Strange face with your eyes so pale and sincere
Underneath you know well you have nothing to fear
For the dreams that came to you when so young
Told of a life where spring is sprung

You would seem so frail in the cold of the night
When the armies of emotion go out to fight
But while the earth sinks to its grave
You sail to the sky on the crest of a wave

So forget this cruel world where I belong
I'll just sit and wait and sing my song
And if one day you should see me in the crowd
Lend a hand and lift me to your place in the cloud


Lyrics submitted by Sweet Blue Way, edited by smallwonderrobot

Cello Song song meanings
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29 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentThis song has a ethereal, weightless feel to it. It has a drifiting cloudlike or wavelike quality to it, like you're being swept away. I love the cello solo that weaves in and out of the guitar and drum and the naked sincerity and humility of his lyrics.
    suclid003on April 28, 2006   Link
  • +5
    General CommentHe's singing to himself. He's the strange face in the first verse, looking at his own eyes. He knows he should have nothing to fear by life, but... at night, the armies of emotion come anyway (depression). He can't fight that wave. In the final verse, he withdraws into his music, hoping to be helped by someone's, anyone's, hand.

    This song makes me cry.
    smallwonderroboton June 03, 2013   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI enjoy how, with this album in particular, the instrumental in the background complements and almost elevates his sound. 'Cello Song is the perfect mesh of Nick Drake's haunting voice, mesmerizing acoustic, and instrumental backup.
    As for the lyrics, I get a feeling from his music that he feels the world is far different from the one he enjoyed as a child. This song seems to express his longing for the place he once felt comfortable with. "Lend me a hand and lift me To your place in the cloud."
    SnowIsGoneon August 23, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI love it. It was playing as I left someone's house by the sea, and all I could think of was running and running away. It expresses deep insecurities, but yet such a powerful strength. Astoundingly beautiful.
    melodic_trashon October 24, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song always brings haunting chills to me whenever I hear it.. the sad thing about this artist, is when ever I ask if a persons knows of Nick Drake, the most common response I get is; "huh?"
    =~=
    What this song means to me is of waiting for something to happen, without fear, and hoping someone can help them out of the shit they'er in.

    "I'll just sit & wait, and sing my song.. and if one day you should see me in the crowd, lend a hand & lift me, to your place in the cloud."
    I-have-lost-iton September 06, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentA beautiful fusion of soothing, entrancing instrumentals and heartfelt lyrics. When I learned of Nick Drake, I was surprised by the fact he recorded his music in the 70s, died a while ago, etc. His lyrics, at the very least, sound and feel very modern, at least in this song.
    ALackofColorHereon February 12, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"When the armies of emotion go out to fight"--you don't get much more poetic lyrics than that.
    Nick's lyics are very deep and very intelligent, but also very accessible.
    Other singers get the depth and the intelligence (Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Damien Rice)--but often times their lyrics are much more subjective and open-ended, whereas with Nick, I get the feeling that he wasn't just experimenting with rhyming, or trying to say a social/political message--he had a personal message that he wanted (needed!) to express...
    And that's why he's such a beautiful artist, and such a deserving-of-praise songwriter
    TheThornBirdson April 18, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentHere is my take on the song:
    "Strange face, with your eyes
    So pale and sincere
    Underneath you know well
    You have nothing to fear
    For the dreams that came to you when so young
    Told of a life
    Where spring is sprung"
    This is how he sees most of the people. Carefree and enjoying life and full of hope.

    "You would seem so frail
    In the cold of the night
    When the armies of emotion
    Go out to fight
    But while the earth sinks to its grave
    You sail to the sky
    On the crest of a wave"

    This is and advice. Save yourself, because things are rather bad.

    "So forget this cruel world
    Where I belong
    I'll just sit and wait
    And sing my song
    And if one day you should see me in the crowd
    Lend a hand and lift me
    To your place in the cloud".

    He knows he can´t simply "let go". Again, an advice for anyone who wants to listen to it, get away from everything or it wil consume you. And if you can, please, help.
    medton July 04, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree that Nick Drake is under-appreciated. I recently asked someone if they liked him and they confused him for Nick Cave. Nonetheless, I think he has a small-but-loyal following. This is the best ND song by far. It's mesmerising.
    jezzyboyon December 05, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti only recently discovered nick, but this is already one of my favorites. his music is so moving that i cannot even put it into the appropriate, deserving words. beautiful.
    rembuckon April 27, 2007   Link

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