"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

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

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.

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Lifeguard Sleeping, Girl Drowning song meanings
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  • +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
  • +1
    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
  • +1
    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
  • 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
  • 0
    General Commentit is what it says
    kempeon September 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDear Nightandday,
    I actually think I provided a very text book analysis of the song - not going out on a limb whatsoever in terms of interpretting Morrissey's character in the song - he does not identify with the girl whatsoever - wants to see her death through to get closer to the guy and that's clear not only in his vocal stylings which make illustrate his disdain for this "nobody's nothing" but throughout the lyrics, which include the rather straightforward bitchiness of "She deserves all she gets." Not to come across as conceited but I would put my interpretion to the test with any English professor, who would most likely agree with my literary thoughts which simply recognize the voice/character/perspective of Morrissey's character in the song (which certainly harkens back to Sal Mineo in Rebel Without A Cause) as well as the very obvious plot - an almost Shakespearean manipulation leading to death for the sake of one's love/obsession. SO there!
    davidbeauyon March 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI had never thought of it like davidbeauy's interpretation, but I think that it is a good interpretation now that I read it.

    When I listen to it, I always think of a girl who has a crush on the lifeguard so she always goes to the beach trying to like talk to him and get his attention, but he doesn't like her that much, and he ignores her. So, she decides to like swim out really far, so he'll have to rescue her. Unfortunately, the lifeguard is napping, and he doesn't even notice that she swam too far, and she's drowning. She died and no one cared about her.
    xcatson May 18, 2007   Link

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