Dory by Grizzly Bear Lyrics Meaning – Unraveling the Depths of Melodic Storytelling

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Grizzly Bear's Dory at
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning


Oh, wildly cohering
In a watery deep
We’ll drop her down to the bottom
We’ll drop her like she’s nothing
And the water is all

Oh, the water is still
In a wilder deep
We’ll swim around like two dories
We’ll swim around like two dories
Let loose in the bay

We’ll miss the eddy
Hold on, make steady, go

There is no plenty
Even keel already, go

I can’t be here all hours (oh such a riot)
I can’t discern this trouble (oh what a riot)
I can’t be here all hours (oh such a riot)
I can’t describe

I can’t be here all hours (oh such a riot)
I can’t describe this problem (oh what a riot)
I can’t be here all hour (oh such a riot)
I can’t describe this problem

Full Lyrics

Embarking on a lyrical deep dive, Grizzly Bear’s ‘Dory’ presents itself as an enigmatic narrative that floats within the realms of aquatic metaphor and existential reflection. The track, a standout from their album ‘Veckatimest’, embraces an intricate fusion of melodic subtleties and lyrical profundity, which has long captivated the minds of listeners since its release.

The haunting ambiguity and layered composition forge a path for interpretation that is both personal to the listener and reflective of the band’s knack for crafting poetry in motion. ‘Dory’ surfaces as a mosaic of emotional undercurrents and thematic resonance, beckoning us to peer beneath the surface of its seemingly placid waters.

Sinking into the Lyrical Abyss – The Song’s Ephemeral Beginning

Grizzly Bear’s ‘Dory’ begins with an invocation of the depths, a nod to what is wild and coherent yet confined within the ocean’s embrace. The act of dropping ‘her’ to the bottom, treating her as nothing, resonates as a stark commentary on value and disposability, mirrored in human connection and the vast, often incomprehensible, scope of nature.

The refrain ‘and the water is all’ encapsulates the encompassing and omnipresent nature of emotion, those tides within us that can both nourish and drown. In this scenario, the water does not simply signify substance but becomes a character itself, a canvas for the interplay of turmoil and tranquility.

Mirroring Dories – A Duet of Dichotomy

The use of ‘two dories’ swimming in unison conjures imagery of companionship and unity, yet it also carries an underlying solitude. Dories, known for their use in open seas, symbolize the duality of navigating life’s vast ocean either together or alone, with the potential to be let loose and drift apart.

Grizzly Bear crafts a dichotomy between the turbulent and the calm, suggesting that even in the wildest of depths, there exists a stillness. This metaphorical ‘wilder deep’ challenges the listener to traverse and make sense of their own complex waters, as the fluidity of the melody buoys the weight of contemplation.

The Eddy of Existence – A Swirl of Societal Commentary

To ‘miss the eddy’ implies dodging the cyclical, swirling currents that trap and disorient. In these lines, Grizzly Bear extends an evocative message on resisting the ensnarement of life’s habitual torrents and the yearning for stability (‘hold on, make steady’) amidst the chaos that whirls around us.

The pressing urge within the lyrics to ‘go’ echoes the intrinsic human drive to progress, to move forward even when the essence of ‘plenty’ is absent. With ‘even keel already,’ the band’s wordplay suggests a pre-established balance that we strive to maintain or achieve in the face of life’s relentless push and pull.

The Symphonic Riot – Wresting with Personal Presence

The repetition of an inability to ‘be here all hours’ and the struggle to ‘discern this trouble’ marks an internal discord akin to a riot, one not of violence but of grappling with the capacity to engage fully with the moment. It’s a refrain that resonates with the modern zeitgeist of overextension and the collective anxiety of keeping apace.

While the word ‘riot’ often conveys disorder, here it’s repurposed to express a cacophony within, a symphony of life’s demands that coincide with a plea to understand and be understood. Through this turbulent internal dialogue, ‘Dory’ touches on the universal quest for identity and meaning amidst the endless ‘hour’ of existence.

Unlocking the Song’s Hidden Ode to Transience

At its core, the song’s hidden resonance lies in its poetic musing on transience and the fleeting nature of experiences. The phrase ‘oh what a riot’ could be read as an ironic celebration of the complexities and absurdities life presents. It is a playful acknowledgment of the struggle to articulate the vast array of life’s problems, from the personal to the existential.

Grizzly Bear’s ‘Dory’ is not just a vessel for sound, but also a vessel for the journey through the ephemeral. Much like the image of two dories set adrift, the track encapsulates the beauty and pain of letting go, of acceptance, and the inexorable drift through the currents of time.

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