What exactly is the ebb tide?

by Pat Nickerson in Miscellaneous

In June, the Cape Cod Art Association is having an exhibit called “Points of View – Art Interprets Music”. Last fall, artists chose a song to use for inspiration in their artwork, be it an oil or watercolor painting, a sculpture, a photograph, etc.

When I looked over the list of songs, I spotted “Ebb Tide”, made famous by the Righteous Brothers, but sung by many others, including Frank Sinatra.

I remember the song from my childhood very well. My parents had bought a small organ so that we kids could try our hand at music. “Ebb Tide” was one of the pieces of sheet music that came with the instrument. It was fun to play, but like so many other things, it was a passing phase. Yet today I can still close my eyes and very clearly hear the notes being played – most of the time not very well!

Of course, now that I am a Cape Cod seascape painter, the song is right up my alley. So I chose it. But then it occurred to me that I didn’t know exactly what an ebb tide was. I had a general idea, but wanted to be sure. I asked a few friends, but they had differing opinions. Thanks to Webster’s New World Dictionary, I now know the official definition: the flow of the tide back toward the sea.

Many other artists have chosen a wide variety of songs and are in the process of creating their matching pieces of art right now. The show runs from June 16 through July 11. The art association is right on scenic Route 6A in Barnstable (No. 3480), so if you are in the area, please stop in. It is a different twist on an art exhibit. Some artists paint their interpretations very literally, while others choose to be very creative.



First the tide rushes in
Plants a kiss on the shore
Then rolls out to sea
And the sea is very still once more

So I rush to your side
Like the oncoming tide
With one burning thought
Will your arms open wide?

At last we’re face to face
And as we kiss through an embrace
I can tell, I can feel
You are love, you are real

Really mine in the rain
In the dark, in the sun
Like the tide at its ebb
I’m at peace in the web of your arms

“Ebb Tide”
Written by composer Robert Maxwell and lyricist Carl Sigman

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