Well the lush separation unfolds you
And the products of wealth
Push you along on the bow wave
Of their spiritless undying selves
And you press on God's waiter your last dime
As he hands you the bill
And you spin in the slipstream
Tideless, unreasoning
Paddle right out of the mess
And you paddle right out of the mess

Lyrics submitted by knate15, edited by soze_umama

"Slipstream" as written by Ian Anderson

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Slipstream song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI agree.
    inpraiseoffollyon September 14, 2006   Link
  • +1
    Lyric Correction"well the lush separation enfolds you
    and the products of wealth
    push you along on the bow wave
    of their spiritless undying selves."

    these lyrics sound like they come from someone who knows what it is like to experience fame. "lush" has to do with wealth and luxury. "separation" may relate to the way fame can cause one to separate from working class ways. "enfolds" may have to do with the way the wealthy surround their selves with luxuries. "spiritless undying selves" may have to do with the way the famous each have their own personae, but typically, any impression that anyone has is probably not correct, because each hyped persona is supernatural. so, they are "spiritless" in the sense that such a persona does not effectively reflect the real person, and "undying", in the sense that their famous name seems to have a life of its own that continues on, while at the same time, the movie star ages and fades out of the limelight. "slipstream" is an interesting word because it actually has to do with air, rather than water: "the air stream pushed back by a revolving aircraft propeller"(Dictionary.com Unabridged), even though the context clearly refers to water e.g. "bow wave". "paddle right out of the mess" seems to suggest that the singer would rather not be involved with the ways of the wealthy, and the brevity of the song seems to suggest the same.
    dresdensmogon August 12, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningIan Anderson's dad was dying at the time Anderson wrote these songs.

    Compare Slipstream to Cheap Day Return:

    (Here Anderson sings about the mundane which stands as metaphor for a stage and performance, his work, his career)

    On Preston platform
    Do your soft shoe shuffle dance.
    Brush away the cigarette ash that's
    Falling down your pants.

    (Here Anderson sings about the conflict of pursuing his life in rock versus being there for his dying dad).

    And you sadly wonder
    Does the nurse treat your old man
    The way she should.

    (Here Anderson reveals contempt for the idea that stardom could be more important than anyone's life.)

    She made you tea,
    Asked for your autograph --
    What a laugh.

    So that bit about pressing on God's waiter your last dime as he hands you the bill likely is about Anderson paying the funeral bill at the church for his dead dad.

    And through the turbulence of his life (slipstream) he escaped (paddle right out) of the phoniness of it all (mess).
    WayfarerWexon March 08, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song seems to be about trying to ascend in the Church of England. Seems to talk about making money and giving it to the church to gain rank
    instead of giving it to the people who need it. It's almost saying the church is a pyramid scheme.

    God's waiter is your preacher, your priest. The bill is the Tithe, or, a tenth of your earnings minimum. The more you give, the better you are in the Church's eyes.

    At least that's what I see.
    InCaseOfEvidenceon July 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIts about dying.
    Yancmanon October 13, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIts about dying.
    Yancmanon October 13, 2016   Link

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