming back to our most important relationships and recommitting to them and realizing that they are at the center of everything that IS good about our short time in this planet.
    mdupeeon January 28, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn the heat I saw you rising from the dirt
    
Drunken tears and tugging at your skirt
    
If only you could tell me then what part of you got hurt
    
In the heat I saw you rising from the dirt 


    First, the second line should read:
    "Drunk, in tears and tugging at your skirt."
    These are some of the best four lines ever written about a modern day damsel in distress. Great song.
    bc14on July 27, 2017   Link

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