I am a lighthouse, worn by the weather and the waves.
I keep my lamp lit, to warn the sailors on their way.

I'll tell a story, paint you a picture from my past.
I was so happy, but joy in this life seldom lasts.

I had a keeper, he helped me warn the ships at sea.
We had grown closer, 'till his joy meant everything to me.

And he was to marry, a girl who shone with beauty and light.
And they loved each other,
And with me watched the sunsets into night.

And the waves crashing around me, the sand slips out to sea.
And the winds that blow remind me,
Of what has been, and what can never be.

She'd had to leave us, my keeper he prayed for a safe return.
But when the night came,
The weather to a raging storm had turned.

He watched her ship fight,
But in vain against the wild and terrible wind.
In me so helpless, as dashed against the rock she met her end.

And the waves crashing around me, the sand slips out to sea.
And the winds that blow remind me,
Of what has been, and what can never be.

Then on the next day, my keeper found her washed up on the shore.
He kissed her cold face,
That they'd be together soon he'd swore.

I saw him crying, watched as he buried her in the sand.
And then he climbed my tower, and off of the edge of me he ran.

And the waves crashing around me, the sand slips out to sea.
And the winds that blow remind me,
Of what has been, and what can never be.

I am a lighthouse, worn by the weather and the waves.
And though I am empty, I still warn the sailors on their way.

Lyrics submitted by kevin

The Lighthouse's Tale Lyrics as written by Chris Thile Adam Mckenzie

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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The Lighthouse's Tale song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentWhen ever I listen to this song, I always felt something deeper than what the story was telling. And I think I know what it is.

    The lighthouse is telling us this story about his keeper who loses his wife and then kills himself to be with her. And obviously the lighthouse misses them both. That's the obvious part.

    Here's the deeper part(I think anyway):

    It is the lighthouse's job to warn the ships at sea of the rocks. It is also it's job to be shelter for the keeper. And this lighthouse "failed"(for lack of a better word) at it's job on both fronts. Even though it warned the ship the wife was on, it still was dashed against the very rocks it warned others about.

    Instead of being a safe shelter, he became a plank for the keeper who ran off his edge.

    So even though the lighthouse tried to do everything right, he still lost the keeper and his wife. Then every night he is reminded of how he lost them because of the weather.

    By the end of the song, he is empty and alone, warning sailors of the rocks that devastated his joy. It is as if he can help others, but not himself.
    patdudeon April 10, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis isn't just about a lighthouse, it's can be about a person who has suffered, and through their lose, they go on and help others.
    ladiesgringoon September 27, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's such a very sad song. I disapprove of the entire Christian debate, though. Who said that they had to be Christian at all? And to apply that meaning to this song, I think, is to err.

    This song is about love, pain, and loss. The fear of being alone got the best of the keeper, and he wanted to be with her again, so he killed himself.

    A beautiful song... It's one of the songs I play every morning on the way to school to clear my mind.
    jiodekon March 15, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI wish more artists could write song's with deep meanings like this. It's so nice to here good music not talking about sex! and really talking about how great yet tragic love is
    fred-bearon October 22, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is, to me, a very nice interpretation of the myth of 'Hero and Leander'.
    Hero and Leander is a Greek myth. Hero was a priestess of Aphrodite who dwelled in a tower in Sestos, at the edge of the Hellespont. Leander, a young man from Abydos, on the other side of the strait, fell in love with her, and he would swim every night across the Hellespont to be with her. Hero would light a lamp every night at the top of her tower, to guide his way.

    Succumbing to Leander's soft words, and to his argument that Aphrodite, as goddess of love, would scorn the worship of a virgin, Hero allowed him to make love to her. But one stormy winter night, the waves tossed Leander in the sea and the breezes blew out Hero's light, and Leander lost his way (but some say he thought Hero had let the light go out and he just gave up), and was drowned. Hero had fallen asleep and was certain that it was her fault the light went out and thus threw herself from a tower in grief and died as well.

    Pretty good comparison I think.
    waxpoeticon August 18, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is me personally. Living in Maine I grew up with the ocean. It is my peace, my salvation, my love, and my sanity. I have seen Portland Headlight where the music video was taped, but the lighthouse that is always in my heat is Pemequide Point lighthouse. There one can actually climb down the rocks, sit, and contemplate the meaning of life while smelling the spectacular salt air, and listening to the music of the waves.
    breathofraneon March 02, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song to me means that we all need to value our relationships. I cry many times when I hear it thinking about all the things I would have liked to say to her if I knew what was going to happen. The lighthouse is like God because it's a divine perspective and He feels our pain and wants to comfort us if we would only listen.
    JessiLon April 28, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is an interesting song about a lighthouse. Very creative. Thanks.

    zipped6648on May 22, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is one of the saddest songs ever written... I love it, though.
    gregoeon July 02, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentawesome, just awesome, great song
    it caught my breath
    x-ray caton August 15, 2002   Link

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