Guy in a skeleton costume
Comes up to the guy in the Superman suit
Runs through him with a broadsword
I flipped the television off
Bring all the bright lights up
Turn the radio up loud
I don't know why I'm so persuaded
That if I think things through
Long enough and hard enough
I'll somehow get to you
But then you came in and we locked eyes
You kicked the ashtray over as we came toward each other
Stubbed my cigarette out against the west wall
Quickly lit another
Look at that
Would you look at that?
We're throwing off sparks
What will I do when I don't have you
To hold onto in the dark?

Everybody's going to need a witness
Everybody's going to need a little backup
In case the scene gets nasty
You throw the attic window open
And I throw myself all around you
And night comes to Tallahassee
I don't know why it's gotten harder to keep myself away
Thought I'd finally beat the feeling back
It all came back today
And then we fell down
And we locked arms
We knocked the dresser over as we rolled across the floor
I don't mean it when I tell you
That I don't love you any more
Look at that
Would you look at that?
The way the ceiling starts to swerve
What will I do when I don't have you
When I finally get what I deserve?

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Oceanographer's Choice song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentStab at the title. I'd say for a start that it probably refers to Hobson's Choice. An apparently free choice where only one option is really offered. That is to say, the protagonist is drawn to the subject of the song, and although s/he could choose not to pursue the relationship, really s/he has no choice.

    I'd suggest that the 'Oceanographer' refers to the tempestuous nature of the relationship, emotions like waves that come and go almost of their own volition, driven by incredibly powerful undercurrents. Things both deeply burried and invisible to the naked eye. Thus, one who studies the flow of oceans is analogous with one who studies human passions.

    So, it's the attempt to understand the reasons why you love someone who is bad for you, and knowing that even if you could understand, you are powerless to resist.

    TheFlatWormon June 03, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI agree with the idea that it's a reconciliation, but I never thought of it as being sexual - more of a fight... It's as though in their final 'showdown' the very fact that there is passion between them, if only violent comes as a surprise, hence "Would you look at that?/We're throwing off sparks". Though I suppose whether it's sex or a violent struggle is kind of irrelevant in this situation - as you say, it purposely suggests both.

    Awesome, awesome song.
    sad-violin-musicon August 26, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"And night comes to Tallahassee"

    That line for me will always be the definitive moment on the album. Everything that came before builds to this one moment. It's do or die.
    nicodemusatrophyon September 10, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI dont think there is any reconciling. Just more booze and sex. Its what the Alphas do. She leaves him in the end, is this the last try?
    dagwoodon September 20, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've found that Darinelle is one of the two people in existance who can make up crazy lyrics ("Runs Through Him with a Broadsword" line) and still be completely sincere. The other is Gruff Rhys, of the Super Furry Animals.

    ANYWAY, I'm fairly sure this song is about reconciling after a long drawn-out argument. Which is basically what the album Talahassee is about.

    The throwing off sparks line is possibly the most brilliant thing I've heard, though.
    micolitheon September 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is great live. so much energy. i love it.
    weezerific:cutleryon December 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song seems like yet another moment in the Alpha Couple's twisted time together. The knowledge that it's going to end, despite their efforts, and maybe one last shot to stop that from happening. The passion and hatred and love in this is incredible.

    "What will I do when I don't have you
    When I finally get what I deserve?"
    a345jklon January 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is the quick reconciliation in the Alphas' turbulous relationship before they final call it quits. It's the deathless love (a monsterous form of eternal love) from Faultlines. The reconciliation is, of course, not out of kindness, but a struggle between the two, which is why the sex is described by using words commonly associated with fighting.

    And the song starts off with an Icon of immortality and purity being, rather bluntly, stabbed to death by... well Death.

    Anyone have any idea why it's called Oceanographer's Choice? My sleep-deprived mind hasn't gotten that far into gear on that yet.
    Solarioon January 10, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAny ideas what the title refers to?
    splintercaton November 27, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlthough I think a lot of people interpret the physicality of what's going on as rough sex, I think it's actually straight up spousal abuse that culminates in the Alpha male drowning his wife. In fact, it's predicted (or premeditated) in "No Children":

    "I am drowning, there is no sign of land
    You are coming down with me, hand in unlovable hand
    And I hope you die
    I hope we both die"

    The "Oceanographer's Choice" refers to the fact that he chooses to kill them both by drowning. Examining the final words of the song:

    "Look at that, would you look at that?
    The way the ceiling starts to swerve
    What will I do when I don't have you?
    When I finally get what I deserve"

    Why is the ceiling swerving? Because his wife is looking up from underneath the water in the bathtub.

    This leads into the next song on the album "Alpha Rats Nest" that refers to the Alpha male burning the house to the ground with him and his wife's lifeless body in it.
    burritoomgon June 26, 2010   Link

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