"Welcome Home" as written by and Benjamin P Cooper....
Sleep don't visit, so I choke on sun
And the days blur into one
And the backs of my eyes hum with things I've never done

Sheets are swaying from an old clothesline
Like a row of captured ghosts over old dead grass
Was never much but we made the most
Welcome home

Ships are launching from my chest
Some have names but most do not
If you find one, please let me know what piece I've lost

Peel the scars from off my back
I don't need them anymore
You can throw them out or keep them in your mason jars
I've come home

All my nightmares escaped my head
Bar the door, please don't let them in
You were never supposed to leave
Now my head's splitting at the seams
And I don't know if I can

Here, beneath my lungs, I feel your thumbs press into my skin again


Lyrics submitted by Mechanical Bird

"Welcome Home" as written by Benjamin P Cooper

Lyrics © PENNY FARTHING MUSIC OBO ROY BERRY WORKS

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Welcome Home song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentI'm actually surprised at the variance in interpretation of this song, as I thought the title of it made it pretty straightforward. I suppose we all have our own perspectives, though. I do think that anyone that mentioned it being about returning to a "childhood home" is pretty much right on the money.

    "Sleep don't visit, so I choke on sun

    And the days blur into one

    And the backs of my eyes hum with things I've never done"

    This is quite honestly the only verse in the song that I have a problem with making sense of, but as far as I can see, he is talking about just arriving at his old home, where he grew up. He can't manage to get to sleep because he's spending all his visit thinking about the memories he has of this place. "And the days blur into one" is quite obviously about his memories, all blurring into one. Never to return to again. "And the backs of my eyes" is probably referencing his brain, remembering things that he did or did not experience.

    "Sheets are swaying from an old clothesline

    Like a row of captured ghosts over old dead grass

    Was never much but we made the most

    Welcome home"

    Of course signifying specific memories he had of his old home. Clarifying his family's old struggles not with disdain, but optimism. They didn't have much, but they did what they could.

    "Ships are launching from my chest

    Some have names but most do not

    If you find one, please let me know what piece I've lost"

    This is about relationSHIPS, with "launching from my chest" meaning his heart. Some of them were lasting, some of them he loved, but most of them were just passing flings. The last line of the stanza I believe is him saying he wants to know how these relationships all failed. It's not that he wants them back, he just doesn't fully understand how/what happens to people to make them sever ties. I don't fully believe this is about people he dated, but moreso relationships in general, including friendships.

    "Heal the scars from off my back

    I don't need them anymore

    You can throw them out or keep them in your mason jars

    I've come home"

    Him telling of his past harmful experiences, those behind him. He's done fretting about them, they're not important anymore. He's in a place comfortable to him, where he is protected from his "mental" scars, or they are at LEAST kept at bay while he is here, Home.

    "All my nightmares escaped my head

    Bar the door, please don't let them in

    You were never supposed to leave

    Now my head's splitting at the seams

    And I don't know if I can"

    This stanza I believe both emphasizes the last one, and clarifies why exactly he came back. Clearly, he lost someone dear to him, most likely a parent, as the "you" he is referencing in this song is most definitely either his mother or father. He is struggling dealing with his loss.

    "Here, beneath my lungs, I feel your thumbs press into my skin again"

    This seems to be the line that everyone has the most trouble with, but as soon as I heard it the first time, I immediately knew what he was talking about. When a parent picks up their child, where do they grab them? From beneath the lungs. Their thumbs press into them.

    He is obviously looking back with fondness to his former life. Being home, secure, at peace. He's never surprised when someone lets him down, but he has a place to fall back on when it's too much for him to handle.
    HandForTenderon March 11, 2012   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI think a song like this, especially coming from a "concept album" as it does, is open to multiple interpretations. Personally for me, this song is about overcoming depression, or negative thinking, and emerging from the other side, coming home, as it were, to yourself.

    I only recently discovered this song and I immediately thought of this interpretation, maybe because it relates to my own life as I am currently working really hard to heal myself after living for years with severe depression and a huge inferiortiy complex. I think the lines which really make this song meaningful for me are:

    Peel the scars from off my back
    I dont need them anymore
    You can throw them out or keep them in your mason jars
    I've come home

    When I heard those lines I couldn't stop the tears because they meant so much to me - for me that line is expressing the feelings of freedom you can get when you realise that all the old wounds that were hurting you and causing you negativity can be shaken off, and it is no concern of yours what is done with them because they have no bearing on your current state of mind. I guess in a nutshell that is the feeling you get when you realise that you are able to move on from something that has been such a negative force in your life for so long.

    I also really related to the line "And the backs of my eyes hum with things I've never done" - for me positivity is about how you see the world, and as the back of your eyes contain the retina, which gives you vision, this line made me think of your retina "humming" with activity as you are able to see the world in a new way.

    In short I don't think any interpretation of this song is any more valid than the other, I think lyrics are meant to speak to people in different ways...you take what you can from them I suppose. I think any songwriter would be happy if their lyrics were able to help someone in any way - regardless of what the listener took from them. This is such a gorgeous song - I'm SO glad I found it when I did!
    nilobabyonfireon May 07, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis song, I believe, is about home with everything it has to offer and heal or even damage.
    In the first verse I think that's how he feels at that time. Maybe there was something in his childhood he missed out on. He's obviously missing out on sleep because of something so he has no escape from this world. No escape from reality so "I choke on sun"... Sun is an enlightening thing.. something that shows whats in the darkness. And the fact he uses the word 'choke' obviously means he cannot handle the fact that his bliss is being shattered. The least he could do would be to dream but he can't even sleep.
    "And the backs of my eyes hum with things I've never done"
    That line is so beautiful. The backs of his eyes, maybe being his mind but it could also just be his eyes, are humming with the things he's missed out on and not seen. And maybe his eyes are humming because he's so tired from not sleeping and having to live with the fact that he didn't do the things he wanted to.

    It the second verse I think he's returned to his home. His home that he grew up in. He sees sheets on the clothesline and compares them to ghosts.. maybe ghosts of the past that maybe make the sheets very nostalgic. Or maybe they're representing the bad things that may have happened in this home. And the fact that they're swaying over dead grass doesn't make this line seem all that positive either. But then he goes on to say "was never much but we made the most" saying obviously that 'No our house wasn't much and lots of bad things happened here but we lived there and we made the most and I love it for it is my home and that's why I've returned'.. Basically no home is perfect but, as the old saying goes, 'There's no place like home'. And then comes those two eternally reassuring words 'Welcome home'.. all these ghosts of the past are welcoming him home because he needs the innocence of childhood and the sanctuary of home to heal him.

    The third verse is quite hard to understand I think. These ships that he describes leaving his chest are maybe elements of the heart he is letting voyage away from him because they've let him down in the past. He's losing a part of him because of his heart breaks. "Some have names but some do not" is a hard line to figure out. Maybe some have a clear meaning like maybe one is called 'Being able to trust'... maybe that's leaving him. But the fact that most don't have a name makes it obvious that he doesn't know what parts of him are leaving but he knows that a lot of things are. and maybe in order for him to get them back he needs to go back to the people that truly know him (Parents) so they can help him find what he's lost and go back to his innocence, back when no real heart breaks occurred so he can start a whole new slate. "If you find one, please let me know what piece I've lost" I just explained that line I think.

    The fourth verse is obviously about healing. The scars on his back are from those backstabbing people in his life and the hurts that he may have caused himself because of these backstabbers.. self punishing you might say. He says he doesn't need them anymore because he doesn't because like I've already said, he's starting a new slate. He's talking to his home or his parents in this verse. "You can throw them out or keep them in your mason jars" he's giving his home the option of keeping them just as long as they're still not on his back. Because he knows that the past is the past and to get rid of them fully would be quite unhealthy. He would remember mason jars being in the kitchen, remember them when his mother or father cooked so he thinks they are a safe and harmless place to keep his scars.. they won't get out. Then he says 'I've come home'.. three self reassuring words telling himself this time that he is home for he has been healed which is the reason why he came home in the first place.

    Now the fifth verse is a bloody hard one to figure out. To me it's either he's left his home and everything that made him return home is coming back or he's at home but someone's left it and he can't handle it. I'm not sure but I think I'll go with the first one. Well he's left his home because it healed him like he wanted it to. But because he was away from the real world and the only nightmares were something he would think about (because what bad things would attack him at home?) now that he's in the real world again where he's choking on sun, on reality that he so obviously can't handle, he's begging reality to not come through that door. And maybe he's asking his home or his parents to come and save the day again. "please don't let them in". Now the next line he could either be talking to all the people that ever left him, to his parents or himself "You were never supposed to leave"... someone wasn't meant to leave him (parents, home, friends, girlfriends) or he wasn't meant to leave his home. But if he is actually saying that to himself then he has gone too far and craves so much for escapism it's not healthy. But he knows it isn't and that's why his "head's splitting at the seams".. everything that sewed his head together before and are actually the thread (his home and his parents)
    are leaving him again and he doesn't understand why he needs his home so much. And that's why he says "I don't know if I can"... replying to the line "You were never supposed to leave".. basically saying because you can't handle reality maybe now, in fact, you can't leave your home.
    "Here, beneath my lungs, I feel your thumbs press into my skin again" the final line, I think it refers to his home. He feels the hands of his home near his lungs helping him breath, pressing into his skin telling him he can return again.. but he knows that but he may think it's dangerous to return because he doesn't know if he'll leave it.. for he is an escapist. Escaping from reality and all the harshness it brings searching for that innocence and safety his childhood and his old childhood home brought him so long ago. This song is about an escapist.
    Hahaha I'm sorry if I bored you.. you probably didn't even read it :).. haha But I love this song and when I'm passionate about it I become a bit of a loser.
    EvaisLittleWingon July 28, 2010   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationI, like someone else, interpreted this song to be about overcoming grief/depression, but I love how it can be interpreted in so many different ways.

    Here's how I came to my own personal interpretation:

    "Sleep don't visit, so I choke on sun
    And the days blur into one
    And the backs of my eyes hum with things I've never done"

    Insomnia is a symptom of depression. The days blurring into one bit suggests life is a daze for the narrator--he's losing sight of reality. I interpret 'the backs of my eyes hum with things I've never done' as the narrator pretending he leads a different life to escape this dismal reality. He lives in a dream world because the real world is getting too much for him--or isn't enough. Perhaps both things simultaneously.

    "Sheets are swaying from an old clothesline
    Like a row of captured ghosts over old dead grass
    Was never much but we made the most
    Welcome home"

    I imagine the narrator visiting his old family home. All his family are dead and all that's left are memories (hence 'ghosts'). Perhaps this is why he's depressed in the first place, because he has no family left. It's a bittersweet moment where he remembers how his family had little but 'made the most' of it.

    "Ships are launching from my chest
    Some have names but most do not
    If you find one, please let me know what piece I've lost"

    The ship imagery I find more difficult to interpret. Perhaps his chest, his heart, is a port, and the ships represent the people who made his life worthwhile who have left him--people he can remember vividly like family, but perhaps also people from distant memories who he can only remember the faces of but who also had a place in his heart, like friends at nursery. I think the line 'please let me know what piece I've lost' refers to how, when you lose someone or are depressed, you feel like you've lost an important piece of yourself that made you who you are, which ties in with how all the ships (people) leave his port (heart), and leave him alone and depressed.

    "Peel the scars from off my back
    I don't need them anymore
    You can throw them out or keep them in your mason jars
    I've come home"

    The narrator is determined to rid himself of the scars brought about by the grief/depression--he's trying to fight against it by coming home and facing his demons.

    "All my nightmares escaped my head
    Bar the door, please don't let them in
    You were never supposed to leave
    Now my head's splitting at the seams
    And I don't know if I can"

    He's pushed his nightmares away by pretending they don't exist by barring the door, but now, because he's home, it's all coming back to him--these people he loved were never supposed to leave him, but now they're haunting him and his head feels ready to explode. I think the unfinished sentence, finished, would end with 'breathe'--he can't breathe, because he has been swept off his feet by released emotion brought about by his return home.

    "Here, beneath my lungs, I feel your thumbs press into my skin again"

    After many years of avoiding his feelings, he now lets them in, and he can feel the people he loves like they are pressing on his heart with their thumbs. Though possibly painful, he is closer to them now than he has ever been in years, so I reckon he's achieved some sort of closure by actually accepting his losses and letting himself feel again.
    ForgetMeNot13on August 12, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentYou made a few mistakes
    Here are the lyrics that came with the album itself:

    Sleep don't visit, so I choke on sun. And the days blur into one.
    And the backs of my eyes hum with things I've never done.
    Sheets are swaying from an old clothesline,
    like a row of captured ghosts, over old dead grass. Was never much, but we made the most.
    Welcome Home.

    Ships are launching from my chest. Some have names, but most do not. If you find one, please, let me know what piece I've lost.
    Peel the scars from off my back. I don't need them anymore. You can throw them out or keep them in your mason jars.
    I've come home.

    All my nightmares escaped my head. Bar the door, please don't let them in. You were never supposed to leave. Now my head's splitting at the seams. And I don't know if I can...

    Here, beneath my lungs, I feel your thumbs, press into my skin again.
    mikekovon April 19, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song has brought me to tears.
    This is about forgiving the past and returning to the good times, maybe remembering everything before death.
    " You were never supposed to leave, now my head's splitting at the seams" gets me every time.
    holy_butterscotchon November 24, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI was introduced to Radical Face a few days ago, and to say the least, this song is amazing.

    It seems like this song is about returning to a better place or finally getting there after going through some rough times.
    velorutionon August 13, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSO GOOD.
    ireallylikebagelson September 25, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSometimes when I hear this song and I really pay attention, I cry because of it. Its amazing. The first time I heard it I had it stuck in my head all day, before I went to bed, then I had dreams about it, and then I woke up and it was still in my head, and I did not mind at all.

    "You were never supposed to leave. Now my head's splitting at the seams. And I don't know if I can..."

    That is my favorite part, it describes what my heart feels like when I hear this song, it feels like its splitting at the seams. This song is epic.
    PenelopeRed88on February 20, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentfirst radical face song i've ever heard, and it just gives you that feeling i don't know how to describe it but it just makes me think a lot. personally i thought the song was about, for some reason, towards the end when its about a funeral.
    "Here, beneath my lungs, I feel your thumbs press into my skin again "
    at the wake when you go up to see the body, i don't know why but thats the image i get.

    and it kind of seems like there could be two narrators in the song.
    between the person dying and someone close to them.

    another way to say that those that pass on are always with us

    i dont know, i love it though.
    mah-nikka_pleaseon April 01, 2009   Link

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