"Stop Swimming" as written by Richard Barbieri, Steven John Wilson, Colin Edwin Balch and Chris Maitland....
This song leaks out onto the pavement
It could be a joke, it could be a statement
The more that I fake it and pretend I don't care
The more you can read in to what isn't there

Maybe it's time to stop swimming
Maybe it's time to find out where I'm at
What I should do and where I should be
But no-one will give me a map

I'll leave now this can't continue
But I forget which door I came through
And I know what the lift can be painfully slow
So I'm happy to leave by the window


Lyrics submitted by Ministry, edited by JucaOPastor

"Stop Swimming" as written by Colin Edwin Balch Christopher James Maitland

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Stop Swimming song meanings
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24 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentI've always kind of assumed this song follows the same rough theme as most of the songs on the album (and as the cover art depicts) - in terms of the decline of the record industry and product over art. "Sound Of Muzak" covers the avaricious businessman element; "Four Chords that Made A Million" approaches the manufactured rock band and the way the glamour is sold over the music; "Hatesong", sung with such contempt, attacks the repetitive unoriginality of those typical love songs; "Piano Lessons" is a kind of satire on the whole thing. This song, I think, expresses a feeling of futility felt by avante-garde musicians - knowing that they have the ability to make more money and have an easier life by giving in and producing more 'typical' records. So "Stop swimming" would be a reference to giving up on experimental and progressive music. And as I say I've always kind of felt it captures the feeling you get when you realise how you're barely making an influence on that banal, money-hungry business, seeing the corruption of 'art'. That said, I like the above interpretations just as much. I just happen to be very pretentious when it comes to things like art...
    gzazon April 20, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Stop swimming."

    Probably one of the best and eerie metaphors I've heard.
    acapp0813on January 09, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentlistening to this made me think of the John Cheever story "The Swimmer," and on further listening i feel like steven wilson has to have read this and drawn off of it for the lyrics to this song.
    schmoozyduhon May 24, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is just about someone realizing their life is directionless...maybe even pointless. The last verse makes me think maybe that person is sick of the directionlessness...and opts for suicide ("I'll leave now this can't continue...I'm happy to leave by the window"). Just a thought.
    llowellon July 04, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentand you can even hear his scream as he's falling ;]
    m4t3kon April 13, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment'This song leaks on to the pavement' seems to be forshadowing the jump from a certain point of view, too...
    supremoon February 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthauntingly beautiful
    RedRavenon April 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDefinetly the sound of a heartbeat and then a thud at the end. Listen for it the last 5 seconds. =\
    SwiftSlothon April 30, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song reminds me of my life. I pretty much did fuckall with my life this far. I've been living in kind of a daze for the longest time, and looking back, I probably should have done a lot more.. There's times I thought about ending it all, but I usually try to look at shit from a better point of view.
    im_a_pirateon May 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentto: m43k
    where exactly is the scream? i seem to have missed it
    deborah-leeon July 05, 2007   Link

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