Our Ship's Sinking
(Rick Springfield/Matt Bissonette)
Woah, Woah, Woah
If I'm the one who caused your ship-wrecked life
I booked a passage on a ship of fools
Though our ship's sinking, I'm rowing and I swear
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa
According to US
"I'll bear this cross of love enough for
you and enough for me"................
I do like this song, there are a lot of
cliches that are put together in a very poetic way. This song has somewhat of a
Faithful feel to it, for me and I like this approach so much better. He's taking
the blame, but fighting really hard to hold on to the relationship. An "I'll
fight hard enough for both of us" theme. Second song on the album, second song
about a relationship where she's the anchor, the heroin, the "good one" in the
I like the 'gesture' behind the lyrics in this song. I much would have
preferred the 'Whoas' to have been replaced by some clever lyrics. Rick is the
king of clever lyrics.
The analogy of a ship has been a constant in storytelling in his life as well as throughout my own, so the lyrics caught my attention immediately.
At times he sounds very committed to right a wrong - "I'll bare (vs. bear) this cross of love enough for you and enough for me" and during the only part of where I find the melody catchy and powerful - "Though our ship's sinking I'm rowing and I swear, I wont give up and I wont let go. So don't start thinking you're going anywhere, cause I'm not ready to let you go."
That being said...it appears that the song begins with questionable doubt that he is to blame for any wrongdoing - "If I'm the one who caused your shipwrecked life.", but later in the song blame is perceived on his part but not exclusively to him alone - "I booked a passage on a ship of fools, and I led the lamb right to the slaughter....it's a wonder I'm not laying face down in the water." I also wonder if there is more behind the line "10 good reasons you can believe"...what are they? The ten commandments? Marriage vows? Contracts and riders? It just seems like that is a deliberate yet secret line that means more than a line that rhymes with 'leave'.
Short review for a fairly short song. Appreciate all the lyrics but I often skip this song immediately following the course which, combined with his lyrical delivery is, in my opinion, the best part of the song.
Would it be horrible to say I'm not madly in love with this song?? I know it's a frequent at Rick shows and probably a favorite amongst his fans, but I have mixed feelings about it. When I'm listening to this CD, I find I have to be in the mood for it. Sometimes I actually skip it. Don't get me wrong... I will sing right along at his shows and love to watch him perform this song... but lyrically and musically there are other songs on this album that I prefer more. It is pretty clever musically, so maybe it's just me and how I'm interpreting the song. I can always appreciate Rick's talent for analogies, religious or otherwise, such as the lines, "If I'm the one who caused your ship-wrecked life. Then hold my hand right to the fire. And I'll bear this cross of love enough for you enough for me, yea." I wonder how different my review would've been before reading Rick's book...
That being said, my favorite part lyrically and sound-wise is the little break in the song where he says, "Bruised sky I can hear the thunder. These chains would have dragged me under. It's a wonder I'm not laying face down in the water." I like how vocally he sounds amazing as always and I do like parts of the music.
A few things are unsettling for me in the lyrics. Lines like, "Though our ship's sinking, I'm rowing and I swear. I won't give up and I won't let go." On one hand it comes across sweet and dedicated to the end, a true survivor of love and relationships, but on the other...it almost sounds like desperation. As does the line, "So don't start thinking you're going anywhere, cause I'm not ready to let you go." That line bugs me the worst and comes across too bold or maybe "needy." (?) I like how he wants to hold on and keep trying as I can appreciate soldiering on and fighting the good fight, but I also think that (considering...), she would have every right to walk away if she felt a threat to their relationship (again). Maybe it's not about what he wants anymore?
Anyway, not to be a downer, but this song is ranked within a handful from this CD that are in the "bottom half" of my favorites. Kelley Pearson
First, my general impressions:
I kinda like this song, and I kinda don't like it. It's, for me, one of those "eh" songs.
I like the sing along whoa whoas during the live shows. And I like the nod to his love of all things Titanic related.
What I don't like is the kind of attitude I feel from this. He begins with, "IF". If I caused all this...if this is my fault...if I'm an ass. Well, usually, if one prefaces an apology with "IF", one isn't REALLY apologizing. More likely, one is patronizing.
Also, as for the Titanic thing...that ship sank! It went down, and fast. If I were referencing my marriage (and it seems that maybe he is - on the surface, at least) I'd want to reference a ship that ALMOST sank, but was saved at the last minute. But then again, maybe, as there were survivors from the Titanic, perhaps he's thinking of it in those terms. I don't know! I just think it's not my favorite. But as they say on Bandstand, it does have a good beat and I can dance to it.
Now moving on to the theme thing...I LOVE the song. Isn't that odd?
My favorite idea? The evil! Here we go, hang on, it's gonna get deep in here!
"Hold my hand right to the fire" - that's an easy line. Make me pay, punish me...it could be evil, especially as he's making it sound like he didn't do anything to deserve the punishment...again with the "IF" deal.
But if you want to get down and dirty with the evil ideas, how about this? "It's a wonder I'm not laying face down in the water."
Easy line, ship is sinking, he could end up in the water. Sure, gotcha. But does anyone remember Milton and Paradise Lost from high school English? In the beginning of the poem, Milton references how Lucifer and all the nasty devil dudes were thrown out of Heaven and cast into a LAKE of fire. And (according to Milton) these bad guys were not bobbing in that lake like toddlers with water wings. No! They were face down, arms stretched out, burnt crispy, prostrate on this lake that was burning them as they lay there.
When Rick sings about being "face down in the water", it is that image, the image of evil having been tossed out of good and left to lay prone on fiery water, that I see.
As for the Good/God theme, the lines that reference bearing a "cross of love", leading a "lamb to the slaughter", "sending out a prayer" and even "10 good reasons" (10 commandments?) can be used as illustrations.
Nature = the water, the bruised sky, the thunder, the storm he survived...
War = references to sinking ships and chains
Humanity = ship-wrecked LIFE, FACE down, enough for YOU, enough for ME.
Deadly sin = GREED...not greedy for money, but for his own needs. "I won't give up! I won't let go! Don't start thinking you're going anywhere. I'm not ready to let you go!" The idea is definitely greedy (and arguably a little stalkerish!)
Finally, in this, only the second song on the album, his repeated phrases begin to show themselves. It was those...words repeated in several songs...that got me thinking about patterns and concepts and themes and symbolism. He either got lazy as he was writing (something I can't see him doing) or he was being very clever with his turn of phrase (something I can EASILY credit him with.)
Here are some lines/concepts we hear throughout the album:
The idea of "chains"
Sending out "prayers"
And "ship of FOOLS" (fools, meaning crazy people)
In summary, this is musically my "eh" song. But as it ties into the album as a whole, I see it as a tone-setter. Where Wide Awake showed the healing that will come, OSS illustrates the pain that was the inciting incident to begin the healing: Our hero (RICK?) did something wrong (or not...stands falsely accused by his beloved) and begins suffering greatly, a suffering he willingly (hold my hand to the fire) submits to. Further, he's ROWING a SHIP! Not a boat, not a dingy, a SHIP. Imagine that! It's a great metaphor for an uphill battle. And I think that's where we are in the album. He's telling us that a great war (uphill battle) is going to happen.
And that's where the themes come in...
Good/God/Nature vs. Bad/Satan/War to win the Deadly Sinning Humans who can be saved...but will they be - or do we need an Alien Intervention? (See where I'm going here?)
Oops. I think I just went way overboard with my theme thing. I was planning to explain all that later...but it seemed like a good place to start, so I'll just throw it out there and keep rowing along to the next song...I Hate Myself. - Ann Tolar Davis