On the Sea

It’s Friday, September 11, the last day of what’s been for many a challenging first week back in school in Canada. It’s also a day when the world remembers the deaths and other losses suffered in terrorist attacks on the United States 19 years ago. The commonality is life and death, the sometimes thin veil that separates the two realms, and the complexity that fear adds to life.

Today’s song was one of two Beach House tracks played by Guy Garvey on his BBC 6 Music show, Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour (August 23, 2020, “If Guy Were a Carpenter”). The other was “Myth,” the first song of theirs I heard, which I find a bit uninspired.

In “On the Sea,” I feel like the writers use the imagery of the sea, and particularly its waves, to symbolize life and death and the mystery of that space in between.

“Out on the sea we’d be forgiven
Our bodies stopped the spirit living
Wouldn’t you like to know how far you’ve got left to go

Somebody’s child nobody made you
It’s not what you stole it’s what they gave you
In or out you go
In your silence your soul

Would you rather go unwilling
Your heart is full and now it’s spilling
Barreling down the steps
Only a moment left

In hind of sight no peace of mind
Where you begin and I’m defined
Daughter of unconscious fate
Time will tell in spite of me

In hind of sight no peace of mind
Where it begins and we’re defined
Shadows bend and suddenly
The world becomes and swallows me in

Whistle to a friend gentle till the end
Anyway in a name she takes shape just the same”

(“On the Sea,” by Victoria Legrand, Alex Scully)

Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy. (And if you enjoyed this post, please click the “like” button or, better yet, leave a comment with your thoughts — I’d love to hear from you!)

This is the audio for the song from Sub Pop’s official YouTube channel. Please remember to click on “thumbs-up” on the video if you appreciated the artist’s work.

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