"Oceanside" as written by and Colin Meloy....
But oh, if I could only get you oceanside, to lay your muscles wide, it'd be heavenly. And oh, if I could only coax you overboard, to leave these lolling shores, to get you oceanside. Oceanside.
At rising tide, you're looking fresher than a July bride. We're picking up what our mothers always stigmatized. The field is right for reaping. Oh well, I guess I'm nothing but a ne'er do well (even though that's something I could never do well) I'm on track and keeping.
But oh, if I could only get you oceanside to lay your muscles wide, it'd be heavenly. Oh, if I could only coax you overboard, to leave these lolling shores, to get you oceanside.
Oceanside, oceanside.

Lyrics submitted by _aeronautical, edited by brisingr47

"Oceanside" as written by Colin Meloy

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Oceanside song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI think this might be a reference to Poe's "Annabel Lee":

    "It was many and many a year ago,
    In a kingdom by the sea,
    That a maiden there lived whom you may know
    By the name of Annabel Lee"

    At first I thought it was a Nabokov reference, because in "Lolita" the narrator talks about loving a girl named Annabel by the sea... then I learned that Nabokov was making a Poe reference... heh, I love references.
    walkintothecon December 08, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAnybody else hear "lolling shores" instead?
    sweetaddy08on May 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHe wants to do her on the beach! Okay I guess that's all I can say about it. These guys are such staggeringly good storytellers, the song really speaks for itself.
    Gamaon December 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIs the Annabelle in this song the same as in California One do you think?
    npcompleteon October 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMight be the same Annabelle... Definitely a Nabakov/Poe reference, since Colin adores his work.
    Cynothoglyson January 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't know...it wouldn't be like Colin to spell the name incorrectly. Also, the song isn't really about a girl who lives by the sea, it's more of comparing the ocean more to her chastity or indifference to sex than using it as personification. She waves "lather up and lay her down 'til she's fast and sleeping": they protect and comfort her, but all the narrator wants is to "only get you oceanside", in which case she would no longer be IN the comforting ocean, but out of it. This is obviously the fact that he wants to have sex with her, "lay your muscles wide, it'd be heavenly". To "coax her overboard" is the same idea. I get the image of a beautiful girl relaxing calmly on tall, softly rolling waves, just floating happily and a man standing on the sand and staring up at her on the waves longingly. I like this song. However, I don't understand the line at the end of the song "the field is right for reaping" because it changes the imagery and symbolism from oceans and water and beaches to fields. Peculiar, yeah?
    words&trickson May 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti always though of th esong as a aphrodite reference - seeing as how she was birthed from the sea
    eironiaon August 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy interpretation is a bit crass but, delicacy aside, it seems to me that the speaker sees this girl, Annabelle, asleep on the beach and contemplates raping her, hence the "ne'er-do-well" line. His lack or moral judgment is further illustrated by the confession that he never paid attention in church ("..fell asleep at the pealing of the steeple bell"). It looks like he decides to not do it, though:

    The field is right for reaping
    Oh, well
    I guess I'm something of a ne'er-do-well
    Even though that's something I could never do well

    In the end, he still wants to, but I guess he just couldn't go through with it. Funny song, I think. Call it what you will.. satire, denouncement.. I just find it amusing.

    But I must admit, if the song does have refernces like you guys say, they're lost on me.
    Ximon May 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentultimately, i think this song is about a guy who is pleading with a girl he loves to take a chance with him despite the fact that he might be not the best guy in the world and makes mistakes.
    lexnaturalison May 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it is a Poe/Nobokov reference. I also think it is highly sinister. I think he's obsessed with her and she is indifferent. It sounds to me he wants to drown her so he can have her.

    While anabel Lee is a respectful and beutiful ode to Poe's wife, Nabokov's use is more sinister as it's sited as the start of his sexual obsession, and Poe's stories repeatedly reference a morbid sexual interest in the dead. Ligea and Berenice anyone?
    Lethranon August 18, 2007   Link

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