When the motor stops, I can't sleep.
There's nothing so quiet as a boat under anchor,
And the black amnesias in heaven are lighting the Sea of Cortez.
All the wishing sounds,

And kissing sounds are all missing sound in a boat alone,
Without a spring after winter and a fall over summer.
Is there anyone else alive outside?
So vulgar to send these brakes to the bend on the empty blue side of the moon.

Where you broke your body,
You kept on wandering
And I'm still listening but your still drowning.
You broke your body,

Before I could get to you.
The dew soaks the deck like the breeze hits your neck,
And its morning when your hair finds your eyes.
Mourning eyes.

California can't see the sun rise.
We're both firesigns dragging our line's line,
Only magic to have a crack in the wire.
And California won't see another Sunday,

As the poets say, "the ice will bar the way".


Lyrics submitted by oofus

The Sea of Cortez Lyrics as written by DANIEL JOHN DIDIER, DAVID S VON BOHLEN, JASON P GNEWIKOW, SCOTT THOMAS BESCHTA

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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The Sea of Cortez song meanings
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  • 0
    General Comment

    ALOT- LISTEN TO HOW HE SINGS IT- ITS HOT- HES PUT ALOT OF EMOTION IN THE SHIT- I THINK HES TALKING ABOUT A GIRL- IS THAT OBVIOUS-

    mark_asson April 25, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I generally only like bands who write lyrics that make sense...but this is a good song.

    like you meant iton June 06, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    what poet said "the ice will bar the way"?

    theDubScouton May 21, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    just an interesting comment on this song is that he says "california can't see the sun rise" in "between pacific coasts" another song on 30 degrees everywhere.

    sean7711on May 31, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    davey uses a lot of the same lyrics over through his songs.

    We Are Scientists!on June 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    such a raw song

    BearsAndBeetson June 04, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I think it's a song about a guy upset about a girl..the lyrics tell me a story about this guy who's so upset about some lady interest that he just takes his fishing boat out at night all alone and just wants to pause and think in the middle of some large lake in Wisconsin...the sea of cortez is the Gulf of California i.e., a large body of water.

    "When the motor stops, I can't sleep. There's nothing so quiet as a boat under anchor, And the black amnesias in heaven are lighting the Sea of Cortez."

    he's reached his destination, maybe the middle of the lake. Turns off the motor, but he can't turn off his mind in the way he wants...it's so quiet out here...third line just sounds like a poetic way of explaining how dark it is out there.

    "All the wishing sounds, And kissing sounds are all missing sound in a boat alone, Without a spring after winter and a fall over summer. Is there anyone else alive outside? So vulgar to send these brakes to the bend on the empty blue side of the moon."

    wishing sounds/kissing sounds: maybe he's wishing he could kiss this girl..or maybe they did have a previous relationship and he is making deeper wishes about their relationship. Out on the boat alone, without the girl, any kissing sounds are missing.

    spring/winter/fall/summer: clever line/wordplay using all four seasons. Winter and summer keep their original sole meaning but spring and fall are both the seasons and verbs. he's describing a winter that never ends, e.g., literally spring doesn't follow, and he doesn't verb-wise "spring" or maybe make an emotional come back after the harsh Milwaukee winter/break-up with girl? a fall over summer: the summer also doesn't end..never-ending winter and summer, hot and cold/highs and lows of relationships? also, summer is supposed to be cool and great and carefree, i feel like Davey and other emo bands sing of summer all the time. But this year, summer wasn't so great, he had a fall (i.e., trip) over the summer. He's asking if anyone else is alive outside and understands his pain? probably not literally, or maybe he literally is shouting, and saying to himself how pathetic (vulgar) it is that he is "breaking" out in the dark, on the water, under the moon after he's been trying to hold it all together (bending) for so long

    "Where you broke your body, You kept on wandering And I'm still listening but your still drowning. You broke your body"

    okay, broke your body, maybe she slept with someone else? before him? "you kept on wandering"- she kept wandering around, going from boy to boy, but he is always waiting for her ("I'm still listening"), despite the fact that she keeps having all these romantic hangups and getting her heart broken ("you're still drowning").

    "Before I could get to you. The dew soaks the deck like the breeze hits your neck, And its morning when your hair finds your eyes. Mourning eyes."

    she had sex with someone else before he could get to her and give her true love. the next lines sound like they're drawing parallels between himself and her: he passed out on the boat and woke up in the morning, while she is waking up from a one night stand. the dew soaks the deck on his boat, and some guy's breath is creating a breeze on her neck (and he also feels a morning breeze on the boat). in the morning, her hair is all messed up and in her eyes, it's morning and she and him (the narrator) are both sad and mourning.

    "California can't see the sun rise. We're both firesigns dragging our line's line, Only magic to have a crack in the wire. And California won't see another Sunday,"

    Maybe she moved to california? he's on a lake in Wisconsin, but he wishes he was in the gulf of california (sea of cortez) or at least he's pretending to be there, so he's closer to her and has a chance of finding her. Firesigns in reference to their respective zodiac signs, i don't know what "dragging our line's line means"...

    "Only magic to have a crack in the wire. And California won't see another Sunday,"

    only magic to have a crack in the wire, this is a stretch, but i have no idea what else he means, but maybe he's referring to the san andreas fault in california cracking and breaking off an enormous chunk of land, the part she's on, so she can drift away into the pacific ocean...far away from him, or maybe he wants her to drift back to him. It would be magic for this to happen. Maybe then he is just referring to the girl herself as "California." He calls her California as a defense mechanism, he can't even bring himself to call her by name anymore. And the fact that she moved away to California has just consumed their relationship and everything he's ever thought about her. He's telling her you won't see another Sunday. Perhaps referencing a very special Sunday they once spent together. but now they will have no more of those memories.

    "As the poets say, "the ice will bar the way"."

    I don't know what poet would have said this. translate to "the ice would block the way"...the ice/coldness/bitterness in his heart will block her way to him? She is drifting into the pacific ocean, and maybe her course is to drift around the world, all the way back to him, but the ice will block the way.

    I'm trying to think why it's called the Sea of Cortez. I guess technically, if you traveled up the Gulf of California (sea of cortez), then you wouldn't actually arrive in California. You're still in Mexico. Maybe the title is referencing himself literally on this body of water (even though it's just a lake in Wisconsin), but metaphorically traveling up the sea of cortez to get to this girl in california. But, since the gulf of california does not actually lead to california, the attempt is futile. his attempt to rekindle their relationship is futile

    [Edit: clarification]
    srumrill822on June 26, 2023   Link

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