Songs About Island Life
Living in a beautiful place, such as Topsail Island, North Carolina, comes with amazing benefits which make island life one to long for. In fact, island life everywhere provides opportunities for experiences and day-to-day living that are distinct from those found in other locations like in the cities.
A lot of people claim that when they go to the island, they feel better, but why is that? It’s possible that the ocean really does have the power to heal just about anything and everything.
Even more so, there is evidence to back up that hypothesis. Recent scientific research has looked into the physiological and psychological effects of spending time near water bodies and has concluded that living in these locations; particularly on islands, has an enchanting effect on the minds of its inhabitants.
Islands could also be metaphorical; that is, to draw allusions to a person or just any place that brings you peace and positivity. That beautiful atmosphere that captivates all of you and leaves you longing to stay with them till the end of time; indeed, that’s your island. Without further ado, let’s check out some songs about islands and the beauty it wields. Enjoy!
1. “Tenerife Sea” by Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran’s “Tenerife Sea” is almost certainly going to be the first song that comes to anyone’s mind when they are asked to mention songs about Island life.
Ed describes a woman who, because of the depth of his feelings for her, distracts him from the conflict that is going on around him. Throughout the entirety of the song, figurative language and diction are employed to demonstrate that love has the ability to blind people to external strife. He then goes on to describe her hair, specifically how it hangs over one side of her neck and down to her shoulders.
The fact that he took the time to articulate something that is so simple demonstrates how effortlessly she is able to divert his attention away from contention. A metaphor that connects the woman’s blue eyes to the “Tenerife Sea” is used to provide a greater description of the appearance of the woman.
The Canary Islands is the collective name for a group of Spanish islands that includes Tenerife. Islands are a type of landform that is totally surrounded by water, as we’re all aware of. Ed, however, is demonstrating that he prefers to stare at the positivity in her eyes rather than the negativity in the surrounding environment by comparing her eyes to the ocean that surrounds an island.
At first, he is aware of the conflict that is going on around him, but as soon as he sees the woman, all of that disappears. The diction demonstrates, once more, the numbing effect that his love has on him. A truly magnificent piece and I must recommend this song.
2. “The Downeaster Alexa” by Billy Joel
This song is about how the fishing industry has been declining on Long Island, New York, where Billy Joel lived as a child. In case you were wondering, a Downeaster is a specific kind of boat. Fishing has historically been a significant industry on Long Island, but several challenges have rendered it nearly impossible for many fishermen to earn a livelihood there in modern times.
To begin, a significant portion of the water around Long Island has a high level of pollution, which means that many of the fish that are captured there cannot be sold commercially. When Billy sings “they told me I can’t sell no stripers,” he is referring to the fact that the government has made it illegal to sell striped fish that have been caught off the coast of Long Island because of pollution.
Secondly, the growth of suburbia on Long Island has contributed to an increase in the cost of housing there. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for people from working-class families to own homes in the communities where they have raised their families for multiple generations. In order to keep up with the payments on his boat, the narrator of this song was forced to sell his house.
Regardless of this situation, the captain takes immense satisfaction from his work and has vowed to remain a fisherman for as long as he can. However, he is aware that the fishing business won’t be sustainable in the long run.
3. “Warning Sign” by Coldplay
We have the ability to choose whether to look at our partners in a good or negative light in a world where nobody is perfect and we all have our share of imperfections.
When things get serious, if you have a fear of getting hurt and have had bad relationships in the past with family or lovers, you will have a tendency to focus on the negative (warning signs), which will eventually pull you apart because you can only see a negative outcome.
Only after the person has left can you begin to see that they were the only thing/person/island in a life that at times can feel like an empty sea devoid of substance. This realisation comes only after the person has passed away.
Your island will always be a haven of safety, no matter how turbulent things become outside! One of the amazing things I admire about Coldplay is that they pack a bunch of positivity in most of their songs and this is exactly what the world needs right now.
4. “The Siren” by Nightwish
The epic poem “The Odyssey” by Homer served as inspiration for this song. The Sirens were creatures that were half human and half bird and had sounds that were so alluring that sailors would be lured overboard to their deaths by listening to them sing.
Odysseus ordered his soldiers to stuff wax into their ears, and then he instructed them to bind him to the wheel. In addition to that, he instructed them not to untie him before they left the island.
When they were getting close to the Island of the Sirens, Odysseus kept yelling at his men to untie him so that he might have a better look at the sirens. However, the crew would not grant his requests. This stems from long Greek mythological stories and is quite an interesting one.
5. “Migraine” by Twenty-One Pilots
The song “Migraine” is about how Tyler’s negative thoughts are causing him great pain, which he describes as a “migraine” in his head. When he says things like, “Sometimes death seems better than the migraine in my head,” it suggests that he would prefer to die than have his negative ideas dictate his life.
At one point in the song’s lyrics, he expresses gratitude that it is already Friday because he does not want to deal with the suicidal and depressing thoughts that typically surface on Sundays. He does this so that he does not have to think about them.
This song addresses issues such as anxiety, despair, and mental illness. This song also discusses how the mind may force a person to decide whether or not they want to continue living, and how there are times when the only way to keep living is to put an end to your thoughts.
But how exactly is it about islands? I strongly admire his use of words in the lyrics. The narrator closely relates his peaceful mind to an island but when he starts having disturbing thoughts, this island becomes violent using words such as “full of tidal waves, thunderstorms and clouds” to depict negative and troubling thoughts; Indeed, very artistic.This is one of the songs about island life I find interesting.
6. “The Islander” by Nightwish
Last on our list of songs about island life is “The Islander” by Nightwish. From my interpretation of the song “The Islander,” it is about an old man who has lost everything and everyone he has ever loved in his life.
The island is a metaphor for his isolation from the rest of the world and his confinement within it. The boat is an allusion to his journey to heaven.
Towards the conclusion of the song, some phrases imply that the man either died of natural causes or that he took his own life, but in either case, he is not saddened about his passing. It’s fun to have songs that use relatable metaphors to draw reference from the narrator’s experiences.
So, whilst the boat represents his journey to heaven or at least, an afterlife of no regrets and sorrows, he’s also pleased with the life of isolation he lived on his supposed island. Indeed, a fleeting moment of self-actualization, this is one of the songs about island life that reflects on a lot of things.