there's a place I'd like to go somewhere out west,
it's not specific, and the pictures show it best.
I know there's trees I know there's sand and I know there's grass,
I know it's somewhere in the past.
There's a girl out there who's lookin for it too,
she's not sure when she'll go or exactly what she'll do.
If i am doomed am I the first one or the last?
Am I just someone from the past?

No one has to hear, the sound of people laughing at their fears, and the ocean and sun are always there, to make you happy if you're feeling scared of the darkness.

If I ever saw a ghost it'd change the way I think.
I wouldn't gasp for air if ever I did sink.
I wouldn't struggle, I'd just let it all out fast,
and then start living in the past.

If we hold the hand that rapes the hand,
and everyone can feel the hand,
and nothing's gonna change,
it could be the time we're living in,
we'll never feel so safe again,
but love always remains


Lyrics submitted by caday07

Love Always Remains song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentHave you ever had to move or give away something special? You always have those good memories and you really want them back but after some time you can't remember exactly what it was like.
    I think that's the first verse.

    "It's not specific, and the pictures show it best. I know there's trees I know there's sand and I know there's grass, I know it's somewhere in the past": That shows how vague the memory is. But a vague memory can be strong. Like stubbing your toe. You know it hurt but you can't remember the exact feeling of pain.

    "There's a girl out there who's looking for it too, she's not sure when she'll go or exactly what she'll do.": That's saying that everybody wants to live in the past. Not just the singer. It also subtly shows how useless it is to live in the past. She doesn't know what she'll do.

    "If i am doomed am I the first one or the last? Am I just someone from the past": First sentence shows again that it's everyone, not just the singer. Second sort of of shows how everything's connected. Like you may have a memory of someone that you don't see anymore. But someone may have a memory of YOU and they don't get to see you anymore. So you're "someone from the past" Somebody else's past.

    The verse about the ghost and sinking explains the desire to live in the past. If he ever saw a ghost he'd want to die and be with the ghost. Like if he ever found a way to live in the past, he would.

    Last verse is my favorite.
    "the hand that raised the hand" suppose that's your parent. You're parents raised you and you hold their hand.
    "Everyone can feel the hand" means that even after your parents die, everyone and feel them because they raised you.
    "nothing's gonna change, it could be the time we're living in" That shows that your parents live on in the present even when they're gone.
    "we'll never feel so safe again, but love always remains" This explains that you'll never feel the same since your parents aren't actually there but the love remains.

    (Parents is just example. Could be anyone.)
    alexandraairdon January 05, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI hear "if we hold the hand that RAISED the hand", not raped, cos the latter doesn't really make sense...
    sunshine_arakhanon September 01, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNo one has to hear the sound of people laughing at their fears

    scary shit

    awesome song
    OCLon September 13, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhen I listen to this song, I imagine it's about an ended romance. I really want to make a music video for it.

    I think the first four lines are just about a feeling of restlessness. He needs to get out, get away from where he is, to someplace like on a postcard. Somewhere beautiful, and far away. And if he's going to go ahead and wish for stuff, he might as well wish that he's there in that beautiful place in the past, when he still is loved by his lady.
    And perhaps his restlessness is inspired by the lady- they were each other's first love, and while he wanted the love to also be their last, she wants to experience new things. How many more hearts will she break? She is directionless, but wants to wander without him. He is worried she will forget about him.

    I especially love this part:

    "No one has to hear, the sound of people laughing at their fears, and the ocean and sun are always there, to make you happy if you're feeling scared of the darkness."

    I think this is addressing the annoying platitudes that people offer when someone is heartbroken. I know I am terrified of being alone for the rest of my life. I am terrified that I will never be loved again.
    so to me, when people say shit like "there are other fish in the sea" it's as though... heartbreak is being taken lightly. I'd want to go to my postcard getaway and away from the fake people and with beautiful distractions. Getting lost in the awe of nature would definitely take my mind off of my lost love, even if only for a short time.


    "If I ever saw a ghost it'd change the way I think.
    I wouldn't gasp for air if ever I did sink.
    I wouldn't struggle, I'd just let it all out fast,
    and then start living in the past. "

    This part is also beautiful. He doesn't necessarily believe there is an afterlife, or at least he admits not knowing one way or the other. So if he were drowning now, he'd gasp and struggle, because the afterlife is unknown and scary. But if he knew he would become a ghost... death seems more appealing. He wouldn't have to feel any more, he could just be a memory, he could just live in his memories. He doesn't really want to be dead and gone, he just feels like his heartbreak is unbearable.

    The last part... I don't have as clear a picture of. It sounds almost political, but that doesn't fit into the neat little context I've created in my mind, sooo fuck that.

    I take it as him watching his ladylove goes through a series of bad relationships. He realizes that she will never be in love with him again. Which sucks, because their relationship was secure and innocent and pure-- because it was their first love, and that's really the only time people give themselves so fully. Walls go up after a heart is broken once.

    But when it comes down to it, even though he doesn't get the ending he wanted, it's okay.
    Love always remains-- in memories, in the way the relationship changed and shaped you, in the way that warmth and love positively effects everyone who is exposed to it.


    So basically, hearts get broken but they will mend eventually. At least partially. But what's important is knwoing that loving someone is never a waste of time. This song inspires me to take chances, and to knock my walls down and be more willing to let people in.

    In short, MGMT rock and I love this song and to me it is a very sweet love story.
    rawrasauron January 09, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI feel that this song is about losing a parent (or grandparent) and how even though you will never feel as safe as when they were alive to protect you, their love will always remain. He is thinking back to childhood memories (maybe the girl he speaks of is his sister?) and how he just wants everything to be back to the way it was when they were children and didn't have to think about death. The death of the parent has caused him to contemplate the precariousness of his own life - how we never know when we will go and what will happen afterward. He is comforted by the fact that even though he doesn't know what awaits his loved one (or himself) after death, love is something that can immortalize a person.

    There's a place I'd like to go somewhere out west (probably a childhood home),
    it's not specific, and the pictures show it best (he most likely was too young to remember, but can piece together what it looked like by his vague memories and the pictures he's seen).
    I know there's trees I know there's sand and I know there's grass (all things that I child would have remembered),
    I know it's somewhere in the past (this line lends a feeling of finality, like he knows he will never be able to return to that part of his life).
    There's a girl out there who's lookin for it too (maybe just a reference to the fact that he knows he is not alone in his grief, possibly he is speaking about a sibling who would most likely be sifting through the same emotions he is),
    she's not sure when she'll go or exactly what she'll do (He knows that this person is also wondering when they will die and how they will cope when it is happening).
    If i am doomed am I the first one or the last? (This is the line that makes me think he is speaking about family and the girl he talks about is his sister: He knows he will die eventually, but will he be the first to die [out of all his siblings] or will he have to grieve them all like he is grieving his loved one now?)
    Am I just someone from the past? (He is wondering about the possibility of reincarnation... death would be less scary if you knew you could come back. Also, there is a suggestion that reincarnation would somehow negate the individuality he has achieved in this particular life - like if he were reincarnated, his life would somehow be less special, one life in a whole string of lives that he has lived before.)

    No one has to hear, the sound of people laughing at their fears, and the ocean and sun are always there, to make you happy if you're feeling scared of the darkness (I think this line is illustrating what he hopes the afterlife is like. These are the kinds of thoughts we comfort ourselves with when we are lying awake at night, dwelling on how finite our existence is. In this place, no one will have to laugh off their fear of death because they will finally know how it all ends. He knows that the ocean and the sun will always be there even after he is long gone. The permanence of these things is comforting to him because he knows that even if he comes back as someone completely different, he will get to live in the same world he loved so much before).

    If I ever saw a ghost it'd change the way I think. (it would comfort him to know that there definitely is something after life has ended)
    I wouldn't gasp for air if ever I did sink. (He wouldn't fight death if he knew it wasn't the end of everything)
    I wouldn't struggle, I'd just let it all out fast, (This line suggests that if he knew he would get to come back to earth [reincarnated or as a ghost] he would gladly let go of his life and just get through with the whole dying business)
    and then start living in the past. (this line may mean that he would miss his old life even if he did reincarnate. To me, it suggests a lingering doubt about all the thoughts he has invoked to comfort himself.)

    If we hold the hand that raised the hand (This line suggests a familial relationship, like holding the hand of of your parent with the hand they raised [your hand]),
    and everyone can feel the hand (Taken in the context of my interpretation of the previous line, this line could mean that he feels God is everyone's "parent" and this time God's hand is taking away someone he loves and everyone in the room can feel it. Alternatively, it could also refer to everyone being able to feel the guiding hand of their loved ones, even after death. We have a feeling that they will always be watching us and protecting us.)
    and nothing's gonna change, (This line can be interpreted as either him being in denial of the death or him accepting the death, knowing life will go on. He will always be able to feel the hand, so really nothing will change.)
    it could be the time we're living in, (people have much less faith in the afterlife in modern times)
    we'll never feel so safe again (now that the parent is gone, and now that he has seen the end of a life firsthand, he will never be able to feel so blissfully ignorant about the end of his own life again. He also will not have his parent to comfort him when these feelings arise. This line is contrasted to the line about nothing's gonna change - he knows that things WILL change and that they never will be the same, but SOME things will remain unchanged, like love)
    but love always remains (He knows that the love his parent gave to him will always be with him, and no matter what happens after death, his love for this person [and their love for him] will somehow give them eternal life. This line wraps up the whole song so nicely, in that it puts an end to all his doubts, saying that no matter what happens, you know that there is love and love will outlast everything.)
    ickybana5on May 29, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think that the lyrics refers to reencarnation. Getting an image of a place where we have been in a past life but not knowing exactly where it is. The images that you get in your mind are a better description of the place than a thousand words.

    The first time we leave "source", when are born, we divide in two halves. That's the twin soul some people mention from time to time. Maybe the girl out there looking for it too is his other half.

    I think that the lyrics also mention doubts about the final destination of a soul after death. Is life over when we die or does our soul keep on living from life to life.

    He really doesn't believe in any of this but if one day he sees a ghost that proves that live doesn't cease when our bodies die he won't be afraid of dying anymore. He will let himself go when death shows up and become a person from the past.


    At the end, it doesn't really matter if life ends with death or we perpetually reencarnate. Love always remains in the good things we have done on earth and if there is an afterlife and even many other lives we will carry those memories and feelings along with us in our trip through eternity.

    (or maybe he opened aleatory pages and chose random words from a Edgar Alain Poe book, whatever)
    psychedelic3000on January 06, 2010   Link
  • +1
    MemoryPlease be kind and tolerate the fact that my entry is essentially a memorial: highly personal yet leaning on the song for emotional succor. This MGMT gem has helped me release my grief and given me comfort during the recent death of my adored pet. So PLEASE indulge me as I share this little eulogy & massive gratitude to both my cat Asha and MGMT.

    What a sweet, staggering, simple tricky little track! Naysayers of MGMT just can't evolve.

    Initially, before my chaos began, leisurely listening to this song lead me to toy with the notion of the lost island of Atlantis.....and then my life veered into the drama that was bound to happen one day but came to pass just a few weeks ago. This has left me with a truer, albeit selfish, sense of this song.

    Praise to MGMT for giving me this musical panacea to cling to as I cope with the absence of my beloved feline who's spirit left this planet on July 27th, at 12.55pm via lethal injection. I cherished and doted upon and marveled at the connection i had with this beautiful silky-seal grey, golden-eyed once feral cat named ASHA , since July 22nd, 1997. We were 'lover and beloved' for 14 years and 5 days. To say that Asha was, as cats are said to be, my "familiar" or 'channel' is to vastly under rate our uncanny connection.

    During his demise, I held the most surreal and self-sparing space with him starting on July 11th during the 'thyroid storm' and the two strokes that occurred over his last 17 days. You don't eat, you don't sleep, you forget to floss, your bills go nearly forgotten and you are ALL ABOUT YOUR LOVE.
    Well, Asha's spirit was ready to leave and his guides were there, ready to take him 'home'. On my end, this meant recognizing this stage and ultimately lead to the angel injection that shot him to heaven.

    You just don't realize what you're capable of witnessing or sacrificing until you truly love a being who is vulnerable and dependent upon you. I was dumbfounded by what I underwent as Asha valiantly lived out his last couple of weeks.

    I did so much stupid shit in the 6 months before Asha succumbed that I'm still undergoing extreme self-berating for my behavior.
    To cut to the crisis: his last stroke rendered him unable to recognize me at all--and his pupils were so dilated that he was 'blind'. Once at the vet, ready for the angel injection, you don't quite realize how fast it works--the shot stops the heart almost instantly, and you're still there, cooing and murmuring your devotion to your beloved. But they're gone.

    But "the love always remains"

    For a day or so, I could not bear to hear a note of music, knowing how lyrics unzip me. And i was beyond grief-stricken, i myself was utterly without MEANING, without Asha to turn to. i didn't want to have any lyrics 'meaning' anything to me, I wanted to disintegrate/drown/dwell in the stunned reality of Asha not being HERE.

    Enter the grace of a song like "Love Always Remains".

    When my heart yearned for music again, guess what song chose me? This one here. Because of the unconditional love that Asha had for me, his mammal mummy, he summoned me to be a better person than i would have been. He was a reason to not go too far off the rails, to always come home to feed and care for him, and in the later years of his life, to give him subcutaneous fluids and other meds so he would be hydrated and healthier. He had little seizures from 12 weeks til he died.....they manifested as crazy bouts of excessive self-grooming when he was a youngster..and only lead to deeper symptoms in his older years.

    Folks, I still feel like I might go to pieces (pieces of what? ///pieces come together for some reason just as well) at any moment.

    And I do declare that "time doesn't heal all wounds"...it lulls me into the business of life, and then i default to an Asha flash, and I'm bereft and bewildered by how it is that he isn't here anymore. Nor do I want time to assuage the memory of Asha, I only ask that Time always ennoble and honor Life with Asha.

    Asha's Love Always Remains. it is in the ether, it is all around me here in my home, it is in my heart and soul and in countless pictures of him. I'm still gutted, emotionally eviscerated by the lack of his willful, feisty, intuitive nature and his inexhaustible desire to be near me. He was extraordinary, and we were corded in a way i've never felt with a human, even though i have been deeply in love.

    I'm looking for Asha's ghost all the time. If I literally 'saw' Asha's ghost, not only would it change the way I think, but I would welcome leaving this life. I'd certainly let it all out fast.

    Right now, I'm living in the past.

    Other appreciations: I love the production on this song. The chaotic electro at the start and finish. The way it resolves. The perfect touch of auto-tune on the chorus. The way the chorus has the real 'instruction' of the song -- "if we hold the hand etc....." overlaid upon it.

    And the way it chillingly builds up and then cuts and drops you into the shimmering, echoing persistence of the repetition of
    'THE LOVE ALWAYS REMAINS..REMAINS...etc......
    with those few little keyboard notes just perfectly underscoring the beauty of the sentiment, the truth, the wistfulness of relying upon the love of a lost one always remaining.

    This song is both redemptive and yet desperate in what it describes. It is so hard to lose what we love.

    All in all, a very healing and cathartic song for me these days.

    And i just love this band. I say "pish" to those who can't handle their proclivity for clever or self-indulgent songs.
    I take MGMT as a whole, and embrace them. They're in my town this weekend, SF, at the Outlands festival in Golden Gate Park playing on the same night as the Shins. Both bands are so personal for me, that I wont' venture into the fray. But its cool to know they're in town!

    Wow. Just as I was reviewing my comments before posting, the mailman brought me Asha's ashes---did you know that they're actually called 'cremains"?

    I'm going to attempt a bit of a 'closure' ceremony here in the sun with my survivor cat Biba, and see if we can invoke Asha and get him to help us move along with love in our our hearts.

    Thanks to any readers for your kindness in letting me share this.

    Bless up everyone...
    eyzovbluon August 10, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMaybe not too original, but this song really gets to me. "We'll never feel so safe again" - sums up a loss of innocence rather neatly.

    I don't see this song as being about purely romantic love, either - I see this about familial love, friendship, that sort of thing too.
    nineandninetyon January 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song, i think it's about remembering things that you did with your friends when you were younger, and now you're older you might not still be in contact with them, but you know that you'll all remember then fun you had..
    maybe, i don't know!
    but it's a lovely song i like how at the end there's loads of different layers to it, then they fade out so theres only one line at the end
    tackyandirrelevanton March 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this song could be about a person who's life is coming to an end and how you are not to worry for you still have your past you can live on
    "I wouldn't struggle, I'd just let it all out fast,
    and then start living in the past." especially thinking of the great moments in your life which comfort you in times of fear
    "we'll never feel so safe again,
    but love always remains "
    i dont know thats just the idea i got from the song the first time i read the lyrics
    fantastic toasteron April 13, 2008   Link

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