You thought the leaden winter
Would bring you down forever
But you rode upon a steamer
To the violence of the sun

And the colors of the sea
Blind your eyes with trembling mermaids
And you touch the distant beaches
With tales of brave Ulysses

How his naked ears were tortured
By the sirens sweetly singing
For the sparkling waves are calling you
To touch their white laced lips

And you see a girl?s brown body
Dancing through the turquoise
And her footprints make you follow
Where the sky loves the sea

And when your fingers find her
She drowns you in her body
Carving deep blue ripples
In the tissues of your mind

The tiny purple fishes
Run laughing through your fingers
And you want to take her with you
To the hard land of the winter

Her name is Aphrodite
And she rides a crimson shell
You know you cannot leave her
For you touched the distant sands

With tales of brave Ulysses
How his naked ears were tortured
By the sirens sweetly singing
Yeah

The tiny purple fishes
Run laughing through your fingers
You want to take her with you
To the hard land of the winter


Lyrics submitted by Hilde

Tales of Brave Ulysses Lyrics as written by Martin Sharp Eric Patrick Clapton

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Tales Of Brave Ulysses song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentOne of the themes in stories about Ulysses is that even though he spent years struggling to return home, once he reaches it he is restless and can't be satisfied there, because he has "touched the distant sands" of foreign lands and has learned to live for adventure. (For example, in the poem "Ulysses" by Tennyson...)

    So I think this song can be interpreted kind of that way. It's about someone who travels to a foreign exotic place and falls in love with both the land and a girl (who represents the place in a way). Now that he has met her, he knows that he can never be satisfied without her -- "you know you cannot leave her for you touched the distant sands." He knows he must return home to the "hard land of the winter", and he wants to take her with him, but he also knows this is impossible...and even if he did take her back there, it wouldn't be the same, and eventually the magic would probably be lost. And he probably can't stay at the "distant beaches" for the same reason -- not only does he not quite belong there, but part of its magic for him is probably the temporary nature of his stay. He is destined to move on, but now he is doomed to be dissatisfied wherever he goes. While he is traveling, he misses his homeland where he really belongs, but once he returns, he is restless for adventure and can't forget the girl that he met, who is preserved in memory as perfect, whether she really is or not -- so what he misses may or may not even exist.

    It’s a feeling that everyone who travels can probably relate to at least a little...
    greenbeanon April 15, 2007   Link

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