I listened to this album a lot after my father passed, so my interpretation may be related to that....
What a beautiful face
I have found in this place
That is circling all round the sun
What a beautiful dream
That could flash on the screen
In a blink of an eye and be gone from me
Soft and sweet
Let me hold it close and keep it here with me

And one day we will die
And our ashes will fly from the aeroplane over the sea
But for now we are young
Let us lay in the sun
And count every beautiful thing we can see
Love to be
In the arms of all I'm keeping here with me

What a curious life we have found here tonight
There is music that sounds from the street
There are lights in the clouds
Anna's ghost all around
Hear her voice as it's rolling and ringing through me
Soft and sweet
How the notes all bend and reach above the trees

Now how I remember you
How I would push my fingers through
Your mouth to make those muscles move
That made your voice so smooth and sweet
And now we keep where we don't know
All secrets sleep in winter clothes
With one you loved so long ago
Now we don't even know his name

What a beautiful face
I have found in this place
That is circling all round the sun
And when we meet on a cloud
I'll be laughing out loud
I'll be laughing with everyone I see
Can't believe how strange it is to be anything at all


Lyrics submitted by PLANES, edited by KurmisTheFrog, Mellow_Harsher, eljavi, SteveDream, Dufflepud


In the Aeroplane Over the Sea song meanings
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  • +15
    General Comment
    And one day we will die
    And our ashes will fly from the aeroplane over the sea
    But for now we are young
    Let us lay in the sun
    And count every beautiful thing we can see


    that's one of my favourite lyrics of all time. this song is just so wonderful. its message is to live in the present, and enjoy everything in life to the fullest, rather than worrying about the future, and how wonderful the simplicity of life can be.
    gleebson December 08, 2001   Link
  • +4
    General Commentmaybe it's just on my computer but the lyrics

    'what a curious life
    we have found here tonight
    there is music that sounds from the street
    there are lights in the clouds'

    are missing from the beginning of the third verse
    razz_matazzon July 13, 2002   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationI don't know if "optimistic" is really how I'd describe the lyrics - haunting perhaps since the central metaphor of the song is of a dead girl who was exterminated by the Nazis. Her diary has become world famous since, even after enduring two years in hiding in Amsterdamn, even after members of her family were taken to Auschwitz, she still wrote of her belief in the basic goodness of mankind. The images of floating on clouds after death, laughing, having our ashes scattered from an "aeroplane" instead of an "airplane", make me think that he's talking about anachronistic thought - i.e. that the beauty of life is a mirage, nothing more than an adolescent imagining. By putting his fingers into the mouth of a young girl who is now a ghost, he forces her to speak soft and sweet - that is he gets her to say what he wants to hear, he controls her voice so that all of her horrific secrets can sleep in winter clothes, i.e. hibernate, be pushed to the back of their minds while they are happy and young. The song becomes atonal, it breaks down into nothing but sound and then suddenly we're back to the beginning stanza but the dream is over, it has flashed on the screen and is gone, but it was never there, it was only in his mind (on a "screen"), and you cannot hold onto a dream. It's as meaningless as floating on a cloud and laughing. Nothing in this song actually exists except the strange muscles of Anna's mouth and his fingers. We are "nothing at all." And it is all told under the guise of such sweet refrains, that is while we are alive we must believe in the beauty of life, we have to fool ourselves and let those images sleep in winter clothes. Or as Mr. S said, "We are the stuff that dreams are made of." Without those dreams we "aren't anything at all."
    athenamuseson April 10, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General Commenteverything.
    minusoneon April 25, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General Commentalso..a famous anne frank quote is.."in spite of everything, i still believe that people really are good at heart." sorry if i botched that.
    wewahon June 28, 2003   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI was really surprised someone described this as a "feel good" album...I would think of something a little more shallow and just happy...like early Beatles stuff could be a feel good album and althought this might make you feel good it's in a kind of bitter sweet way when you think about all the sad things about life they're talking about.

    I think it is about Anne Frank specifically, who could just represent any person who remains an idealist even when facing the bitter hateful realities of life. In the world of an idealist that is strong enough or whatever enough to believe good in the world the world can stay beautiful which is why this is a beautiful song (I think)

    "What a beautiful face
    I have found in this place
    That is circling all round the sun"

    I love how he uses "This place that is circling all round the sun" to describe Earth...very poetic. The beautiful face is Anne Frank or who she represents and it's amazing that he found her in "this place" when it was so full of sadness during WWII (or during just about any given time)

    "And one day we will die
    And our ashes will fly from the aeroplane over the sea
    But for now we are young
    Let us lay in the sun
    And count every beautiful thing we can see
    Love to be
    In the arms of all I'm keeping here with me "

    I think a common theme in this entire album that is also seen here is the escaping of the harsh realities being the only way to survive and be happy. But it's not just an escape, it's a way of living. Yeah, one day we'll all die but you just can't think about that all the time, for the moment you must believe things are good and promising so you can enjoy anything.

    "Now how I remember you
    How I would push my fingers through
    Your mouth to make those muscles move
    That made your voice so smooth and sweet "

    I think this could just be a weird/artistic way to describe the fact that Anne Frank was dead and therefor could not talk or share her story, but rather it was through her father's publishing of her diary and then even... Jeff's songs about her that made her "speak", she only was heard through other people making her voice heard.

    I think Jeff is in love with Anne Frank. Honestly. If not her he is in love with the idea of her. And the last verse is about dying and getting to meet her finally.
    RainSongon December 14, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis is song is most deffinatly about hope, and finding the beauty in both life and death that we so often overlook and take for granted. Jeff Mangum often spoke of often having dreams about Anne Frank and her family. And how he believed Anne Frank was in a strange way connected to him. 'Anna's ghost all around'
    mellow fellowon February 11, 2005   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation"Anna's ghost all around
    Hear her voice as it's rolling and ringing through me
    Soft and sweet
    How the notes all bend and reach above the trees

    Now, how I remember you
    How I would push my fingers through your mouth
    To make those muscles move..."

    Has noone seen the alternate meaning that exists in these lines which refers to anorexia? "Anna" is a universal name given by anorexics for the distorted voice inside their heads.

    I could not believe everyone had seemed to miss this metaphor entirely. The lines "How I would push my fingers through your mouth/To make those muscles move..." has such obvious imagery of a person forcing themselves to throw up, and "All secrets sleep in winter clothes" supports this idea as anorexics often hide under their baggy "winter" clothes.

    Upon futher analysis I agree entirely with most things you all have said about this being a beautiful song and its references to Anne Frank, but I just could not go past this inital imagery that hit me when reading these lyrics.

    untitled56789on August 08, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti really cannot believe how strange it is to be anything at all.
    ramrodsteston June 01, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAnna's Ghost = Anne Frank

    Again, amazing.
    xReadysetSTABon June 18, 2003   Link

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