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David Sylvian Lyrics

Standing firm on this stony ground
The wind blows hard
Pulls these clothes around
I harbour all the same worries as most
The temptations to leave or to give up the ghost
I wrestle with an outlook on life
That shifts between darkness and shadowy light
I struggle with words for fear that they'll hear
But orpheus sleeps on his back still dead to the world

Sunlight falls, my wings open wide
There's a beauty here I cannot deny
And bottles that tumble and crash on the stairs
Are just so many people I knew never cared
Down below on the wreck of the ship
Are a stronghold of pleasures I couldn't regret
But the baggage is swallowed up by the tide
As orpheus keeps to his promise and stays by my side

Tell me, I've still a lot to learn
Understand, these fires never stop
Believe me, when this joke is tired of laughing
I will hear the promise of my orpheus sing

Sleepers sleep as we row the boat
Just you the weather and I gave up hope
But all of the hurdles that fell in our laps
Were fuel for the fire and straw for our backs
Still the voices have stories to tell
Of the power struggles in heaven and hell
But we feel secure against such mighty dreams
As orpheus sings of the promise tomorrow may bring

Tell me, I've still a lot to learn
Understand, these fires never stop
Please believe, when this joke is tired of laughing
I will hear the promise of my orpheus sing


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Most interesting comment from YouTube:


Sylvian's Ode to Orpheus, son of the muse Calliope. 🎭
💛 A beautiful, reflective, and a thought provoking song!
I love the companion piece "The Promise (Cult of Eurydice)"
that laments Orpheus' grief over his lover taken by Hades.

I always considered the song "I Surrender" an even further extension of the Orpheus story. Intentional or not...

Love love this song. I also like the elongated musical
break at 2:18 that is picked back up at 2:32 by the sweet
notes of Mark Isham's flugelhorn. Thanks for posting!

All comments from YouTube:

Carolina van der Lande

This is the soundtrack of my youth. Listened it on my walkman cycling to school. No friends of mine knew this music, it was all mine. This brings back so many memories...

Christian Goergen

@Ian Hierons I travelled weekly from Koblenz to Trier to study economics. Every weekend I copied records to cassette, to listen to while riding with the train along the mosel river. 1982 -1985. Still one of my favorite records. Later 1985-1992 medicine studies in Aachen. I loved the train trips, though not very convenient.

Ian Hierons

Carolina van der Lande - this was me as well.

Timothy Oswald Tei

"I wrestle with an outlook on life that shifts between darkness and shadowy light"


Lauriston Smith

@JC Pattie Really? Why? It makes perfect sense to me.

JC Pattie

I once quoted this to someone. I had to convince them I was okay.
tldr: see above


This is simply outstanding in every way. I have thought so since I first heard it.


It is David Sylvian, he's just a pure artistic genius

sandi bergen

I couldn’t agree more. Brilliant and beautiful


@Stephan Nuijten That's David's genius: like all the greats in musical composition, his music is not faddish, but timeless.

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