He felt her curves surrounding his neck
Like a yoke
He knows
He'll never forget
The way she cut through his bed
Like a snake would bite through a cave of flesh
But he holds her
Though she's broken
He swears he don't care where she's been

He's tired of being human
He wears her close to the bone as though she were his own skin

He shoots from the heart instead of the head
His mouth and his words they rarely connect
He looks to the past and where his tongue's tread
And he knows he meant the opposite

But she holds him
Like an infant
Though it breaks her in half to know he'll wake like a man
Sold on cold indifference
When he reaches for her she's gone
She slips like the wind through blackened sails, but

Who are we to love at all?

And I hope you don't mind
If I hang all of my hopes
I hang all my hopes on this time
Although I've been warned
I'll probably get burned
I'd rather get burned than to not try

I hope you don't mind
If I hang all of my hopes
I hang all of my hopes on this time
'Cause you won't
Let it go

Lyrics submitted by jmullan

Whalebones song meanings
Add your thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +1
    General CommentI just had the same experience as you, fistfuloflove. I don't think I listened to the lyrics before. It makes the music so much more meaningful.

    Whalebones were used in corsets, were they not? Which makes sense of the line, "He wears her close to the bone as though she were his own skin". He wears her like a corset.. which is restricting? I'm probably not right..
    SoakedinMercuryon April 07, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGreat, sad song. I love the sparse instrumental arrangements - just enough curious instruments creeping in and out to give it a full sound without being crowded. When the chorus of women comes in towards the middle of the song, I just melt into a puddle on the floor.

    I believe the correct lyrics to "Who are we to know at all?"
    is actually "Who are we to love at all?"
    You can pretty clearly hear the women start the word with an L

    ...Which could be interpreted two ways... who specifically are each of us destined to love, and how do we know? Or... with all of the problems and complications that each person in this world has, are we really capable enough to complicate our lives by loving another? Given the words up to that point I think it's the latter. It sounds like the song is about a man who doesn't realize he's in love with a woman who can not love him back.

    Also, is the first line really "He felt a curse around his neck"? Like the curse of the albatross around the neck of the Ancient Mariner. Hard to tell.
    Rossmcdon April 27, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI absolutely adore this song. It's quickly jumped to being one of my favourites! I guess what the song is, is a very cynical view of romance: neither of the two people are perfect, or even good people. They've both made massive mistakes- his "mouth and his words" rarely connect, she's "sold on cold indifference", but they've found each other and even though it's never bound to work, there's something keeping them together.

    The last line really cements it, really. The guy (I'm assuming, since it's a guy singing it) is fed up of broken relationships and everything going wrong and is giving up all his hopes on this one time. And even though it's never worked in the past and he'll "probably get burned", he knows it's better to have it all fall apart than "not try" in the first place to make it work this time.
    Appers66on May 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentamazingly, i wasn't sold on this song at first.

    now i'm re-thinking that, and believe that it is my favorite song on the new album
    fistfulofloveon March 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, whalebone was used in corsets, other than that, I really can't contribute to the meaning of that line.
    rancadoron April 08, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Like a snake went by through a cable flesh"
    I think this is supposed to be
    "Like a snake would bite through a cave of flesh"

    it adds to the euphemisms and the imagery of "[cutting] through his bed"
    rancadoron April 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with both fistfuloflove and SoakedinMercury.

    I overlooked this song before, but now I'm seeing how awesome it is.

    I especially love this lyric:

    "But she holds him
    Like an infant
    Though it breaks her in half to know he'll wake like a man"
    nnnancyyon April 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThanks for the updates!
    jmullanon May 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHe found a curse around his neck
    like a yoke, he knows he'll never forget
    the way she cut through his bed
    like a snake would bite through a cape of flesh.
    jaisenlavieroon July 05, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdoes anyone else find the sudden change to first person at the end strange?

    would that mean that the rest of the song is really about him?

    or it could be the rest of the song kinda states wats going on and then the first person r his personal opinions on the matter

    either way pimpalicous :D
    j.kenealyon September 07, 2008   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top