Myriad Harbour – Diving Into the Depths of Urban Odyssey

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for The New Pornographers's Myriad Harbour at
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. A Sonic Journey through the Concrete Jungle
  5. Unraveling the Song’s Secret Dialogue
  6. The Anthemic Chorus as a Beacon of Reflection
  7. Memorable Lines and the Echoes of Existential Musings
  8. The Enigma of the Anthology in a Digitized Age


I took a plane
I took a train
(Ah, who cares, you always end up in the city)

I said to Carl
look up for one
(See just how the sun sets in the sky)

I said to Jon
Do you think the girls here
(Ever wonder how they got so pretty?)
Oh well I do

Look out upon the Myriad Harbour
Look out upon the Myriad Harbour
Look out upon the Myriad Harbour

All the boys
with their home-made microphones
(Have very interesting sounds)

All the girls falling to ruin
dropping out of school, breakin’ daddy’s heart
(Just to hang around)

I walked into the local record store
and asked for an American music anthology
It sounds fun
They tore my skirt, then
Stuck it on the walls at PS 1

I took a plane
I took a train
(Ah, who cares, you always end up in the city)

Stranded at Bleecker and Broadway
Looking for something to do

Someone somewhere asked me is there anything in particular I can help you with?
(All I ever want to help with was you)

Look out upon the Myriad Harbour
Look out upon the Myriad Harbour
Look out upon the Myriad Harbour
Look out upon the Myriad Harbour

Full Lyrics

The New Pornographers have long been heralded for their complex, intertwining narratives and lush, power-pop instrumentation. One of their most evocative tracks, ‘Myriad Harbour’, serves as both an ode to city life and a deep dive into personal introspection disguised as an upbeat, enthralling melody. Through the lens of famed band member Dan Bejar’s poetic vision, the song becomes a rich tapestry of urban imagery and existential musings.

Beneath the infectious guitar riffs and harmonious choruses, ‘Myriad Harbour’ reveals the band’s nuanced storytelling, cleverly crafting a narrative that is at once personal and universal. Let’s explore the complex layers and hidden meanings woven into this compelling track, and discover why it stands out as a quintessential example of The New Pornographers’ lyrical mastery.

A Sonic Journey through the Concrete Jungle

At first glance, ‘Myriad Harbour’ seems to revel in the romance of urban exploration—the pulsing heart of a city beating to the rhythm of trains, planes, and the hustle of busy streets. Yet, as the listener delves deeper, the song’s structure mimics the congestion and chaos of city life itself, weaving a sonic landscape as varied and unpredictable as the metropolis it depicts.

The song’s upbeat tempo and bright melodies juxtapose against the underlying narrative of a soul seeking connection amidst the anonymity of the city. With every repetition of the phrase ‘I took a plane, I took a train,’ the song emphasizes the notion that regardless of the journey, one’s destiny is inevitably tied to the urban sprawl.

Unraveling the Song’s Secret Dialogue

Notably, each verse is a conversation, a whispered aside paired with a louder proclamation. This dual-layered vocal approach hints at the duality of city existence—private thoughts existing within and often drowned out by the public facade. ‘I said to Carl, look up for once,’ the song urges, suggesting a plea to break away from the self-imposed blinders that city dwellers often wear.

Similarly, Dan Bejar’s query ‘Do you think the girls here,’ followed by the muffled response, ‘(Ever wonder how they got so pretty)’, arises as a moment of contemplation, questioning the nature of beauty and its perception within the complex confines of city culture.

The Anthemic Chorus as a Beacon of Reflection

When the chorus arrives, ‘Look out upon the Myriad Harbour’, it acts as a recurring moment of solace and reflection—a chance to breathe amidst the narrative’s bustling layers. This line doesn’t just serve as the song’s title; it represents the eye of the storm, the calm that invites listeners to observe the world around them and perhaps more importantly, within them.

Each repetition is an invitation to pause, to step away from life’s relentless forward motion and to contemplate one’s place in the greater tapestry. The harbor becomes a metaphor for the myriad of possibilities, paths, and drifts a person encounters while navigating the highs and lows of the human experience.

Memorable Lines and the Echoes of Existential Musings

Within ‘Myriad Harbour’, certain lines bristle with existential weight, capturing emotions that resonate on a universal level. ‘All the girls falling to ruin,’ for instance, encapsulates the sometimes-destructive lure of city life, while ‘Stranded at Bleecker and Broadway’ perfectly evokes the sense of being lost in a place teeming with direction.

The song doesn’t shy away from depicting the darker aspects of urbanity—disillusion, loneliness, and a yearning for connection. Yet, there’s an underlying tone of resilience and a call to embrace the myriad challenges and opportunities that city life presents.

The Enigma of the Anthology in a Digitized Age

Bejar’s line about asking for ‘an American music anthology’ at a local record store is layered with meaning. On the surface, it’s a nod to the rich history of American pop culture. But beneath, it’s a wistful look at a fading ritual in the age of digitized music—a tangible experience of discovery and connection that’s increasingly rare.

Like the city itself, music is an ever-changing landscape, a harbor of sounds that meld the past and future. ‘Myriad Harbour’ stands as a testament to the unrelenting cycle of change, inviting listeners to find harbor in the familiar while navigating the ceaseless tide of the new.

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