"Halo" as written by and Martin Gore....
You wear guilt
Like shackles on your feet
Like a halo in reverse
I can feel
The discomfort in your seat
And in your head it's worse

There's a pain
A famine in your heart
An aching to be free
Can't you see
All love's luxuries
Are here for you and me

And when our worlds they fall apart
When the walls come tumbling in
Though we may deserve it
It will be worth it

Bring your chains
Your lips of tragedy
And fall into my arms

And when our worlds they fall apart
When the walls come tumbling in
Though we may deserve it
It will be worth it


Lyrics submitted by numb

"Halo" as written by Martin Gore

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Halo song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentThe guilt and the reverse halo means something different than how I have seen it explained so far by a lot of people. She uses the guilt as a reason not to allow herself to be happy so while she is a pillar of being "good" (hence the halo) it is not because she is doing it out of her own freewill and rather than she is letting this halo that should be on the top of her head bind her feet instead and not allow her to pursue happiness. In the video you can see that she is there with Dave in the trailer instead of spending time with Martin which is what makes her happy. That guilt has made it to where she cannot move.

    At least that is how I have always taken the song.
    Kaos71on April 29, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think this song is about an affair he is having with a married women. Who is feeling guilty about the affair and he is saying that even if they get caught in the end it will be worth it.
    Jennacoleon June 17, 2003   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThe first three lines alone make this song an instant classic.
    neobomanon February 23, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis is by far my favorite DM song. My analysis is similar to rexbasior's, only the "guy" is not a creep. -Just a really horny one. Here goes!

    "You wear guilt
    Like shackles on your feet
    Like a halo in reverse"
    -is referring to how someone lets their guilt restrain them, and it stops them from doing what they want.

    "I can feel
    The discomfort in your seat
    And in your head it's worse"
    -could be referring to this persons physical/emotional discomfort caused by aphrodisia.

    "There's a pain
    A famine in your heart
    An aching to be free"
    -referring to this person's desire to have sex, and 'break free' from those 'shackles of guilt'.

    "Can't you see
    All love's luxuries
    Are here for you and me"
    -basically saying that sex, one of "love's luxuries," is available for them.

    "Bring your chains
    Your lips of tragedy
    And fall into my arms"
    -He's requesting her to forget about the guilt/consequences and engage.

    and lastly, the chorus
    "And when our worlds they fall apart
    When the walls come tumbling in
    Though we may deserve it
    It will be worth it."
    -Is saying that having sex will have drastic, life-altering, consequences that by engaging will be completely be their fault. -However, the intercourse will make it worth it.

    Wow... ¡Estoy en caliente ahora!
    dufresneon April 30, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Commenten.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    tattauon September 16, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI was sitting listening to this song yesterday on my iPod at work and I suddenly homed in on a greater meaning of the whole song. You see, I had always focused on just a few of the lyrics at the beginning---the real showstopping, knock-em-dead poetry of these lines:

    "You wear guilt
    Like shackles on your feet
    Like a halo in reverse
    I can feel
    The discomfort in your seat
    And in your head it's worse

    There's a pain
    A famine in your heart
    An aching to be free."

    I was very focused on these lyrics not only because they are so beautifully written but because they speak most directly to me, a person who has an instinctive need to be seen as "Good" and who is trapped by guilt at every step, every turn.

    I have also, for YEARS, heard that second stanza as "There's a PLEA" [not "pain"] of famine in your heart" and it's always been the most memorable of all the lines in the song. In fact, for me, it's been among the most memorable of all lines in all pop or rock music. So, it's pretty surprising to me to find out that the word is actually "pain." I loved it so much as "plea" because it's so incredibly evocative, this image of "a plea of famine in your heart"--a hunger that is plaintive, that yearns. I know that plaintive hunger, that "plea of famine," because I feel it every day.

    Anyway, yesterday I found myself really listening to the song in its entirety, not just those few lines, and after listening a few times in earnest to the chorus (which I've always just glossed over as a catchy little jangle), I realized the significance of these words: "And when our worlds they fall apart/When the walls come tumbling in/Though we may deserve it/It will be worth it."

    That catchy little chorus suddenly pierced me with its truth: I know that my world has to fall apart, that all the structures I've built and tried desperately to keep in place must come crashing down and that, despite the immense pain and trauma of this eruption, despite the fact that I deserve it, it will all, in the end, be worth it. (At least, I have to believe that it will be).

    It will be worth it because although I'll be crushed by the guilt of having destroyed a loved one's life through my choice to leave them, I will have set us both free. I will have set myself free of the guilt of trying to always be Good, a self-sacrificer, a martyr.

    Ultimately, in listening to this song more carefully than I ever have in years of loving it, I came to the same conclusion as Kaos71, below, who wrote:

    "She uses the guilt as a reason not to allow herself to be happy so while she is a pillar of being "good" (hence the halo) it is not because she is doing it out of her own freewill and rather than she is letting this halo that should be on the top of her head bind her feet instead and not allow her to pursue happiness."

    I never cease to be amazed at the power of some popular music lyrics, at what a potentially powerful medium it can be in the hands of wordsmiths like Depeche Mode, Tori Amos, Kate Bush, Freddie Mercury, and many others. Who says poetry in our modern era is dead?
    Delvyon July 12, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentA friend of mine claimed it's about the love between a priest and a nun because of the religious connotation of the title. Well, it really made me laugh. But then, the lyrics don't really disprove his perception.

    Nevertheless I favour an angle of view a bit wider than this. Generally speaking, it claims that love itself outweighs all consequences that might come from giving in to it. Simple as that.
    licdamicon August 10, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMy favourite, and one of the reasons I think this is one of the top 5 albums ever. Depeche were known for People are People until 1990, and this album was up against metal, Hammer, and a musical scene that was totally against it and it still blew up. I remember I went to a record store to buy a Faith No More record and I just happened to put Violater in the stereo and WOW! You start off with World, Sweetest perfection, then Boom! Personal Jesus-the way the song ends: Reach out touch faith- Halo (which isn't even the best song on the record is still my fave) Waiting for the night (love Portishead remix) and then the signature song. Enjoy the silence is one of the most powerful songs ever written, but the video put everything on the map for Depeche since it received heavy rotation with GNR, Ozzy, Faith, HAmmer, and although most people don't remember mtv playing videos, it was the shit! It's hard to convey the impact Violator had looking back in time, but I lived it and the accomplishment was more amazing b/c when VH1 was created mtv went to other programming and music videos in general stopped making little movies and went to the concert style, or booty shakin that still prevails to this day. To give just a small idea of the music scene back then, Baby got back was actually banned from VH1 and heavy metal ruled the airwaves with really only sugar coated rap behind it. NWA wasn't played on radio or mtv initially and then the death of metal happened with [bon jovi] and mtv unplugged and Soundgarden/grunge. For this single to take over music like it did was an amazing accomplishment. Anyway, policy of truth, Blue Dress and Clean rounded out the album well and it just seemed like the order of their listings really added to the overall vibe of the record. I'm still not sure if it's the most upbeat album you'll ever hear, but you only have to look at groups like Marylin Manson, Portishead, Rammstein, and moby to realize the inmpact of Violator to this day.
    HKEAJBon February 17, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAwesome song with an awesome message. I wrote about it on my blog: mystmodmus.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/…

    as per earlier comments I also love the Goldfrapp remix
    Loudzooon May 07, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song, it's my favorite Depeche Mode song.. I THINK what he's trying to say is that him and a lover's worlds are both doomed anyway.. They might as well let misery enjoy some company..
    maxpower114on February 08, 2002   Link

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