See Water
By: Beck Hansen

Written by: Beck Hansen

  1. See Water (2:21)
    Available on One Foot In The Grave.
    James Betram: Bass
    Beck Hansen: Producer, Vocals
    Calvin Johnson: Producer
See Water [Version (a)]:

Close your eyes and see water
Sliding up the back of your head
Folding into your clothing
Covering everything you've said
Climb up into, no-one's gonna miss you

Dried up on the shoreline
Drinking everything you see
Offering food to the ladies
Pulling down animals and trees
Climb up into, no-one's gonna miss you
The Song:

This slow blues song from One Foot in the Grave is a brief glimpse of Beck's more serious side. His drawn-out vocals and forlorn melody are interesting, but not enough to make the song one Beck returned to often. His band is pretty sharp; the bass and drums play an excellent rhythm. The band performances on One Foot were mostly spur-of-the-moment improvisations; you can't hear a whole lot of work going into them, which also speaks highly of the talent involved.

"See Water" is probably one of the sadder songs Beck has ever written, made even more so by the music and the melody. He's done sad songs, but still often fills them with images and metaphors and wordplay. This is very simple, and has very little of that, and goes straight to the core. The water here symbolizes the blues, in all its sad and depressing glory. In fact, the cleverness of the first line brings to mind two things - tears, and "sea water" which is salty like tears. This emotion being sung about is overwhelming and based on the character's realization that "no-one's gonna miss you." The second verse is much more opaque.