What does All the Rowboats mean?

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Regina Spektor: All the Rowboats Meaning


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Song Released: 2012

All the Rowboats Lyrics

All the rowboats, in the paintings
They keep trying to row away
And the captain's worried faces
Stay contorted and staring at the waves
They'll keep hanging, in their gold frames
For forever, forever and a day
All the rowboats, in the oil...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    May 29th 2012 report

    I think this song is how we don't appreciate art anymore, it's just hanging in museums. This part, I think really shows that:
    "First there's lights out, then there's lock up
    Masterpieces serving maximum sentences
    It's their own fault for being timeless
    There's a price to pay, and a consequence
    All the galleries and museums
    "Here's your ticket, welcome to the tombs"
    They're just public mausoleums--
    The living dead fill every room
    But the most special are the most lonely"
    I think it's saying that they are timeless pieces and they should be admired but they are basically being treated like dead space... no one really cares.

  2. anonymous
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    Jan 23rd 2016 report

    I think it is really interesting to hear other people's views on this, because I always just thought the meaning of this song was exactly how it seemed on the surface; about paintings and museums. After reading other people's thoughts though, I feel that it could be about anything really, depending on how you interpreted it: death, suicide, the holocaust, a war memorial etc.

  3. anonymous
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    Oct 24th 2013 report

    I believe this song represents all the people who are suicidal and want to run away. They are forced to stay in this hell we call Earth.They are lonely and cold. Also it's how the are dead inside and also the ones are under pressure and want nothing more are just used for the purpose of show. It's also about how these people have forgotten how to sing. All these people are truly the most special. This is shown very clearly through: "But the most special are the most lonely God, I pity the violins
    In glass coffins they keep coughing
    They’ve forgotten, forgotten how to sing, how to sing"

  4. anonymous
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    Jul 3rd 2013 report

    She's ridiculing the infinite life of artworks("It’s their own fault for being timeless") and the futility of its contents(God, I pity the violins
    ...They’ve forgotten how to sing.

  5. anonymous
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    Jul 4th 2012 report

    I think it's about the sinking of the Titanic and the lives trapped aboard which are lost in the wreck. Those persons are now forever entombed and part of the wreck which has become a permanent mausoleum.

  6. anonymous
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    Jun 21st 2012 report

    I believe it's Regina's take on art in museums, and what she thinks when she sees the art. She adds interesting descriptions when she describes how awful it must be to be locked in galleries for beauty. It not something to think to much about.

  7. anonymous
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    Jun 13th 2012 report

    I also believe this is about the holocaust, referencing the museum. The different european languages, death, and lock up. It seems very relevant to that. I wouldn't have thought it's about painters initially, but after reading other people's veiws, that could be true as well.

  8. anonymous
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    Jun 7th 2012 report

    I personally think this song is about a holocaust, or a war museum/ memorial. She talks about coffins and things being displayed in public, so that leads me to believe it's something along those lines.

  9. anonymous
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    Mar 29th 2012 report

    its about famouse artist today, they become so famouse and then they become weary and old that they became a painting in a museum that no longer attract people.

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