Godless brother in love
You might as well
Lay down that rose
And fold the flag

She is money and tabs
That broken freedom bell
See her big children burning rags
By the riverside

And you can hear them on the hilltop laughing
Cursing every bird in the air
Telling her what fun they're having
Driving eyes closed

Godless brother
As far as I can tell
The night won't compensate the blind

She looks lovely
As lightning
Aw, but what the hell?
Her big kids all run down the road
With no memories at all

And you can hear them on the hilltop laughing
Cursing every bird in the air
Telling her what fun they're having
Driving eyes closed


Lyrics submitted by Shin-ite, edited by danma

Godless Brother in Love song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +4
    General Commenthomeboy knows how to write a song, thats for sure.
    cd phattyon June 04, 2009   Link
  • +3
    Lyric CorrectionI'm definitely hearing some different lyrics in spots, and I agree with @notfromohio that the song is political--probably the most beautifully understated politically-oriented song I've ever heard.

    Here's my interpretation:

    Godless brother = Perhaps a soldier or "brother at arms"
    Mother = The Statue of Liberty ("Lady Liberty"), who is stuck observing the ensuing bad behavior, which is out of her control.
    Children = The politicians etc. on Capital Hill (see later note)


    Godless brother in love
    You might as well
    Lay down that rose and
    Fold the Flag

    [[[Rose and a folded flag are traditional in military funerals--he's saying that the death is bound to happen, so you might as well go through the funerary motions now]]]

    She hears money and
    Taps that broken freedom bell.
    See her big children burning rags
    By the riverside.

    [[[The Liberty Bell is referred to here--and it is both literally and figuratively broken. It's as though when the mother (Lady Liberty) hears all of this talk about money, she taps the bell to remind them what it stands for. The "big children" are politicians, burning rags, being careless with natural resources.]]]

    And you can hear them on the hilltop laughing
    Cursing every bird in the air
    Telling her what fun they're having
    Driving eyes closed.

    [[["Hilltop" is Capitol Hill, (which is why I think the "children" are meant to be politicians}. "Cursing every bird in the air" could refer to airplanes, and the paranoia and fear mongering that ran rampant after 9/11. “Driving eyes closed” of course, refers to the self-induced blindness or shortsightedness of the people “driving” the country, and having a very good time doing it.]]]

    Godless brother as far as I can tell
    The night won't compensate the blind.

    [[[The darkness/blindness that night brings is no compensation for the blind, because they never get to see, even when there is light.]]]

    She looks lovely as lightning
    Oh but what the hell...
    Her big kids all run down the road
    With no memories at all.

    [[The Statue of Liberty’s raised arm is an extremely common site of lightning strikes. The politicians are “running down the road with no memories at all,” meaning that they are rushing forward without any caution or thought as to where they are going or where they have (or their country has) been.

    And you can hear them on the hilltop laughing
    Cursing every bird in the air
    Telling her what fun they're having
    Driving eyes closed.

    [[[Repeat analysis of first chorus.]]]
    OhAimeeon February 16, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentCan someone tell me a song meaning?
    Benzine270on June 11, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI heard this song the first time Sam every played it live, at the SDSU Open Air Theater. Gorgeous!
    Shin-iteon October 11, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's actually just "Godless Brother".

    Instead of
    "Godless brother
    As far as I can tell
    And I won't compensate the blight"

    it's:
    "Godless brother
    As far as I can tell
    The night won't compensate the blind"



    I think it's about a mother who's lost control of her children, or they've grown up and she can't protect them anymore.

    The night won't compensate the blind... I love love love that line. Beautiful, as always.
    noiamnotwhereibelongon January 13, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGodless brother in love
    You might as well
    Lay down that rose
    And fold the flag

    She is money and tabs
    That broken freedom bell
    See her big children burning rags
    By the riverside

    And you can hear them on the hilltop laughing
    Cursing every bird in the air
    Telling her what fun they're having
    Driving eyes closed

    Godless brother
    As far as I can tell
    The night won't compensate the blind

    She looks lovely
    As lightning
    Aw, but what the hell?
    Her big kids all run down the road
    With no memories at all

    And you can hear them on the hilltop laughing
    Cursing every bird in the air
    Telling her what fun they're having
    Driving eyes closed



    This is the most beautiful song.
    Shyvanon January 17, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI think this song is political in nature. "Godless brother" refers to a disheartened patriot, a citizen who loves his country; "Godless" may or may not refer to the "In God We Trust" and public prayer controversies. Anyway, this patriot is in love with Lady Liberty, whose children are our irresponsible, careless government.

    She is money and tabs --(nat'l debt)
    That broken freedom bell -- (yeah, we fought for Iraqi freedom...oh and btw now Saddam can't See her big children burning rags undercut OPEC oil prices. We now have to pay ridiculous prices for gasoline.)
    By the riverside -- (last 2 lines -- gov't unregulated, wild, irresponsible)

    And you can hear them on the hilltop laughing
    Cursing every bird in the air -- (again, wild, uncontrollable)
    Telling her what fun they're having
    Driving eyes closed -- (reckless, no thought for the future -- the bailout plan, for instance)

    "She looks lovely
    As lightning -- (America/freedom/democracy is a beautiful thing, but...
    Aw, but what the hell?
    Her big kids all run down the road
    With no memories at all" -- her "big kids" refuse to learn from past mistakes)



    = a very well-written song: meaningful lyrics set to a beautiful tune.



    notfromohioon February 01, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningRepost: format error fixed and comment(s) edited



    I think this song is political in nature. "Godless brother" refers to a disheartened patriot, a citizen who loves his country; "Godless" may or may not refer to the "In God We Trust" and public prayer controversies. Anyway, this patriot is in love with Lady Liberty, whose children are our irresponsible, careless government.

    She is money and tabs --(nat'l debt)
    That broken freedom bell -- (yeah, we fought for Iraqi freedom...oh and btw now Saddam can't
    See her big children burning rags undercut OPEC oil prices. = Oil companies make a killing)
    By the riverside -- (last 2 lines -- gov't unregulated, wild, irresponsible)

    And you can hear them on the hilltop laughing
    Cursing every bird in the air -- (again, wild, uncontrollable)
    Telling her what fun they're having
    Driving eyes closed -- (reckless, no thought for the future -- the bailout plan, for instance)

    "She looks lovely
    As lightning -- (America/freedom/democracy is a beautiful thing, but...
    Aw, but what the hell?
    Her big kids all run down the road
    With no memories at all" -- her "big kids" refuse to learn from past mistakes)



    = a very well-written song: meaningful lyrics set to a beautiful tune.


    notfromohioon February 01, 2011   Link

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