"Set Yourself on Fire" as written by and Jarvis Branson/dunckel Cocker....
In a village in the hills
House buried to the window sills in snow
In a prison yard at night
An Alsatian barking for the stars to go

In the attic of a house
In the slats of light which creep across the room
In a forest grove at dawn
Where the animals sleep hidden in the gloom

On the 97th floor overlooking Tokyo
In Camden road in a second floor flat with Dilworth down below
There is only one thing
There is only one thing

In a cancer ward where the patients sit
Waiting patiently to die
In an aeroplane high above the place
You finally left behind

In a cage where only one thing could be free
And it's not you and I
In a cage where only one thing could be free
And it's not you and I

In every single place that has ever ever been
Hiroshima, Los Angeles and each town in between
There is only one thing
There is only one thing
One thing

In the darkest part of you that you have ever seen
In the smile of the child staring at the TV screen
In the diary of a priest, in the sheets that lie upon his bed
Out there amongst the waves and inside your lover's head

There is only one thing
There is only one thing
There is only one thing
There is only one thing

20 years asleep before we sleep... forever
20 years asleep before we sleep... forever


Lyrics submitted by toadtws, edited by quinn19527

"Set Yourself On Fire" as written by Jean Benoit Dunckel Jarvis Branson Cocker

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., SHAPIRO BERNSTEIN & CO. INC.

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Set Yourself on Fire song meanings
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27 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThis song was obviously inspired by the video game Katamari Damacy. C'mon... it starts out with "lets roll" and it definitely just sounds like the other songs in that video game. any one agree?
    kak1non August 16, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentholy shit i have 20 orgasms every time i listen to this song... "Another decade of getting high 'til you're free... There's nothing after that, but you and I, nothing after that but you and me."
    everythingisnothingon August 19, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this band and this song is probably really personal depending on who is listening to it. i think it's about what we see the meaning of life to be.
    thegirlmostlovelyon February 24, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhy isnt the whole ending of the song posted on here?
    thats probably my favorite part.
    woahwoahon December 27, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"2o years asleep before we sleep forever
    20 years asleep before we sleep forever
    10 years on the coast, figuring out the weather
    another decade getting high until you're free
    there's nothing after that, but you and I
    nothing after that but you and me
    20 years asleep before we sleep forver
    20 years asleep before we sleep forever"
    there's the ending
    I'm still trying to figure out what it means though..
    lulabelleon January 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis might possibley be my favorite song of all time..

    As for the final lines, which I think are some of the most powerful lyrics I've ever heard..("20 years asleep...")..I believe is a call or warning to live life to the fullest. The verses of song echo from life experience..and when the ending arrives..tempo change and all, he's afraid that everything he's lived for might be in vain..

    It reminds me of my parents, middle age in general, I think..Some people sort of just stop living, and that's a pretty depressing thought. This song makes me want my life to be different.
    SuntoryTime12on February 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI guess i think this song is talking about how we are all constantly trying to break free from the pains of this life, but we can't have everything we want to we have to make sacrifices.

    The ending part is most likely talking about how we need to live life to the fullest, because since we probably already spend 20 years of our lives sleeping (i guess, at 7 hours a day or something) we need to fill every waking hour with memorable, wonderful experiences.

    just my 2 cents...
    maxis308on February 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti never really paid much notice of this song, but after listening to the album all day today, it's now stuck in my head.

    i think the song is essentially saying how everybody dies. Whether you're in Hiroshima or Los Angeles, in a plane, on your bed, or thinking about your loved one(s), it's hard to escape the thought of death. where ever you are, death is waiting for you.

    this is also reflected in the music. when he's singing about the different moments in life that you could be in, the backdrop of sound is a fast-paced, upbeat one. it's like an extension of the lyrics that basically show us deep in the throes of life. and then as the realisation sets in that you won't live forever, the music slowly comes to a meltdown as you realise that the only thing left is death. (there's nothing after that for you & i; nothing after that for you & me).

    i, like maxis, also think that part of what this song means is that we have to live our life to the fullest every waking moment.
    jadedgypsyon March 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with the person above me about living life to the fullest, because you never know what could happen. I know it's not much, but there are no words that can describe how amazing this song is!!
    SoYouSailedAwayxon June 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI adore this song, especially the very last stanza.
    kookycookieon April 06, 2007   Link

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