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This Mortal Coil — Song To The Siren
Album: It'll End In Tears
Avg rating:
6.6

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1578









Released: 1984
Length: 3:24
Plays (last 30 days): 1
On the floating, 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 here when I was full sail?
Now my foolish boat is leaning
Broken lovelorn on your rocks
For you sing, "Touch me not, touch me not,
come back tomorrow: O my heart,
O 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"
Comments (348)add comment
Lawdy me, Mr. B/Ms. R. Talk about dredging back the past to the right now! Yeah, it'll end in tears, circa 1984. 2019 be more like "Alexa yeah, skip this one. Before I start LOL-ing." 
Blast from my past 10 from me. Remember dashing out to buy this on 12" single.
 WhiteWater wrote:
10  ->  11
 

Dang! I can't find the "11" button.

(I'm with WhiteWater)!
Anyone get the Steven Wilson reference?
When was that saying GAG ME WITH A SPOON popular?
 planet3one9 wrote:
WHO ELSE would drop the quintessential mortal coil song in the middle of a lazy radio afternoon ?  NOBODY but BILL and this effin' wonderful radio station !!  holy crap!!  rush of memory and emotion.  thanks bill.   
 

 hbs47 wrote:
This is  wonderful.
 
Fixed.  Thanks, friend.
This is  dreadful.
Not a bad cover, but the original by Tim Buckley remains the best!
10  ->  11
The "did I dream, you dreamed about me" got my attention. Classic rave song song from the early 90's sampled it. (just dated myself) Still have my vinyl collection from back then. Still get the chills from these awesome vocals. This is a beautiful song. I'd like to add,  Thank Radio Paradise !!! I've been a listener since about 2002-3? I have been exposed to many songs I would otherwise never heard. So grateful for what you provide.  
I knew this lyric from it's sampled use first... this original is much prettier, but nostalgia still lends a lot of joy to the dance track for me.
Beautiful melancholy piece....shocked to hear it on RP - yet it IS RP after all! 
Just woken up and half asleep I thought this was an old madonna tune{#Sleep}
 Stephen_Phillips wrote:
To the haters and those that want instant aural gratification... this song is a story about the mythical sirens that called mariners to their watery death on the seas.  Read up about the mythical creatures, try to imagine what it was like for those God fearing men when they lived their lives on the terrible seas.

Then you might appreciate a little more the reason for the breathlessness and longing in this song about those sirens calling from afar and luring men into the watery depths. 

 

Funny. I got instant aural gratification from this within seconds of first listen ...................................
To the haters and those that want instant aural gratification... this song is a story about the mythical sirens that called mariners to their watery death on the seas.  Read up about the mythical creatures, try to imagine what it was like for those God fearing men when they lived their lives on the terrible seas.

Then you might appreciate a little more the reason for the breathlessness and longing in this song about those sirens calling from afar and luring men into the watery depths. 
Wonderful! Tarantula is my favorite, though, for the lyrics and chord changes; if someone can add that, I would appreciate it.
haunting, beautiful.
I love Marmite
Wow.
 oldsaxon wrote:
Indeed! Who in 1984 was making music this amazing? Evocative, angry, arrogant, hurt and hurtful, needy, confused, lost and longing. So much to say with such spare instrumentals and that voice....that voice....and Tim Buckley! Good Grief!
 
bump
 1wolfy wrote:
never knew of them until they were 'mentioned' in the lyrics of a Steve Wilson CD


 westslope wrote:

Which one 1wolfy?  

Me.  I like.  8 

 
Probably Perfect Life.
akdavey wrote:
Love this, but I caught you in another rerun moment, Bill!

This Mortal Coil to Steve Miller Band — Your Saving Grace.

I'll take it though. Hope you are enjoying your day off when I'm still working.
 

SmackDaddy wrote:

deja vu
 
justin4kick wrote:
 

And another day off for Bill 

 
And again. Why not?
 1wolfy wrote:
never knew of them until they were 'mentioned' in the lyrics of a Steve Wilson CD

 
Which one 1wolfy?  

Me.  I like.  8 
Pure fluff
Liking this A hypnotic voice
3 -> 2. She should really try to not sing every note through her nose. 
"And another day off for Bill" 

Yeah, 'cause it's all gravy when you run your own radio station, with money pouring in and all ... 
Hate hate hate this.
Sorry to all the fans.
 
 justin4kick wrote:
 

And another day off for Bill 

 
Once again today.
I suppose there's a nice-sized library of playlists, perhaps to carry on the RP experience after Bill leaves this world.
But to the song itself. I'd given it a 3 originally, and I'm going to have to stay there. It starts out okay but just doesn't seem to end, and the extra-nasal quality of the singer's voice, it's just a bit too much, at least for me. 
I love this.
 
 akdavey wrote:
Love this, but I caught you in another rerun moment, Bill!

This Mortal Coil to Steve Miller Band — Your Saving Grace.

I'll take it though. Hope you are enjoying your day off when I'm still working.
 

SmackDaddy wrote:

deja vu

 
And another day off for Bill 
To my ears, they could not have made this unless preceded by  Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard.
never knew of them until they were 'mentioned' in the lyrics of a Steve Wilson CD
Intense and immensely beautiful also.
 WhiteWater wrote:
9 —> 10.

 
We could definitely not hang out together.
ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz................


Thank you, Bill! {#Clap}
TMC? Wonderful!
The lineup this morning was made for me. Thank you.
 akdavey wrote:
Love this, but I caught you in another rerun moment, Bill!

This Mortal Coil to Steve Miller Band — Your Saving Grace.

I'll take it though. Hope you are enjoying your day off when I'm still working.

 
deja vu
Love this, but I caught you in another rerun moment, Bill!

This Mortal Coil to Steve Miller Band — Your Saving Grace.

I'll take it though. Hope you are enjoying your day off when I'm still working.
9 —> 10.
 STLBubbles wrote:
{#Frustrated}  Good grief...

 
Indeed! Who in 1984 was making music this amazing? Evocative, angry, arrogant, hurt and hurtful, needy, confused, lost and longing. So much to say with such spare instrumentals and that voice....that voice....and Tim Buckley! Good Grief!
{#Frustrated}  Good grief...
I love that this song kicks off a set followed by Your Saving Grace - never fails to give me beautiful shivers. Thank you.
Count me in her fans.  One of the most creative use of human voice I have ever heard.
eck. That'll be just about enough of that. PSD.
I love her voice!  -> 10
I absolutely love this album... It spent it's first 10 years on high rotation on my turntable and then CD (it is one of the few albums I own in both formats) it now gets played about once a month usually when I have a large glass of red and all the lights are off.....
I want to like this song but there's just a little to much wailin going on.... {#Beat}
 
 Garyohh wrote:
I couldn't of said it better!  I wore the vinyl down on this one!  This song is haunting, yet beautiful at the same time...
 
I'll hop on this bandwagon! Beautiful piece of music.


 fedtho wrote:
So *totally* with you on this, dear Bill!

Since I started listening to RP about a year ago, I've had my share of surprises, hearing so many of my favorite music on one single station.

I certainly didn't expect a This Mortal Coil song to pop up here! I discovered "It'll end in Tears" and "Filigree and shadows" when I was about 23 years old, and pretty much every song of this collective effort branded me for life.

I have read just a couple of comments back; they're all enthusiastic but clearly hint at very negative ones earlier on, which is why I stopped reading - I'll never refuse someone the right to dislike ANY music, but sometimes, the idea that some specific musics that are so dear to me can be so passionately dismissed by others is unbearable...

Thank you again, Bill, for being so amazingly eclectic. Please keep it going - I sometimes venture elsewhere, but then I come back to RP for one listen and stay !
 
I couldn't of said it better!  I wore the vinyl down on this one!  This song is haunting, yet beautiful at the same time...
 dharma_kid wrote:
what movie was this song in? Anybody?


 
The Lovely Bones, which nearly killed me, quite unexpectedly.  A startlingly moving film.
So *totally* with you on this, dear Bill!

Since I started listening to RP about a year ago, I've had my share of surprises, hearing so many of my favorite music on one single station.

I certainly didn't expect a This Mortal Coil song to pop up here! I discovered "It'll end in Tears" and "Filigree and shadows" when I was about 23 years old, and pretty much every song of this collective effort branded me for life.

I have read just a couple of comments back; they're all enthusiastic but clearly hint at very negative ones earlier on, which is why I stopped reading - I'll never refuse someone the right to dislike ANY music, but sometimes, the idea that some specific musics that are so dear to me can be so passionately dismissed by others is unbearable...

Thank you again, Bill, for being so amazingly eclectic. Please keep it going - I sometimes venture elsewhere, but then I come back to RP for one listen and stay !
I am surprised this doesn't have a higher rating. To me it's a haunting, beautiful version of this song.
A few years ago, The Guardian ran an interesting piece on the history of the song: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2011/nov/17/song-to-the-siren-classic.

To those that comment that Fraser is unintelligible, they should give some Cocteau Twins songs a try. She is pretty much purposefully inscrutable.
Surprising more comments aren't as positive on this great song on an outstanding compilation album -- thanks for the play Bill! 
 oldviolin wrote:

define...over

 
Actually, I'd prefer if they defined journey. 
Is she singing in English? I don't care if she is or if she isn't, but if she is she's singing it nearly incomprehensibly.
 Euskadita wrote:
The day you hear this and there is no music playing it will mean that the journey is over...

 
define...over
The day you hear this and there is no music playing it will mean that the journey is over...
She sounds like she has a clothes pin on her nose.
 :)

Catecaneverall wrote:
i'm sixteen all over again...
 


take me back to this time.........Song to the Siren is my Saturday morning anthem! Thanks Bill & Rebecca :)
annoying beyond compare - well, I hope at least the Sirens like it ...
i'm sixteen all over again...

ELIZABETH FRASER by John Gleeson
https://www.flickr.com/photos/johngleeson/~

ELIZABETH FRASER : Antony's Meltdown ,RFH,London Tues 07 August 2012.

This photo was taken on August 7, 2012 using a Canon EOS 450D.

Copyright All rights reserved


I'm quite surprised that so many so positively dislike this track. I love all the versions I've heard of it. But by the sounds of things, I have to try the Dead can Dance version... I don't know it. 
 ISO70 wrote:
Probably the most beautifull song (version) ever made. Only Dead can Dance wins the match with 'Sanvean (live version Dead Can Dance: 1981-1998 )'.
 
totally agree!
The octave jumping is horrible.
Probably the most beautifull song (version) ever made. Only Dead can Dance wins the match with 'Sanvean (live version Dead Can Dance: 1981-1998 )'.
This is why God gave us ears.

A more beautiful sound I've never heard. Thirty years on since I first encountered this track, and it amazes me as much now as it did then.

Thanks for playing it, guys. 
9>10. 

Amazing.  
straight 9
Maximus,Maximus,Maximus....
Although Elizabeth's voice/singing is not for everyone - I find her voice and particularly her rendition of this song paralyzingly beautiful. 
Beautiful tune - gotta love Elizabeth Frasier!  While not the most "uplifiting" still inspiring! An interesting spin off collaboration of the 4AD crew (the record label if you are not clear)....

This might be the worst song I've ever heard.  It's certainly a contender.  *gag*  {#Moon}
If you listen to the soundtrack from Gladiator - you will hear this melody. 
 calypsus_1 wrote:

"Song to the Siren" is a song written by Tim Buckley  (February 14, 1947 - June 29, 1975) and his writing partner Larry Beckett and was first released on Buckley's 1970 album Starsailor. Larry Beckett (born 4 April 1947, Glendale, California) is a poet and songwriter, best known for his collaborations with Tim Buckley in the late-1960s.The song was covered by many artists, but the most famous version was played by most notably This Mortal Coil, in September 1983.  9.

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
For you sing
'Touch me not, touch me not
Come back tomorrow
Oh my heart, oh my heart
Shies from the sorrow'

I am puzzled as the oyster
I am troubled as the tide
Should I stand amid your 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'


 




Great lyric, except the hare/fox reference...doesnt fit

"Song to the Siren" is a song written by Tim Buckley  (February 14, 1947 - June 29, 1975) and his writing partner Larry Beckett and was first released on Buckley's 1970 album Starsailor. Larry Beckett (born 4 April 1947, Glendale, California) is a poet and songwriter, best known for his collaborations with Tim Buckley in the late-1960s.The song was covered by many artists, but the most famous version was played by most notably This Mortal Coil, sung by Elizabeth Fraser and Robin Guthrie, in September 1983.    9.

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
For you sing
'Touch me not, touch me not
Come back tomorrow
Oh my heart, oh my heart
Shies from the sorrow'

I am puzzled as the oyster
I am troubled as the tide
Should I stand amid your 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'



kinda boring to my ears  .....{#Think}


Wore this album out back in '85....'course, I had to follow up with a good dose of English Beat afterward to snap out of it. Elizabeth Fraser is just so awfully wonderful.
Wow..... seems to be an even split with those that love this song and those that really hate it.  Must say that I find it hauntingly beautiful. Gives me chills. ......that's a good thing.
 dharma_kid wrote:
what movie was this song in? Anybody?

 
I first heard this on the Lost Highway (I think... there are a few hazy years) soundtrack.

I just don't get why you keep playing This Mortal Coil's version of this song. It's just plain irritating, and I feel like they are ruining a beautiful song.
Seriously, I mute my speakers every time this song is on.

 WhiteWater wrote:
Looks like we have another song where the voting has a strong polarization between low and high.  This is unusual and seems to happen alot with Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, and TMC (I'm sure there are others). Most song ratings look like a bell curve instead of an inverted bell. I'm sure that's significant and it matches my experience - with these bands people either love 'em or hate 'em.

A 9 for me...
 
Yup, I'll second the comment and the rating. This album was a stunner when I bought it in the 80s, and was a seriously eclectic mix of artists on the 4AD label. This song stood out for me, and gave me (and still gives me) goosepimples. It's only after listening to RP that I've learnt it's a cover. It's a distinctive sound and voice, and I can see why some folk would hate it and I don't blame them.

 dharma_kid wrote:
what movie was this song in? Anybody?

 


Are you the lazy bones or do you not know how to scroll?
 Businessgypsy wrote:
. . . An opinion: the peculiar conceit of those that get it and those that don't belongs in the corner occupied by cults. How about those that appreciate it and those that don't instead? . . .
 
You make a good point, and I agree, although sometimes when people write needlessly nasty comments about a song I can't help falling into the "you just don't get it" trap.
what movie was this song in? Anybody?

Polarized votes are pretty rare here. But, quite expected for This Mortal Coil, Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance...

This one's a 9 for me.

Oh, and great comment, Businessgypsy

ercasul wrote:
This is Music As Art. That's why some people don't get it. Not saying they should...
Is it possible that, outside of the rare air of the bubble containing those that get it, there may be a soul or two who understand the intent, understand the references, understand the influences and just don't care for this performance from any perspective?

An opinion: the peculiar conceit of those that get it and those that don't belongs in the corner occupied by cults. How about those that appreciate it and those that don't instead? You'll find them milling around by the huge group that doesn't care one way or the other.


Finely saw the film and this song stood out.  Interesting how certain music can have a significant impact when attached to a concept or visuals.
 
mach-hog wrote:
Used to very good effect in the film "The Lovely Bones". Interesting sound - it sure seems to have polarized the listeners on RP! I find it pretty haunting m'self.
 


I am drawn to her voice. I need to hear something else from her.
Those first notes still have the same impact nearly 3 decades on, loving it!
Used to very good effect in the film "The Lovely Bones". Interesting sound - it sure seems to have polarized the listeners on RP! I find it pretty haunting m'self.
Mommy, Make her stop!

While I can once in a while appreciate a different song like this, this is not one of those times. It wore out its welcome about 3 minutes ago.
song never really gets going, starts off fine enough, then just drones on for a while.
Bill? Not on a Monday morning please.{#Puke}

 ercasul wrote:
This is Music As Art.   That's why some people don't get it.    Not saying they should - Music As Art involves a different response than just Music As Entertainment.   Hence the reverse bell curve on the ratings.   Me, I'm on the right hand side of the bell, cresting the wave and trying to spill onto the next page.   One of the greatest musical performances ever recorded, in my ever-so-humble.
 
bump

This is really quite terrible.
Looks like we have another song where the voting has a strong polarization between low and high.  This is unusual and seems to happen alot with Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, and TMC (I'm sure there are others). Most song ratings look like a bell curve instead of an inverted bell. I'm sure that's significant and it matches my experience - with these bands people either love 'em or hate 'em.

A 9 for me...


 kmullinax wrote:
One of the worst songs I've heard on RP. 
I guess I'm partial to songs by people who aren't tone deaf.
 
*snort*  Good one.  I feel the same.

One of the worst songs I've heard on RP. 
I guess I'm partial to songs by people who aren't tone deaf.

*EDIT*
Now, hearing it again, I've just decided to turn off RP every time this song plays.  It's just that terrible.

Beyond painful.  Enough with the Mariah Carey Vocal Gymnastics.  The ultimate channel-changer.
Absolutely the best cover of this song ever.  Frusciante's version comes in a very close second.

i recently dug out some Cocteau Twins on cassette!
my tape player's not great (really warps with storebought tapes) this was a homemade on higher quality cassette; it sounded okay. Heavenly stuff.
They used a Cocteau Twins song in "The Lovely Bones" directed by Peter Jackson. That was cool. They also used "Baby's on Fire"- Brian Eno to good effect in that movie! The movie is what got me to pull out the old cassettes.
I really didn't like this at all. I kept wishing I could skip it, but I suffered through it.
Great song. Great album. I can never get tired of this mortal coil.

 calypsus_1 wrote:

recent-ish picture of liz fraser by the queen of siam
Sofia Gonzalez
https://www.flickr.com/photos/43496132@N00/

i was so happy to find this recent pic of elizabeth fraser as i've been on a cocteau twins bender. the interview i read with her is rather sad, however (https://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/nov/26/cocteau-twins-elizabeth-fraser-interview).
i think she's absolutely lovely and hope she can make that solo album happen soon.

Copyright All rights reserved

 
holy crap thanks!
 philbertr wrote:

Let me get this straight.  You say that I show bad manners because I criticize this song?  (...and hence, in your opinion, show poor taste.)  Does that mean that I must share your tastes in order to be considered well-mannered?  Just what exactly are you preaching?

I will accept the point that the woman can sing.  I think this a poor example then of composition and/or interpretation.

  

I wasn't criticizing you because you don't like the song. I was criticizing the poor choice of words in your initial comment; which smacks of schoolyard immaturity. Surely someone astute as you could do better. And it looks like you have.

{#Crashcomp}
Hearing this softly in the background while working, I thought a woman was singing the latin mass ...
 horstman wrote:

Ah, it's brainfart, Fred.

Brainfart
 
Gotta forgive him horst, he's British.

 fredriley wrote:

D'OH!! I should have realised that, as I'm a fan of the Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance and should know the clear difference between their voices. I must have had a brainstorm :(

 
Ah, it's brainfart, Fred.

Brainfart
Thanks Bill!  LOVE this version — gives me chills  {#Notworthy}  nice follow up with Tim Buckley (homage)

 nagsheadlocal wrote:

Dude, srsly. I've never seen a flat-line distribution before.

 
And it's still the same, months later. Very odd - I'd thought this song would be very polarizing, but it seems to hit everyone evenly.
(Perhaps because Bill follows it with ELO - that certainly threw me for loop.)

The melody from this has been haunting me for a few years (my CD having been buried in a box for ages) - I couldn't remember the album or artist. So happy to be reconnected! {#Yes}

And shockingly this is the only TMC track on RP!
I really dislike this cover.
John Frusciante did this one marvelously.