He's waiting for the midday wind
And waves spread out so dull and slack
And with a hand fan every day
The old man smooths the water back

I cast a stone in just for fun
The water rings moved on the plane
So sadly stood the old man by
And swept the water flat again

In white sand the old man sat
Trembling as he smoked his pipe
Just the water and I know that
The fan is of a special type

Awareness sleeps volcano dreams
Reluctant I asked him why
His head hung low as if he slept
And then he said before he died

The water will be your only mirror
First when it's like glass can you see
How many fairytales you have left
For your deliverance you will plead

The fan was pressed to his breast
Just as death's grip seized up his hand
His fingers must have been so tight
The fan remained back in the sand

I call the old man every day
Should he come and deliver me
I stay here with the midday wind
And in the fan it is plain to read

The water will be your only mirror
First when it's like glass can you see
How many fairytales you'll have left
For your deliverance you will plead

The water will be your only mirror
First when it's like glass can you see
How many fairytales you'll have left
For your deliverance you will plead


Lyrics submitted by John M

Alter Mann (English) song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

12 Comments

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General Commenti'm not sure
    scorpion_56on January 18, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit sounds pretty cool when they are singing it in german.
    MixedUpMaggoton May 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentverry verry strange song
    candijunkie421on April 30, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJager, it has no references to the 'SS".

    personally I reckon it's about an old man who is frale but has a particular role (the water metaphore would work). the kid does'nt understand the role but in the end descided to take it up...
    reprecussionon December 03, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentfor some reason, I always link this song to the Norse god Odin..I don't know why but the image of an old man, water and prophecy seems to fit for me at least :)
    netaxiaon February 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHard to explain song, for me it's about the passing of knowledge from generation to generation, how the old man tells the child that the older you get, the myths and ideals of childhood are eventually destroyed.
    slave2thewageon March 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFirst of all, one line is badly translated: "First when it's like glass can you see" should be "Only when it has become like glass will you be able to see". ||| Anyway,
    I think this is probably their most romantic one. It seems really deep, but who can tell? It might be based on a dream, or on an old man they actually saw on the beach but couldn't quite figure him out, or it might have been inspirede by a painting, or just a little bit of innuendo to get us all confused, they might just have written it for the heck of it... Well, it _could_ also be a parabola about faith and science and humanity's approach to the ultimate truths. Just figure: If the old man is God, and the sea is the world, then the way it moves to us just seems random, and we cannot figure it out. Maybe God has created it just as a mirror showing how we really are; by the way we behave in the world and by the way how we look on the world, the world is changed and reflects back on us. However, only when the world has ended, and the sea is calm, will we really know the truth. The fan is the veil that God has placed between us and the ultimate truth. We can probe the sea of knowledge (throw in some small stones), but we will never be able to read it, to understand it all. We could claim to know the truth, but this would be arrogance: "Only when it has become like glass will you be able to see|How many fairytales you have left". You can rage at the sea, you can bombard it with stones, but it won't change a bit. It would only detract you from looking at its beauty and at your self and your position on the beach. You should not overstrain yourself, trying to explain it all. Instead, you should cherish the world for what it is, and let its beauty soothe you. In the end, your world will come to a standstill anyway, and you will be dead. Better deal with it; because, once you notice that you have lost all your fairytales (your child-like sense of wonder) and haven't gained a bit by wasting your live trying to become like God, "For your deliverance you will plead" - but then it is too late: You are old and grey, and life has passed you by. Note that the old man is not angry at the persona for his decision, and not even for having to die. So, there is no damnation in the afterlife, but God tries to tell man that damnation is here in this life, and that by abandoning your child-like trust in the rightness of creation, you are creating your own hell. God is not judging, but simply does what he has to do: "So sadly stood the old man by|
    And swept the water flat again". Also, once he is dead, the fan is still there, and on it not the secret of life, but the same old message. This means: Even if we kill God (our belief in him and all the fairy-tales of religious superstition), this doesn't necessarily make our lifes easier, as long as we don't understand what He (or religion for that matter) has been trying to tell us all along: To embrace life as a whole, instead of trying to disect each and every aspect of it, hoping to figure it all out that way. So, according to my interpretation, the point of the poem is a metaphysical rather than a religious one; god/the old man then is just a symbol, or rather a vehicle, for the poet trying to get his advice on how to lead your life through to the audience.
    Lepra Messiason April 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgod damn that was a deep explanation. but a very very good one as well.
    taken-by-the-musicon May 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCrap now ive fallen in love with the song all over again thanks to lepra :)
    consfison September 23, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThank you very much for your explanation. Is very interesting
    Ny24on May 14, 2006   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top