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This Mortal Coil — Song To The Siren
Album: It'll End In Tears
Avg rating:
6.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 3156









Released: 1984
Length: 3:25
Plays (last 30 days): 5
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 (423)add comment
The first comment on this song was 21 years ago. Talk about ageless.
Still stunning and beautiful.
 aspicer wrote:

Always captivating - have to stop and just let it wash over me.



Yes, and through me like a tidal wave of emotion... 
When this tune starts, I think of the movie soundtrack from the English Patient.
Always captivating - have to stop and just let it wash over me.
 lily34 wrote:


i'm curious, what do you think of sinead o'connor's interpretation of it?

for some reason, i really like this version. it reminds me of some music i heard on the English Patient soundtrack. i'll have to look that up.


It's all subjective. IMO Sinead's version is better than This Mortal Coil's, but they both suffer from over-production. I think the song is better with a more straigntforward, relatively spartan performance.
Chicken skin music
I know lots of people like this one but because I don't, it seems to come up all the time! haha I'll leave the howling to my dog
 Alastair wrote:

Starts.  Then doesn't go anywhere. 



aww, but it really does
How odd, the Sinead O Connor version of this played just 38 minutes ago.  Coincidental playlist overlap?
I wouldn't like to know the 100+ people who decided this was 0
Great song with an almost spiritual draw
This is a sad and depressing song that was soundracked in many movies, one of the biggest being the lovely bones. A book turned to movie by a writer who was raped and then errantly accused a man who served decades in prison.  And vilified even longer. She recanted, years later after the damage was done, and NY state is now spending millions reconciling this travesty. This song reminds me of this whole, sad story and I normally hit play something else.
 wilsonlb wrote:

Contrary to popular opinion, I hate this version of one of the most beautiful songs ever written. Tim Buckley's is, obviously, fantastic. John Frusciante's is pretty good. But I feel like we're still waiting for the definitive interpretation.



I like this version, and I think that's because I probably heard this version first. But Tim Buckley's is, IMO, the best, and the definitive.
 wilsonlb wrote:

Contrary to popular opinion, I hate this version of one of the most beautiful songs ever written. Tim Buckley's is, obviously, fantastic. John Frusciante's is pretty good. But I feel like we're still waiting for the definitive interpretation.



i'm curious, what do you think of sinead o'connor's interpretation of it?

for some reason, i really like this version. it reminds me of some music i heard on the English Patient soundtrack. i'll have to look that up.
Check out BBC Radio 4 Programme Soul Music where they discuss the poem by Larry Beckett that was the basis of Tim Buckley’s classic.
For me, Liz Fraser can do no wrong.
Contrary to popular opinion, I hate this version of one of the most beautiful songs ever written. Tim Buckley's is, obviously, fantastic. John Frusciante's is pretty good. But I feel like we're still waiting for the definitive interpretation.
i remember hearing this song during zack snyders justice league and thought it fit the scene perfectly
At least a +1 for a cool band name.
Still so, so, very sublime!
 On_The_Beach wrote:

The original, performed solo acoustic by Tim Buckley, 1968:

TimBuckleySongToTheSiren



Fun fact- this was the last segment of the last episode of the Monkees. Still wild to me that that happened.

I like This Mortal Coil's version but it's not my favourite version of the song, and not even close to being my favourite Liz Fraser performance. 

More than anything I guess though, that could be taken as high praise for Tim Buckley's version, and Fraser's body of work in general.
This kills me every time
 maboleth wrote:

For me, this piece is like a hymn. When it starts everything else stops.



yes.
 ApricotHurlforth wrote:

Oh wow! I've got this on disk. And it's still brilliant. A wonderful surprise on a late summer Somerset afternoon.



Have also got this on 12"  which i bough in Plymouth back in the 80's and pretty darn stunning still today on a cold dry day from from your Devonian neighbour!
wonderful. Surprised it’s only a 6.8
Not many tracks can supersede this. Sublime. Simply.
 Alastair wrote:

Starts.  Then doesn't go anywhere. 


I am certain that's how the band wanted to play it.
Sometimes, that's exactly the style I want to hear.
Sometimes, there's no desire to go anywhere.
The original, performed solo acoustic by Tim Buckley, 1968:

TimBuckleySongToTheSiren
 On_The_Beach wrote:

You may be thinking of Toad The Wet Sprocket.



Yes, This name comes from Shakespeare
 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.


What ercasul said.  
I'm new to Radio Paradise. Was with another Listener Supported Radio for quite a while -- but the music here (Main Mix) is so aligned with my taste, I wonder if you have a backdoor-peeking hackware looking at my music on my devices. I mean, seriously.  From bands like The The, This Mortal Coil to specific "B" (or even C)-side songs I secretly love over hit songs -- stuff I have never heard anyone play ever anywhere. Your programmer is my musical doppelgänger. 
How beautiful!

New B&W pi7s and hearing this for the first time on them is a real aural treat…
This is such a beautiful song, and I enjoy when it enters occasional rotation. Gets heard just enough to retain its charm and enigmatic vibe. 

I actually first listened to it in full on RP, prior to that I'd heard the vocal incorporated into an equally beautiful Drum & Bass song by a Finnish artist called Fanu, in on of his earlier tracks called "Siren Song". It's worth a listen if you like electronica.
I remember where I was when I first heard this. It was in my 1970 Volvo 144S on my way to work a night shift; right about when it was released. It was played on WBCN (Boston radio station) by Oedipus on his show called Nocturnal Emissions.

Stopped me in my proverbial tracks then ... and now.
Bill, I thank you everyday out loud for what you do, and you can't hear me maybe.  Thanks again!
Oh wow! I've got this on disk. And it's still brilliant. A wonderful surprise on a late summer Somerset afternoon.
Starts.  Then doesn't go anywhere. 
 Rassbabbo wrote:

Sheila Chandra does the definitive version of this song.  She makes this version sound pedestrian.


I just listened to the Sheila Chandra version and couldn't disagree more.  Elizabeth Fraser's vocals are edgier and more inspired. Although Ms. Chandra's voice is beautiful, I could easily imagine her version filed under Adult Contemporary. 

 LizK wrote:

Monty Python was the inspiration for the band's name? Good grief.


You may be thinking of Toad The Wet Sprocket.
 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.   



AND 13 years later still relevant!  Was a favorite when released in the 80's and still pushes the same buttons.
Sheila Chandra does the definitive version of this song.  She makes this version sound pedestrian.
 

Edweirdo wrote:
 LizK wrote:

Monty Python was the inspiration for the band's name? Good grief.


No, Shakespeare (from Hamlet):


To die, to sleep; 
To sleep, perchance to dream
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, 
Must give us pause, there's the respect, 
That makes calamity of so long life
 
Thank you for the elucidation.
This remains almost unlistenable.
Apparently used in David Lynch's Lost Highway
 rhlrstn wrote:

Could do with a tad less ornamentation in the vocals, methinks...





I agree with you 100%. In the Cocteau Twins this could be regarded as some
sort of "vocal style"... (I don't think it worked all the time). - But
here... it just sound a little pretentious and distracting.

Maybe Bill could play the Czar's version of this song... - I think it is one of the best!
Could do with a tad less ornamentation in the vocals, methinks...
 LizK wrote:

Monty Python was the inspiration for the band's name? Good grief.


No, Shakespeare (from Hamlet):


To die, to sleep; 
To sleep, perchance to dream
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, 
Must give us pause, there's the respect, 
That makes calamity of so long life

 coffeeadikt wrote:

It's interesting how polarizing this song is. 

Unfortunately I'm on the extreme left side of this rating scale - it's such a great song but it's ruined so horribly by Liz Fraser's extreme nasal affect on this track. And I normally like her voice (she was amazing on Massive Attack's Mezzanine) which makes this feel like even more of a cruel mockery. 


Ironically, I love the song, but the back of my mind still goes, 

"Holy Melisma Batman!!!" 
Liz’s voice is captivating in anything she does… yes - cocteau twins Liz had a thing with Tim Buckleys son and she does this tune so well
 nook wrote:

About as close to ghastly I've heard on RO. But Bill granted my brain with a reprieve by washing that dreck out with a soothing rinse of Joni Mitchell. Talk about polar opposites in talent and musicality.


Funny my thoughts are the opposite. JM grates hard on me and always is a PSD. While this I enjoy.
Is it better than the original, no it's not.  But it is still a fantastic song regardless.    
This is so amazing!!!! Thankyou for this wonderful music! I listen to radio paradise every day. Greetings from Salzburg, Austria.
About as close to ghastly I've heard on RO. But Bill granted my brain with a reprieve by washing that dreck out with a soothing rinse of Joni Mitchell. Talk about polar opposites in talent and musicality.
Oh man, brings me back to the early 90's, mushroom trips in the Pacific Northwest forests, and long late-night talks with friends. I've never heard this on any radio station ever. THIS is why I listen to RP. Thank you Bill and Rebecca!
For me, this piece is like a hymn. When it starts everything else stops.
Monty Python was the inspiration for the band's name? Good grief.
 jacopo777 wrote:
When was that saying GAG ME WITH A SPOON popular?
 
Try Frank Zappa's Valley Girl as a historic reference. It also shows when the dreaded 'I was like...' appeared.
 3DAS wrote:
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.  
 

"Who loves you, and who do you love?!?"

That tune would be:

MESSIAH - 'Temple Of Dreams' - (official video)
this song disarm me, always, such gracefulness
 Proclivities wrote:

Probably Perfect Life.
 
Thanks Proclivities.   The way Steven Wilson uses The Mortal Coil, it is clearly the band and not just the expression.

Learn something about my favourite music everyday! 
There are lots of covers of this song, most in the same vein as the Tim Buckley original. This is such  a startling reinterpretation, I can't imagine it working with anyone else's voice. 10 from me.
wow, what a flashback. I didn't make the connection until I just read this comment. 



Terpsichore wrote:
 3DAS wrote:
The "did I dream, you dreamed about me" got my attention. Classic rave song song from the early 90's sampled it.
Likewise!  Said sampler was Messiah "Temple of Dreams."  Nice to hear the original!  LLRP!

 

 3DAS wrote:
The "did I dream, you dreamed about me" got my attention. Classic rave song song from the early 90's sampled it.
Likewise!  Said sampler was Messiah "Temple of Dreams."  Nice to hear the original!  LLRP!

Went from a 2....... 
scene at "Lost Highway" 
Yikes! Elizabeth is truly one of a kind.
It's interesting how polarizing this song is. 

Unfortunately I'm on the extreme left side of this rating scale - it's such a great song but it's ruined so horribly by Liz Fraser's extreme nasal affect on this track. And I normally like her voice (she was amazing on Massive Attack's Mezzanine) which makes this feel like even more of a cruel mockery. 
Hypnotically lovely and transcendent. My second favorite version is the live performance of this song by Robert Plant on Austin City Limits. Curiously, Tim Buckley's version is my third favorite.
 Ptijoc wrote:
Not a bad cover, but the original by Tim Buckley remains the best!
 
Just saw his live performance solo with accoustic guitar. No words can explain the haunted beauty. 
 spacemanspiff wrote:
Being a huge fan of Steven Wilson has forced me to revisit this band and Dead Can Dance. I don’t think I was ready for them in the 80s and 90s but I am enjoying the rediscovery.
 

Dear spaceman..., I'm not sure what Steven Wilson has to do with the song but you might want to go back to the original 1970 Tim Buckley recording. Buckley's clear tenor voice with his guitar accompaniment is one of the finest songs to emerge from the American folk scene. Perhaps it is Tim's untimely passing shortly thereafter that makes the song all the more haunting. 
Being a huge fan of Steven Wilson has forced me to revisit this band and Dead Can Dance. I don’t think I was ready for them in the 80s and 90s but I am enjoying the rediscovery.
My son refers to some of the british folk music that I like as 'nasal ethnic whining'. Alas this reminded me of his comment, without giving me the enjoyment of the former. 
So need this moment of breathing this moment. Thank you, Bill
 jacopo777 wrote:
When was that saying GAG ME WITH A SPOON popular?
 
Never actually, but media portrayed it as an actual thing
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!