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Sittin' on the dock of the bay (Roger Ridley & Grandpa…) (black)
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Music opens the door to a place where we can come together as a human race. Music helps us to persevere through struggles and celebrate our differences which changes the world into a more peaceful place.



Sittin' in the mornin' sun
I'll be sittin' when the evenin' come
Watching the ships roll in
Then I watch 'em roll away again.

Sittin' on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time.

I left my home in Georgia
Headed for the 'Frisco Bay
I have nothing to live for
Look like nothin gonna come my way

I'm gonna sit on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Oooh, I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time.

I left my home in Georgia
Headed for the 'Frisco bay
I have nothing to live for
Nothin's gonna come my way.

Sittin' on the dock of the bay
oh, tide roll away
Sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time.

Look like nothing's gonna change

Everything still remains the same
I can't do what ten people tell me to do
So I guess I'll remain the same.

Sittin' here resting my bones
This loneliness won't leave me alone
Two thousand miles I roamed
Just to make this dock my home

I'm just sittin' on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time

Yeah, oh yeah. Oooooh

Thank you, My name is Roger Ridly, I got all this music +++ all city and +++ CDs like 15 dollars, got 21 songs on 'em

The language here is kind of black AmE so you'll find many "ungrammatical" things and colloquialisms, such as:

When the evening come (= comes)
Nothing gonna come (Nothing is going to come)
Sittin’ (= Sitting)
‘em (= them)

And also some black or dialectal pronunciations. For example "roll in" here rhymes with "again"

ROLL IN= The waves of the sea roll (that’s how we describe their movement, because their movement is more similar to that of a ball than to that of a car), so the ships moving on the waves are here said to roll like the waves (though actually they don’t, but it sounds more relaxing and poetical, like a gentle quiet motion). Then they add the particle IN because the ships are moving to the dock, so they come in. An when they leave, they “roll away”.

THE DOCK= A small quay that gets into the sea so boats can stop there and be tied to it.  see picture.

THE TIDE= Due to lunar attraction, the sea level rises (high tide) or lowers (low tide) depending on the time of the day making the see look like it’s going down, away, or up, closer. We call “tide” to that event. So if the tide “rolls away”, the sea level is getting lower, it’s low tide.

WASTING TIME= Doing nothing useful.

HEADED FOR= Went to.
If you head for a place, you move in that direction.

‘FRISCO= (coll.) San Francisco.

BAY= A piece of sea that gets into the land, usually kind of semicircular in shape.
The opposite is CAPE, a portion of land that projects into the sea. For example there is Good Hope Cape (in the south of South Africa) and the Bay of Biscay, in the Atlantic corner between Spain and France. A very big bay is called a GULF, like the Gulf of Mexico (in the Atlantic, between Mexico and the USA), and a little bay is called a COVE.

I HAVE NOTHING TO LIVE FOR= I have no purpose in life and/or I have nothing in life, no reason to live

NOTHING’S GOING TO COME MY WAY= I’m not going to be lucky, everything turns out wrong for me.

LOOK LIKE NOTHING’S GONNA CHANGE= It looks like nothing is going to change. I feel like everything is going to stay the same. My life is not going to get better.

I CAN’T DO WHAT TEN PEOPLE TELL ME TO DO= I am not able to fit into society, I can’t do what people expect of me (so if I can't please even ten people, so how could I please the whole society?)

I GUESS= (coll.) I suppose

I’LL REMAIN THE SAME= I will not change.

The expression “my bones” in a context like this to refer to your body is more common when you are old or sick or tired, so you feel your body heavy and rigid.

WON’T LEAVE ME ALONE= Will not stop bothering me. Will not go away.

ROAMED= To roam is to wander, to go with no destination, with no purpose.


This song is usually considered to be a relaxing song about peace and leisure and living life with no worries. But I think Kilihila got it right when she explained what this song suggests to her:

I love this song but it isn't a happy song at all. In my opinion, it's about someone very depressed reflecting on his life and trying to find himself. He speaks of loneliness, having nothing to live for, and nothing changing. He is unable to meet other people's demands or the standards they created for him (I can't do what ten people tell me to do). I think he's trying to find meaning in life or possibly the meaning of his life specifically. As he watches the tide roll away, he might be wishing he could go away with them and disappear like the waves.

Yea, this is not a man who went to the dock of the bay to relax and enjoy some peace and quite, this is a man who has nothing in life and nowhere to go, so he just sits there, looks at the horizon and feels like there's nothing else he can do. It's easy to see if you have a close look at the lyrics, something people usually don't (so sorry to burst some people's bubble). The song's great anyway.

"Playing for Change" is a multimedia movement created to inspire, connect and bring peace to the world through music. The idea for this project arose from a common belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people. No matter whether people come from different geographic, political, economic, spiritual or ideological backgrounds, music has the universal power to transcend and unite us as one human race.


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