"One White Duck / 0^{10} = Nothing At All" as written by and Ian Anderson....
There's a haze on the skyline, to wish me on my way.
And there's a note on the telephone
Some roses on a
Tray.

And the motorway's stretching right out to us all,
As I pull on my old wings, one white duck
On your wall.

Isn't it just too damn real?
I'll catch a ride on your violin, strung upon your bow.
And I'll float on your melody, sing your chorus soft
And low.

There's a picture-view postcard to say that I called.
You can see from the fireplace, one white duck
On your wall.

Isn't it just too damn real?
So fly away peter and fly away Paul, from the
Finger-tip ledge of contentment.

The long restless rustle of high-heeled boots calls.
And I'm probably bound to deceive you after all.
Something must be wrong with me and my brain
If I'm so patently unrewarding.

But my dreams are for dreaming and best left that
Way, and my zero to your power of ten equals
Nothing at all.

There's no double-lock defense; there's no chain on my door.
I'm available for consultation,
But remember your way in is also my way out, and
Love's four-letter word is no compensation.

Well, I'm the black ace dog-handler, I'm a waiter on
Skates, so don't you jump to your foreskin conclusion.

Because I'm up to my deaf ears in cold breakfast trays,
To be cleared before I can dine on your sweet Sunday
Lunch confusion.


Lyrics submitted by knate15

"One White Duck/010 = Nothing at All" as written by Ian Anderson

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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One White Duck / 0^{10} = Nothing At All song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentI love this song, but honestly I haven't got a clue. Will somebody please tell me what the hell these lyrics mean?
    dan0311on January 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWill somebody tell me what the hell the title means, then I'll worry about the lyrics.
    inpraiseoffollyon September 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have no idea either (then again, I haven't heard the song), but I'm going to give the title to my calculus teacher.
    inpraiseoffollyon September 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song always seemed to me to be about the role of sex in a relationship. "Done you jump to your foreskin conclusion" i.e. just because we have sex together don't assume I'm going to be 'monogamous' or faithful " I'm probably bound to deceive you after all".

    The speaker is someone for whom sex is not bound by relationships or modern morality : "There's no double-lock defense; there's no chain on my door. I'm available for consultation,". He sees sex as a path to spirituality and helping/healing other people : "I'm the Black Ace dog handler, I'm a waiter on skates". 'Black Ace' is a reference to death, the 'dog' the fear of death. Death and sex are inextricably linked for all of us. Conquer your sexual repression and you conquer your fear of death.

    The speaker also considers himself on a journey to find himself through this sexual shamanhood - he is currently a 'zero', with lots of work to do before he can experience divine bliss "Sunday lunch confusion".

    If a nonspiritual person is hooked on the modern idea of power and wealth, then a spiritual person cannot grow with them : "my zero to your power of ten equals
    nothing at all" - so he must leave. He must delve into the "restless rustle of high-heeled boots" - symbolizing hedonistic exploration towards experiencing life fully. To do this we must leave behind the trappings of modern comfort : "fly away... from the fingertip ledge of contentment". Most people are holding onto material comfort by their fingertips, unable to love openly and with vulnerability, as is necessary for enlightenment.

    This sounds out there, as do most of my analyses. But I'm a lifelong Buddhist, and I've come to understand that many (if not most) of Ian's songs revolve around walking the path to enlightenment, which involves not being attached to things, society, people, ... but does involve living life to its fullest through really enjoying life in the most organic way possible. And yes, that includes sex (read about Tibetan Tantric Buddhism, which became known in the west around this time).

    Also read into the song "Teacher" a bit. That song is about not understanding how a guru could find enlightenment by indulging in drinking, sunbathing, and having fun. So much so that the student can't even focus on what he says.
    rainwalkon March 21, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne other thing - "your way in is my way out" : most people see sex as an implicit bond between two people, and a way to intimacy and psychic dependency (way in). But the speaker sees it as a path to get out of himself and experience selfless love (way out, the tantric way). The two views cannot live together without problems.
    The person being spoken to believes that love should limit intimacy to just the two involved. But the speaker in the song does not subscribe to this view: "and love's four-letter word is no compensation". Again, he will probably end up deceiving her again.
    rainwalkon March 21, 2007   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningSorry your all wrong its about Ian Andersons split from his first wife in about 1974 ish

    "As I pull on my old wings" (getting ready to leave)

    "One white duck on your wall" (Poignant last look around the house before leaving)

    "Im the black ace dog handler Im a waiter on skates" (fed up with all the mundain household chores)

    "Because I'm up to my deaf ears in cold breakfast trays ---
    to be cleared before I can dine on your sweet Sunday
    lunch confusion." (Just sick of chaotic domestic life)

    "And the motorway's stretching right out to us all" (There is a way out)

    "love's four-letter word is no compensation. " (sex isnt enough to make him want to stay)

    " and my zero to your power
    of ten equals nothing at all" (no matter how much he loves her he doesnt love her)

    I could go on,
    its not that complicated!
    mickemblowon May 06, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Song Meaningsorry that was suposed to read ..... no matter how much she loves him he doesnt love her

    ever arrogant people can make mistakes!
    mickemblowon May 06, 2009   Link

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