"Water and Air" as written by and Marshall Cat Power....
I was dragged out by the shore man,
A very poor man,
A very nice man,
A family man.

My lover drifted down the river,
Below the dark water,
The devil all around.

Yesterday on the street,
Someone called out your name,
Someone thought that you were me,
Last night there was a party,
I could not go,
I walked around it,
I thought about it,
All night long,
Today there is a newspaper,
About you and me,
And the day we were married,
The same day.

The same day they fell in love,
The same day they died in love.

I did not want you to die alone,
Rusty river run down,
Run, run as fast as you can, oh run,
Rusty river run ragged,
And drag my lover's self back to me,
I'll meet him there,
Water and air.

Oh to be at the bottom of a river,
Below the dark water,
The devil all around,
The devil all around.

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"Water & Air" as written by Cat Power Marshall


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Water and Air song meanings
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  • +2
    My InterpretationI think the beginning is right after some sort of drowning accident. She's being dragged out of the river, she describes the man who helped her as nice... but her lover's been taken away. The rest of the song is more recent events, events that cause her to become more more deeply depressed and manic.

    I think the last stanza, the parallelism is referring to her own desire to be at the bottom of the river. Suicide.
    LisaZon April 27, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat a stirring song. All the misery *almost* makes me laugh. But not quite. What exactly is going in this song?
    Tobes181on September 28, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is either a eulogy or about a break-up. I don't really think that it's about her, though, but rather some sort of story.
    bocmaximaon June 27, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is probably completely wrong, but just looking at the lyrics here, is the song possibly some sort of eulogy or tribute to jeff buckley? I don't know enough about him or the details of his death to draw much out of the lyrics, and maybe it is just assuming that any 'alternative' song from the mid/ late nineties is going to be some sort of reference.

    Like i said, just a thought.
    karma suturedon May 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'd go with the allusion to Jeff Buckley, but anyway it's clearly a song about loss (of love, a person perhaps). It's musically mesmeric.
    atamataon October 30, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'll buy the Jeff Buckley reference. I never thought about it that way. It seems more directly about a woman who goes into a river with her lover and comes out alone. It is haunting and I love the way some of the lines sort of drift into wailing. It has a keening effect. She sounds on edge, like she's about to lose it.
    kingfisheron October 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is so haunting. Anyway, it can't be about Jeff Buckley, as he died a year after this album was released; this song was written long before his death.
    scottdoesntknow628on August 15, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My Opinioni thought maybe it was about two lovers who died on the same day or something,
    "The same day they fell in love
    The same day they died in love"

    and they died somehow in a river,
    "My lover drifted down the river
    Below the dark water
    The devil all around"
    like he was floating down the river?

    i could be completely wrong, this song has some deep meaning it seems that maybe only she wanted to know and she made it almost like a puzzle
    AcrossTheOceanon February 27, 2011   Link

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