Sailing To Nowhere by Broken Bells Lyrics Meaning – Navigating the Depths of Desperation and Surrender

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Broken Bells's Sailing To Nowhere at
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning


Tonight I send a word
The wind is blowing all over
There’s blood on the knife
Who’d have known
You’re a devious sister
Guts on your blouse
Going the wrong way

And diamonds, a dozen
Sailing to nowhere
Vapor to float on
Still we hold on to the night

Behind I see stars, draining the light
Looking down by your house
One by one
Lord, to find
Our way out
Falling with the ghost

Running in circles
A mouse on the table
I try to feel
But just don’t
Hurting and dead inside
Down and covered in ah
Sit down

Full Lyrics

Broken Bells’ haunting trek, ‘Sailing To Nowhere,’ takes listeners on a spectral voyage through the misty waters of the soul. With an alchemy of soothing melodies and poignant lyrics, the band steers us into the uncharted territory of human emotion. It is a song that encapsulates the essence of a journey without destination, one that resonates with anyone who’s felt adrift in the vast ocean of life.

Drenched in metaphorical significance, ‘Sailing To Nowhere’ doesn’t just weave a narrative; it lays bare the ennui of existence, the yearning for meaning, and the inevitability of oblivion. This lyrical odyssey is rife with imagery that binds the visceral to the ethereal, alluding to both the corporeal struggles and celestial musings of life’s misguided escapades.

The Intertwining of Melancholy and Melody – A Harmonic Analysis

Infused with Broken Bells’ signature blend of indie and alternative sounds, ‘Sailing To Nowhere’ layers its aching narrative with a dreamlike soundscape that mirrors the song’s themes of escapism and disarray. The gentle push-and-pull of the melody, characterized by ethereal synths and subdued percussion, creates a sonic experience akin to the motion of tides—a symbolic reference to the ebb and flow of clarity and confusion in our lives.

There is a hypnotic quality to the music, one that lulls the psyche into a trance, invoking a state of reflection. Artists James Mercer and Danger Mouse have created not just a song, but a vessel for introspection, where every note and harmony seems carefully crafted to pluck at the heartstrings of the listener’s own narrative.

Decoding the Bloodstains – The Violent Beauty of ‘Sailing To Nowhere’

When the lyrics spill ‘There’s blood on the knife’ and mention a ‘devious sister,’ we plunge into a dark and twisted tale. This visceral imagery could be dissecting a betrayal or internal conflict, yet it’s laced with an introspective sorrow rather than anger. ‘Sailing To Nowhere’ delves into the messiness of our moral compass, the times when our actions, perhaps in desperation or defense, lead to regrettable outcomes.

The ‘blood’ and ‘guts’ may very well be the psychological remnants of choices made under duress. ‘Going the wrong way,’ as the song suggests, is a recognition of error, a recognition blighted with graphic consequences. The unsettling beauty of these lines lies in their ability to evoke raw emotion and connect with listeners who understand the gravity of irreversible actions.

Setting Sail On Vapor – The Transience of Hope

The chorus offers no reprieve from the song’s overarching despair, yet it introduces a fragile sense of hope with ‘Vapor to float on.’ These words offer a poignant metaphor for the tenuous lifelines we cling to in times of uncertainty. The ephemeral nature of vapor becomes the support we rely on, as insubstantial as it is, in the absence of solid ground.

This oxymoronic concept of floating on something as unsubstantial as vapor underscores the human tendency to hold onto even the faintest glimmer of hope. It is this blind determination to persist through the ‘night’—another metaphor for darkness or difficulty—that gives ‘Sailing To Nowhere’ an undercurrent of resilience amidst its melancholic undertone.

Adrift Amongst Shadowy Memories – The Song’s Hidden Meaning

Manifest in the haunting refrain ‘Behind I see stars, draining the light,’ is a deeper level of ‘Sailing To Nowhere’s hidden meaning: the inexorable fade of cherished memories and the waning of life’s luminescence. Stars, typically symbols of guidance and hope, here signal a draining away of vitality, hinting at a loss of direction and the overshadowing of past joys by present woes.

As the protagonist stands ‘looking down by your house,’ there is an unmistaken sense of yearning for reconnection with a past self or another’s presence. The gradual weakening of light encapsulates the essence of resignation—a surrender to the ghosts of what has been and the acceptance of the ghostly existence one now leads. This shadowy meeting at the crossroads of memory and oblivion is where much of the song’s silent power resides.

Echoes of Desolation – Memorable Lines that Linger

‘Running in circles, A mouse on the table’—this compelling imagery vibrates with the futility of our pursuits and the circular path of introspection that leads us back to the same haunting questions. Here, ‘Sailing To Nowhere’ touches on the Sisyphean task of finding purpose when trapped by our own psyche, a psychological maze with seemingly no exit.

The song’s ability to encapsulate ineffable distress, the silent scream of ‘Hurting and dead inside,’ speaks to the existential anguish that can permeate one’s life. These memorable lines do more than momentarily captivate; they echo long after the song ends, resonating with anyone who has felt the weight of despair or grappled with the void of meaninglessness.

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