Now you be the mother,
And I'll be your fool,
I'll hide myself deep inside,
Your crimson pool.
The muddy water runs,
Beneath your folds,
You won't let me breathe,
You won't let me go.
Now you be the stranger,
And I'll be the white-skinned son,
You'll blacken my innocence,
With sugar and opium...
The children were suffocating,
Down in your damp cave,
And you were the mother,
And I was the sleeping slave.
Protect me from violence,
Hold me in your cool lips,
You drug me with kindness,
So I can pretend I exist.
Now you be the oly child,
I'll suck on your breast,
You'll feed me with gasoline,
I'll burn my name in your head.

Lyrics submitted by jt

Helpless Child Lyrics as written by


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Helpless Child song meanings
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  • +7
    General CommentLove with a servile element. Wishing to be subverted, to be the fool, the small and helpless child that must be cared for, nurtured, adored. Masochistic, but tenderly so. A less brutal view of the situation in the much older "Stupid Child", minus any hint of child abuse.
    Cynothoglyson April 08, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentA sick relation of dependence. Like a child that is afraid to face the world, feels safe with mother, though she seems to suffocate it and drug it.
    InBetweenTheLineson April 24, 2012   Link
  • +2
    My OpinionI don't really think it is about relationship between mother and a child. Otherwise it wouldn't start with "now you be the mother". I think it's about something toxic, a role-play where the 'child' drains life from his 'mother', forces her to act, think, be as he wants her to.
    prokacperon October 25, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentInstead of critizising politics like most bands, Gira is crtisizing the relationship between mother and baby. Truly chillling stuff.
    fearpanic4on May 30, 2014   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationTo me the song is about abandonment. About feeling a small helpless child in an overwhelmingly evil and frightening world. It's like he's crying out to a mother who never was there for him, who never gave him the love and protection he needed.

    He doesn't seem to keen on this concept of being alive, that's for sure.
    Mackckon December 15, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhen I read this, I thought of a son who is too attached to his mother. He is metaphorically stuck in her womb, "down in your damp cave".
    DaFaceon March 04, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy very favorite Swans song. I always felt it had an uncomfortable attachment feel to it. " hide myself deep inside, your crimson pool" maybe a menstrual, a motherly type of nightmarish feel.
    aux87on January 04, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLOVE IT.... i've really fell for this band, their music is so damn diverse and just unlike anything else i've ever endured. i was going band through band recently, and while all were really amazing, these guys struck me the most. and that is to the point were commercial music literally seems like a joke to me know.

    anyways, beautiful song. while i like swans older stuff a bit more, this is definatly one of my favorites. sound like the very dark life of a lonely and neglected child. so incredibly desolate, sinister and beautiful all at once. reminds me of the music from silent hill.
    stonerbassiston January 10, 2011   Link

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