"Islands" as written by Sameer Gadhia, Eric Matthew Cannata, Jacob John Tilley, Francois Paul Comtois and Payam Reza Doostzadeh....
Five days
Underwater
Near your island
Off the coast
I know
Five ways
You were my lover
Incantation
Off the tide
In rhyme

Oh, what if the whole world finds you waiting
Oh, as it can so long now have
Oh, I thought you knew that I'd be coming
The way you move, a foreign groove, at night

I could never
I could never hold you

Watch it rise and where you hide your pearl
Feel the tide low where you cast those stones you wear
When no one's home, do they feel cold on your bones
All the years I miss your warmth
Have you missed my warmth?
On your island


Lyrics submitted by switsea, edited by TrickyTea

"Islands" as written by Francois Paul Comtois Eric Matthew Cannata

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Islands song meanings
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    My InterpretationCall me crazy, but when I first heard this song, I thought it was about The Great Gatsby. Gatsby is standing on his side of the island, staring out at the green light across the way, pining after Daisy who is on her separate island. There's no mention of the iconic green light, granted, but the opening lines do say that the singer is "near your [his love's] island" and "off the coast," and explicitly states that they were former lovers. I know Gatsby waited for Daisy for 5 years, but the song opens with 5 days… But I wonder how long Gatsby and Daisy were together after being reunited. If it was 5 days or so, then this opening could be really morbid (SPOILER ALERT), as it could be Gatsby in his last moments "underwater" in the pool thinking about his love affair with Daisy.

    The second stanza of the song, the singer talks about how his love is waiting (or at least he imagines, perhaps too naively, that she has been waiting). The tone sounds sad and apologetic; he is sorry that his love has been waiting so long and likely has been very lonely, so lonely and miserable that the whole world has known for "so long now."

    If this is from Gatsby's point of view, then he assumes right, that Daisy is unhappy and waiting for /something/ more, however, I think he assumes wrong that she's waiting for him. It's been a while since I read the book, but I'm pretty sure Daisy wasn't thinking much of Gatsby or her promise to wait for him until he suddenly reappeared on her doorstep. To add to my interpretation is the line "Oh, I thought you knew that I'd be coming." Gatsby has never stopped thinking of his beloved, so he assumed that Daisy was the same and had been waiting forlornly for five years for him to swoop in and carry her away. So the line expresses mild surprise that she should be surprised he came for her.

    The last stanza is the one that hits home the most for me, and really makes me feel that the Gatsby interpretation has some believability. The pearls given to Daisy by Tom in the book are symbolic of her character, and how empty and superficial the Buchanan's life is. So it is interesting that "Islands" should talk about "pearl" and "those stones you wear." Obviously the woman the singer is pining for is a woman of wealth, although she doesn't seem to care, or she's just disillusioned, because she's casting them into the low tide.

    I really feel the whole last stanza is a projection of the singer's imagination. He imagines she casts her pearl and stones into the water, he wonders about whether she feels hollow, and that her finery lacks warmth and meaning when she realizes her marriage is a sham and her husband is always leaving her (to be with Myrtle?).

    I especially like that the song ends on a somber, inconclusive note. He's missed her warmth--but has she missed his? This is where, in my interpretation, Gatsby would be skimming the reality of the situation and losing that idealistic image from the first stanza and beginning of the second. Perhaps, he thinks, Daisy was not as desperate for him as he was for her.
    TrickyTeaon November 28, 2013   Link

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