"The Drowning Man" as written by Robert James Smith, Laurence Andrew Tolhurst and Simon Gallup....
She stands twelve feet above the flood
She stares
Across the water
The loneliness grows and slowly
Fills her frozen body
Sliding downwards

One by one her senses die
The memories fade
And leave her eyes
Still seeing worlds that never were
And one by one the bright birds leave her

Starting at the violent sound
She tries to turn
But final
Slips and strikes her soft dark head
The water bows
Receives her
And drowns her at its ease
Drowns her at its ease

I would have left the world all bleeding
Could I only help you love
The fleeting shapes
So many years ago
So young and beautiful and brave

Everything was true
It couldn't be a story

I wish it was all true
I wish it couldn't be a story
The words all left me
Breathing like the drowning man

Oh Fushia
You leave me
Breathing like the drowning man
Breathing like the drowning man

Lyrics submitted by oofus, edited by smithsocksimon

"The Drowning Man" as written by Laurence Andrew Tolhurst Robert James Smith

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

The Drowning Man song meanings
Add your thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +2
    General Commentits based on a book by mervyn peake called gormenghast. upon realizing that her heart had been broken, fucshia, now growing old, finds it too difficult to retreat back into her imaginary world. she plays in her mind with the idea of suicide. not really knowing what she is doing, she begains to act out a story once again. suddenly she is startled by a knock on the door. it is he who had broken her heart. but before she can gain composure and pull herself from her make believe, she slips on the window sill and falls to her death. drowning in the flood water outside.

    excellent book by the way. there are several cure songs that reference it.
    saturnineon March 19, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentprobably my favorite cure song. holds alot of meaning to me.
    bloodfloweron April 09, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMost of the Cure songs of this era had a story they were based on. Anyone know what book/story this is based on? Love the twangy guitar.
    iatd42on March 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have this art exam to do and I wanted it to do with our dieing nature. I know this song is not directly about that topic but I think the verse

    One by one her senses die
    The memories fade
    And leave her eyes
    Still seeing worlds that never were
    And one by one the bright birds leave her...

    Could suit it well... her being Mother Nature. I was wondering if anyone sees the reference as well or is it too abstract?
    [starla]on March 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI forget, what happened to Steerpike in Gormenghast, did he drown?

    As for the Mother Nature reference, that fits well with the character of " Countess Gertrude" who didn't have any relationship with any of her children but preferred her birds. Maybe, in this song Fuchsia embodied the 'bright birds' (avenues of possibility) that her mother never took notice of and whose brightness/natural spontaneity was exploited by Steerpike?
    forgotten412on July 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHe doesn't drown. He goes into hiding in an abandoned wing of the castle, cut off by the floodwaters. Titus blames him for Fuchsia's death, hunts him down, and kills him. It all happens just before Titus leaves.
    kleinesigelchenon August 15, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of the greatest cure songs. They truly portray a sense of pure hopelessness in the intruments. I think its all really about depair and loneliness. A girl kills herself because she feels so alone and she fails to see all the good things in her life (One by one the bright birds leave). She sinks into the water but regrets her decision, but the water, like her unescapable loneliness "drowns her at its ease". the final verse is the most haunting as it tells of a man who loved the girl and would have died to save her. He is left as helpless and lonely as she was, "Breathing like the drowning man". All the dreams flee from him. Absolutly wonderful stuff.
    so-far-awayon November 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFuchsia, (misspelled in the last line above) is one of the principal characters in Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast Trilogy, of which apparently members of the band were reading at the time they were recording Faith. This song describes her death, which actually was an accident, not a suicide. Great books! I highly recommend any Cure fan pick them up.
    phil3737on July 14, 2011   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