"Rebellion (Lies)" as written by Win Butler, Regine Chassagne, Tim Kingsbury, Richard R Parry and Howard Bilerman....
Sleeping is giving in,
No matter what the time is.
Sleeping is giving
In, so lift those heavy eyelids.
People say that you'll die faster than without water.
But we know it's just a lie,
Scare your son and scare your daughter.
People say that your dreams are the only things that save ya.
Come on baby in our dreams,
We can live our misbehavior.
Every time you close your eyes lies, lies!
People try and hide the night underneath the covers.
People try and hide the light underneath the covers.

Come on hide your lovers
Underneath the covers.
Come on hide your lovers
Underneath the covers.
Hidin' from your brothers underneath the covers,
Come on hide your lovers underneath the covers.
People say that you'll die faster than without water,
But we know it's just a lie, scare your son, scare your daughter
Now here's the sun, it's alright!
Now here's the moon, it's alright!
Now here's the sun, it's alright!
Now here's the moon, it's alright!
But every time you close your eyes, lies!


Lyrics submitted by drinkmilk, edited by JuanCarlosPL

"Rebellion (Lies)" as written by Regine Chassagne Howard Bilerman

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Rebellion (Lies) song meanings
Add your thoughts

137 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +16
    General Commentyea, i think that a lot of people had the idea that this song is about how not sleeping doesnt kill you, and i think that's a too literal view of this song, I mean, if you dont sleep, your body will pass out in exaustion, I think that the message is using a metaphor, and sleeping represents closing your eyes to the horror's of the system and our world, and that the people in power want you to just 'fall asleep' and blindly accept the world you live in, but this song is saying that we need to wake up and realize what's going on and take action.
    doughbroon January 12, 2005   Link
  • +10
    General Commentthis song is about the tension between striving for a new world and existing in the current one. in this consumeristic Western world, our culture encourages us to sleep (see cowbrain's anaylsis of this) so that we aren't aware of the atrocities that are happening to support our ways of life. so, we must keep our eyes open-even if they are weary from seeing so much. it is our _responsibility_ as human beings to do so.

    People say that your dreams
    are the only things that save ya.
    Come on baby in our dreams,
    we can live our misbehavior.

    yet-we must be able to envision-dream-of a better way to live. Action without vision only produces more destruction-only perpetuates the cultural violence present throughout our world. "in our dreams, we can live our misbehaviors"->we can imagine a new world which dominant culture has done a horredously good job of demonizing as "misbehaving."

    the tension between our culture and change is presented again through the chorus. "everytime we close our eyes (lies, lies!)". here win's talking about the struggle of dreaming when everyone around you will brush you aside as an idealist. i hear the dominant culture's voice in the "lies, lies" telling me that it is fruitless to search for something better, telling me that i should just shut my eyes and give in, but that's giving in-and we must never give in.

    this tension goes deeper though-because it is easy to simply dream of a better world and again get stuck in passivity and compliance. dreaming, too, becomes a form of giving in, and yet it is impossible to dream without sleep (unless you're daydreaming...), so simply by removing yourself from the world to find something better, you are necessarily removing yourself. the trick is to find the balance between acting and dreaming.

    i think that Win is presenting several different manners in which we hide from the culture-underneath the covers. win is setting up another tension between stanzas 5-8 (which are presenting the listener with manner's in which we both hide from the culture-and the necessity of that hiding to rejuvinate yourself in the struggle) and the final call and responses:
    Now here's the sun, it's alright! (Lies!)
    Now here's the moon, it's alright! (Lies!)
    Now here's the sun, it's alright! (Lies!)
    Now here's the moon it's alright (Lies!)
    whereas the stanzas that describe lovers, brothers, night and light hiding (or being hid) underneath the covers all function under the idea of fear, these final lines are the great realization that we don't have to be afraid to be who we are during the day, night, with our lovers, or with our family. again, dominant culture is there in the backgroud yelling that that freedom is all lies.

    when we are free, our world lives wherever we are so long as we are willing to see the world for what it is.

    while mostly agree with cowbrain's analysis, i wholeheartedly disagree with his/her statement that "The point of the song is pretty much that it's fine if you want to just tune everything out. You'll probably be happier that way "

    i feel s/he missing the whole point of the cd (no offense cowbrain)-we cannot tune everything out. we must "Wake Up" because "the power's out in the heart of man." our generation has been lulled into submission. you have to "take it from your heart and put it in your hand" (it being shared feelings) and we musn't be afraid to live. We mustn't be afraid to see.

    The song title is Rebellion (Lies). The rebellion is against this sleeping in. It is against "tuning everything out." It is a rebellion for feeling when our culture is increasingly telling us that we should "like the peace in the backseat" and remain "underneath the covers"-passive and uncaring (a numbness described in Wake Up and Power Out).

    This song ties the rest of the cd together. A masterpiece.
    jcrewnenon January 29, 2005   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI think this song is about how hard it is to live outside what is accepted for people to do. Rebelling against the heavy, layered bulk that is proposed to us, as aphorisms or truisms, as things to live by. La resistance.
    maloofon January 02, 2005   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationTo me, this song is all about how hard it is to be yourself while the whole society expects a proper behaviour from you. Everyone is always saying what happens to those who waste time (sleeping, for example), who misbehave, scaring you to death with possibilities since you're a child, so you don't rebel against what's imposed.

    But these are just lies and you can only realize that when you close your eyes and actually disconnect from this crazy reality.You only realize everything is a lie when you question everything you saw. The only place we can actually make mistakes and let your unconsciousness clearly speak is in our dreams. It's the only place where you can actually dare to be imperfect and make mistakes. That's why we all hide our fears, mistakes and even passions from our brothers underneath the covers.

    And the whole song is inviting you to close your eyes, be yourself and rebel agains all those lies!
    Hachiion November 22, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think doughbro is right that sleep is a metaphor for just tuning out the problems of the world. The song is saying that it's tempting to give in and close your eyes so you don't have to feel the pain of the world around you, but even though that might be the easier thing to do it's not necessarily right. when it says "people say you'll die faster than without water But we know it's just a lie. Scare your son, scare your daughter" it means that we are encouraged by society not to question our world and that there are so many problems in it that if you opened your eyes to face them you would metaphorically die. When it talks about how people hide the light, the night, lovers, etc. underneath the covers it means that people depend on a false sense of security and comfort blinding them from reality so they can feel safe and happy. The point of the song is pretty much that it's fine if you want to just tune everything out. You'll probably be happier that way "Now here's the sun, it's alright. Now here's the moon, it's alright" But you just have to realize that that's not how things really are and there's a bigger picture that might not be as pleasant. "every time you close your eyes (Lies)"
    cowbrainloseron January 17, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIt's taken me ages to figure out this song, but I think I've got it.

    "People try and hide the night
    underneath the covers."

    This is the most important line. Rebellion (Lies) is about children waking up to the deception that adults (People) dole out on a daily basis through challenging the authenticity of the "sleep is necessary" concept. Adults block both the night (violence, sex, language) and the light (romantic love) of the world from their children because they don't want them to grow up too fast. Win sings about this from the perspective of a child who has recognized this, who hates it, and is rebelling (hence the song title). The rebellion is in the form of resisting sleep.

    Every time you close your eyes (lies! lies!)

    He is telling young people that blocking out the world because of what their elders told them is deceitful.
    ghotistixon July 19, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe lie is from people who say you will die if you don't sleep. He's urging us to rebel by giving up sleep. Hence both the sun and the moon are alright and you shouldn't hide from either by sleeping.
    wraton October 18, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm thinking wrat is right. "Scare your son, scare your daughter," by telling them that they will die if they don't get enough sleep.

    I love the nostalgia that this band brings about. I'm seeing them December 10th with the Weakerthans and I'm so excited.
    Lightbluenesson November 18, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentLetting fears and people's overcautious advice keep you from living...
    josephtheleviteon December 15, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYes, you guys are right about the observation with the sun and the moon. It's the typical parent thing to tell their kids to get a good night's sleep, cuz they need it to live, and this is just one example of scaremongering that parents use to give their kids structure and evoke what they think is important.

    I don't think this song is just about sleep or water or whatever other metaphors they use. At its core, this album is about childhood naiveness and how you viewed things back then. It's about how you grow up and look back on it all once you've been met with the real world. How have your controlling parents and your struggle with growing emotions shaped you?

    This song in particular is a good example because it makes things very obvious with the simple song structure. This message makes thing particularily clear:

    "People say that you'll die
    faster than without water.
    But we know it's just a lie,
    scare your son, scare your daughter."
    MaxpowerSupremeon January 02, 2005   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