The knife or the rope or the lemon, this brain and I
The sight of the drop got me off the roof
Hey, the garage looks cleaner when you look at it sideways, from high

To finally admit we are born alone
And that your only one's got an only one of their own
We'll get the right sun block for the nice explosions
Oh, the king is dead
To absolve the joy from me
Is to erase what made me a slave
I'm a king to be

I traded my life for art
And the guilt is weighing down my arms

Tell me again what a monster is
Give me the words to describe
Can you tell me what the use of endorphins is
When my city dies at night

Take away the sentence of house arrest
And watch me ruin it right
Put me in the back of an ambulance
Cause my city dies tonight

I see the levity of every meeting of the minds
I lie to myself, it's my right to do
I'm separated like an elevator door
For privacy from my eyes

To finally admit we are born alone
And that your only one's got another robot to take the throne

Heartless of the world deny
The king is dead
Fuck, the king is dead
Heartless with your burning eyes
The king is dead
Fuck, the king is dead

To wade through the virus of your lies
Is to cheat it through death
Is only in my eyes
And the sinking feeling came over me

And it said never again, never again
Never again, never again
The king is dead

I traded my life for art
And the guilt is weighing down my arms

Tell me again what a monster is
Tell me again what a monster is
Tell me again what a monster is
Cause my city dies tonight


Lyrics submitted by punkpirate

The King Is Dead song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentMacbeth :]
    etrangeron March 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentis it really about macbeth?
    mailatequilaon October 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNo, but it's got a lot of references.

    I'm pretty sure it's about pussying out of suicide, or at least the start is: "The sight of the drop got me off the roof."

    It could be about trying to escape something like - as quite a lot of AWS songs ultimately relate to - a fucked up relationship (or the burden of life in general) through suicide: "To finally admit... got another one of their own."

    I also get the feeling the proganist's mind is telling the story, referring to himself (the mind) as King and his body is the city: "Put me in the back of an ambulance cause my city dies tonight."

    The story itself seems like the mind's in a fucked up state and has done something stupid: "The knife, or the rope, or the lemon, this brain and I." in the name of "art". Then you sort of see as the song progresses him lying to his body ("I lie to myself, it's my right to do.") that what he did was fine, guilt slowly overtaking him until he realises what he's done to himself ("To wade through the virus of your lies.") ultimately ending up in the back of an ambulance slowly letting go of life ("the guilt is weighing down by arms" - life leaving his body). The story, if interpreted that was, is fairly similar to MacBeth in that respect - and the king references and guilt driving him mad fit pretty well, too.

    As for what it means? I've no idea. I guess it's sort of showing one choice leads to a set of consequences you can't go back from - which fits in 100% with what Ruiner as an album was all about. Maybe a sort of blunt "this is what we're all about" track at the start to tell you?

    Well, I'm really not sure.

    P.S. The lemon is a reference to autoerotic asphyxiation for anyone puzzled on that. That's straight from the Q&A thread on the bands message board.
    Haanzon November 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song and this band pretty much.

    I have no other contribution.
    red_dead_headon November 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis could be about almost anyone who has tried to take something over
    more or less
    thats the way i look at it at least
    vincesegeron February 04, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentObviously largely based around suicide.

    The song isn't about pussing out. If you notice, he decides not to jump off the roof, but instead to hang himself in the garage, hence why he's looking at it sideways.

    It seems to me that the premise is this; he's made some dire mistakes, and wants to stop fucking things up. So he decides to kill himself.

    Lines like "traded my life for art, the guilt is weighing down my arms" makes me think it may have something to do with the pressure of the music industry.
    "To absolve the joy from me, is to erase what made me a slave" seems to say "I used to love the idea of being a famous musician, but it's not what I thought it was and now I need to get away from it".

    On the other hand, the line "And that your only one's got another robot to take the throne" points in the direction of relationships, and that maybe a girl left him for someone else.
    Maybe it has to do with both scenarios?
    MZAon March 09, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Hey, the garage looks cleaner when you look at it sideways, from high"

    Actually, a really humorous line.
    ikickedagirlon December 30, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI personally think this song is about the death of the singer's father. He was his king and maybe with being in a band and all the singer wasn't with his dad while he died, thus the guilt weighing down his arms for devoting his life to art. Maybe in the song he feels like commiting suicide for not being there for his father and he feels like thats the way he can make himself a king, like his dad.
    Savagelinglingon January 07, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti could be wrong but im almost positive the singer said at a show not too long ago in providence that the song is about a friend who committed suicide. it was the last song of the set and it was fucking amazing!
    subrosa1115on January 21, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the first line is about autoerotic asphyxiation, like "The knife or the rope the lemon this brain and I," the knife to cut you down, the rope to cut off oxygen the lemon to jolt you back and your brain, that's why he drops in the next line. I don't know just an idea.
    Icockroachon July 24, 2011   Link

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