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Black flies on the windowsill
That we are
That we are
That we are to know
Winter stole summer's thrill
And the river's cracked and cold

See the sky is no man's land
A darkened plume to stay
Hope here needs a humble hand
Not a fox found in your place

No man is an island, this I know
But can't you see oh?
Maybe you were the ocean
When I was just a stone

Black flies on the windowsill
That we are
That we are
That we are to hold
Comfort came against my will
And every story must grow old

Still I'll be a traveler
A gypsy's reins to face
But the road is wearier
With that fool found in your place

No man is an island, this I know
But can't you see oh?
Maybe you were the ocean
When I was just a stone
No man is an island, this I know
But can't you see oh?
Maybe you were the ocean
When I was just a stone

So here we are...

And I don't wanna beg your pardon
And I don't wanna ask you why
But if I was to go my own way
Would I have to pass you by?
And I don't wanna beg your pardon
And I don't wanna ask you why
But if I was to go my own way
Would I have to pass you by?



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/b/ben_howard/black_flies.html

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  • U
    +1
    UnregisteredJul 10, 2012 at 10:18 am
    Beautiful song! To me this is about two people growing apart & needing to go their seperate ways, they are holding each other back.. "black flies on the window sill" shows how there is a window to a big world but something (the glass/their incompatability together) is stopping them getting there, "winter stole summers thrill" makes me think this was a heartbreaking time & the dicision to seperate wasnt easy & the pain continued for a long time after, summer is a time to be happy but with the events of winter (the break up) this was instead the hardest/lonliest time.. The song continues & he states how "comfort came against my will" this tells me that everything happens for a reason & although it wasnt the direction he wanted to take, departing from a lover it all worked out in the end
  • U
    +1
    UnregisteredApr 15, 2012 at 10:35 am
    This song is about an old love of the singers.
    "black flies on the windowsill" refers to flies that have tried and tried to get somewhere but have failed because there has always been something in the way (the glass). This is a metaphor for the relationship with the woman that this song is about. These two people have tried again and again and again to make things work yet there was always something in the way to stop them and eventually after giving it everything they have they are left motionless - emotionally dead.
    "winter stole summers thrill" refers to how their relationship once was and where its ended up. What was once a radiant happy summer was overthrown by the negativity of the winter - the good times where overlooked because of the bad things happening around them.
    "see the sky is no man's land, a darkened plume to stay, hope here needs a humble hand, not a fox found in your place" shows how although the singer has moved on, no one can fill the void left by his previous love. Another woman is but a fox by comparison.
    The song continues along these lines throughout the rest of its entirety. He shows again how much he feels for this girl and how he'll never be the same without her. He'll forever be a black fly on the window sill because he's given all that he has to try and be with her.

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