Ship to Wreck by Florence + the Machine Lyrics Meaning – Navigating the Storms Within


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Florence the Machine's Ship to Wreck at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning

Lyrics

Don’t touch the sleeping pills, they mess with my head

Dredging the Great White Sharks, swimming in the bed

And here comes a Killer Whale, to sing me to sleep

Thrashing the covers off, it has me by it’s teeth

And oh my love remind me, what was it that I said?

I can’t help but pull the earth around me, to make my bed

And oh my love remind me, what was it that I did?

Did I drink too much?

Am I losing touch?

Did I build this ship to wreck?

To wreck, to wreck, to wreck

Did I build this ship to wreck?

What’s with the long face, do you want more?

Thousands of red-eyed mice, scratching at the door

Don’t let the curtain catch you, cause you’ve been here before

The chair is an island darling, you can’t touch the floor

And oh my love remind me, what was it that I said?

I can’t help but pull the earth around me, to make my bed

And oh my love remind me, what was it that I did?

Did I drink too much?

Am I losing touch?

Did I build this ship to wreck?

To wreck, to wreck, to wreck

Did I build this ship to wreck?

And good God, under starry skies we are lost

And into the breach we got tossed

And the water’s coming in fast

And oh my love remind me, what was it that I said?

I can’t help but pull the earth around me, to make my bed

And oh my love remind me, what was it that I did?

Did I drink too much?

Am I losing touch?

Did I build this ship to wreck?

To wreck, to wreck, to wreck

Did I build this ship to wreck?

To wreck, to wreck, to wreck

Did I build this ship to wreck?

Full Lyrics

In the tempestuous sea of Florence + the Machine’s discography, ‘Ship to Wreck’ from the album ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’ (2015) emerges as a profound exploration of self-destruction and personal accountability. Florence Welch, known for her poetic lyricism and powerful vocals, crafts a metaphorical maelstrom that touches on inner turmoil and the human propensity to self-sabotage.

‘Ship to Wreck’ is not just a song; it’s a confessional journey and a siren’s call to all who have ever found themselves on the precipice of chaos, questioning their own role in the disorder of their lives. It’s here we dive into a deep dissection of its meaning, unraveling the artistry behind its melancholic melodies and haunting lyrics.

The Siren’s Call: Unpacking the Metaphorical Menagerie

Florence Welch summons a bestiary of maritime metaphors that churn through ‘Ship to Wreck’. In opening lines, troubled sleep is a breeding ground for sharks and whales—predators that evoke deep-seated fears and a sensation of struggle. These creatures, metaphors for intrusive thoughts and emotional tumult, foreshadow the internal conflict expressed throughout the song.

The great white sharks dredged from the depths of the singer’s consciousness represent overwhelming anxieties, while the killer whale’s lullaby suggests a forceful confrontation with inner demons. By layering these images, Florence weaves a narrative filled with danger and distress that captivates the listener’s imagination while emphasizing the magnitude of her inner discord.

Anchoring Down: The Gravity of Our Own Actions

The potent refrain, ‘And oh my love remind me, what was it that I did?’ is as much a plea for clarity as it is for redemption. Florence’s repeated introspection signifies a constant struggle with accountability, as she grapples with the consequences of her actions—or perhaps inactions—that have lead to her current state of chaos.

Florence seeks grounding through the act of ‘pull[ing] the earth around’ her to make a bed, an attempt to find stability amid upheaval. This line illustrates the human desire for control over our environment and circumstances, even when such control might lead to self-infliction and ultimately begs the question of whether we unwittingly orchestrate our own downfalls.

A Glimpse Beneath the Waves: Florence’s Hidden Meaning

Behind the poetic narrative of marine disasters lies a deeper confession: the acknowledgment of addiction and its ability to capsize one’s life. ‘Did I drink too much?’ Florence asks rhetorically, hinting at the broader thematic elements of substance use and its destructive potential. However, the reference to drinking too much transcends literal interpretation, delving into the broader spectrum of indulgence and the cost of excess.

The oft-repeated ‘Did I build this ship to wreck?’ becomes a poignant contemplation on whether self-destructive tendencies are inherent and unavoidable. It’s a meditation on the nature of human frailty, and the possible fatalism in our patterns of behavior, suggesting that perhaps some part of us creates these vessels of our lives with an inherent flaw, predestined to fail.

Caught in the Current: The Relentlessness of Self-Sabotage

Florence elevates the dialogue on self-sabotage by acknowledging its cyclical nature. ‘To wreck, to wreck, to wreck’—the refrain, like a ship caught in a maelstrom, depicts the relentless pattern of building and ruining, a cycle that seems unstoppable. The listener is left to wonder if there is catharsis in this acknowledgment or whether it’s a recognition of being bound to this inescapable loop.

This cyclical theme touches upon the human inclination to repeat harmful patterns, possibly as a comfort in the familiar, even when it leads to predictable devastation. It’s a tragic romance with disaster, a flirtation with the chaos that, while destructive, provides a bizarre sense of identity and existence.

Memorable Lines that Anchor the Song’s Legacy

‘What’s with the long face, do you want more?’—Florence confronts the listener as though catching a glimpse of oneself in the mirror, challenging the discontent that often spurs the pursuit of destructive paths. Furthermore, ‘The water’s coming in fast’ epitomizes the urgency and immediacy of the situation, painting a vivid picture of crisis that calls for immediate action or, perhaps, surrender.

Each memorable line serves as a waypoint marking the journey through ‘Ship to Wreck’s’ narrative. They linger in the mind, echoing as cautionary notes that resonate with those who have ever felt overwhelmed by their actions and the subsequent need to face the music of their own creation.

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