"This Is a Low" as written by Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Steven Alexander James and David Rowntree....
And into the sea goes pretty England and me
Around the bay of Biscay and back for tea
Hit traffic on the dogger bank
Up the Thames to find a taxi rank
Sail on by with the tide and go to sleep
And the radio says

[Chorus]
This is a low
But it won't hurt you
When you are alone it will be there with you
Finding ways to stay solo

On the tyne forth and cramity
There's a low in the high forties
And Saturday's locked away on the pier
Not fast enough dear
And on the malin head, black pool looks blue and red
And the queen, she's gone round the bend
Jumped off land's end
And the radio says

[Chorus]

This is a low
But it wont hurt you
When you are alone it will be there with you
This is a low
But it wont hurt you
When you are alone it will be there with you
Finding ways to stay solo


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae, edited by Mellow_Harsher, tpfang56, bluebelll

"This is a Low" as written by Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Steven Alexander James, David / Rowntree

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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This Is a Low song meanings
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20 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentThere are a lot of references to the shipping forecast in this.

    Around the bay of BISCAY and back for tea
    Hit traffic on the DOGGER bank
    Up the THAMES to find a taxi rank
    Sail on by with the tide and go asleep
    And the radio says...

    Up the TYNE, FORTH and CROMARTY
    There's a low in the high FORTIES
    And saturday's locked away on the pier
    Not fast enough dear
    On the MALIN HEAD, blackpool looks blue and red

    All names of regions in the shipping forecast, except Malin Head which is a coastal station. The 'low' is referring to an area of low pressure. 'Blackpool looks blue and red' refers to the representation of warm and cold fronts on weather charts. 'Sail on by with the tide and go to sleep' refers to the piece of music 'Sailing By' which is played just before the shipping forecast starts. You'd go to sleep after, because the extended forecast at 12:48am is the last thing broadcast on BBC Radio 4 before closedown and it switches over to the BBC World Service.
    LDGon February 12, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe lyric listing for this one is full of errors.
    The Shipping Forecast – a BBC Radio 4 staple – is referenced throughout (the different shipping areas mentioned include Dogger Bank and Cromarty), but the song's a lot deeper, of course. The Forecast is just the thing to listen to when you are in a low – it's totally meaningless (when you're not at sea), yet the comfort of a human voice is there, sounding like there is order and control in the world, if not presently in your life...
    TheKeeperon July 21, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMy favourite song in the world. A masterpiece.
    Little_Latvianon May 03, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPersonally i think always consider Heroin / drugs first when ever i consider what a song is about; but this one?

    I just don't see it.

    Absolutely great tune. How can this be on the same disc as Girls and Boys? Such a totally different sound.


    Blur's best.
    pton March 20, 2006   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI'm gonna take a stab at interpreting this beautiful song...

    And into the sea goes pretty england and me
    -[England is sinking and blending in with the rest of its world an losing its inviduality and power in the word. Just as England is, Damon feels the same way about himself. He's surrounded by people and he's getting caught up in the society around him and just starting to blend in]

    Around the bay of biscay and back for tea
    -[we just do the same thing day in day out. Everything's just a cycle and we start to lose our spontaneity and passion for life]

    Hit traffic on the dogger bank
    -[I think this is just another symbol for England sinking "into the sea". maybe the thought of leaving and just getting away has crossed his mind but "traffic" (complications or something got in the way) of him actually doing so. the traffic may also refer to frustration or something holding him back as a person]

    Up the thames to find a taxi rank
    -[a taxi rank... a way out... or a way home]

    Sail on by with the tide and go asleep
    -[giving up and just going with the flow of society]

    And the radio says
    -[the radio i think... represents a sound and noncorrupt voice]

    (chorus)
    This is a low
    But it won't hurt you
    When you are alone it will be there with you
    Finding ways to stay solo
    -[the only time he can be himself and not go against his principles and morals is when he isn't surrounded by others and he can think for himself]

    On the tyne forth and cramity
    There's a low in the high forties

    And saturday's locked away on the pier
    -[no matter what the day is, even saturday.. a day to relax.. the weekend... he still is not happy.. it's still constricting and uncomfortable and he doesn't feel free]

    Not fast enough dear
    On the malin head, blackpool looks blue and red
    [blue and red.. sadness and anger... or bruises and blood... The country is beat or in a depression.... its just sad and angry and there's no hope]

    And the queen, she's gone round the bend
    Jumped off land's end
    -[The leaders of the country have lost sight as to what is actualy important and have succumbed to corruption and disillusion and the ones who actually still can see the problems have just given up (jumped off land's end)]
    HeThoughtOfCarson November 23, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentA lot of people have commented on Blur lamenting the Americanisation of Britain, and I think that in Parklife they have tried to write a quintessentially British album to counteract this. And what could be more quintessentially British and less influenced by America than the radio shipping forecast? I counted nine references to coastal zones of Britain in the lyrics.
    It was part of the background to my childhood, as my mother always had radio 4 on in the evenings, and it came on before the 6pm news.
    Anyone who has never heard it, I'd recommend giving it a listen here.
    youtube.com/…
    The words start about 1:15.
    It's very soothing and strangely beautiful.
    cucashopboyon November 23, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe best song anyone's ever written.
    The true expression of good music.
    Daisy_Bellon July 06, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwoot woot, i concur
    big_bad_Soco_fanon April 02, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeh awesome song.. to me this song reminds me of walking out of an exam period back in school, where i knew i'd failed both exams and the sky was gray... and i was walking accross a bridge.... the scene fits the song so well....
    SomeSortOfSomethingon June 30, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDefinately one of Blurs more understated songs. (at least its on the Best of album...)
    As for what he's singing about i heard 2 different stories. One was that he wrote it after hearing a shipping forecast, the other was that its about heroin. I personally like to think he was getting pissed off while on tour. haha
    StickDogon October 16, 2004   Link

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