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The speaker is looking at the ocean and wishing he knew how to express his grief. He sees a fisherman's kid hanging out with his sister, and he hears a sailor singing, but they don't cheer him up – they just remind him of the "voice that is still," or the voice of his dead friend that he can't talk to anymore. The ocean waves keep breaking on the beach, and time keeps marching on, but the speaker can't go back in time to when his friend was still alive.