"I Will Follow You Into the Dark" as written by and Benjamin Gibbard....
Love of mine
Someday you will die
But I'll be close behind
I'll follow you into the dark

No blinding light
Or tunnels, to gates of white
Just our hands clasped so tight
Waiting for the hint of a spark

[Chorus]
If Heaven and Hell decide that they both are satisfied
Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs
If there's no one beside you when your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark

Catholic school, as vicious as Roman rule
I got my knuckles bruised by a lady in black
I held my tongue as she told me, son
Fear is the heart of love, so I never went back

[Chorus]

You and me have seen everything to see
From Bangkok to Calgary
The soles of your shoes are all worn down
The time for sleep is now
It's nothing to cry about
Cause we'll hold each other soon
The blackest of rooms

[Chorus]

I'll follow you into the dark


Lyrics submitted by sethbrown

"I Will Follow You into the Dark" as written by Benjamin Gibbard

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

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I Will Follow You Into the Dark song meanings
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  • +17
    General CommentThe catholic school bit-- on the surface, he's just telling a story about his youth. He's saying he went to a catholic school that was very strict (i.e., roman rule) The nuns (ladies in black) used to hit him on the knuckle with a ruler (bruised knuckles). One of those nuns told him that fear is the heart of love (christianity teaches christians are to fear god, and from that fear comes love for him). Ben rejects this, but doesn't respond (biting his tongue) and leaves the school (never went back)--or, in a wider interpretation, leaves the faith altogether.

    It seems like this verse is included to explain why he doesn't particularly care for either heaven or hell, instead just seeing the afterlife as a darkness.
    cybercyphon August 15, 2005   Link
  • +11
    General CommentI love this song so very much. It reminds me so much of my parents. They were both killed in a car accident about a year ago. My mom was killed instantly, and my dad died about an hour later. It's as if he knew that my mom was gone, and he couldn't live without her. It is so much like the song. My dad went to Catholic school when he was younger. It's as if my dad really did follow my mom into the dark. It makes me cry everytime.
    SadieGon September 03, 2005   Link
  • +9
    General CommentFirst off, this songs meaning doesn't lie in death, its just using death to define life. For instance, if he is saying that he will follow her into death, hes definatley saying that he is hers for life; that he wants to grow old with her.

    It is a fact that many older people after being married for 50 and 60 years grow extremely close. When one dies, the other often dies soon thereafter. And that is mainly the concept this song is trying to convey.

    "I will follow you into the dark." = I will always be there for you when you are uncertain, even into the greatest uncertainty of all...death.

    It reminds me of the end of "Passenger Seat" from Transatlanticism. "When you are embarrassed, I'll be your pride, when you need direction, then I'll be the guide, for all time."

    Stratocaster1688on August 20, 2005   Link
  • +5
    General CommentWords can't describe how amazing these lyrics are. I'll do my best to interpret what I believe the meaning of the song is, though.

    Love of mine
    Someday you will die
    But I'll be close behind
    I'll follow you into the dark
    [This shows that he is acknowledging the fact that one day his lover will die, and there is no escaping that fate which all humans face. However, he is reassuring his lover that he will follow her into death and be with her for whatever is to come.]

    No blinding light
    Or tunnels, to gates of white
    Just our hands clasped so tight
    Waiting for the hint of a spark
    [This line suggests that he doesn't believe that you immediately go to Heaven after death. In Catholicism, it is believed that after death a soul goes to Purgatory where they await fate. You don't know yet if you are going to Heaven or Hell, and have to "wait" for whatever is to come, hence "waiting for the hint of a spark".]

    If Heaven and Hell decide that they both are satisfied
    Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs
    If there's no one beside you when your soul embarks
    Then I'll follow you into the dark
    [This line is so beautiful. He is telling his lover that if in Purgatory it is decided that he is not fit for Heaven or Hell, he will await the fate of his lover. If she is destined the same fate as he is, hence "if there's no one beside you when your soul embarks", he will follow her to wherever it is she must go. The dark symbolizes the unknown.]

    Catholic school, as vicious as Roman rule
    I got my knuckles bruised by a lady in black
    I held my tongue as she told me, son
    Fear is the heart of love, so I never went back
    [This line is about what a teacher of his said to him back when he was at school, which may or may not have inspired him to write this song. "Fear is the heart of love" means that fearing love is natural, and love can only be felt through fear. He did not believe this, and never went back to the school because the thought of what the teacher had said to him was so powerful that he did not want to go back.]

    You and me have seen everything to see
    From Bangkok to Calgary
    The soles of your shoes are all worn down
    The time for sleep is now
    It's nothing to cry about
    Cause we'll hold each other soon
    The blackest of rooms
    [This, I believe, are the most powerful lines in the whole song. It's saying that him and his lover are near the end of their lifetime on Earth. His lover is scared, but he is reassuring her that they won't be apart for long.]

    This song is just so beautiful and powerful. I hope one day to experience a love this strong.
    katie72093on March 25, 2013   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis song gives me an eargasm.
    CaptainCanceron August 30, 2005   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningTo me the artist seems to be ensuring his love that wherever she goes, he will follow. And when she dies, whether it be heaven or hell in which she belongs, he will go there too.

    The second verse is a story of assurance of this. When he explains that the nun told him that "fear is the heart of love", and so he never returned, he is saying that he is confident and sure of their love for each other, and isn't afraid to say that he will follow her anywhere.

    The third verse is a different kind of assurance. It seems his love's time has come: "the soles of your shoes are all worn down, the time for sleep is now". He is telling her not to worry, that death isn't scary or bad:"it's nothing to cry about", an that they will together again in the "blackest of rooms", that is, of course, peaceful oblivion.

    The main line,"I will follow you into the dark", does not neccessarily mean she is going to hell, rather that he will follow her into the unknown, totally trusting their love in being utterly unconditional.

    It's a beautiful song.
    miaareson March 12, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI don't really like to view this as a song mainly about death; rather I think of it as an extremely romantic song, poignantly and achingly illustrating a love and connection so deep that the only way to fully express his profound emotion is to promise that he'll do his best to follow his love even off of this mortal coil into the black unknown.
    kayjay734on October 18, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI'm pretty sure this is my favorite song on the new CD.
    you fail meon August 05, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentFairly certain this song is about following your love to the afterlife, whether it be Heaven or Hell, it makes no matter what the consequence is because the love is that strong, and you wish to continue to be with that person.

    I wrote a song very similar to this, but going back to my old Plans CD, I then realized I must have been subconsciously inspired by the song. <3 Death Cab.
    Hohenheim97on November 24, 2010   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI think it is a thought into the relationship between death and love. By saying "I will follow you into the dark," the artist is trying to say that he is unsure of what will happen after death, and doesn't expect his love to be sure either. 'Dark' I think represents an unknown. So by saying "I will follow you into the dark," the artist is saying "I will follow you into the unknown," or even "into nothing," because he doesn't care if there is nothing as long as his love is there with him.

    The part about "vacancy signs," I think is saying that he trusts in his beliefs, but if what he believes doesn't accept them together, he will face the resulting nothingness. He will go into a scary, dark, and ultimately unknown place for her, because there is nothing else that matters but her.

    Overall, the song is trying to express the deep emotion that the artist feels toward his love, and how he would be willing to face anything for her.
    Rainshadow99on July 03, 2012   Link

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