Grown Ocean by Fleet Foxes Lyrics Meaning – An Odyssey of Dreams and Waking Life

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Fleet Foxes's Grown Ocean at
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning


In that dream, I’m as old as the mountains
Still as starlight reflected in fountains then
Children grown on the edge of the ocean
Kept like jewelry, kept with devotion
In that dream moving slow through the morning time

You would come to me then, without answers
Lick my wounds and remove my demands for now
Eucalyptus and orange trees are blooming
In that dream, there’s no darkness a-loomin’
In that dream, moving slow through the morning time

In that dream I could hardly contain it
All my life I will wait to attain it
Then, then, then, oh

I know someday the smoke will all burn off
All these voices I’ll someday have turned off then
I will see you someday when I’ve woken
I’ll be so happy just to have spoken
I’ll have so much to tell you about it then
Ah, ah, ah

In that dream I could hardly contain it
All my life I will wait to attain it
Then, then, then, oh

Wide-eyed walker
Don’t betray me
I will wake one day, don’t delay me
Wide-eyed leaver
Always going

Full Lyrics

The melodic waves of Fleet Foxes’ ‘Grown Ocean’ wash over the listener, more than just a musical composition—it’s a transcendental narrative set to indie folk tunes. Frontman Robin Pecknold marries poetic imagery with haunting harmonies to create a song that is nothing short of an auditory journey.

This song, from their album ‘Helplessness Blues,’ maneuvers through the constructs of dreams versus reality. It’s a masterpiece that captures the essence of aspiration and the delicate balance of life’s bygone days and those yet to come. Let’s delve into the layers of symbolism and allegory that give ‘Grown Ocean’ its compelling depths.

The Lyrical Fountain of Youth: Nostalgia and Anticipation

The opening lines of ‘Grown Ocean’ depict a dreamlike state where age is as timeless as mountains and the reflections of starlight in fountains. This paints a picture of eternal beauty and innocence, a purity mirrored in the image of children growing by the ocean—a symbol of life’s constant flow.

Kept like jewelry, these memories and moments of youth are treasured with devotion. Fleet Foxes hint at the human desire to hold onto the past, as precious as heirlooms, while simultaneously being pulled toward the inevitable tide of future’s possibilities.

The Eternal Orchards: Images of Healing and Growth

Visions of eucalyptus and orange trees blooming indicate natural rejuvenation and cycles of rebirth. Such flora thrives in an environment where change is the only constant, much like human experiences. There’s a delicate touch to these references—the inherent promise that even in loss, there is room for new beginnings.

The absence of darkness in this dreamscape suggests an idealistic space devoid of fear, where healing comes without seeking answers, as natural as the changing seasons. The song thus becomes not just a melody, but a gust of hope breezing through the orchards of our minds.

An Earworm Bridge: The Chorus of Longing

The yearning described in the repeated line, ‘All my life I will wait to attain it,’ speaks volumes of humanity’s relentless pursuit of a dream. The ‘it’ is abstract yet powerful—it can be love, success, understanding, or perhaps, an inner peace all seek but not all find.

The chorus serves as the song’s bridge, an anchor between the vivid dreamscapes and the awakening to reality. Its simplicity and repetition make it the heart of the song—a mantra for those ever yearning for something just beyond the horizon.

The Hidden Meaning: Smoke, Voices, and Revelation

Some of the deepest introspection comes with the acknowledgment that the ‘smoke’ will one day clear, and the ‘voices’ will be silenced. Pecknold hints at a future clarity that life’s chaos often obscures—suggesting that our struggles, doubts, and the cacophony of societal expectation will eventually dissipate, leaving behind the essence of pure experience.

Waking from this dream implies a meeting with the self, a reveal where the protagonist will finally share their story. It denotes a personal enlightenment, the optimism of waking to a life where one can more authentically connect with others and themselves.

Memorable Lines: Wide-eyed Wanderers and Leavers

The characters described as ‘wide-eyed’ evoke both innocence and a readiness to confront life’s journeys. ‘Don’t betray me,’ speaks to a plea for strength and courage to face the uncertain path ahead while ‘I will wake one day, don’t delay me’ serves as a reminder that amidst the dreams, reality awaits with its own lessons.

The leaver ‘always going’ represents the transient nature of existence, always moving, stretching forward. These lines resonate as an anthem for the seekers and the wanderers, those who know that growth is intertwined with the willingness to venture into the unknown.

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