"Cannonball" as written by and Damien George Rice....
Still a little bit of your taste in my mouth
Still a little bit of you laced with my doubt
Still a little hard to say what's going on
Still a little bit of your ghost your witness
Still a little bit of your face I haven't kissed

You step a little closer each day
That I can't say what's going on

Stones taught me to fly
Love taught me to lie
And life taught me to die
So it's not hard to fall
When you float like a cannonball

Still a little bit of your song in my ear
Still a little bit of your words I long to hear
You step a little closer to me
So close that I can't see what's going on

Stones taught me to fly
Love taught me to lie
And life taught me to die
So it's not hard to fall
When you float like a cannon

Stones taught me to fly
Love taught me to cry
So come on courage!
Teach me to be shy
'Cause it's not hard to fall
And I don't wanna scare her
It's not hard to fall
And I don't wanna lose
It's not hard to grow
When you know that you just don't know

Lyrics submitted by paranoia_girl, edited by Siri_, tye1144, evanescence4life88, brannigan3000

"Cannonball" as written by Damien George Rice

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Cannonball song meanings
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  • +8
    General CommentTo me this song is definitely about an affair. When you kiss that person and know you shouldn't but want to so much. The being madly in love with the other person and being unsure of how they feel

    I think most of the first part of the song is self-explanatory - but I love the line "you step a little closer each day, so close I can't see what's going on". This shows he is completely in love with her but it's all happening so fast and at a time it shouldn't that it's hard to keep up and understand what's happening

    My understanding of the chorus is

    Stones taught me to fly - Something that you know should not be giving you the strength and feelings that you have and yet it does. It's about becoming reliant on someone that you know you shouldn't to feel good

    Love it taught me to lie - Falling in love with the other person and having to lie to your partner. Or it could be that you have fallen in love so early on and so deeply that you have to keep your feelings hidden and therefore lie

    Life it taught me to die - The turmoil and confusion caused by it all that all you want to do is lock yourself away and not deal with reality.

    So it's not hard to fall, when you float like a cannonball - Because you are high/feeling great about something you shouldn't. Living life dangerously knowing that there is so much there but yet one day it may all come crashing down around you

    So come on courage teach me to be shy - To me this is about being completely and madly in love with someone you shouldn't therefore sometimes it's best to back away no matter how hard that is.

    This is a lovely song. I had an affair last year and the person I was seeing sent me this song - every line fitted my life entirely and I couldn't help but cry when listen to it - I still can't. A very powerful and moving song very cleverly written
    Sazzle14on March 19, 2009   Link
  • +6
    General CommentThis is one of the most beautiful and relatable songs I know. The character is explaining his hesitance and insecurity in committing to a girl.

    The relationship is slowly growing in closeness every day and the man is scared because he feels like it's fated to bugger up. After all, he buggers up everything he does, he "floats like a cannonball".

    It is interspersed with something I think everyone over a certain age can relate to: the realisation that all your teachers in life, parents, role models, whatever, didn't in fact know what they were doing themselves; they were stones teaching people to fly. In light of this, how is a poor sap like this bloke, or any of us, supposed to have any idea what we're doing either?

    It's this realisation, that there are no guarantees in life, which makes people age more than anything else.
    blobblon February 05, 2013   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI think this song is about learning everything the hard way. He's trying to think logically to figure out his relationship, and the pieces just don't fit together. then the chorus talks everything opposite. "Stones taught me to fly" hint that what he was going into and what he learned were two different things. He learned it all the hard way. Then at the end he finally realizes there's a much bigger plan out there for him, and he has no control and no matter how smart he gets... He's never know how it's gonna end/
    poffey21on May 11, 2004   Link
  • +4
    General CommentMy interpretation of this song, is that the singer is a bit of a loose cannon (obvious reference to the title of the song). He's been hurt many times before. His heart has been broken many times before.

    "Stones taught me to fly
    Love taught me to lie
    Life taught me to die"

    Those lines represent him having terrible experiences. Everything that should have been good went bad, and he knows he should be hesitant in this love that he is falling into all over again, but it's hard for him to listen to his learned logic,"when he floats like a cannonball" and dives right into the affection and hope he's always wanted but has lost so many times prior.

    What really ties my interpretation together is this line, which happens to be my favorite:

    "So come on courage!
    Teach me to be shy "

    That is the most simple, beautiful part of the whole song for me. It means that he is too open, he has too much 'courage' for love. He knows due to past hardships that he should be taking it slower, and be more 'shy' with the relationship, but he just can't help it. Because, he 'floats like a cannonball', meaning, he doesn't float at all. He dives right into love, and crashes every time at the bottom.
    Angalieneon June 07, 2013   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think the broader message in this song (the one more relevant to everyone and less personal to damien) is just about the total irony of life...how the consequences and products of situations are often the complete opposite of what you expect. Love can teach you to lie, life certainly teaches you to die, and stones teaching you to fly is just a generalised metaphor for all of this. As unlikely as stones teaching one to fly may seem it can, in the end, turn out that all the weights in life, the struggles and upset and pain, and the things that hold you back, can ultimately be the things that teach you to fly; to be free.

    It's a really beautiful song. I think it's so true that in order to grow you have to accept that there are some things you will just never understand.
    beautifulbeaton September 05, 2009   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI think this song is about the beginning of a relationship. It's definitely about two people, let's call them "he" and a "she".

    Maybe they just spend the day together, maybe the night, and she's gone now, off to work or something. He is maybe lying in his bed, or sitting in his couch, thinking about everything. He's thinking about how much he like this girl, he's feeling very lucky to be with her. But he's afraid that she doesn't feel the same way, and even if she does, he knows that he can't tell her. He's had relationships in the past and they were ruined by going too fast. So he has to fight his instincts and take it slow, even though he doesn't really want to.

    stones taught me to fly
    love, it taught me to lie
    life, it taught me to die
    so it's not hard to fall
    when you float like a cannonball

    The chorus pretty much sums up the song. In past relationships he had to learn how to be reticent, reluctant, to get her on the same page, maybe to get her to realise that she really likes him and doesn't want to lose him. He had to learn that when he's "in love" he can't completely share his feelings immediately, because he learned that it might scare her off.
    All of it is beautifully summarized in one sentence. "It's not hard to fall when you float like a cannonball". In real life, physically, a "floating cannonball" won't fall, it will just keep on going untill it hits something. Just like stones don't fly.
    But when it comes to love, everything is backwards. Stones do fly, and floating like a cannonball here means rushing things - for example immediatly laying all your cards on the table and admitting how much you like that other person - and it's a tough lesson to learn that when you do that, you will just fall down and have nothing.

    there's still a little bit of your song
    in my ear
    there's still a little bit of your words
    I long to hear
    you step a little closer to me
    so close that I cant see what's going on..

    and stones, taught me to fly
    love, it taught me to lie
    life taught me to die
    so its not hard to fall
    when you float like a cannon..
    stones taught me to fly
    love; it taught me to cry
    so come on courage
    teach me to be shy
    cause it's not hard to fall
    and i dont want to scare her
    it's not hard to fall
    and I dont want to lose
    it's not hard to grow
    when you know that you just..dont know
    rrubenon January 05, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commentto me, this song is about a new relationship. you know how it is at the start where your just working out your feelings for each other and aren't quite sure what the other one thinks? well the verses make me think of that, especially the line that says " so close that i cant see whats going on." I think the chorus adds to that because its like, in his past, he's unexpectedly found that things he thought would knock him down actually lifted him up (stones taught me to fly), whereas things that were supposed to lift him up actually knocked him down (love taught me to lie, life taught me to die) so hes totally unsure how the relationship will work out, even though he loves her. "its not hard to fall when you float like a cannonball" seems to be the only area of certainty cos if you float like a cannonball then youre on the floor, and its not hard to fall if youre already on the floor! It sort of makes me think hes trying not to raise his expectations that the relationship will work out to protect himself from hurt. similarly, "courage teach me to be shy" is where hes feeling confident about the relationship but again he wants to pull back from that incase it doesnt work out and he gets hurt. you get hurt less if your expectations are lower.
    joeyg12on March 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSimply put, It's one of the best songs ever. Damien Rice is a magical force. Lisa, Joe and his voices speak directly to the heart. The phrase "Music, food for the soul" could have been composed with this man in mind. Everybody should enrich their lives with his music.
    Eriu0on March 06, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree. This song is simply amazing. The 1st time i heard it, I fell in love with if after just listening to the first verse. The final line just totally gets to me. This is what music is to me, meaningful lyrics :)
    butterflykiss84on April 11, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAmen
    joeyjoejoeshabadooon April 18, 2004   Link

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