"The Living Daylights" as written by John Barry and Pal Waaktaar....
Hey driver, where we're going?
I swear my nerves are showing
Set your hopes up way too high
The living's in the way we die

Comes the morning and the headlights fade away
Hundred thousand people, I'm the one they blame
I've been waiting long for one of us to say
Save the darkness, let it never fade away

Ah, ah, the living daylights
Ah, ah, the living daylights

All right, hold on tight now
It's down, down to the wire
Set your hopes way too high
The living's in the way we die

Comes the morning and the headlights fade away
Hundred thousand changes, everything's the same
I've been waiting long for one of us to say
Save the darkness, let it never fade away

Ah, ah, the living daylights
Ah, ah, the living daylights
Ah, ah, the living daylights

Comes the morning and the headlights fade away
Hundred thousand people, I'm the one they frame

Ah, ah, the living daylights
Ah, ah, the living daylights
Ah, ah, the living daylights

Set your hopes up way too high
The living's in the way we die


Lyrics submitted by Idan

"The Living Daylights" as written by Pal Waaktaar John Barry

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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The Living Daylights song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI don't see what's so great about Live and Let Die, actually, but it's not my kind of music. I love this one though!
    galadriel82on May 25, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is one of a-ha's greatest songes EVER!!!!!!!!!!! my favorite Bond song, though, sadly, not the best. its hard to top Live and Let Die
    superbowl4meon June 19, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song was the first song I ever heard by a-ha. As a young fan of the James Bond series (I was like 11), I sought out every Bond outing, and so I inevitably stumbled upon Timothy Dalton's first and best adventure (as well as one of the better missions by Mr. Bond). The main theme for the movie quickly took me, and it became an instant favorite when I purchased the James Bond 30th Anniversary album.

    The song obviously has roots in the classic James Bond Theme (John Barry co-produced it with a-ha, after all), but it's a-ha through and through. It's haunting and an enigma. It's about facing the darkness of the world and trying to cope with insecurity and being at a loss.

    "Set my hopes up way too high
    The living's in the way we die"

    This single phrase from the song had me vexed for some time. Then I remembered the Sophocles tale "Oedipus Rex," in which it says that one cannot judge another's life until the other had lived his life and was dead. Was he happy, or grief-stricken? One can only know that when the entire tally of days is taken into account, and the state in which people were in when they met their demise, THAT'S how they fared in life. You die the way you lived, essentially.

    I find that the lyrics posted on this site are erroneous, but I digress.

    Morten sings about how the world is against him, how nothing can comfort him, how the world seems to revolve, yet everyone still attacks him and him alone. I'm sure we've all felt as if the world has set its sights solely on us sometimes.

    The phrase "the living daylights" probably stands for the state of utter despair, of complete shock and fear.

    There has been no other male performer(s) after a-ha who have performed a James Bond theme; it can't be topped. (And "A View To A Kill," the number 1 hit by Duran Duran, was a really tough act to follow.)

    "Live And Let Die" by Paul McCartney and Wings was good, too, but not as good as this one or the Duran Duran, fare-thee-well, Roger Moore, song.

    ...Did anyone initially think that the opening hook was a guitar? I saw the video years later (when I became an official a-ha fan a couple of years ago) and only then did I realize that Mags was behind the "guitar" licks with his keyboard/synthesizer. Couldn't they have had Pal do it? Oh, well.

    My iPod gives this song (saxomophone and all) a hearty 5 stars. (Its extended version gets only a 4 stars since it takes away some of the instrumental factors of the original.)
    TheMunDialon December 22, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOne of my favourite A-ha songs and at the age of 25 my favourite Bond movie. I thought Dalton was the best interpretation of James Bond from the books.
    DarkenRahlon September 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is the best song ever
    robomalpa1on January 22, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it is about the inevitable "worst case scenario" everyone goes through. The fear being the driving motivation. The proposition that the "last kiss" could very well be the last. Never knowing who to trust, and trusting yourself in an almost godlike fashion. When your back is to the wall, no one really knows what they are capable of.
    Jordo013on May 29, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningA homage to Maryam D'Abo.
    Should we reduce her to her fake hair color?
    "Save the darkness, let it never fade away..."
    and
    "Seems your hopes are way too high, living's in the way we dye."
    I guess they would have called the song
    "The bleached highlights" if the emberassing joke wouldn't come so subtle:
    going blind, you know from what?!
    In German, we would say: "Das Licht ausknipsen."
    Hundredthousand chord changes and still nothing is new here.
    James Bond movies are actually black comedies because of the impact they have on minors and juveniles. In their attempt to be like James Bond, they in fact only behave like complete fools.
    rawison June 24, 2016   Link

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