"Whereabouts Unknown" as written by Zach Blair, Joseph Principe, Timothy Mcilrath and Brandon Barnes....

To the ends of this lost world
You have marched and you have sworn
to a tainted crown of thorns

As the hungry sails unfurl
We are thrusted from the shore
And its you that we search for

the blackest night
the midnight sun
the covered tracks
the day spent on the run
the stranger we've become...

whereabouts unknown
please know you can come home
it's alright
I long for the moment
Our silence is broken
it's alright

another place, another time
we toed the same side of the line
we saw eye to eye

even then the saddest sounds,
were nothing laughter could not drown
but we are not laughing now

I see your face
In my sights
I hesitate
I look for a sign
Somewhere in the sky...

whereabouts unknown
whereabouts unknown
please know you can come home
it's alright
I long for the moment
Our silence is broken
it's alright

even together, we stand apart
swallow the sun, erase the sky
an invitation has been declined
where did you go ? where did you go ?

whereabouts unknown
please know you can come home
it's alright
I long for the moment
Our silence is broken
it's alright
all is forgiven
if you could just listen...
it's alright.

Lyrics submitted by Yoshü

Whereabouts Unknown song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentOr maybe we're all just reading too much into it. It's probably just about a game of hide-and-seek. You know when the game is over and you STILL can't find the most clever kid in the game. "Its okay to come out now!" Haha ... Okay. Not funny.
    kharyson December 05, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI just love this song, IMO the best of the ones that leaked until now. (Although thats probably just me xD)

    The Lyrics are pretty obvios, der narrator and his group ( gang / band / friends) are searching for one of them, who got lossed.
    He probably left because he is searching for an answer / direction in life, doesn't know where to go, etc.

    The crown of thorns seems to be a sign that he's searching his way in faith and religion, although I prefer interpreting lyrics in a more metaphorical way, sure it could stand for religion, but for me its just a metaphor that says he is searching for something he can believe in, a way to go in live.

    The Rest of the Song is about how they search and miss him, remeber the times, and just plea for him to come back.
    They don't know where he went and just want to tell him that they want him to come back.
    They're searching for him, but feel they aren't the same as before, the hole he left left them all as strangers, they're broken and stand apart.

    The Chorus probably is about how they fixed their old flaws, that made him go.
    "Our Silence is broken" could mean they spoke out about something they kept quiet about befor.
    "All is forgiven" means they are one group again, everything that happened is fixed, they just want to reunite.
    The only thing that still is missing is him coming back, and they don't know where he went and just wish / pray / plea for him to come back home, and don't know what else they can do except searching and hoping.

    PS: Just wrote this like I had it on my mind, probably a bid confused, but I hope you can understand the main idea.
    Yoshüon September 23, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI agree with yoshu... initially reading his analysis I had only listened to the song 3 or 4 times w no attn to lyrics but still thought he was out of the park; it seemed a little too divisive even for the avant-garde Rise Against. In looking at the lyrics I agree... "another place, another time; we saw eye to eye. We towed the same side of the line" establishes that yes; they, the two parties in question, were fighting the same fight. And the dedication to the "tainted crown of thorns" line really puts this argument to rest. Goodjob Yoshu. This song to me really wraps up the album by coming full circle. The band is really making a metaphor here; their former companion is now indefferent to their cause... yet he is still no enemy. He is no traitor. There are many novels/stories about innocent children growing up only to face each other in battle and realize the gift of emotions offered by humanity. Ultimately, I think this song is about returning to innocence and not asking the subject to switch sides back to the narrator's. The song is written in the language of war, but the narrator really wants to ignore the differences of himself and the subject and return to the innocence of one person appreciating another person for who they are disregarding sociopolitical beliefs...Ultimately pulling apart the diviseness aforementioned and promoting unity.
    bathosdrifton October 13, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is the closest to the old style on the new album IMO.

    But listen to this, then follow it with something like Heaven Knows, or Six Ways 'Til Sunday.

    There's a world of difference, even with the screaming in his song.

    I have to say, my favourite part of the entire album is Tim screaming 'Even together, we stand apaaaaaaart!!'.
    PansyMk4on October 05, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is one of the best songs off the new album. Some great breakdowns and the intro is fantastic.
    renevanton October 08, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe song seems to be about a man who is looking for a friend who was a friend he grew up with, and is now on the opposite side of a struggle or is perhaps following a way of life the narrator disagrees with.
    EvenTogetherWeStandAparton May 09, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI disagree with some minor details of the previous interpretations, but most songs are meant to be interpreted on a personal level, so mine will most likely be slightly different from yours.

    The first verse says that he has marched to the ends of "this lost world" and sworn to the "tainted crown of thorns," suggesting that he has already dedicated himself to this way of life, or alternate way of life. In terms of a war or struggle, it could suggest that he is on the opposite side of the narrator.

    The next verse shows that the narrator and the other person have a shared history, but that even then there were some problems that he overlooked ("even then the saddest sounds,
    were nothing laughter could not drown"). However, now the differences, troubles, etc. have been brought out and they are no longer laughing. Laughter was what covered up or masked the problems before, so that line says a lot. It also appears that the narrator, if this is to be viewed as a war, has the opportunity to kill his friend and end the search, he cannot do it because he is still hoping that his friend will "come home."

    "Even together we Stand apart" seems to mean that he is near to his friend physically, but they might as well be miles apart due to their different views. The last few lines seems to be more of a desperate plea, possibly because his friend didn't listen ("if you would just listen..."). Another interpretation of this last line is that he is giving the other person one last chance, and is saying that it's not too late.

    the bits about swallowing the sun, etc., could be an expression of his anguish at what is happening between them.

    This interpretation largely agrees with Yoshu's version, with very minor tweaks. However, like I said, songs are usually meant to be, or just are, interpreted on a personal level, bringing forth emotions and memories that make theirs unique from everyone elses'. This is what mine have led me to think about this song. Also, the duality of RA's songs leave even more room for creative license when trying to translate their songs.
    EvenTogetherWeStandAparton May 09, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningThis song is obviously questioning religious people. "Tainted crown of thorns" = the crown of thorns places on Jesus' head before being crucified, and put the word "tainted" to describe that crown. The title of the song, "Whereabouts Unknown" = where is this "God"?

    I will go no further, I'll let you guys figure out the rest, these clues should be enough, and if not just keep in mind that Tim and Brandon are both atheist, it should help you interpret their songs. And much of the Appeal to Reason album is about religion. Drones = "disciples of the gods... never live nor breathe." Collapse = "this is not a test."

    I like these other interpretations though, I don't agree with them, but music is to be interpreted so I won't criticize how you see the song.
    itzalion September 21, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis one and Hero of War are my favorites of the new album. great songs :)
    hjuulianon October 02, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentidk really but it sounds like hes mourning a friend.

    Though maybe it's about being angry with a friend and they leave and in the end you miss them so much and want them to comeback and in the end they're like "It's alright, all is forgiven!"
    Unknownsageon October 12, 2008   Link

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