"Speak" as written by and Sean Watkins....
Well I sat down next to a photograph.
Tried my best almost made her laugh.
She was my toughest crowd.
There in the way was a mountain up in the clouds.
Well I can't sleep and I'm not in love.
I can't speak without messing up.
Eyes tell of what's behind.
And hers showed the way to a long and a lonely climb,
But through failure I'll proceed.
And she'll see how far I've come

And it's you and me in the sun and sea.
I'll offer my arm to yours.
It seems to me, no mystery.
Well it isn't.
So I'll try hard to speak.

Well I sat down next to a living hell.
Tried my best until I struck out.
Movement is not mine.
I stood in the way pretending that I was the vine,
But no failure will proceed from a mouth that drinks it's wine.

And it's not me not my sanctity.
These aren't my words to you.
It's all clear when it's not from here.
So clear so I'll try not to speak.

Lyrics submitted by InfamousKels

"Speak" as written by Sean Watkins

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Speak song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI am in love with this song......i dont know why.....it has an eerie sound to it....im surprised there havent been any posts....nickel creek is incredible
    TSLlovesPHILon April 25, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTerrific song. The video is pretty cool too! One of my favorite N.C. songs.
    CRYN_OUTon September 30, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWoot! Dylan Thomas. Love him. And I love this song. The music video is uber cool, too. It's just. . gaaah! Its such a good song! So honest and true, too.
    Rinse_It_Awayon January 11, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI probably listened to this song dozens of times, having no idea what it meant, until it suddenly hit me one day: I think it's about Christian witness.

    The persona dude wants to witness to the people he's talking to, wants to get beyond the facade they have put up. "She was my toughest crowd. there in the way was a mountain up in the clouds...Eyes tell of what's behind, and hers showed the way to a long a lonely climb...I sat down next to a living hell, tried my best until I struck out."

    And then some of the most beautiful and comforting lyrics I've ever seen--I stood in the way, pretending that I was the Vine, but no failture will proceed from a mouth that drinks its Wine."

    There is a wealth of Christian imagery in those two lines--Jesus is called the Vine to which Christians, as the "branches", must stay connected. And then He's also the Wine, referring to the elements of Communion.

    Then the dude realizes that "these AREN'T my words to you, it's all clear when it's NOT from here. So clear. So I'll try NOT to speak." He decides to let Jesus shine through him and leave it up to Him.
    shapenotegrlon July 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNICKEL CREEK is my ALL TIME favorite band! I have loved the since I first heard them, and "speak" is tied with "Lighthouse's Tale" and "this side" as the best Nickel Creek songs!They are definantly Virtuosos' in the Bluegrass Genre!
    amantedimusica87on May 16, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentUm. I think this is about a guy who is trying to catch a girl, but he is shy and lacks the confidence to do so. When he finally realizes that he has failed, his anger and frustration (and possibly some alcohol) bring him out of himself to the uninhibited state he hasn't been before.
    reinvent_the_normon December 22, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentanyone know what he's saying in the background of the last verse?
    firefaerie420on February 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne interesting note: The whispering voice intermixed with Sara's second chorus is reading the opening sentence of "A Child's Christmas in Wales" by Dylan Thomas.
    sm19on June 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti've heard nothing else from them but this song, i'm almost a bit scared to listen to others in case they ruin the amazing-ness of nickel creek for me.
    blaxxon July 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's a song as said earlier about a guy who is not socially good at initiating conversations, so he's in a battle, showing his frustration trying to be smooth talking to this girl, it's such a terrifying thing that he's losing sleep over it, but it shouldn't be that big of a deal, cause he barely knows her and does not love her. He sees that she's going to be tough to connect with, but says he vows to continue the journey to get her to open up to him, social awkwardness or not.

    She then chimes in on the song stating she doesn't see how love is as complicated as he's making it, stating it's just supposd to be her and the guy she's to be with, in the sunset, romanticizing it and oversimplifying, taking away her responsibility to respond back in talking to him when he approaches her. And reluctantly states at the end, she'll concede and try to speak up.

    He then shows the rest of his efforts, sitting next to her to try to talk to her but was greeted with complete rejection as she did not respond to him much at all still, making him feel completely rejected. So he responds by wrapping himself around her for fear that he will lose her. The last line he gives is stating he won't accept failure (failure will not procede), but he'll continue to drink of it in other words keep feeling rejected.

    She responds as you would expect stating this is not what she's looking for, but instead of telling him that, she just coldly continues to not speak to him and giving him the cold shoulder.

    To me, it's high school relationships, guys feelings towards it versus girls.
    cwhite52on October 19, 2011   Link

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