"Grown Ocean" as written by and Robin Pecknold....
In that dream, I'm as old as the mountains
Still as starlight reflected in fountains then
Children grown on the edge of the ocean
Kept like jewelry, kept with devotion
In that dream moving slow through the morning time

You would come to me then, without answers
Lick my wounds and remove my demands for now
Eucalyptus and orange trees are blooming
In that dream, there's no darkness a-loomin'
In that dream, moving slow through the morning time

In that dream I could hardly contain it
All my life I will wait to attain it
Then, then, then, oh

I know someday the smoke will all burn off
All these voices I'll someday have turned off then
I will see you someday when I've woken
I'll be so happy just to have spoken
I'll have so much to tell you about it then
Ah, ah, ah

In that dream I could hardly contain it
All my life I will wait to attain it
Then, then, then, oh

Wide-eyed walker
Don't betray me
I will wake one day, don't delay me
Wide-eyed leaver
Always going

Lyrics submitted by casiopt10

"Grown Ocean" as written by Robin Noel Pecknold

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Grown Ocean song meanings
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  • +10
    My Interpretation"Grown Ocean" ties together many of the other songs on the album, so I figured I would post my general interpretation of the album here.

    The song "Helplessness Blues" establishes the main dilemma of the album. The singer has led a dissolute life (he's the prodigal son in "The Plains / Bitter Dance") and now, faced with his own mortality, wants to make a change. He rejects the materialism of his former life ("Montezuma"). He idealizes some of the innocence or purity he had in the past ("Bedouin Dress") and connects this with Innisfree. Part of this is a relationship he had ("Battery Kinzie" and "Lorelai").

    In "Someone You'd Admire" he pushes himself to find this new way of life, or to change his ways. He realizes that he can become someone to be admired, but if he fails then he will become embittered and not care anymore. The final stanza of "The Shrine" indicates that he fails at this point. He greedily hordes the apples. The last verse in the song indicates the he either literally or metaphorically attempts suicide.

    In "Blue Spotted Tail" he discovers that he survived the suicide attempt. This still leaves him in an existential crisis as he ponders death and the absurdity of life.

    Finally, in "Grown Ocean" he dreams of reaching his goal and returning to "Innisfree". Part of this dream is being reunited with Lorelai. In fact, she seems integral to his dreams for the future. He realizes that this reunion won't happen until he has finally "woken". The line "In that dream I could hardly contain it \ All my life I will wait to attain it" is very hopeful. He's decided not to give in to bitterness, but to continue searching for the truth.

    However, he acknowledges that failure is still possible. He fears that Lorelai, the "wide-eyed walker" from "Battery Kinzie", will betray him. Perhaps she is the singer in "Sim Sala Bim" who considers betraying the person she loves "despite the reservations". Either way, he hopes to "awaken" before this can happen. However, she has left in the past, and he fears this will happen again.

    Overall, this gives me the impression that Pecknold is saying that the search for truth is a lifelong struggle. He wants to live in such a way that he helps his fellow man, while not just being a cog in a machine. He seems to reject Tolstoyan "passive resistance" in "Helplessness Blues", but questions how force can be used to overcome evil. He struggles to find meaning in a life that will someday end in death, but, at the least, finds meaning in that struggle. Now, he just worries that he can struggle to the end.
    clovuson May 05, 2011   Link
  • +4
    MemoryI really want this song to be about cicadas.
    zxopolymeron May 16, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think Robin is singing about a dream in which he stops second guessing every single thing he does and accepts his life, love, and relationships as they come.
    iquitmysceneon April 23, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is one of my favorites on the album, it's got an urgent pace that recalls the first half of Rolling Wood, and the closing acapella portion ends almost unsurely, reflecting the ideas of the song and album.

    Some of the best lyrics Robin has ever written at the end.
    fgevilmonkeyon March 30, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me, this sounds like a description of a vision of paradise that Robin believes awaits him after his death--somewhere without a real sense of time, without worries or egos. He will be awakening to the true nature of his Self. He speaks of enlightenment.
    xirtamikeon April 02, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Lyric CorrectionAccording to the lyrics printed on the album

    "Eucalyptus and orange trees are bloomin,
    In that dream there's no darkness A' loomin."
    BBN114on April 30, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe tempo and lyrics of this song just make me feel as if something really big and wonderful is about to happen. it makes me feel anxious, but anxious in a good way; full of anticipation.
    automaticthunderclapon February 26, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionAfter the line about eucalyptus and orange trees blooming, I'm pretty sure it should be:

    "In that dream, there's no darkness looming/In that dream moving slow through the morning time."

    Otherwise, the lyrics are perfect. Thanks!
    groovesnarkon March 30, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't really know what the song is about, but when I heard it, I had the most profound sense of awakening. Simply the way I saw the world when I was a kid, just came back to me. As you get older things get less foggy and more contrasted, all the colors turn to black and white. Robin's playful singing and the urgency of the percussion and drums, the helpful guiding of the backing vocals just reminds me seeing the world as a big playground and dancing with the wind.

    "I know someday the smoke will all burn off
    All these voices I'll someday have turned off
    I will see you someday when I've woken
    I'll be so happy just to have spoken
    I'll have so much to tell you about it"

    But I will tell you that this album was powerful enough to make Robin's wife/girlfriend come back to him (see Wikipedia). I bought it just for this song.

    The song may have been written to a lover, but my own personal interpretation is it's written to a past self that used to dream with abandon.
    the_untitledon May 09, 2011   Link
  • 0
    MemoryFor reasons out of my control, I haven't seen my mother in years and we only talk on the phone maybe once or twice a year. Whenever I hear this song, I think about meeting her again in heaven and being so happy to see her and have the chance to tell her all of the things she's missed in my life.
    saturnineon October 25, 2011   Link

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