Long afloat on shipless oceans
I did all my best to smile
‘Til your singing eyes and fingers
Drew me loving to your isle
And you sang, “Sail to me, sail to me, let me enfold you.”
Here I am, here I am, waiting to hold you.
Did I dream you dreamed about me?
Were you hare when I was fox?
Now my foolish boat is leaning
Broken lovelorn on your rocks (now)
For you sing, “Touch me not, touch me not, come back tomorrow.”
Oh my heart, oh my heart shies from the sorrow.
Well I’m as puzzled as the newborn child
I’m as riddled as the tide
Should I stand amid the breakers?
Or should I lie with death my bride?
Hear me sing, “Swim to me, swim to me, let me enfold you.
Here I am, here I am, waiting to hold you.”
(Click the title of this blog for an interesting discussion of the lyrics by an extremely erudite guy called Tensor).
When I was working in a record shop late 80s to early 90s, one of my bosses, Paul, listed the This Mortal Coil version of this song (FF 1983 #4 and All-Time FF 2000 #10) as his favourite track of all time. Certainly, it is easy to hear why: the cascading guitar and beautiful sounds of Liz Fraser’s inimitable voice reproduce the effect of the Sirens from Greek mythology (as depicted in the Waterhouse painting above) ravishingly. 4AD put together the album It’ll End In Tears as a ‘dream pop’ collection of cover versions, no less than three of which featured in Peel’s fifty at various points. This track preceded the album release, which explains why it was in the 1983 FF and not that of the following year.
Buckley himself was a real original with a four-octave range, regarding his voice as an instrument and producing a series of albums that only sold in cult proportions, leading ultimately to his death from a drug overdose in 1975.
Buy: This Mortal Coil, It’ll End In Tears