"The Thief" as written by Michael Karoli, Jaki Liebezeit, Malcolm Mooney, Irmin Schmidt and Holger Schuering....
Why must I be the thief
Why must I be the thief
Oh Lord, please won't you tell me
Why must I be the thief
Why must I be the thief
Please said today a man
And how come you're the only one
Who's beggaring, who always stays?

Why must I be the thief
But I stop the hanging man
How come you're the only one
Living by the open hand?
Now why must I be the thief
Why must I be the thief

You cursed the butterfly
And the holy man who bowed his head
Looked the Arctic height

The thief tried that cross
To shed the other's face
But the Jesus man said nœot now
I'd rather not now, it's far too late
Far too late, far too late
Far too late, far too late
Far too late, far too late
Far too late

Do what you must
Take what you can
Steer the part of every heart
Every elder man, every elder man
Every elder man

I'm the thief, I am the thief
And you're my heart, yes, and you're my heart
But I got you then, yes I will
'Cause you're, '€˜cause I missed just your flight
Just your flight
Fly, fly, fly, fly
Fly, fly, fly, fly

I'll get you late ‘cause it's just goodbye
I'll get you late, it's just goodbye
I'll get you late, it's just goodbye


Lyrics submitted by Songmeaningsuser, edited by mlsrez

"Thief" as written by Irmin Schmidt Holger Schuering

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

The Thief song meanings
Add your thoughts

5 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    Lyric CorrectionThe above lyrics are completely incorrect. What follows below may not be 100% correct, but it is much closer (the two lines about which I have doubt are marked with (?)). The overarching story is about the repentant thief who died on the cross next to Jesus. It is also a reflection on mortality, with the hangman representing Time/God/Fate/Whatever and the Thief representing mankind as a whole as well as each individual man. For further and deeper interpretation also consider that the Thief is the seven of swords in tarot.


    The Thief, by CAN

    "Why must I be the thief?
    Why must I be the thief?
    Oh lord please wont you tell me,
    why must I be the thief?"
    "
    Why must I be the thief?",
    he said to the hanging man.
    "And how come you're the only one
    whose dagger, uh, that always stabs?"(?)

    "Why must I be the thief?",
    he asked of the hanging man.
    "And how come youre the only one
    who lives with an open hand?"

    "Yea why I must I be the thief?",
    he cursed his faded crown.
    And the hanging man put out his hand
    and looked beyond his heart.(?)


    Oh the thief he climbed that cross,
    to share that others fate
    But the Jesus man said "Not now,
    my brother not now,
    Its far too late
    Its far too late
    Its far too late
    Its far too late
    Its far too late
    Its far too late
    Its far too late
    Its far too late."

    "Do what you must.
    Take what you can
    Steal the pride from every heart
    of every angry man.
    Every angry man.
    Every angry man."

    "I am the thief.
    I am the thief.
    And you may run, yes
    and you may hide,
    but I will get you yet.
    Yes I will, Cause I will
    Cause its just your pride.
    Just your pride.
    Pride, pride
    Pride, pride
    Pride, pride
    Pride, pride."

    "I will get you yet,
    cause its justified.
    I will get you yet,
    its just your pride.
    I will get you yet,
    its justified."
    juiceboneon September 20, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's from the album Delay 1968.
    Songmeaningsuseron February 18, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFrom the Can original, I get:

    Why must I be the thief?
    Why must I be the thief?
    Oh lord please won't you tell me
    Why must I be the thief?
    Why must I be the thief?
    He said to the hanging man
    And how come you're the only one
    Who's like a rock
    That always stands

    Why must I be the thief
    He asked of the hanging man
    And how come you're the only one to live with an open hand
    and Why must I be the thief
    he cursed and then he cried
    And the hanging man put out his hand
    And looked beyond his eye

    The thief he climbed that cross
    To share that other's fate
    But the Jesus man said not now
    My brother not now it's far too late
    Far too late far too late
    Far too late far too late
    Far too late far too late
    Far too late

    Do what you must
    Take what you can
    Steal the pride from every heart
    Every angry man
    Every angry man
    Every angry man

    I am the thief
    I am the thief
    And you may run, yes
    And you may hide
    But I'll get you yet
    Yes I will
    Cos you're, cos it's just your pride
    Just your pride
    Pride pride
    Pride pride
    Pride pride
    Pride pride

    I will get you yet
    Cos it's justified
    I will get you yet
    it's justified
    I will get you yet
    it's justified
    mediasedgeon March 21, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI heard radiohead redo this song, live. I love this song, but one problem: i can't find it. Which album is it from? I already have Tago Mago.
    Phrogexon February 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSociety sets up the crime and waits for the criminal to commit it.
    timothyrealon July 21, 2010   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain