"The Bear" as written by Robert Baker, Gordon Downie, Johnny Fay, Joseph Paul Langlois and Robert Gordon Sinclair....
I was first attracted by your scent
Your heart must be a caramelized onion
By the time I saw your flame
It was all over for you and whashisname.

I think it was Algonquin Park
It was so cold and winter-dark
A promised hibernation high
Took me across the great black plate of ice.

Now I'm the islander.
I found a place to call my den
And dreamt of the ferry and
The enormous man
Huge as were his children
Following around after him

I'm the islander
Woke up in the furtive spring
More capable of anything

I waited for more men to come
Hey docked their boats and cocked their guns
The time for truth and reconciliation's gone
But with my belly full I intended to get something done

I'm the islander
Woke up in the dead of spring
More hungry than anything

Lyrics submitted by black_cow_of_death

"The Bear" as written by Johnny Fay Gordon Downie

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

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The Bear song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentAt first, I really disliked Music @ Work but it was more unreachable than "In Violet Light", but I started listening to this song and the entire album won me over. This is my favorite song off this album, because of the lyricism and the sound. The sound is so beautiful it makes me wonder if their really is a bear roaring in the background. In terms of sheer instrumentation, this rivals "Whale and Wasp" as the best song where music makes animal sounds.

    As for the meaning, I think this song is about a deeply disturbed criminal hungering for blood like some demented beast. I am guessing this loner was chased into hiding, and I believe that's why he calls himself the Islander. He isolates himself to stay alive and he will fight until the end. I believe the second-to-last stanza is about him killing off attackers until he's killed himself. That may sound sadistic, but my favorite band can write and play some killer music.
    OpinionHeadon April 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI dunno, I think this song is literally about a bear, I don't see any reason to take it metaphorically (of course it presents the bear as thinking like humans). All the details of the lyrics seem to me to point to the narrator being a bear:
    - "I was first attracted by your scent, your heart must be a carmelized onion" - bears have a sharp sence of scent obviously, and the victim's heart smelled like candy to it.
    - "by the time I saw your flame, it was all over for you and whats-his-name" - the bear was attracted to a campfire where two campers were sitting around a fire, at this point defenceless
    - "I think it was Algonquin Park" - lots of people go canoeing and camping in the backcountry in Algonquin Provincial Park, and a few people have been killed by bears there.
    - "it was so cold and winter-dark" etc - the bear eats the people when it's fattening up for winter hibernation, and then when the lake freezes over it walks across to an island to hibernate. In the spring, park staff hunt it down. I think in real life they'd hunt a bear down a lot quicker than that if it ate people.
    tweedwolfscreamon March 31, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, I prefer to think it's a bout a real bear, it's more fun that way. I love this song.
    DevastatorJr.on April 23, 2008   Link

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