Reviews for Sailing Through Lyrics

Performed by Neutral Milk Hotel

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sickness | Reviewer: honeysucker | 9/6/13

“Uh… it’s not about sex. Even though it sounds like it’s about sex. It’s about getting inside of people, just not… in that way.” --Jeff Mangum before a live performance of this song. I think even if sex is referenced, it's more of a metaphor for the sharing of pain. It was apparently written in the early 90's so AIDS was on a lot of people's minds, I think. He probably found the idea of intimacy spreading pain and disease a very powerful metaphor for the way two people can enable and destroy each other in a relationship, romantic or otherwise, when one of them is "sick." This could apply to drug use, mental illness, ect ect ect

yo. | Reviewer: jeez | 7/26/09

At first I got the feeling that this song is about a relationship between two gay men, but I know that it could be any sort of couple.
I think the narrator's lover becomes somewhat of a whore and contracts AIDS, and passes it to the narrator who figures if he's going to have this disease, he might as well live through it with his love.

I could be way off, but this is just a little projection of my ideas.

the real meaning | Reviewer: Branson | 11/19/08

Jeff Said him self that the song is in his own words about (fucking, people fucking people. Jeff then went on to say that he though that fucking was ok. And i think you can see that as you read the lyrics to the song, and you can also feel Jeff's emotion as he sings the song. One of my favorites and most moving by Jeff.

Sailing Through | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/26/08

I think that this song is meant to have different meanings for different people, but I personally think that it is about the beauty of the flawed nature of relationships and how in order to have an intimate relationship, most people need to compromise aspects of themselves in order to strengthen their relationship with their lover. However, as they continue to give up parts of themselves, they become a different person than who they are naturally at heart, and a different person than the one who was fallen in love with. This "lie" is what prevents people from really getting to be with their lover in a deeper sense, and results in the disease inherent in human nature--a mess of people who aren't themselves because of their attempts to become something else for a reason that no longer exists. I think that the sexual suggestions are physically symbolic of how the narrator wishes relationships could work on a personal level--being able to be inside of another person without having to alter yourself. The final stanza before the chorus sounds like a cry of desperation—the rest of the world carries on, seemingly without caring about any deeper meaning in their relationships while the narrator feels alone in his desire to be with his lover in a fuller sense, but she has become someone else.

This interpretation probably sounds ridiculously silly, but Sailing Through is one of my favorite songs of all time, so I wanted to throw out a few thoughts on it.

i just think someone correct me please.. | Reviewer: courtney | 11/15/07

I think this song is about being a gay mans boyfriend who was trapped in the closet.. and getting aids from him...

it sucks to love so hard...



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