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View Full Version : Otis readings "sitting on the dock of the bay"



Marsekay
11-11-2007, 13:30
Listening to this song mkes me ponder what its about.
is it about being imprisoned in alcatraz?
its a bay (san fran)
you can watch ships going in and out
and your pretty much "wasting you time" lol

seems fitting to me?

Reabe
11-11-2007, 17:51
Dunno. Was Otis ever in Alcatraz? The Wikipedia Article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sitting_on_the_dock_of_the_bay) doesn't say much on a quick read through.

WLBjork
11-11-2007, 18:10
Going by the 2nd verse:

I left my home in Georgia
Headed for the 'Frisco bay
'Cause I've had nothing to live for
And look like nothin's gonna come my way

suggests it could be to do with the Depression (1930s), and the guy in the song is a drifter.

The Guy
11-11-2007, 20:09
I know a certain Otis from a certain zombie game that I'd like to see locked up in Alcatraz....

Kohhna
11-11-2007, 21:41
Thats a very interesting idea, but I think the song's more about the blues of a listless wanderer trekking from one end of the country to another. The depression angle is a possiblity, but I'd guess its more about the lonelieness and bleakness of that lifestyle.

Sittin' in the morning sun
I'll be sittin' when the evening comes
Watching the ships roll in
Then I watch them roll away again, yeah

I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay
Watchin' the tide roll away, ooh
I'm just sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time

I left my home in Georgia
Headed for the Frisco Bay
Cuz I've had nothing to live for
And look like nothing's gonna come my way

So, I'm just gon' sit on the dock of the bay
Watchin' the tide roll away, ooh
I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time

Looks like nothing's gonna change
Everything still remains the same
I can't do what ten people tell me to do
So I guess I'll remain the same, listen

Sittin' here resting my bones
And this loneliness won't leave me alone, listen
Two thousand miles I roam
Just to make this dock my home, now

I'm just gon' sit at the dock of a bay
Watchin' the tide roll away, ooh
Sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time

(Ends in harmonic whistling)

Edit: Don't forget the awesome Pearl Jam cover version, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wl3NeDo99GE

Corax
15-11-2007, 09:14
Henry Rollins said, “The blues is losing someone you love and not having enough money to immerse yourself in drink.” and that's way more profound than anything I can come up with.

In the case of this song, perhaps the thing that has been lost is hope. The lyrics read as if he's reached the end of his tether and has pretty much given up. He's just sitting there because he's too spiritually exhausted to do anything else. He might be considering suicide by drowning, but he doesn't even really have the energy for that. That's how I'd read it, having experienced feeling the same way, myself.