Don't hold yourself like that
You'll hurt your knees
I kissed your mouth and back
That's all I need
Don't build your world around
Volcanoes melt you down

And what I am to you
Is not real
And what I am to you
You do not need
And what I am to you
Is not what you mean to me
You give me miles and miles of mountains
And I ask for the sea

Don't throw yourself like that
In front of me
I kissed your mouth your back
Is that all you need
Don't drag my love around
Volcanoes melt me down
And what I am to you
Is not real
And what I am to you
You do not need
And what I am to you
Is not what you mean to me

You give me miles and miles of mountains
And I ask...

What I give to you
Is just what I'm going through
This is nothing new
No, no, just another phase of finding
what I really need
Is what makes me bleed
Like a new disease
But lord she's still too young to treat

She's still too young/ Volcanoes melt you down
What I am to you/ Volcanoes melt you down/ She's still too young
Is not real/ Volcanoes melt you down/ She's still too young
What I am to you/ Volcanoes melt you down/ She's still too young
You do not need/ Volcanoes melt you down/ She's still too young
She's still too young/ Volcanoes melt you down/ She's still too young

You do not need me


Lyrics submitted by paranoia_girl

Volcano song meanings
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132 Comments

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  • +7
    General Comment

    He's the volcano, unpredictable and sudden. "don't hold yourself like that/ you'll hurt your knees, " refers to the common way people sit with their knees to their chests when they are angry. It seems like this guy is telling this girl that what he thinks they are and what she thinks they are are two different things because he won't allow himself to feel anything. He's telling her in the chorus over and over that she does not need him she does not need anything like him because it is pointless to build anything around a volacno because they just get burned along the way and the more she gives him the more she loves him.. the more he'll want just the opposite. Her reponse to him is.. not to be so honest with her, he threw his honesty up in her face like a wall, she thinks that he is just being honest to save her and she does not want/need to be saved, she wants so much more. In the end she's too much for him, she is just a phase for him but he needs her in a way that can't bee remedied. "but like a new disease, lord she's still too young to treat" doesn't refer to her age ..just the way she makes him feel, the wany she gets in his head like a disease but he can't treat it because he doesn't know how...she is dis disease without a cure and vice versa.

    Eggos=yumon March 06, 2005   Link
  • +4
    My Opinion

    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the relationship between Damian Rice and Lisa Hannigan (the female vocalist) so far. Obviously the demo was made way before they were involved but, with the eight year age difference and an apparently quite volatile relationship, there are some definite hints of life imitating art! Hannigan was still a teen when they met, think she was just out of music college, and he was already a seasoned musician. She was enthralled by him and the success and the chemistry between them, which is visible in live performances. The reason behind the split was that after some time she wanted felt entitled to a little more musical input and control and Rice wasnt willing to give her that. She had grown from being this besotted girl who went with his decisions into a a self possessed woman. I dont thine either of them knew how to handle the shift of dynamics and thats why the professional and emotional relationship broke down, and to this day Damian Rice regrets letting it happen.

    “I love her so much. And I love her so much that I love that she hasn’t spoken to me–because even in that I have learned so much over the last two years.”

    So sad because they are both incredible artists

    bunktrunkskunk86on January 22, 2012   Link
  • +4
    My Interpretation

    It doesnt really matter who feels more than the other, this song is about imbalance.

    The key phrase is: "You give me miles and miles of mountains and I'll ask for the sea."

    Mountains are not "better" than the see or "more difficult to cross" (think of all the people got lost because of the sea or its forces), they are just different.

    In this case, two people met, got involved a little bit and figured out, that in this moment they just need different things. It's nobodys fault, it's just life.

    Although I love the thought of life imitating art, I dont think they are referring to a significant age different being their initial challenge. There seem to be wounds that still hurt too much for them to be healed. Maybe these wounds are from past relationships. Maybe one of them or even both don't know what they want. And that's why nothing the other can offer - neither the mountains nor the sea - can ever be enough.

    Much like the phrase: If you don't know what port you are sailing to, no wind is favorable.

    Whatiamon October 21, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    This song reminds me of a very specific time in my life when I was involved with a guy who was a little bit older than me. And at first things where lovely but as it became harder and harder to see each other it became harder to communicate in any way when we did get time with each. And through tricks and turns in life after it all went REALLY pear shaped we kept bumping into each other in various situation comedy moments. And I always wondered what was going on there coz for a while it was the stuff songs are made off, and yet so quickly it turned. And when I got the album I found such a solid answer in volcano I was really startled – more so by a new artist in quite some time. For there it was me and he splashed across the skies.

    The first verse nails right in to what I was doing when we where meeting; taking some misguided advice every time I did meet up with him I set out to give him the best blow job I could – that I would be the one who would make him cum harder than any guy could make him cum. And now with perspective how it must have seemed to him this little fella taking him so specifically sexually, that the conversation was left to the back of the priorities. Would a welcoming hand job have sufficed? And a weakness for chubby men within me meant that this lad who really had no experience at this point of someone else’s desire for them was probably quite disconcerting, if not borderline ridiculous. And “don't build your world around volcanoes”; that voice, that voice inside that thinks that within us there is this mystery to us that only we know of. Something that is so dark, so repugnant that no one should ever know and will never know. So he warns her off, lets her know that she should be getting off the ride as he is no good for her. Folks can get themselves really tangled up in that mess, that inner/outer world having to be different. More on which in a bit.

    The chorus acknowledges the adoration of the lady is just as hollow as that, she adores him but he suspects that she doesn’t love him for what he is, and most certainly her feelings aren’t in sync with his in regards their relationship. All she can offer him are mountains, little adventures one after the other and all he wants is the still sea. Though the lyric here is played as though if he where offered the sea he might want the mountains instead. Isn’t the grass always greener sometimes, perhaps what he wants to say is that he doesn’t want this sort of relationship right now.

    What I love is that Damien plays with this further, he gives to the lady the right to answer back, and she gives it to him. In my relationship I always felt that sense of aloofness coming from my beau, as I was saying that what I was getting in communication was not what was going on inside his head. That a game was being played, that every word was being vetted twice before it left his mouth – and frankly it pissed me off. I, hell anyone can take what the other has to say, no matter what it is – yes there are consequences, yes at first it can be shocking but if it is real inside your head it needs dealt with whatever action is appropriate. But don’t make a fool of me by telling me one thing and thinking/doing another. That’s fucking manipulation, and shows nothing but disrespect. I – she could [have] be a completely acceptable partner – its just he hasn’t the balls to tell her that the way he feels. His holding back information in some effort to protect her doesn’t impress her. She thinks okay – you don’t want me to be uber lover but tell me don’t make me question your every word in return. For if he is playing game by telling her to contain her desires and passions and she is playing a counter game by challenging his remoteness. Both ultimately trying to provoke the other.

    They both sing the chorus acknowledging this, both accepting that what is currently the status quo is simply fog, that their relationship has no foundation and sooner or later it’s going to hurt them both. But the gentleman steps up to the plate and accepts the blame in the last verse, or rather as he admits that she is a glorified fuck buddy for him - her lack of experience hinders her as she should have the experience to know that this is what happens in single life. There are people who we meet purely to keep our genitals working, its not that there’s anything wrong with them, it’s just that there’s nothing necessarily right about them either. And this is what he has been hiding and what she has been avoiding – that sex is the only thing that unites them. And that she is too young to see it. And yes see my banal life before you to, how silly it seems now but once upon a time I loved someone with no understanding of their feelings to me. I to convinced myself that it was one of a number of psychological reasons as to why someone wouldn’t go to the next level, fear of intimacy, fear of abandonment etc etc. Only to realise that he didn’t really care – perhaps the lack of caring was due to these issues but that I was never to be the one to pick those particular scabs. And instead of doing the decent thing and moving on to let us all pick up the pieces he let in go on all the while letting me convince myself that this was the time I would win him over. But I was not the one. The thing is recently I heard that he was talking about the situation that had developed and he had admitted that even though he was the senior agent in the relationship he himself was too young to have a good handle on the situation, perhaps that’s the best comment of all – he was too young to treat. A truly great song on a seriously memorable album, GO BUY IT YOU FOOLS

    the_toolshedon April 13, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    =^.^= SPELLCHECKED VERSION =^.^= VERSE 1 Don't hold yourself like that You'll hurt your knees (from his point of view, she is willing to do anything... - be it what you want, blowjob or worshipping him- He is telling her not to...)

    I kissed your mouth and back That's all I need (He s saying look we've had a little fun, but that's all it was, nothing more, just fun.)

    Don't build your world around Volcanoes melt you down (Saying he is too much for her to handle, telling her he will break her heart.) ######################################################################################################### CHORUS - both sing...talking to each other? And what I am to you Is not real (Trying to explain that you dont see me in my true light)

    And what I am to you You do not need (He is being literal, saying you could do without me, I will hurt you... She is possibly being sarcastic, or asking him..."So do you not need me?)

    And what I am to you Is not what you mean to me (Both saying that obviously, they both have different feelings for each other, basically, he is saying you care about me too much she is saying, well you obviously don't care about me enough)

    You give me miles and miles of mountains And I ask for the sea (He is saying, I dont want, you, I wanted something else,...not quite sure what she would be trying to say, still working on that one.) ######################################################################################################## VERSE 2 - She speaks. Don't throw yourself like that In front of me (She is saying, don't slate/insult youself...) I kissed your mouth your back Is that all you need (Asking, was that all I was a notch in your bedpost) Don't drag my love around Volcanoes melt me down (saying, dont mess me about, because my heart will get broken.) ######################################################################################################## Bridge - he says: What I give to you Is just what I'm going through This is nothing new No, no, just another phase of finding (Saying that he is just in the phase of finding the right person for him, and she obv. isn't it, its not the first time he has done this, and probably wont be the last, "just another phase...")

    what I really need Is what makes me bleed Like a new disease But lord she's still too young to treat (Saying what he really needs is somehting that keeps him on edge...maybe she don't as she is willing to anything [referring to the worshipping thats going on in verse one). Saying that she is like a new disease, and with all new illnesses, there is no magic cure straight away lot of people have to suffer] so saying that he can't control her feelings for him possibly.) ########################################################################################################

    Lol, could be talking out of my ass of course... let me know what you think...xxx

    cvelvett1985on February 13, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    hate to be crude, but do u think 'you'll hurt your knees' a reference the girl to offering him her, ahem, services. He's saying kissing her is enough, and doesnt want to take it any further as he oviously doesnt like her that way. Whatever its about, its heartbreaking.

    sohaveanicedayon November 15, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    "what i really need is what makes me bleed" = love? i think this is what he's trying to say to her, he doesn't love her even tho she seems to adore him or worship him and gives him whatever he wants but it's just not enough.

    *ia*on March 10, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    Contrary to the seemingly common belief that this song is about a younger girl and a relationship, it seems like it is about a relationship in young and infatuated stages. "Like a new disease, she's still to young to treat", saying that the person is so infatuated that no matter of reasoning will do with them to prove that they aren't in love with a reality of a person, but an idea. "What I am to you, is not real". That's how I get it. Toolshed's interpretation is brilliant, I just relate to it in my own way. Of course, that all being said, young people are more likely to get into infatuated relationships with no decent backing in reality.

    allietallieon February 28, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    i think its about unrequited love. she is crazy about him but he is trying to tell her in subtle ways that he doesnt feel the same. "what i am to you, is not what you mean to me"

    and when he says "give me miles and miles of mountains and ill ask for the sea" hes saying nothing she ever gives him will ever be good enough.

    willardon October 20, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Hmmm. I want to send this song to someone who I feel for at the moment. To me, it seems he's out of all he can get from this girl, yet she sings it right back to him, and demonstrates to me, she's made of stronger stuff than 'throwing her love' like that. I like the metaphor of mountains, he wants the calmness of the sea compared to the ruggedness of the mountains, maybe meaning he wants a deeper love than just something with a rocky exterior. However, seas are conniving, sly, and tricky. You think you know what to expect, but they can creep up unawares, and suffocate you.

    melodic_trashon October 24, 2004   Link

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