Was further out than you thought - wind-swept and current-caught. Not knee-deep, but out to sea. Slipped off the boat that we bought. Water, water everywhere, but nowhere a drop to drink. I'm floating, wrinkling, uncomfortable. I'm sinking and sinking and sink.

Lyrics submitted by afraidofcrushes

Not Waving But Drowning song meanings
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  • +2
    General Comment"Nobody heard him, the dead man,
    But still he lay moaning:
    I was much further out than you thought
    And not waving but drowning.

    Poor chap, he always loved larking
    And now he's dead
    It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
    They said.

    Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
    (Still the dead one lay moaning)
    I was much too far out all my life
    And not waving but drowning."

    the "man" in this poem was doomed from the beginning and knew it, but to the outside world he seemed like he was perfectly fine. so he was alone in his pain.

    i hate myself is clever because they can pull references from not only stevie smith and coleridge, but also from dragonball-z. and all of their lyrics fit cohesively and give you chills from their raw emotion.
    tastemakeron September 04, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe person this song is about is extremely depressed and heavily into drugs. none of his friends can tell, and he is too afraid to try to talk them.

    He knows he has a problem, and he wants help. His friends think he's doing just fine, and he has given up all hope..
    Possibilitieson January 31, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthey took this from the poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    "Water, water, every where,
    And all the boards did shrink ;
    Water, water, every where,
    Nor any drop to drink."
    allhailspartaon June 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song. and the title is very clever. hah. i can't get over thhe title...
    feelinleftouton June 21, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think they took the title from a sheer terror song, maybe not
    dannywon July 01, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentnot waving but drowning is a title of a poem by stevie smith. i'm guessing thats where they took the title from hehe
    boy with no armson September 19, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit says in the liner notes to 10 songs that the poem was the source of the title and first line. i think that's probably where sheer terror got their song title and not waving but drowning got their band name, unless one of these was an homage to to another, but that's just conjecture.

    the "water, water, everywhere" part is my favorite part in any song to sing along to, i think.
    beardponyon December 22, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about someone missing the signs of his depression. he puts on a happy exterior, but he is feeling miserable, and the person realized it too late: "was further out than you thought..."
    OnFireon March 14, 2005   Link

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