The Gulf Of Araby Lyrics - Natalie Merchant

Review The Song (4)

Words and music by Katell Keineg

If you could fill a veil with shells from Killiney's shore
And sweet talk in a tongue that is no more
And if wishful thoughts could bridge The Gulf of Araby
Between what is, what is, what is
And what can never be

If you could hold the frozen flow of New Hope Creek
And hide out from the one they said you might meet
And if you could unlearn all the words
That you never wanted heard
If you could stall the southern wind
That's whistling in your ears
You could take what is, what is, what is
To what can never be

One man of seventy whispers free at last
Two neighbors who are proud of their massacres
Three tyrants torn away in a winter's month
Four prisoners framed by a dirty judge
Five burned with tyres
Six men still inside
And seven more days to shake at the great divide

(X2) The Gulf, the Gulf of Araby

Well, we would plough and part the earth to bring you home
And harvest every miracle ever known
And if they laid out all the things
That these ten years were to bring
We would gladly give them up
To bring you back to us
O, there is nothing we would not give
To kiss you and to believe we could take what is, what is, what is
To what can never be

One man of seventy whispers not free yet
Two neighbors who make up knee-deep in their dead
Three tyrants grab the reins in the summer's heat
Four prisoners lost in the fallacy
Five, on my life
And six, I'm dead inside
And seven more days to shake at the great divide

(X2) The Gulf, the Gulf of Araby

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An Eternal Gulf | Reviewer: Paul | 12/6/12

The song touches us so powerfully, regardless of our particular circumstances, because we all wistfully face that unbridgeable gulf between what is and what we wish for but can never have. I am reminded of Harry Chapin's lyrics "sometimes thinking bout what might have been, sometimes thinking 'just as well'"

Incredible song covered by Natalie! | Reviewer: FG | 3/7/10

When I first heard this song after purchasing Natalie Merchant's Live album a decade ago I was blown away. The sheer power and sentiment uttered in the lyrics of this song is simply amazing. I didn't know it was a cover of obscure folk singer Katell Keineg. (Who's own version is very good, too.)

Some might find the lyrics a bit abstract or obscure, but the sentiment and feeling carried in those lyrics through Natalie's voice makes this song just one of the most beautifully sung and moving songs you'll ever hear.

ok | Reviewer: wakawaka | 10/3/09

basic idea of song is interesting but references too obscure for me so song for me loses power. to someone who knows what events she is referring to i'm sure the song is incredibly powerful. she has a beautiful voice and i believe she is the best writer among modern popular singers, and her songs are powerful but not all her songs have the power of some of the lyrically nonsensical but musically powerful songs like shayla / blondie. sorry...

astonishing | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/27/06

one of the most astonishing songs ever written and couldn't be sung by anyone better...

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------ Performed by Natalie Merchant

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------ 04/20/2014

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