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“No, Never Again”

September 15, 2011

Missy Higgins is my favorite singer at the moment. Her music is raw and her lyrics are colorful. In her song “The River,” from her first album, “The Sound of White,” she magically combines a mellow, happy melody with a somber story. In my opinion, it shows that life does not stop—the river does not stop flowing—just because we experience pain and loss. In a way (if you read the interpretation below), the river fixed things. There were clearly better solutions to the problems dealt with in the song, and that’s what the “bed” in the story represents. “Somebody’s bed will never be warm again. No, never again.” Let’s assume that the girl in the story is a victim of child abuse (verbal or physical) or she witnesses violence between her parents. The river, in this case, would represent the parent(s)’s failure to truly see the pain inflicted on the daughter. They were too late, now “never again” will they see their daughter. They can, however, learn from this and better their behaviors so as not to let another “river” solve the problem.

I’m done interpreting the song. Now, it’s your turn. Feel free to openly agree or disagree with my opinions; I’d love to see your point of view(s). Be sure to listen to the song yourself; you will instantly catch that ironic, and clever combination of happiness and grief.

“The River” by Missy Higgins
“She ran until her face was numb with cold,
and wore a cotton gown
that blazed the night untold.
She ran until her feet refused to hold
so heavy a heart
for someone merely ten years old.And when she reached the river
her knees began to shiver.
Her head with pounding voices from home.
Behind her was a vision—
A painful apparition
of a darker world that no one should know

Somebody’s bed
will never be warm again;
the river will keep this friend.
Somebody’s bed
will never be warm again.
No, never again.

She dived beneath the water’s icy skin
Hoping the cold would kill the smell of angry gin
And her eyes grew wider than they ever been.
Just wishing the numbness
took her deeper with its pins.

And as her body lay there,
she decided to stay
’til darkness came to pull her away.
And beautifully she sank
as upriver was a bank
Where some bodiless troubles would stay.

Somebody’s bed
will never be warm again;
the river will keep this friend.
Somebody’s bed
will never be warm again.
No, never again.”

“The River” as Interpreted by Me
She ran until she could run no more
And she wore
a beautiful dress.
She ran until her feet were unable
to hold the heart
of this 10 year-old girl.Once she reached the river
her nerves began to rise.
She remembered the painful words from her home
She came from a life
filled with pain, abuse, and negativity
which no one should ever have to experience

Someone’s life
has just become more empty
As the river took the girl’s life
Someone’s life
has lost someone
and that person can never return.

The girl dived into the cold water
Trying to forget the drunk life someone close to her led.
The cold river is about to take her life.
She hopes her numbness
will make her numb to her pain

As she lay there
She chose not to leave
Until her life had ended
And thus she died
and all of her troubles
were washed away in the river

Someone will have to live
without this girl for now on
as the river has taken her.
Someone will have to live
without this girl
and it’s too late to change it.”

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