"In Another Life" as written by and Vienna Teng....
In another life
You and I worked West Virginia coal mines
Side by side
Collecting the black dust like sin
The day the main shaft caved in
I caught your eye
As the lantern light guttered out
And the after damp swallowed us slowly
I gripped your hand
And caught a glance
Of the next time 'round

In another life
You and I were Red Guards in training
Side by side
We marched on Tienanmen
Turned our own parents in
For hoarding rice
And in the Great Leap forward
We crawled on our bellies and died
A blood orange sky
Gave a cry
Of next time 'round

In another life
I was married at thirteen
You were killed at twenty-one
On a minor battlefield
I was buried beside my second stillborn child
My last thought it seemed
A fever dream

Now we sink into a summer afternoon
Central Park in June
Marveling at the bounty our days contain
And we feel it like the shiver
Of a passing train
That other life
Deep underground
You and I
Side by side
We are the next time 'round


Lyrics submitted by sheela_l

"In Another Life" as written by Vienna Teng

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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5 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentI love the swing of this song, but I can't put a meaning to it other than the fact that she's probably exploring so many things that could have happened in previous lives.
    dreamer16322on August 07, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSomething worth mentioning is the theory, believed by some, that people "follow" each other between lifetimes. In other words, the belief that we meet people again who we've known in previous lives. I think the idea of this song is that the two people have experienced a lot of hardships together in the past, and now that they're finally able to be together without any suffering, they appreciate each other that much more.
    ingibooon January 17, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree that the meaning of this song is pretty straightforward, regarding other lives and how they've managed to meet once again.

    But I also like to think that it can be interpreted ominously–all their other lives have ended tragically, and perhaps there is inevitably some sad fate awaiting them in this life and the next.
    Notorietyon July 31, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFor a song which has quite a dark story it has a lovely musical bounce! I could quite imagine this being sung in a 1920's art deco styled song hall. Really enjoy Teng's story telling tales.
    MissMissyon August 08, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHi guys,

    Maybe I am dense, but I don't see this song as "straightforward." Quite the contrary, I see it as extraordinarily complex. From what I can tell, it is a love story and the singer is contemplating the frivolity of her love. She is thinking through the accident of history that has spared them from the many horrors, famine, totalitarianism, war, that have plagued lovers of previous generations. Perhaps she is even going so far as to question the validity of this love, nourished in "Central Park in June", as opposed to the harder circumstances encountered "In another life."
    outofhiselementon June 12, 2013   Link

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