"Curse Your Branches" as written by and David Shannon Bazan....
Red and orange, or red and yellow
In which of these do you believe?
If you're not sure right now,
Please take a moment
I need your signature before you leave

When I sleep, I'm usually dreaming
But more and more, there's only one
Where every hired gun I've ever fired
Is making love to you while I look on

All fallen leaves should curse their branches
For not letting them decide where they should fall
And not letting them refuse to fall at all

Digging up the root of my confusion
If no one planted it, how does it grow?
And why are some hell bent upon there being an answer
While some are quite content to answer "I don't know"

All fallen leaves should curse their branches
For not letting them decide where they should fall
And not letting them refuse to fall at all


Lyrics submitted by GhostofDavid, edited by whofarted

"Curse Your Branches" as written by David Shannon Bazan

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Curse Your Branches song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentI always figured the choruses were about predestination, fate, etc. Why should someone (one of the "falling leaves") be accountable to God ("their branches") for their actions, temperament, etc. ("where they should fall") when it was God who put them in that situation? It's definitely a tricky question, and I'm sure a lot of people, even (or especially) Christians, struggle with it from time to time.

    Another thing that I find interesting about the song is the line "And why are some hellbent upon there being an answer / While some are quite content to answer: 'I don't know'?" At first I thought this was a bit of a hole in the album's 'argument'... but now I believe it's something of a paradox that he uses to turn some questions back around to Christians...

    A Bible-believing Christian will pretty much be forced to answer "I don't know" to the 'questions' Bazan raises in this song, and the many other songs on the album in which he points out problems or contradictions in the Bible and the Christian faith (ex. Hard to Be, In Stitches). Being able to say "I don't know" - to acknowledge that you don't have all the answers - and be at peace with it is critical to having complete faith in a god... especially with such an ancient text that has been translated and re-translated and analyzed to death. Here Bazan is using the same argument: Christians could say "How are you here if there is no God?"... "What gives you the power to think critically on these questions?", etc.... and Bazan is giving them the same response: "Why does there need to be an answer? Sometimes you just have to say 'I don't know.'"

    Hopefully that makes sense... I'd love to hear other people's thoughts on this song... It's very dense, I think, and there's a lot of meaning in the few words he chooses (carefully!) for each verse. I'm actually at a bit of a loss in understanding the first verse entirely... any ideas what the colours could represent?
    KennyBon October 07, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentHere is an extra verse he has recently added

    Digging up the root of my confusion
    If no one planted it, how does it grow?
    And why are some hellbent upon, there being an answer?
    While some are quite content, to answer "I don't know"
    fewerbrokenpieceson January 19, 2009   Link
  • +1
    MemoryThis is more relevant today that I thought it could ever be. I'm shaken.
    disposition27on January 25, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song certainly seems about fate and faith. As a recent deconvert myself, this song resonates with me intensely. I don't believe in the Christian God anymore, but I still find myself angry at him sometimes. If he wanted me to love him, why let me fall?

    The only part of this song I have real trouble understanding is this verse:

    When I sleep, I'm usually dreaming
    But more and more, it's only one
    Where every hired gun I've ever fired
    Is making love to you while I look on

    Does anyone have any interpretation of this?
    personaon August 10, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDefinitely sounds like it's about David Bazan's switch from Christianity to agnosticism.

    I'm not sure if it applies or not, but his wife remains a Christian, so that may explain some of the lyrics which suggest a fear of loss.
    bsheitmanon April 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIs it "falling" or "fallen"? I thought it was fallen, but I kind of like falling better...
    curbyourentropyon August 04, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI kinda wish Bazan kept

    "In my throat, there swells a darkness
    It fills my mouth, and coats my lips
    And even as the threat of Hell is disappearing,
    The threat of losing you is blowing up"

    on the album version, but oh well...
    fewerbrokenpieceson August 16, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI like the way you understand the song, KennyB. However I interpret it a bit differently..

    The first verse in the album version says:

    "Red and orange, or red and yellow..."

    I believe each pair of colors refers to a religion or a denomination.. Many religions have so much in common, and what separates them are just nuances, like the difference between red/orange and red/yellow. What almost all religions have in common is that you have to choose the right one while you live on earth (need your signature before you leave).

    I think leaves refers to people.. Some are falling (losing faith) and some are not allowed to fall at all, i.e. they are indoctrinated in some faith by their parents (branches).

    This song asks some of the most difficult questions.. How can you know that the way you view the world is the right one? Maybe God actually has room for more religions than just one. Even if it's hard to accept the idea, who are we to say for certain? That's why it is called faith...
    krisnyon November 25, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCory - what suggests to you that Bazan is raising his children to believe there isn't a god? he doesn't say that anywhere. even so, I reject the idea that raising your children to believe there is no god is the same as raising your children to believe there is a god. All you have to do to raise your children believing there is no god is to never tell them anything about religion or "god." If they've never heard of god, they won't believe in one. I'd like to see Christian parents raise Christian kids without telling them anything about religion at all.
    jaydoesgameson July 12, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is about parents (christian) not letting their children believe what they want to believe. the actual song says "all falling leaves should curse their branches, for not letting them decide where they should fall - and not letting them refuse to fall at all," as in children growing up and trying to find god on their own, sometimes don't find him, even though their parents want them to. it's speaking about how david's parents and whole family and everyone around him were disappointed at his choice of divorcing god. it's like forcing god on someone. you can't. you have to find god on your own, it's an intimate relationship between you and the trinity.
    dorcettoon September 30, 2010   Link

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