"Burn The Witch" as written by and Josh/castillo Homme....
Holding hands
Skipping like a stone
On our way
To see what we have done
The first to speak
Is the first to lie
The children cross
Their hearts & hope to die

Bite your tongue
Swear to keep your mouth shut

Ask yourself
Will i burn in Hell?
Then write it down
& cast it in the well
There they are
The mob it cries for blood
To twist the tale
Into fore wood
Fan the flames
With a little lie
Then turn your cheek
Until the fire dies
The skin it peels
Like the truth, away
What it was
I will never say...

Bite your tongue, swear to keep
Keep your mouth shut
Make up something
Make up something good...
Holding hands
Skipping like a stone
Burn the witch
Burn to ash & bone


Lyrics submitted by bugmenot

"Burn the Witch" as written by Troy Dean Van Leeuwen Josh Homme

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Burn The Witch song meanings
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54 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentYeah, I made the connection with the Salem Witch Trials the first time I heard it. I dont think its a metaphor. Its pretty simple. If it has other meaning, its probably because everybody is analyzing it so much, you'll be able to pull some other meaning out of it.

    "Holding Hands, skipping like a stone,
    On our way, To see what we have done,"
    The girls are going to watch an accused person be hung/burned. They falsely accused people so they wouldnt be blamed for casting spells: "what We have done." "Witches" were burning because of them.

    "Bite your tongue,
    Swear to keep your mouth shut," is don't tell anybody the truth about what happened.

    "Fan the flames with a little lie
    Then turn your cheek until the fire dies," They fan the flames of fear and paranoia because they cant take the blame for themselves, so they have to lie and get other people burned.

    "Make up something, Make up something good,": make up a story to get us off, which is what the girls did. They made up that witches made them do what they did.
    Trujilloon January 15, 2008   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI believe kinda everyones right. I think he is referencing the salem witch trials to explain how society hasnt really progressed just changed forms. Its still the same, the media makes lies and false accusations then the mob comes after. This was true back in the days of the witch trials and is still prevelent today, just in a different fashion.
    dakjm4txon May 03, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is just another piece in QOTSA's semi - concept album. The entire album is set in a wood. This song does exactly what it says on the tin, its about the salem witch trials.
    Robc16on March 27, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti was hoping no one had said it yet but milkwig beat me to it... i think this song is about the Salem witch trial that happen in 1768 i believe. (some time around then) after learning about them and listening to this song, i can pick out some lyrics from the song that relate to the Salem witch trials.

    First, a little background history on the Salem witch trials. During the discover of America, puritans came for religious freedom from england, if you dont know, puritans did nothing for fun a worshiped god 24/7. they didnt have dancing and what not because they thought it might lead you to the devil and stuff... anyway. Rev. Parris was the towns minister and his stepdaughter, Abigael Williams, and the other girls of the town went out to go dance and play in the woods. they danced around a pot with hot watter and threw berry's and leaves and stuff in it like children do, but Rev. Parris thought of it as witch craft and the devils work. shortly after the girls started to say names of people in their town who "they saw" with the devil. the reason why one person stood up and said something about it because Abigail Williams threaten to kill them if they told that it was all a joke and a scam. She saw her parents murdered as a young child by Indians. So at a young age she grew up a very corrupted person. So the other girls just rolled with it and this lead to a court of people who were accused of "knowing the devil". if you confessed, you could live, if you didnt confess, you would be hanged. i know the song is called "Burn the witch" but when i look at the rest of the lyrics, it just says salem witch trials to me.. for exammple.


    "Holding hands
    Skipping like a stone"


    this is kinda like childs play and what not, holding hands and skiping stones is all they do. now when

    "On our way
    To see what we have done"

    On their way to see what they have done to the towns people by letting it happen and not standing up to Abigail

    "The first to speak
    Is the first to lie"

    The first person to speak (or accuses someone) was the first to lie because they were lying the whole time

    "The children cross
    Their hearts and hope to die"

    they would rather die then live to see them kill innocent people for no reason? im not to sure about this line.

    "Bite your tongue
    Swear to keep your mouth shut"

    Pretty much what Abigail told them.

    "Ask yourself
    Will I burn in Hell?"

    thinking if they will burn in hell for killing these people

    "There they are
    The mob it cries for blood"

    Mob of girls that cry for blood by killing the accused

    "Fan the flames
    With a little lie"

    The little lie they told has started this huge fire and they cant stop it now

    "Then turn your cheek
    Until the fire dies"

    until this comes to an end, just look the other way and let it happen

    "Bite your tongue
    Swear to keep
    Keep your mouth shut
    Make up something
    Make up something good"

    Pretty much just keep your mouth shut and lie until the trials come to an end.


    So thats my take on this song, sorry if that was to long for you but thanks if you read it all. good song, good album, really good band!
    tdw23on October 03, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGood song, and I'm sure there's some underlying metaphorical meaning, but I haven't figured it out yet. Any ideas?
    Thunderbolton March 22, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWoow what an enthralling Song! The perfect Headbanger! I love the guitarrs, the stomping drums at the beginning and the suffering lyrics!
    I think it´s about people or ethnic groups who are living in majorities and steadily pick on the minorities, trying to harm them just because they are somehow scared. Just like it happened to the "whiches" in the Middle Ages. Maybe I´m overrating the songs intention but the lyrics are fun to listen to anyway! Keep on Rockin´Josh!
    This song is not prog!
    Audiumon April 11, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe more i listen to this song the more it sounds liek its about the media. i think it is saying how to sell paers or magazines etc. they just make up shit and lie. "To twist the tale Into firewood Fan the flames
    With a little lie"

    but the celebrity cant respond cos it just make it worse so they have to Then "turn your cheek Until the fire dies"
    the truth will proably never be known.

    the "What it was I will never say..." bit makes it sound personal. so maybe that brody dalle thing or perhaps something to do with nick??
    silver_headed_monkon June 22, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm pretty sure it's just about tabloids and gossip in general. It's a witch hunt against you when you're a celebrity, with everyone trying to get dirt on you and point fingers.
    Narco_Darkoon June 25, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis whole cd is loosely based on the brothers grim stories
    thats what i think it is about
    Gboeringaon November 07, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe video to this song is amazing! And it does depict scenes from the time of the salem witch trials...but with a twist. The woman they accuse of being a witch, is in actual fact a witch who raises skeletons from the dead and runs amok, seeking revenge ON all those who wanted to burn her. Brilliant!
    aenigmaon January 15, 2006   Link

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