"Intervention" as written by Win Butler, Regine Chassagne, Tim Kingsbury, Richard R Parry, William Butler and Jeremy Gara....
The king's taken back the throne
The useless seed was sown
When they say they're cutting off the phone
Then tell 'em you're not home

No place to hide
You'll find there's a soldier on their side
You're still a soldier in your mind
But nothing's on the line

You say it's money that we need
As if we're the only mouths to feed
I know that no matter what you say
There are some debts we never pay

Working for the church while your family dies
You take what they give you
And you keep it inside
Every spark of friendship and love will die without a home
Hear the soldier groan we'll got it at alone

I can taste the fear
Lift me up and take me out of here
Don't want to fight, don't want to die
Just want to hear you cry

Who's gonna throw the very first stone
Oh, who's gonna re set the bone
Walking with your hand in a sling
Wanna hear the soldier sing

Working for the church while my family dies
You're little baby sister's gonna lose her mind
Every spark of friendship and love will die without a home
Hear the soldier groan we'll got it at alone

I can taste your fear
It's gonna lift you up and take you out of here
If the bone shot never heals
I cannot make him yield

You can't find me now
But they're gonna get their money back somehow
And when you finally disappear
We'll just say you were never here

Been working for the church while your life falls apart
They're singing hallelujah when defeating your heart
Every spark of friendship and love will die without a home
Hear the soldier groan we'll got it at alone
Hear the soldier groan we'll got it at alone


Lyrics submitted by newkicks, edited by nycgirlxx, 2blablabla, peregrine47, jasemuleson, MrLillico, Portishead93, Duffbeer

"Intervention" as written by Regine Chassagne Jeremy Gara

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Intervention song meanings
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  • +10
    General CommentI find it interesting that a few people are interpreting it as a song about having a relationship with God, or being a "Christian soldier" or something similar. I don't know for certain, but I always got the impression that they were a non-religious band, even anti-religious in some ways.

    I think it's about the political and religious leaders taking away our basic humanity and freedom. While the political leaders are forcing us to go to war and kill each other (all the references to soldiers, although I think soldiers is used metaphorically as well) and reducing us all down to one obedient mass instead of free individuals ("you say it's money that we need, as if we were only mouths to feed"), the religious leaders are forcing us to adhere to their doctrines through fear ("sing hallelujah with fear in your heart") but never really providing you with the answers you need ("Been working for the church while your life falls apart").

    I think it's about us all taking our lives back and taking control and not blindly obeying the political and religious leaders in the hope that they'll fix all the world's problems ("Hear the soldier groan, "We'll go at it alone""). Also, concentrating on what's really important i.e. friends/family and compassion for other humans, NOT fighting over whose god is the "real" one or which political ideology is "right" ("Every spark of friendship and love will die without a home")

    I don't know, that's just how I would interpret it.
    9coronason May 14, 2011   Link
  • +6
    General CommentIt's about hypocrisy, both political and religious. "Intervention" refers to American foreign policy (specifically in Iraq), in which atrocities are often justified in the name of "human rights" or "democracy" or some other higher ideal, thus contradicting what that ideal was originally about. Similarly, it's about a Christian who never really fulfills the duties of being a Christian. He only maintains his belief out of a fear of death. He is willing to neglect his family while working for the Church, which contradicts Christian values of familial love and charity. The "useless seed" is a reference to a biblical parable about what happens when Christ's teachings, the seed, fall onto bad soil (i.e., a person who will not uphold them). The seed is useless because the individual does not nurture it. Similarly, "every spark of friendship and love will die without a home". In political terms, America's values of freedom and democracy are useless if the country is entrusted to a government that will not uphold those values.

    I think this song is Win's call for people to return to the ideals that they profess to uphold. America needs to get back into the business of defending human rights--for real, this time--and Christians need to get back into the business of being Christ-like. Otherwise, the true soldiers of the State and the true soldiers of Christ will have to "go at it alone".
    orenjineon April 09, 2011   Link
  • +5
    My InterpretationTo me, this song is dealing with the corruptness of religion. I will use Christianity as an example although it's not specifically that. It's not calling out religion, not even calling out its followers, to me it's calling out those people who go to church every week, say their prayers, read their bibles, send their kids to VBS, but never gain anything. They don't learn from it, they don't take anything from it (you take what they give you and you keep it inside). They do it out of pure fear. They want to go to heaven, so they follow the rules.

    "I care not if you kneel" also kind of confronts this. Religion is not about following the rules, it's about truly believing in your god, truly following your gods rules, not the stuff branded onto the religion.

    But I do see political meaning in this, too. I think it addresses both. Mainly it addresses fear. You're scared, so you conform. Things are a wicked cycle.
    nycgirlxxon August 28, 2013   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think that the song is alot more general than everyone else is thinking, the way I see it it's about paying attention to what's important to you and living your own life. The character in the song is putting himself in the church because he is told that's what he needs to do by others to have a meaningful life, but in doing so he is abandoning all the things that really matter, friends, family, etc. While religion is the example in the song it can apply to other things as well. That's how I see it atleast, choosing your own path in life.
    tadamzon February 18, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commenttalk about the lyrics. please.

    i think this song is about death way people approach it. the soldiers cries at the prospect of death. people approach "fading" with fear.
    umedmasaon July 12, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis sounds amazing with the organs. Makes the hairs stand up!
    DismalAbysmalon January 07, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think some of the comments calling for people to turn to god are quite entertaining. You know, if you listen to much arcade fire, you'll realize that they seem to be very anti-religion. (not to say that they are anti-faith). In fact, if you pick up the December 07 edition of Spin magazine, there is a great interview with Win Butler (lead singer for this band). I think that they really hate religion and establishment (for good reason!).

    I think this song is about an internal fight between feelings of falling into the establishment mindset and the reality of the world. You know, its so funny how so many fundamentalist Christians are quick to point fingers at others and tell them how they are sinning and going to hell (i.e. toward gay people) yet, they never look inside themselves and see the sin that is far worse - hate.

    This song is about having an intervention. Like any intervention, you must first realize that you have a problem..."working for the church while my life falls apart." Those crazy fundamentalists constantly point the finger toward other people...why?? because they are "working for the church." They can't see the forest for the trees. Indeed, if we all had an intervention and moved away from that terrible "drug" called "religion" we *might* be able to become better humans again. Religion has bastardized humanity in a search for "Faith" which is really a search for hatred because of people who are not like you.
    jaysocalon December 09, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about drug addiction and the battle to get clean.

    "When they say they're cutting off the phone,
    I tell them you're not home." eventually addicts will have to face struggles such as unpaid bills.

    "No place to hide,
    You were fighting as a soldier on their side,
    You're still a soldier in your mind,
    Though nothing's on the line."
    theres no where to go but down. You are a soldier in your own mind fighting to keep up the addiction. there is nothing on the line because you can not get any lower


    "You say it's money that we need,
    As if we were only mouths to feed,"

    struggling for money to further feed the addiction, forgetting about their family and any other responsibilities

    "I know no matter what you say
    There are some debts you'll never pay." the money borrowed from loved ones to pay for drugs is a debt that can never truly be paid back

    "You take what they give you
    And you keep it inside."
    you take money from loved ones but do not get help. you keep the addcition close to you.
    "Every spark of friendship and love
    Will die without a home."
    you lose everyone that ever meant anything to you because they can not tolerate the pain any longer

    "Hear the solider groan, "We'll go at it alone" "
    The voice inside will continue this cycle alone to keep up with the addciton, pushing away all family and friends, the drugs are more important.

    "Walking with your head in a sling"
    your body is there but your mind is burried deep somewhere else, the drugs overpower you

    "Working for the Church
    While my family dies,
    Your little baby sister's
    Going to lose her mind"

    The church is the cycle you are going through of getting money and paying for drugs in your mind this is normal, but on the outside your family and your sister are dying over this.

    "I can taste your fear,
    It's going to lift you up and take you out of here,
    And the bone shall never heal,
    I care not if you kneel."

    The fear is the only thing that will break this. The fear will keep you away, but you will never be the same, you can kneel and beg, but the fear is the only thing that will keep you away from this life.

    "We can't find you now,
    But they're going to get their money back somehow,
    And when you finally disappear
    We'll just say you were never here."

    no one will want to remember you when you are gone. the money they gave you isnt the problem anyomore. you have completely lost yourself, and the memories of you are too painful, its easier to pretend you were never there.

    "Been working for the church
    While your life falls apart,
    Singing hallelujah with the fear in your heart,
    Every spark of friendship and love
    Will die without a home."

    Your life is falling apart while you continue to get deeper into this cycle of drugs. You sing but every step you take you are in fear. all of your close friendships and loves have died
    goolizardon September 04, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI personally feel this song is about the corruption of churches/modern religion and how greedy/selfish some of them can be. I honestly can't see it as being about anything other than religion
    ChicAdeeon February 07, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think its about Christians who are only a Christian out of fear of death etc. They keep their faith to themselves and do not share the love with others. This song has a lot of Christian imagery.

    "The king's taken back the throne,
    The useless seed is sown"

    the king would be Jesus/God taking His place back in someone's life. maybe a person becoming Christian again? and the seed of faith that is sown (also a biblical reference) is useless because this person will keep it to their self.

    "You're still a soldier in your mind,
    Though nothing's on the line."

    many Christians refer to themselves as "soldiers of Christ" and believe that they fight a spiritual war. But to the non-believer there is "nothing on the line", i.e. no spiritual war.

    "You say it's money that we need,
    As if we were only mouths to feed,
    I know no matter what you say
    There are some debts you'll never pay."

    this person is in belief that money will solve all the worlds spiritual problems, but this person has past debts too. this could mean actual debts and maybe he has done some wrong things

    "Working for the church
    While your family dies.
    You take what they give you
    And you keep it inside.
    Every spark of friendship and love
    Will die without a home."

    this person does not reflect the love that the Church encourages, and keeps their faith separate from their family. Every spark of friendship created in this person by their faith will die before it gets passed on.


    "I can taste the fear.
    Lift me up and take me out of here,
    Don't want to fight, don't want to die,
    Just want to hear you cry."

    this person who has become a Christian may have a troubled past with the "narrator". the narrator does not want to fight with this person or discuss religion, but just wants to see real emotion, and can sense a lot of fear in this person.

    "Who's going to throw the very first stone?
    Oh! Who's going to reset the bone?
    Walking with your head in a sling
    Want to hear the soldier sing."

    waiting to see who will open the discussion first (another biblical reference). the broken bone is the troubled past that needs reconciliation. the narrator wants to hear this stoic "soldier" speak honestly and confide.

    "We can't find you now,
    But they're going to get their money back somehow,
    And when you finally disappear
    We'll just say you were never here."

    this person is obviously in debt and is being sought after. (like his phone service getting cut off earlier) this person leaves the narrator without any communication.

    "Been working for the church
    While your life falls apart,
    Singing hallelujah with the fear in your heart,"

    this is a very haunting verse. someone who is religious for the wrong reasons and just simply follows the rules. this person is just ignoring all his problems in his life, even ignoring his family while he hides under the false security of religion.


    this doesnt seem 100% consistent to me, but it was the first strong interpretation that came to mind
    yesterdaysheadlineson October 20, 2009   Link

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