Where is Mona?
She's long gone
Where is Mary?
She's taken her along
But they haven't put their mittens on
And there's fifteen feet of pure white snow?

Where is Michael?
Where is Mark?
Where is Matthew?
Now it's getting dark...
Where is John? They're all out back
Under fifteen feet of pure white snow

Would you please put down that telephone?
We're under fifteen feet of pure white snow

I waved to my neighbour
My neighbour waved to me
But my neighbour
Is my enemy
I kept waving my arms
Till I could not see
Under fifteen feet of pure white snow

Is there anybody
Out there please?
It's too quiet in here
And I'm beginning to freeze
I've got icicles hanging
From my knees
Under fifteen feet of pure white snow

Is there anybody here who feels this low
Under fifteen feet of pure white snow
Raise your hands up to the sky
Raise your hands up to the sky
Raise your hands up to the sky
Is it any wonder?
Oh my Lord, Oh my Lord
Oh my Lord, Oh my Lord

Doctor, Doctor
I'm going mad
This is the worst day
I've ever had
I can't remember
Ever feeling this bad
Under fifteen feet of pure white snow

Where's my nurse
I need some healing
I've been paralysed
By a lack of feeling
I can't even find
Anything worth stealing
Under fifteen feet of pure white snow

Is there anyone here who doesn't know?
We're under fifteen feet of pure white snow

Raise your hands up to the sky
Raise your hands up to the sky
Raise your hands up to the sky
Is it any wonder?
Oh my Lord, Oh my Lord
Oh my Lord, Oh my Lord

Save yourself! Help yourself!
Save yourself! Help yourself!
Save yourself! Help yourself!
Save yourself! Help yourself!


Lyrics submitted by Forevergreen, edited by Mellow_Harsher

Fifteen Feet of Pure White Snow song meanings
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28 Comments

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  • +8
    General CommentDon't be unimaginative. Just because it's about coke use doesn't mean it can't be about something else also. I have never done cocaine, and yet I can relate to it. Sometimes I feel like being "under fifteen feet of pure white snow" - in deep, deep depression, like a sense of total hopelesness, like a catastrophe had just occurred in my psyche. Eclusion from God, one could say.
    Kvaak kvaakon October 29, 2010   Link
  • +6
    Song MeaningThe idea about cocaine didn't even pop into my mind before I read this. I guess if you want something to be about cocaine it's about cocaine. For me it symbolised the cold war and life in the Soviet Union and it's satellite Communist states.

    If I may:

    "
    Where is Michael?
    Where is Mark?
    Where is Matthew?
    Now it's getting dark...
    Where is John? They're all out back
    Under fifteen feet of pure white snow
    "

    throughout the USSR an extensive 'cleansing, assimilation and persecution' programme was taking place. People and families would disappear over night and (the ones who wouldn't be killed on the spot) would get exiled to gulags in the north-eastern part in russia (Syberia). These regions are known for it's atrocious cold weather (down to -50 Celcius) and extensive snowfall.

    "I waved to my neighbour
    My neighbour waved to me
    But my neighbour
    Is my enemy"

    In my belief in a way this could be about cold war, but mainly about the atrocities, distrust and alienation of people to one another throughout communist times.

    "I can't even find
    Anything worth stealing
    Under fifteen feet of pure white snow"

    Completely unfair distribution of resources due to which most people would have to queue for long hours and still couldn't get such products as meat and bread in any market.

    His constant questions throughought the song like:

    "Is there anybody
    Out there please?"
    "Is there anyone here who doesn't know?
    We're under fifteen feet of pure white snow"

    Reflect upon the iron curtain and that little information would leave the Union, and an expensive propaganda campaign was always in place. But most people knew that everything was falling apart and that they were forsaken (under 15 feet of pure white snow)
    The video, the abandoned rooms, the soviet paraphernalia seem to support this argument as does the way that they are all dancing similarly to a certain tune and then everything "falls apart".

    I guess I see what I want to see, but I just think that Nick Cave would not simply limit himself to the simple topic of "cocaine" even though that might be one of the themes of the piece.






    PauPauon September 04, 2011   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI think this song is pretty obviously about cocaine. I also think it's not really just about use cocaine considering, as mackka pointed out, Nick Cave doesn't really write songs that are just about how much drugs suck. I think that the biblical referencing with the names relates to a loss of faith due to the drug use, and the isolation mackka pointed out is literal isolation due to friends dying, paranoia from the drug, and spiritual isolation from losing God. The loss of faith motif is continued when the cry for help, "oh my Lord", changes to "save yourself! help yourself!", meaning that God cannot help you until you help yourself, ie kick the drugs.

    Which is really over-analyzing things I think, because really this is just what happens when Nick Cave, a complex writer fascinated by religion, writes a song about how much drug use sucks.
    JohnApricoton February 09, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThe russian letters in the beginning of the video translates " Former Central Committte of the Kazakh Communist Party"
    tyrmefkron October 02, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General CommentReally doubt it mate. I think Nick Cave's a bit beyond writing songs about how bad cocaine is. But if it works for you, go with it.
    mackkaon June 22, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI remember I was watching the video of this song with my father and he recognized the man on the hanging picture (in the video) to a political tyrant I think of the Czech republic? I forgot the details of what he told me that day, including the name of the dictator, but it pointed that the meaning of this song is linked to a historical massacre that took place during a regime.
    elmedioon July 21, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentFYI, the hanging picture is of Soviet Premier Konstantin Chernenko. He was the last of the old guard before Gorbachev took office.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… - it's pretty obvious once you compare.
    paulinwaon June 07, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe beauty of this song, like so much of Cave's work is that it can be understood and appreciated on such a multitude of levels. It draws a vivid portrait of isolation, regardless of the cause.
    mebalzitchon April 27, 2011   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThis is incredibly well thought out song.

    Chernenko aspect of the song, along with critique of communist regime is evident, but I was puzzled by the evangelical singing during the song, so I dug deeper... as in googled it.

    Apparently, there's an anti-theistic meaning to it as well. Phrase pure white snow is reference to the verse “Come now, and let us reason together: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” Basically, the song is about how bound and imprisoned one feels when under the weight of imposed ethical standards.

    By having this ambiguous meaning, song clearly makes an analogy between religion and communism (or rather, communistic regime), which I think is brilliant, even if we disregard how great the music itself is.

    And while I'll admit that "snow" is slang for cocaine (as are about a hundred different words), this is where any possible relation to the topic ends, if for nothing else then for a fact that cocaine is one drug that doesn't make you depressed or alienated. Or at least that's just me and six other people I know.

    source: yaledailynews.com/weekend/2001/04/13/cave-spreads-the-not-so-good-news/
    ajlbidemdon February 12, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHe obviously wanted to distract your attention from the real meaning of the song :)
    comeonyoupinkson November 02, 2006   Link

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