Saw a silhouette across a fluorescent
Floating overhead, undoing his helmet
Through the murky beams and blue-green sea life
I saw him spinnin' towards the moonlight
I pull him in, he wasn't breathin'
His eyes were wide and I saw two of me there
There's an ugly buzz that hovers just above the quiet
Found a way to make it silent
I'm comin' up for air [Repeat: x2]

Air [Repeat: x2]

They hold my hand and ask me to pull through
A voice I know says "Dear, he probably can't hear you"
Comin' up for air [Repeat: x3]

Lyrics submitted by kevin

Air [Bonus Track] Lyrics as written by Darren Jessee Ben Folds

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Air song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThis song seems to be about him pulling someone who's drowned out of the water at first--
    But the last two stanzas seem as if he's referring to himself.
    "I'm coming up for air
    They hold my hand
    And ask me to pull through"

    anna118kon February 04, 2002   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationHe's clearly having an out of body experience - he's describing his view of himself as a man drowning and then as a man being rescued. The song is playing on the idea of how people describe out of body experiences in general (which they describe as "floating" outside of one's body) so as his body floats to the surface (coming up for air) his spirit or essence floats somewhere above him. Neat.
    skirton January 03, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti realize the song clearly talks in the beginning about a drowned or near drowned someone or other, but when i listened to it, the first thought in my head was of space. in one of the Space Odyssey books they pull this dude in from space at the beginning, and it reminds me of that. towards the end the signer changes perspectives and is looking from the guy coming back to life. interesting. AIM: canteendave
    canteendaveon May 24, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think that maybe everyone should look at the line: "I aw two of me there." :-)
    shinjiikarion August 07, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment*saw, oops typos. anyway, since that is between the stanzas where everyone believes he is talking about two different people, the former being another, and the latter being himself, it would seem that it tells you that he is talking about himself. But once you come to that realization, reading the lyrics in their entirety, again, might lead you to believe that he was himself all along, in the water... I dunno.
    shinjiikarion August 07, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is a really pretty song. i mean the tune, being drowned isn't so pretty.
    buffyon August 16, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentShijiikari.. I was thinking.. that line about seeing the two of him... couldnt that be actually be him seeing two of himself in the other man's eyes?.. seeing one of himself in each of the guy's eyes. Make sense?
    anna118kon August 23, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is written from the eyes of two different people. The first line is himself. He has dronwed and he is looking up and he sees an image of possibly a firefighter ("Floating overhead, undoing his helmet"), the image of the firefighter is sillhouetted and spinning due to the ripples of the water (ever look up from under water?). The next stanza is from the rescuers point of view. When he says "i saw two of me there", it is simply his (the rescuer) reflection in each eye of the man he is saving. I'm not exactly sure what is ment by the lines "There's an ugly buzz that hovers just above the quiet. I found a way to make it silent", but it would be my best guess that he is refering to the tone of a heart monitor when a person flat lines, and when he makes it silent, he has brought the person back. The last two stanzas are from the view point of the man who drowned, he is coming back to life "coming up for air".
    jas0non September 12, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOkay......where to start? I've listened to this song a billion times. I'm way to crazy about Ben Folds. I believe that there are two people who are talking in this song. The first stanza is spoken by the person who is drowning. The way that it sounds to me is that he and someone that he knew well were scuba diving. Now I know I sound like I'm just thinking about this way too much, but I scuba dive and I know for a fact that when you go out at night you take flurorescent lights with you and usually the boat shines some down too. This person that he's seeing "undoing his helmet" could be trying to get the drowning person his air tube. Also he talks of the sea life. Had he just fallen in or something like that he likely wouldn't see anything. The next verse is the other person he was diving with. He talks about pulling him out of the water and seeing himself reflected in his eyes. The buzzing that is mention could possibly the air still leaking out because that's what it does when you disconnect it to get someone else air. Also the heartmachine as mentioned in other comments wouldn't buzz it would beep (just my opinion). The last phrase is just the guy who drowned kinda coming to. He's obviously with people he knows. "A voice I know...." He knows the voice and if he knew the voice he would also know the "Dear". That's just my opinion of the song. I was very pleasantly surprised with this little ditty when I bought the Godzilla soundtrack. :) God I sound really cool!
    HHealy84on September 23, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah one of the only good things to come of the Godzilla fiasco was the soundtrack ;)
    kenbaon September 29, 2002   Link

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