Older brother, restless soul, lie down
Lie for a while with your ear against the earth
And you'll hear your sister sleep talking
Say "Your hair is long but not long enough to reach
Home to me
But your beard
Someday might be"

And she'll wake up in a cold sweat on the floor
Next to a family portrait drawn when you were four
And beside a jar of two cent coins that are no good no more
She'll lay it aside

Older father, weary soul, you'll drive
Back to the home you made on the mountainside
With that ugly, terrible thing
Those papers for divorce
And a lonely ring
A lonely ring
Sit on your porch
And pluck your strings

And you'll find somebody you can blame
And you'll follow the creek that runs out into the sea
And you'll find the peace of the Lord.

Grandfather, weary soul, you'll fly
Over your life once more before you die
Since our grandma passed away
You've waited for forever and a day
Just to die
And someday soon
You will die

It was the only woman you ever loved
That got burnt by the sun too often when she was young
And the cancer spread and it ran into her body and her blood
And there's nothing you can do about it now

Lyrics submitted by Dr Acula, edited by edeninwonderland

Blood song meanings
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  • +17
    General Comment

    Essentially this song seems to be a very personal insight into a family. It almost seems a chronicle of three generations of men in one family. ..

    -The older brother is young and restless, perhaps absent and missed by his sister and others.

    -Whilst the older father, typical of many baby boomers, is a late in life divorcee, isolated by the separation and struggling to find any peace.

    -The grandfather, also suffers from isolation and separation, but unlike the father, and typical his generation, he has been widowed after his much loved wife died of cancer.

    In some ways this song details how the nature of our relationships have changed within our society over the last century. Our grandparents never really considered divorce, they committed themselves throughout their lives, a lot of baby boomers embrace divorce however, which leaves many in generations x and y (their children) in a slightly restless sort of position (like the older brother) when it comes to their own relationships.

    I may be completely wrong, so that is only one take on it, either way, it’s a brilliant song!

    jsimoson August 21, 2009   Link
  • +9
    General Comment

    This song is terribly beautiful.

    4barbelaon June 24, 2009   Link
  • +7
    General Comment

    this song is absolutely beautiful,this song came out just before my grandfather passed away. it reminds me of him, as his wife passed away 20 years before him.. it makes me feel at peace he is now with the ones he loves and hasn't seen in a while.

    grandfather, gentle soul, you'll fly over your life once more before you die since our grandma passed away you've waited for forever and a day just to die and someday soon you will die

    pie_89on May 25, 2009   Link
  • +7
    General Comment

    I think jsimos has some very good points. This succession of generation is also an explanation for the title: generations/family->blood line->blood.

    Just for the sake of discussion, I have an alternative hypothesis:

    The "older brother", "older father", and "grandfather" could all be the same person, from the perspective of different people in the family. However this would mean that this one man would have been faced with: death of his sister, divorce, and death of his (former?) spouse from cancer...

    Whatever the perspective, I'm pretty sure that the sister in the song is dead. She is buried in the ground, her brother(s) miss(es) her and the older brother listens to the ground (in which his sister is buried). Sleep means death. The reference to the beard not being long enough to reach her refers to the brother not being old enough to die (the beard stands for old age). When his beard is long enough, he will die and meet her (in heaven).

    I'm not sure what the "cold sweat" paragraph could mean. But I do think it is "and she woke up" instead of "and she'll wake up".

    Do you guys think that "that ugly, terrible thing" refers to the papers for divorce, or is he with the ugly thing AND the papers for the divorce? I'm inclined to think the latter, since it would be weird to refer to "papers" (multiple) as a "thing" (singular). If that is the case, the "ugly, terrible thing could be a gun. He can't handle the divorce, he is "weary", and thus he goes to his mountain cabin to kill himself. In any case, I do think that he is the "victim" in the divorce; his wife gave him the ring back.

    "follow the creek that runs out into the sea and you'll find the peace of the Lord." I think this refers to finding a path in life (the creek) that leads to heaven (the sea, the peace of the Lord).

    "burnt by the sun too often when she was young and the cancer spread and it ran into her body and her blood" She died of skincancer, which I think is pretty common in Australia.

    All in all, I think the song is about three generations of men who each lose a female person: the sister dies, father loses his wife in a divorce, grandfather loses his wife to (skin)cancer. The theme is quite dark, but the music is relatively uplifting (especially near the end). I think this has to do with the fact that in the end, death will bring the men peace.

    impairingheardon January 30, 2010   Link
  • +5
    My Interpretation

    this song to me is about how hopeless one feels when you can't control something and how sad this can be. It's a song about being human and how all the people you love will perish by events we simply can't control, and we must be able to cope with that and come to the realization that this is how it will be. the lyrics that really stick out to me are when he says:

    "and there's nothing you can do about it now"

    this is where the realization comes in and what makes him so sad but at the same time he realizes that this is what life is and we have to take it as it is. Also, when they start ahhing it almost feels to me like they're taking out all their sadness and frustration out, but when they start ooooing it feels like they're accepting it and instead choose to see the beauty and memories of those relationships instead of the negativity. Anyways that's what i get out of it when i hear this song. That's why it makes me cry, but i'm smiling throughout. It really is a great song.

    jdan2388on July 15, 2012   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    I have quite a different view of this song than most others do. I think the song is all about one person in three different stages of his life (early adulthood, middle-aged, and old), and the poor decisions/troubles he's encountered in his life. The first part is about a younger boy who wants to leave home and be adventurous. His sister seems to be well-aware of his wanderlust, and acknowledges that she may not see him again until he's much older (hence the beard having grown so long). The sister doesn't sleep well and worries due to missing her sibling, which is why she wakes in the night. The two-cent coins reference could be alluding to the fact that it's two things in one. One-cent and one-cent (two separate things) have come to form a single two-cent coin. She probably felt very close to her brother, but now that they're separated, she doesn't feel like she's worth anything anymore. The second part is talking about the brother when he's reached middle-age. The brother had established a family, but it went wrong, and he's now by himself. He has a wife and kids, but he's distraught due to his divorce. I think the lyrics imply that the divorce is mainly his fault (because it shows that he's upset by it), but by spending some time alone (on the mountainside and by the sea), he's come to terms with it and finds peace within himself. Lastly, the brother has reached old age. This is the same man who's wife divorced him. He's upset that she's passed on, because it was the only woman that he's ever loved. The divorce may have been his fault, but just because you divorce someone, it doesn't mean that you stop loving them. So now that she's passed on, all he has left to do is die. Maybe he spent a lot of time after the divorce trying to win her back, but since she's died, there's "nothing you can do about it now." This is one of my favorite songs of all time, and I may be way off on the interpretation, but hopefully it at least made a little sense the way that I wrote all of this.

    Southieon May 16, 2013   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    "Some people are just born with tragedy in their blood" -Donnie Darko

    Not my favorite movie or anything, but that quote is basically how i feel about this song.

    kittenchowmeinon September 15, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    ok so i think i understand the following means:

    and she'll wake up in a cold sweat on the floor:

    i think the sister has passed away, and this may mean when she goes to heaven her spirit will wake up out of her cold dead body inside a coffin, or maybe he believes she will be resurrected and will simply wake up out of death.

    next to a family portrait drawn when you were four:

    Obviously she is dead in a coffin and a picture either she or her brother drew when she was four was placed in her coffin when she died.

    and beside a jar of two cent coins that are no good no more:

    i think this mean she died in the 1990's so at least twenty years ago as in australia we havent used two cent coins since 1992... and the family may have put them in her coffin for sentimental value along with the painting.

    she'll lay it aside:

    This makes me think that she gets resurrected or goes to heaven as she lays the buried items aside... or it could mean she lays them aside as she no longer needs money or the pressures of life as she is now dead.

    I agree with the other peoples interpretation of the other song but didnt see any interpretation for this part! :)

    This song actually makes me cry :( my dad just lost his sister and his mother to cancer... and it pains me when i think about the hurt my dad feels for his sister and my still alive grandfather who has lost his true love. :(

    Calebkarvon June 03, 2010   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation

    To me, this song is about death and mortality and suicide - aptly titled "blood".

    1) life is taken away from the young sister unfairly by some illness, possibly also cancer. the brother soul is tortured as they were so close. his hair is long enough to reach her (memories of her haunt him and he wishes enough to be able to see her again or wished it was him that died) but his beard is not ready (he isn't ready to join her in death, he has much living to still do). The jar of 2 cent coins represents childhood memories of them collecting together, i'm Australian and i have an old jar of them myself. They are indeed out of circulation, probably have no collector worth yet, but much sentimental worth - but memories of her are no good anymore cos she is dead and they only haunt him. The cold sweat could be referring to what would happen when she was ill and/or could be him wishing that this was not true, that she would just wakeup and it wouldve just been a bad dream.

    2) suicide, where death is a choice - the man who's marriage fails kills himself after realising he is the only one to blame for his failed marriage, and the woman who he has rebounded onto now or even played a part in infidelity is an ugly terrible thing (inside).

    "and you'll find somebody you can blame and you'll follow the creek that runs out into the sea and you'll find the peace of the Lord."

    the sea (heaven, afterlife, void, ether) is where we all flow from and peace is found for restless souls when we die.

    3) Where the grandfathers life is about to end (but not by suicide or illness) but drags out - he wants to join his wife who died of cancer years ago - he soon will and awaits this day

    This is a very sad and one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. I am Australian, my dad is going through divorce right now, i got a cancer tumor recently removed and when i was little my grandfather died - that is common, but there was never any grandmother on his side, which makes me believe she passed earlier like in this song. I love this indie type of music, with harmony and i want/hope to make some myself. Thanks, this was my first post, sorry for making it a long one.

    mrskyeon October 20, 2010   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation

    Am I the only one that thinks that maybe the brother's the one that's dead? "Lie for a while with your ear against the earth" It could be the other side of the ground? I could be wrong but i think the lines
    "And she'll wake up in a cold sweat on the floor Next to a family portrait drawn when you were four" could mean that she has been crying, and thats what the 'cold sweat' is... she misses her brother and so is lying next to a family portrait that he had made when he was Four? Just my Interpretation! :)

    indiejunkie1on June 17, 2012   Link

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