She will kiss you til your lips bleed
But she will not take her dress off
Americana, Tropicana

All the sailor boys have demons
They sing oh Kentucky why did you forsake me
It I was meant to sail the sea
Why did you make me
It should have been another state
Oh stay

Cause Mary Anne's a bitch
Mary Anne's a bitch

Does it matter that our anchor
Couldn't even reach the bottom of a bathtub
And the sails reflect the moon
It's such a strange job
Playing blackjack on the deck
Atop this giant puddle
Dressed in white we quietly huddle with our missiles
And we miss the girls back home
Oh home sweet home

Cause Mary Anne's a bitch
Mary Anne's a bitch

She will kiss you til your lips bleed
But she will not take her dress off
Americana, Tropicana

Lyrics submitted by anna118k

Sailor Song Lyrics as written by Regina Spektor

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Sailor Song song meanings
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  • +4
    Song MeaningSome how, I don't think Maryanne is either a boat or a woman, but the sea itself.

    "kisses you till your lips bleed" - reference to the wind?

    And she's a bitch because all those sailor's want to go back to their woman; but she wont let them.

    "She won't take her dress off." She's just a tease; she promises that this is worth it but doesn't quite make it okay that they can't see their girlfriends.

    wooptyfriggindooon November 07, 2010   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationTo meeee....

    This song is about the USS Kentucky -- a ship that was built but never completed in the WW2 era.

    "does it matter that our anchors
    couldnt even reach the bottom
    of a bath tub"

    means she was never completed

    "it's such a strange job, playing black jack on the deck"
    I think this is about the skeleton crew than manned the Kentucky before she was dismantled in 1958. They sat atop their puddle, dressed in white...they missed the girls back home...

    "If I was meant to sail the seas...why did you make me?"
    obviously a jab at the military for giving them such a terrible duty station.

    And Marianne...of course, is the Sea.

    I believe the Tropicana is either a hot spot in Philly, where she was moored until she was scrapped, or a heartfelt wish from the crew...When they signed up to be in the NAVY, they were told they would sail everywhere, even to Tropicana...but instead they were stuck...AMERICANA!

    I love this song.
    CalypsoAceon August 26, 2010   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationElephantine idiot! How could I have been — why do I continue to be — so stupid! "Mare", Latin, meaning "sea" or "ocean". From which, or relatives thereof, come the English words "marine" and "marina". Furthermore, the Russian for "sea" is also море (morye).
    Anyway, what does it matter? Most of her songs, with the exception perhaps of "Machine", don't have clear, definite meaning anyway, even to her! She confessed as much in that interview with . . . whatever the name of that magazine is; I can't remember.
    TheTekestanon April 29, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General Commentits americana, tropicana. Americana, as in the American lifestyle. Tropicana, as in Regina's awesome.
    joemommaon June 27, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment>>Fuchsia
    It says "anchor" in the lyrics of my Soviet Kitsch album and, well... Regina wrote the song, so I think they're right.
    As for Mary Anne not being the ship but a woman, I -personally- don't think so. I mean, Regina is almost never that litteral. She plays more with metaphores and such. Plus, wouldn't it be kind of boring if Mary Anne WAS a girl? -When in doubt, go with the better lyric-
    lemonjuiceon April 15, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI found it gratifying to think of "Mary Anne" as "Marianne," related to the French personification of liberty, and in that context she's saying, in effect, "Freedom is a bitch." It seemed to jive profoundly enough with the rest of the song.
    Ennuyeuxon September 26, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm liking a lot of these observations. When I listen to this song I hear a lot of cold war motif.
    Let's say we have A) cold war as the macrocosm/backdrop,
    B)The experience of horny sea men cruising the Caribbean as the, you know, human sized cosm,
    C) And the condition and of sperm in waiting
    ... All of this pins together with the line, "Still, atop these giant puddles/dressed in white we quietly huddle with our missiles." The apprehensive mentality of the cold war is compared to the condition of being horny as fuck. What do the cold war and the condition of being a horny homesick sailor have in common? They are both basically about waiting to anxiously to blow your load.

    The last minute where she's singing "Americana, Tropicana," the tone changes almost drastically from upbeat/flirty to something more haunting and foreboding... echoing the ambiguity of our cliffhanger ending: a bunch of horny men with various unconscious Freudian phallic issues hold the fait our world in their hands.

    and the two are states are one and the same in song of these sailors
    Dooiteron June 11, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is--- greattt.
    precipitateon March 31, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthaha love the meaning for tropicana.
    bleedingmaskarahon July 18, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think its interesting how she mentions Marry Anne from her other not sure what the significance is tho.
    turpentine_patcheson October 23, 2005   Link

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