"Lifeguard Sleeping, Girl Drowning" as written by Steven Morrissey and Martin James Boorer....
Always looking for attention
Always needs to be mentioned
Who does she
Think she should be?
The shrill cry through darkening air
Doesn't she know he's
Had such a busy day?

Tell her sshhh
Somebody tell her sshhh
Oh, no way, no way, there's no movement
Oh, oh, hooray
Slowest

It was only a test
But she swam too far
Against the tide
She deserves all she gets
The sky became marked with stars
As an out-stretched arm slowly
Disappears

Hooray
Oh hooray
No, oh, oh, woh, there's no movement
No, oh, hooray
Oh, hooray

Please don't worry
There'll be no fuss
She was nobody's nothing

(What's your name?)
(What's your name?)
(What's your name?)
(What's your name?)

When he awoke
The sea was calm
And another day passes like a dream
There's no no way

(What's your name?)
(What's your name?)
(What's your name?)
(What's your name?)
(What's your name?)
(What's your name?)
(What's your name?)
(What's your name?)
(What's your name?)


Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery

"Lifeguard Sleeping, Girl Drowning" as written by Martin James Boorer Steven Morrissey

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Lifeguard Sleeping, Girl Drowning song meanings
Add your thoughts

19 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +4
    General CommentYeah... I think it's very simple. Girl wants attention from lifeguard, fakes drowning, lifeguard's asleep, she drowns. Depressing. Ironic. Morrissey.
    mopo976on September 24, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Commentwell, what an imaginative interpretation. I see no reference to homicide in this song and I always thought he felt sympathy for the girl and NOT for the lifeguard, who is shown to be insensitive and lazy (the ironic line 'doesn't she know he had such a busy day?'); and that it was one of those songs where Morrissey identifies with the tragic female heroine (as in This Night Has Opened My Eyes, What She Said, November Spawned A Monster...) - she 'swam too far against the tide' = she dared to be different, she wanted too much... The line 'Don't worry, she was nobody's nothing' sounds so tragic.

    But if you want to read stories of "Sal Mineo-like obsessions" into it, then that's what it means for you. I do wonder why the lifeguard seems so unsympathetic, if he's supposed to be the object of love, and why the girl seems so tragic - but that's just me...
    nightanddayon May 18, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is probably my favourite Morrissey song, or certainly in the top 5. When I first heard it, I thought it wasn't Morrissey. The singing style is so unusual to his normal style. The whole song is like something between Bryan Ferry and Pink Floyd!

    I love how he goes to a whisper at times and the lines "the sky became mad with stars"..."she was nobody's nothing"...."and another day passes like a dream".

    It's quite strange how sings "horray" and "oh no" like he's a third person specutator of this scene, this girl fighting for her life in the sea. Very spooky. She's just swallowed up by the sea which becomes calm after and nobody notices she was there or existed.

    Only Morrissey could come up with such lyrics and ideas for songs.
    roxyfanon October 28, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe girl in this song is an extrovert, always saying /doing, " look at me! ". Morrissey is an introvert, and can't stand her attention seeking ways. By drowning, she deserves all that she gets for being an outgoing person and that makes Morrissey happy. Sounds dark, but that's my interpretation.
    Maladjustedon February 23, 2016   Link
  • +2
    General CommentRegardless of how you interpret the lyrics, this is one of the greatest songs Morrisey ever recorded... the (I think it is) tenor sax (sounds like a clarinet at times, but then they can) provides a simple 'voice' for the girl swimming, while the rhythm guitar plays an almost lullaby like tune for the lifeguard... all while the lead guitar gives the narrator's voice a perfect counterpoint. Add the synth, restrained drums that come to the front when needed and the almost constant tambourine and you have these wildly disparate 'voices' all melding together perfectly with Morrisey's own voice to produce a truly remarkabke and beautiful soundscape.
    grenon July 22, 2017   Link
  • +1
    General Commentit is what it says
    kempeon September 08, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think Morrissey wrote this song in the point of view in the general public, with the drowning girl being anyone with a mental ailment - but mainly depression. They see the person as "Always looking for attention
    Always needs to be mentioned "

    And as the person starts 'drowning' or is in serious trouble, they don't care at all, as Morrissey so blatantly proves. The person is just looking for more and more attention.

    If my interpretation is right, it could go along with the lyrics Morrissey wrote for "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore." Basically: People don't take depression/mental ailments seriously, when they should be.
    JeffryFeffryon June 12, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't think he's saying "tell her", because it sounds nothing like that, and I don't know how you could get that out of what it sounds like. I think it says "Touch..." instead of "tell her", because it really sounds like that. But then again, that wouldn't make any sense, and it would make more sense if they said "tell her".
    Phrogexon May 30, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is Morrissey at his deliriously campy best. The character singing is an almost Sal Mineo-esque lad jealous of the relationship between a Lifeguard and some girl. He is jealous to the point of highly-manipulative homicide as he dares the girl to swim in the treacherous ocean (or perhaps he suggests to her privately that the best way to impress him is to swim as far out as possible). As the girl swims further out, the singer sings the lifeguard to sleep -- siren-like and oh-so restrained with the joy his nefarious plan is giving him. Then comes my favorite line, one which is so vivid you can almost see an animated dream sequence unfolding -- "The sky became marked with stars
    As an out-stretched arm slowly
    Disappears" The refrain of "What's your name" adds a certain intrigue to the story -- is the Sal Mineo-type, such an obsessive stalker that he doesn't he even know the name of the man he has just killed for, or is the object of his affection asking what his name is -- almost as if after all that had just happened, the guy doesn't even know who he is.
    davidbeauyon February 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdavidbeay...love the interpretation...makes a lot of sense...this is such a cool song...so different. I love the line "she was nobody's nothing".
    enolfon March 03, 2006   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