Born inside the gates of the family
Hardened by a Roman machinery
Cast among the building sites
The coiling wires, the shots collected

Called out in the wake of a lottery
Held inside the family gathering
Mirrored beams and doglike stretch
The wandering association

Murmurs in the dark confessional
And it rides along the road, ephemeral
As in animal life

Rusting in the shade of the batteries
Hanging from a rope in the gallery
Pacing down the balance beam of half-remembered holidays

No rush of light, no sign of belonging
No joy in building, love in the finishing
Chasing down an anodyne and half-reflected radiance

To hide below the ancient barricade
In chambers like the rooms a swallow made
For an animal life

Charging down the maw of the ocean
I wanna come close, I wanna come closer
I held your name inside my mouth through all the days of wandering

But called out from the mouth of oblivion
Cast away like dogs from the shelter
I shed the dulling armor plates
That once collected radiance

And surging at the blood's perimeter
The half-remembered wild interior
Of an animal life

Lyrics submitted by inverarity

Animal Life song meanings
Add your thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +2
    General CommentSuch great lyrics. Shearwater's music and lyrics always have a thread that speaks to the relationships between humanity and the natural world. Or maybe another way to say it, is that nature is part of their language. Other musicians may incorporate elements of nature, speak about nature, or use natural imagery to illustrate concepts or create feelings, but Shearwater speaks IN nature (if that makes sense). I don't know if I've ever encountered another musician or group who can do this so consistently and genuinely. Whether it is subtle references or quotes from important works of writing in the field, the use of specific descriptions of individual species, places, natural phenomena, structures, or the musical evocation of these specific things, they just nail it.
    This song seems to have a personal element, and I can't guess at what exactly it speaks to, but to me, there is a general theme about the process of recovering the true self (nature/animal self) and shedding the layers put upon one by culture/civilization, family, etc. The person ("your name") addressed in the song may in fact be the singer's true self.
    Rachelizabethon September 22, 2013   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top