"We Both Go Down Together" as written by and Colin Meloy....
Here on these cliffs of Dover
So high you can't see over
And while your head is spinning
Hold tight, it's just beginning

You come from parents wanton
A childhood rough and rotten
I come from wealth and beauty
Untouched by work or duty

And oh, my love, my love
And oh, my love, my love
We both go down together

I found you, a tattooed tramp
A dirty daughter from the labour cans
I laid you down on the grass of a clearing
You wept but your soul was willing

And oh, my love, my love
And oh, my love, my love
We both go down together

And my parents will never consent to this love
But I hold your hand

Meet me on my vast veranda
My sweet, untouched Miranda
And while the seagulls are crying
We fall but our souls are flying

And oh, my love, my love
And oh, my love, my love
And oh, my love, oh my love
And oh, my love, my love
We both go down together


Lyrics submitted by sethbrown

"We Both Go Down Together" as written by Colin Meloy

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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We Both Go Down Together song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentI can't find any actual reference to a suicide. Lyrically, it's the classic story, two persons from different backgrounds find tragedy in a love which is not meant to be. This by itself is a downfall and a tragedy, at which thw song hints. It`s definitely not a happy story, and one that will end badly, but not necessarily in death.
    inconstantion March 12, 2005   Link
  • +4
    General CommentImposs1ble,
    Leslie's mother died in childbirth. With that in mind, it would be pretty hard for her to die once more with this wealthy lover. You're probably lying about hearing Colin say that, but if not, this is not a well thought out prequel. It doesn't even make any thematic connections to Leslie Anne Levine, not to mention the aforementioned contradiction as to when Leslie's mother died. I don't need to do research when I am fully capable of reading the lyrics without help. Square.
    fadetoflasheson March 12, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"I found you, a tattooed tramp
    A dirty daugher from the labour cans
    I laid you down on the grass of a clearing
    You wept but your soul was willing"

    makes it seem like the narrator thinks he's doing something good for her by having sex with her- he found her in the labour cans (camps? I thought it was camps) and was fixated on her.

    my first impression was rape.
    meggganon April 23, 2005   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationWell, If this really is a prequel to LAL, then maybe the couple didn't die. In the beginning, the lyrics say "Here on these cliffs of Dover
    So high you can't see over
    And while your head is spinning
    Hold tight, it's just beginning"
    Maybe those words just mean that they are both so in love that they get that weird butterfly-in-your-stomach feeling.
    "We fall, but our souls our flying"
    They fall in love, they fall in embrace, ect.
    If they didn't die, then the only lyric that confuses me is "You wept, but your soul was willing". It wouldn't make sense.

    Now, lets say that they do both die. Then, the lyrics:
    "Here on these cliffs of Dover
    So high you can't see over
    And while your head is spinning
    Hold tight, it's just beginning"
    is them, holding hands, looking over the edge, thinking their final thoughts before they leap.
    "You wept, but your soul was willing"
    Miranda didn't want to die, who does? But she is willing to do it, for the sake of love.
    "We fell, but our souls were flying"
    They are literally falling of the cliff at this point. They have accepted their death, and while I'm not saying that they're happy about dying, they're glad that they will get to be together forever.
    "We both go down together"
    They both jump and plummet to earth together.

    If they both did die, AND this is the prequel to LAL, then maybe the "dry ravine" was the ground underneath the cliff. Miranda was pregnant and literally about to give birth when she jumped, and I think maybe she survived a little longer, and was able to push Leslie out. Or Leslie was never actually birthed, but she became a ghost anyway.

    Another crazy idea: Miranda and the narrator had a baby together, but, unable to take all the ridicule of their "socially wrong" relationship, killed themselves. The narrator's parents, while they disliked it, took the baby under their wing. The baby grew up to be Leslie's mother, and we all know what happened after that.
    myhightideon May 23, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt would be very nearly impossible for it to be a prequel, lest Leslie have died directly from her mother's impact -- never having been born at all, but it was implied that she was "birthed" in the lyrics, so again, there's no way this could be a prequel. Furthermore, it was stated that Leslie was "birthed down a dry revine" while the girl in this song would have been washed away into the ocean.

    As for this song, I think it is about suicide, the opening lyrics being the end of the story -- "Here on these cliffs of Dover / so high you can't see over / and while your head is spinning / hold tight, it's just beginning"

    It is hard to say, though, whether or not the girl jumped alone or if the boy did in fact push her, up until that point, believing he would jump off with her. "We both go down together" is sung very vindictively, but he pledges his allegiance to her several times throughout the song. Overall, I think it is about a dual suicide, off the wonderful white cliffs of dover.
    halationon March 16, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentlisten to impossible! from stylus magazine about leslie ann: "...the dolefully doomed tale of a cast away child abandoned by her loafer of a mother. The mother births the babe prematurely and both succumb: 'I still cling to the petticoat of the girl who died with me.' Still harboring angst over her mother's relationship with a man of lower class, which resulted in her own birth, the wraith of Leslie Anne aimlessly haunts the town's balconies with rattle in hand, jangling outside its inhabitants windows; finding fancy in another reject such as herself--the chimney sweep. In the 17th century, a Master Sweep would teach Sweep Boys, usually orphans or young children sold into the position by their parents, to climb the flues and brush them clean. Death often came at an early age- from dust inhalation or cancer contracted from accumulated soot. It is insinuated that Leslie saved this sweep who was 'lost and lodged' inside the chimney flue. Bitter and irresolute, Leslie's specter continues haunting her purlieu although she has long outlived all her antecedents."

    stylusmagazine.com/…

    and yes, it is the prequel. i've heard colin say it twice.
    marykayon March 25, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentClearly none of you lot have read Tess of the D'Urbevilles. It reminds me a lot of this.
    MoqeAndDogon October 17, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSorry, I feel like I should elaborate.
    Only one other person has said it reminds them of Tess of the D'Urbevilles and I have to agree with them. It sounds as though the man wants to believe the woman loves him. And it sounds like he was a rich Victorian man who raped one of his servants.
    Which says Tess of the D'Urbevilles all over it. And the two deaths relate to it quite a lot as well.
    I don't know that that is exactly what it has been written about but to me, that's what it means.
    Fantastic book, by the way.
    MoqeAndDogon October 17, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMogeAndDog, I completely agree with you! I just watched 'Tess of the D'urbervilles' yesterday, and immediately thought of this song. It's almost like it was made for that book, even though there are a few parts that don't fit perfectly, but still. At first I thought it described Angel & Tess well, but after listening to the song a bit more, it just screamed Alec D'urberville to me. He raped Tess and in some twisted way thought she loved and wanted him too. Incredibly tragic and depressing story, but worth watching/reading in my opinion.

    Anyway, this is one of the best songs I've heard in a long time.
    Sandreneon November 04, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWho says its about suicide. Maybe its not at all. Sure, the lyrics SOUND like suicide, but really, I think that would be too blatant.
    aeharton April 14, 2009   Link

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