I was born and raised by the sea, Shy yet proud,
Learned to stay away from the crowd
In my home, my lighthouse
101 steps , round and down
New Years Eve, one night in the town
Can change one life into eternity

All I could see, her eyes,
We got caught in the moment, all of the night
Taken beyond all lines,
In silence leaving 'em all behind

She had found the sails, for the following night
The town, for her, was getting way too small
She promised to be mine
Forever, for that one night

Moments, passion, small defeats
Concealed emotions, found in me
You gave life to a brand new me

Crossing the wintry fields,
The first hour of morning's light
Warmed by the flame inside,
The lasting memory of the ending night

I never had a chance to stop what hit me
What broke my bones and mauled me
After hours of deep, unwilling sleep
In a cold shelter Fell back in the dark,
And the hours of the day passed

A nightmare awakes me, blinking light!
There's no guide, blind ships in the night
Oh blood red moon, eat away the night

Darkness covers my lonely soul,
No one to feed the dying light

Good morn', oh dreadful day,
I prayed the moon had lit the sea instead of me
For the sails of night,
Please tell me everything's alright

My voice in the room broke the silence,
Everybody killed me with their eyes
What I was to hear made the people cry,
Impossible for me to keep the tears inside

All on board the White Pearl have died,
Coastal reef have tolled their lives
And you are the light of the night

One thing, I remember, before I fell on the ground
Although I never saw the face,
A name was inked in his arm

Love can be like poetry of demons,
Or maybe God loves complex irony?
The family name stated I had seen before
Written on her front door

Silence in the courthouse!
A presence sealed the room, we both could feel
The father of her unborn child and me

All on board the White Pearl had died,
Coastal reef had tolled their lives
While I was the guide light
Back in my tower, run, run, run
Light is out, I hope to see
Black oceans beneath rise and swallow me

One step will take me back inside, another sees my end
No one can love a man who guarded the light
Guarded the light, one faithful night,
Flaming eyes I must confront before I am stated free

Defining innocence is hell, after all that has past
Building new walls inside, my eternal night
Although they took my heart and dried me up
Sometimes I still bleed

Show me the way
Show me the way
The light will show me a way on the grisly reefs
Too many dead ends I see
I know no soul can save me
The respect I lost, the measure of a man

Ten thousand steps down, round and round
One night on the town and I'm hell bound
Black oceans beneath come and swallow me
All on board the White Pearl had died,
Coastal reef come claim my life
Black oceans beneath come and swallow me

My little tower, seal my fate
Help me pay back, end their hate
Black oceans beneath come and swallow me
One direction, down, down, down
Pitch black night for my old town
Black oceans beneath shall now swallow me

I hereby, commit my body to the deep
To return to the corruption
Looking for the resurrection of the body
When the sea shall give up her dead
And the life of the road to come through our Lord
Amen


Lyrics submitted by Equilan, edited by CookiePaw

White Pearl Black Oceans... Lyrics as written by

Lyrics © RESERVOIR MEDIA MANAGEMENT INC

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White Pearl, Black Oceans song meanings
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  • +8
    My Interpretation

    My take on the song, with a little dramatic license to make a cohesive narrative. My thoughts are on the lines prefixed with a ">".

    I was born and raised by the sea; shy yet proud, learned to stay away from the crowd, in my home, my lighthouse. 101 steps, round and down, New Years Eve, one night on the town can change one life into eternity.

    The keeper stands at the top of his lighthouse, the sound of the waves form his thought: He has lived a solitary, structured and reclusive life. He knows every detail of his existence down to the letter, never deviating... except for this one night. Last night. His thoughts flash back to how everything went so wrong.

    All I could see - her eyes. We got caught in the moment all of the night. Taken beyond all lines, in silence, leaving them all behind.

    He decides to venture into town for just one night. Not for long; he's got a lighthouse to tend, a schedule to keep. But he sees HER and everything else is forgotten. He is smitten, and she seems to return the feelings. They decide to get away from the hustle and bustle, somewhere quiet.

    She had found the sails for the following night. The town, for her, was getting way too small. She promised to be mine forever, for that one night ...

    They head to her house outside of town to be alone. She confides in him that she wants to leave this place, move on to bigger and better things. She's booked passage on a ship leaving tomorrow night, but tonight... she's his. They both enjoy drinks and talk into the wee small hours.

    Moments, passion, small defeats. Concealed emotions found in me. "You gave life to a brand new me ..."

    One thing finally leads to another. The keeper is overjoyed; he hadn't known just how empty his life had been before this night. As night finally gives way to day, he lets her know just how much it meant to him.

    Crossing the wintry fields the first hour of morning light. Warmed by the flame inside - the lasting memory of the ending night.

    The keeper leaves her house, still tipsy, reflecting warmly on the memories of the best night of his life. Walking back through the fields towards the town, he is unaware that someone had seen them leave together, watched as they spent the night together... and is now approaching from behind.

    I never had a chance to stop what hit me, what broke my bones and mauled me. After hours of deep unwilling sleep in a cold shelter, fell back in the dark, and the hours of the day passed ...

    The assailant viciously beats the keeper, then throws him into a nearby barn, where he quickly falls unconscious. Dawn. Morning. Afternoon. Evening. All pass.

    A nightmare awakes me, blinking light, there's no guide - blind ships in the night! Oh, blood red moon, eat away the night ...

    Darkness covers my lonely soul, no one to feed the dying light ...

    Awoken from a fevered dream, he catches a glimpse of a flickering in the distance through the barn's open doors. The lights from the dock. He realises the time, immediately thinks of his duty... injured, he begins the slow trek back towards town, petitioning the moon to do his job for him.

    Good morn', oh dreadful day. I prayed the moon had lit the sea instead of me, for the sails of night.

    It's dawn before he reaches town. An entire day lost. He sees a gathering in the town square, moves through the crowds to the town hall, enters the building. He prays again that the moon was light enough for those ships.

    "Please tell me everything is alright ..." My voice in the room broke the silence, everybody killed me with their eyes ... what I was to hear made the people cry - impossible for me to keep the tears inside.

    The crowded room falls silent as he walks in. He looks around, then asks the question. The glares from the crowd, the red rimmed eyes and bowed heads, tell him the answer before it's spoken, but the words make it real and he breaks down.

    "All on the board the White Pearl have died! Coastal reef has tolled their lives, and you are the light of the night!"

    One man shouts his accusation at him. The White Pearl has fallen afoul of the rocks. No survivors. His voice is full of anger and sorrow, but also guilt. The keeper looks up at him... the man has bruised knuckles and a tattoo that fills the keeper with dread.

    One thing I remember, before I fell on the ground, although I never saw the face, a name was inked in his arm ...

    Thinking back to the night before... he couldn't see his assailant, but he caught a glimpse of his arms as they pummelled him over and over. The same tattoo. This was the man who had assaulted him, stopped him from getting back to the lighthouse.

    Love can be like poetry of demons, or maybe God loves complex irony? The family name stated I had seen before ... written on her front door!

    Then it hits him. The tattoo. A surname. The same surname he had seen on the woman's house that night.

    "Silence in the courthouse!" A presence in the room we both could feel - the father of her unborn child and me.

    Time loses meaning. The same thought haunts him for the next few days, right the way through his arrest and up to his trial. The man was her husband. More details trickle in through his fugue; she was pregnant. The two were having problems. She was running away. The court becomes raucous, but the judge decrees that the keeper is not to blame. "Innocent".

    All on the board the White Pearl have died, coastal reef has tolled their lives, while I was the guide light! Back in my tower, run, run, run - light is out. I hope to see black oceans beneath rise and swallow me!

    It's evening before the keeper leaves the courthouse. His depressive thoughts are reaching a peak. He can't stop thinking about how he failed everyone. Breaking into a pained run, he reaches his lighthouse and runs all the way to the top.

    One step will take me back inside, another sees my end. No one can love a man who guarded the light one fateful night ... Flaming eyes I must confront before I am stated free.

    The flashback ends. The keeper stands on the edge of the lighthouse. One step either way; one decision. No-one could ever love him after this. She's gone. She showed him what he was missing all of those years and now he can never have it. Not with those accusing looks from everyone.

    Defining innocence is hell after all that has passed. Building new walls inside my eternal night. Although they took my heart and dried me up, sometimes I still bleed ...

    "Innocent". He isn't innocent. He should have stayed inside. He let them all die. He is to blame. This would never have happened if he'd only done what he always did. Try as he might, he couldn't return to his reclusive attitude throughout the trial. The townspeople's words cut him deeper than he thought possible.

    Show me the way ... The light will show me a way on the grisly reefs, too many dead ends I see. No soul can save me - the respect I lost, the measure of a man.

    He looks for a way out. He sees it in the light that shines from behind him. His lighthouse will help him. It's always helped him, always been there. A shield. Now, a guide. His only chance. His only redemption...

    10,000 steps down, round and round, one night on the town and I'm hell bound. Black oceans beneath, come and swallow me!

    There's no way back down those stairs. It's time to go. He jumps.

    All on board the White Pearl have died, coastal reef come claim my life! Black oceans beneath, come and swallow me!

    Falling, the keeper calls out to the ocean below. "Take me!"

    My little tower, seal my fate, help me pay back - end their hate. Black oceans beneath, come and swallow me!

    Still falling, his precious tower rushing past, he petitions both it and the sea to make everything right. His life for theirs, it's only just. They won't hate him then. "Take me!"

    One direction; down, down, down ... pitch black night for my old town, black oceans beneath shall now swallow me.

    Falling, the wind blowing through the lighthouse extinguishes the light. Darkness falls entirely, and the keeper's life ends as he crashes into the rocks and waves below.

    "I hereby commit my body to the deep, to be turned into corruption, looking for the resurrection of the body, when the Sea shall give up Her dead, and the life of the world to come, through our Lord. Amen."

    Leivanon March 17, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Not quite, Asuyaka.

    She wasn't his wife, and her unborn child wasn't his. It was a one night stand and:

    "A presence in the room, we both could feel The father of her unborn child and me"

    Not his. I understand the song except for "she had found the sails for the following night" The way I see it, the lighthouse keeper goes into town and meet this girl, has a one night stand with her..then as he's leaving, her husband attacks the lighthouse keeper. He crawled somewhere ("in cold shelter") and lay unconcious. He wakes up, realizing that the light in the lighthouse is unlit. When he's able, he goes back into town and they tell him that everyone on a ship, the White Pearl, had died because the ship hit a reef. He is tried and found innocent, but the hatred of the townspeople drives him to commit suicide by jumping off the lighthouse onto a reef.

    Amazing song, I love all the harmonies.

    supernancyon December 19, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This song should be obvious. A tale of the lighthouse keeper who promised his love to a girl before she took a trip on a luxury liner (it sounds like). He falls asleep after having a night on the town the previous night, and awakes in horror to find out that night long since fallen with no lighthouse lit on the night his beloved comes home.

    He prays for the full moon to light the sea, but, to no avail.

    He's soon tried in the courts for the murdering of every person aboard the White Pearl. Unable to stand their hatred and the fact he killed both his wife, unborn child, and all the passengers aboard, he leaps from the top of his tower to let the blackness swallow him.

    Awesome song, might I add.

    Asuyukaon November 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Amazing song, and I totally agree with supernacy As about "she had found the sails for the following night" I believe it's that she knew who he was, and that she knew that with him, she could escape the town. Since it states she was getting tired of this small town.

    CaptainEmoon January 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I think it's that the lighthouse keeper, on New Years eve, goes into town and ends up having a one night stand.

    The girl then leaves the town because "The town, for her, was getting way too small"

    But I think the reason the light isn't kept alive is because the man is too depressed about the girl leaving.

    Wrongful Suspicionon January 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    The part: "Flaming eyes I must confront before I am stated free Defining innocence is hell, after all that has past..." I think fairly clearly established that he was found innocent and hence I can't interpret him simply falling asleep or passing out. Equally as pointed out: "I never had a chance to stop what hit me... What broke my bones and mauled me..." ...is quite clear that we're dealing with some sort of an "accident". Until I chanced on this site I was perplexed about what really happened to him, but now that I read supernancy's explanation it does all makes sense.

    The lighthouse keeper's reaction when he sees the family name tells he hadn't seen the man before, which actually explains why the stanza about his accident is so vague - he didn't see who hit him. There is a kind of reprise in "Although I never saw the face" and it would certainly justify "Love can be like poetry of demons, or maybe God loves complex irony?" This would ALSO explain his lovers sudden flight from the town that very night.

    The alternative would be that the story just doesn't tell what caused it ("what hit me, what broke my bones and mauled me") which seems unlikely in this story. Also the "Forever... for that one night" is quite clear as mud that it was one-night stand. The only story that seems to make sense (to me, at least) is that the husband caught them fooling around, gave him a good trashing and she boarded the ship to escape his anger. (Obiviously neither of them knowing the lighthouse was now keeperless).

    wolf76on March 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Some slightly different thoughts...

    New Years Eve, one night in the town Can change one life into eternity...

    Defiantely a one night stand.

    She had found the sails, for the following night

    the girl that he was having the stand with was on the white pearl the following night.

    The town, for her, was getting way too small She promised to be mine Forever, ...for that one night...

    another one night stand reference.

    Moments, passion, small defeats Concealed emotions, found in me "You gave life to a brand new me..."

    He has previously been described as very shy, was this his first time? Definately with her, and it seems to be a voyage of discovery here. Is the you gave life reference to him or to a child he created with the girl?

    Crossing the wintry fields, The first hour of morning light Warmed by the flame inside,

    He is still drunk from the night before. It is now the morning after.

    I never had a chance to stop what hit me... What broke my bones and mauled me...

    He suffers an attack or an accident. 'Mauled' might indicate being attacked by a wolf/bear etc. He could have just fallen as a result of being drunk etc, or could have been the lover of the girl.

    After hours of deep, unwilling sleep... in a cold shelter Fell back in the dark, and the hours of the day passed...

    He is unconscious all day and late into the following night, when he wakes up and realised he hasnt lit the fire for that night.

    Good morn', oh dreadful day,

    He is still badly injured and cant make it to the lighthouse. The morning comes.

    One thing, I remember, before I fell on the ground... Although I never saw the face, A name was inked in his arm...

    This was the lover/father of the girl he had slept with, who had gone down on the black pearl.

    Love can be like poetry of demons, or maybe God loves complex irony?

    The lighkeep was assaulted by the father, who as a result lost his wife/lover because he couldnt light the lighthouse. Ironic.

    Skycladon May 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I think it's important to note that she's sailing back home... otherwise she wouldn't be passing his lighthouse. Also, "what broke my bones and mauled me" seems to refer to overwheming exhaustion from his carouse that forces him into slumber and prevents him from returning to the lighthouse in time to light the lamp.

    I do think he's attacked by the girl's lover--not her father--but that's an effect of the disaster, not a cause. He sees the girl's name inked in his romantic rival's arm right before he's decked onto the ground.

    And he's definitely suicidal at the end. I think the increased number of "steps"--from a thousand (not a hundred) to ten thousand is symbolic of his despair.

    RedFox742on May 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I think its pretty obvious what the song is about. A lighthouse keeper neglects his duty one night and pays for it with shame, people's deaths and his eventual suicide.

    Beautiful, beautiful song. This is my favourite song of all time.

    Vardenon July 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I think you should listen harder, Varden; it has nothing to do with neglect.

    Belielon July 15, 2007   Link

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