When we set out on this journey
There were no doubts in our minds
We set our eyes to the distance
We would find what we would find
We took courage from our numbers
What we sought we did not fear
Sometimes we'd glimpse a shadow falling
The shadow would disappear
But our thoughts kept returning
To something the boy said
As we turned to go
He said you'll never see our faces again
You'll be food for a carrion crow

Every step we took today
Our thoughts would always stray
From the wind on the moor so wild
To the words of the captain's child
Something the boy said

In the circles we made with our fires
We talked of the pale afternoon
The clouds were like dark riders
Flying on the face of the moon
We spoke our fears to the captain
And asked what his son could know
For we would never have marched so far
To be food for a crow

Every step we took today
Our thoughts would always stray
From the wind on the moor so wild
To the words of the captain's child
Something the boy said

When I awoke this morning
The sun's eye was red as blood
The stench of burning corpses
Faces in the mud
Am I dead or am I living?
I'm too afraid to care, I'm too afraid to know
I'm too afraid to look behind me
At the feast of the crow
We spoke our fears to the captain
And asked what his son could know
For we would never have marched so far
To be food for a crow

Lyrics submitted by Novartza

Something the Boy Said Lyrics as written by Gordon Sumner

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Something The Boy Said song meanings
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  • +1
    Song MeaningThe Carrion Crow is native to the temperate climates found in eastern (southern UK - Germany and down though Spain) and western (areas west of the Kara Sea but north of the Himalayas) Europe. They're confined to these areas due to the lack of food available between and to the south of these areas.

    Needless to say, a large army of foot soldiers would provide an easy food source in the waste left behind when they broke camp to march on. While the crows fed on the waste and carcasses of large game the soldiers hunted for food by forward parties preparing a forward camp, scout crows would eat their fill then head out to track their food source and return. Hence, "Sometimes we'd glimpse a shadow falling, the shadow would disappear."

    As the army neared the enemy front and hesitated to rest from the march before battle, the crows would give the army's location away to enemy scouts as they flew in the cool of the night to roost at their next meal (though the soldiers perceived them as 'dark clouds' apparently). Knowing the location of the approaching army, the well-rested enemy could easily use the element of surprise to prepare "the feast of a crow."

    After the feast, the crows would make their way back north where they could feed naturally on the local fauna. This is likely how the species came to inhabit their two distinct regions of Eurasia.

    No doubt stories and written accounts from the middle-ages (if not earlier) exist, but Sting prides himself as a talented writer and would rather "Summer's Tales" maintain the mystic air of originality. While I do enjoy the tune, it seems more like a story written by someone whose father (a Captain) and troops were ambushed during the Crown's preoccupation with the occupation of the birthplace of Christianity ("marched so far") rendered into obscurity with purposefully vague lyrics and aesthetic over-dubbed vocal embellishments. In any case, I wasn't expecting history lessons or biographies when I bought the CD so I enjoy "Something the Boy Said" for the song that it is (even though Sting doesn't/can't/won't perform it on stage).


    JBeaston March 18, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI know I'm not the only one who likes this song. This whole damn album is strong but this one setsup like a good movie. Great song and throughout this whole album, that harmonica rocks. Not overly strong like in the R & B style but very sparse and moody. Just right. Lush visuals in this song. Awesome.

    daedoloson December 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI like this song too. I think I may love it more than any other song on tha album (and there ARE some songs there, like "If I ever lose my faith in you","Fields of Gold","Shape of my Heart" or "Probable Me", which are awsome). There's just something about the instrumental part, the beat, that just catches you. It's so smooth and enchanting. Haunting, like most of Sting's songs. And indeed the visual immigery is fantastic. A bit creepy, but fantastic.
    AprilMoon1991on July 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhile this is probably a story song—from Ten Summoner’s Tales—inspired by a book he read, certain aspects of it metaphorically suggest a ride with you.
    Aw, go on … You’ll have everyone just itching to hop aboard.
    To be food for a crow? Did you miss—for we would never have marched so far… or I’m too afraid to care?
    Well, don’t be silly. Of course he wasn’t referring to me. We’ve never met.
    I’m laughing. So many comebacks occur to me but I’ll hold my peace.
    You do that so nicely, baby.
    sillybunnyon July 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment[Sting]: It's about prediction, y'know? It's about ... it's the Captain's son predicts that all, all will not be well. And uh, he's right.
    sillybunnyon August 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI love smooth songs with dark lyrics! My sense of humor and normal thought reflections tend to fall in the social and political commentary realm. I think of this as a commentary on the many "questionable" military campaigns we have engaged in ... Can you say Vietnam ... Afghanistan ... Iraq ...
    laverejdon August 27, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSeeing comments about the army and what not. I always thought this song was about an individual who was doing terrible things until he gets chastised for his actions by a young boy, presumably either a child or a teenager and the person goes on some journey to rethink his life
    TheDrapocalypson July 13, 2013   Link

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