"The Dead Can't Testify" as written by Jon Gallant, Aaron Solowoniuk, Ian D'sa and Ben Kowalewicz....
Let the rain fall down, let it fall to the ground,
Let the rain fall down to the ground.
And the birds don't sing, no they don't make a sound,
When you're six feet underground.

Well they cast me out when the word spread around
That I never sang in the church.
And it took one night for the town to decide
I'm afflicted by the curse.

And the rain falls down, let it fall to the ground.
And the birds don't sing, no they don't make a sound.
So I look to the sky, tell me why, tell me why,
Do they all get to live, and I have to die?

So they marched me down to the center of town,
With their pitchforks high in the air.
I was chained and bound with a blindfold around
So the judge wouldn't catch my stare.
And they hung my soul from the gallows pole
But the witch they never found.
So to those who don't fit society's mold,
Learn to swim or you will drown.

And the rain falls down, let it fall to the ground.
And the birds don't sing, no they don't make a sound.
So I look to the sky, tell me why, tell me why,
Do they all get to live, and I have to die?

And the angels sing "let it shine, let it shine"
Dry the teardrops from my eyes.
And the bells will ring when the blind lead the blind,
'Cause the dead can't testify.
And because I can't take an eye for an eye,
In the afterlife I'll haunt you 'till you die!

And the rain falls down, let it fall to the ground
(Let teardrops hit the ground!)
And the birds don't sing, no they don't make a sound
(When you're six feet underground!)
So I look to the sky, tell me why, tell me why,
Do they all get to live, and I have to die?

And the angels sing "let it shine, let it shine"
Dry the teardrops from my eyes.
And the bells will ring when the blind lead the blind,
'Cause the dead can't testify.
And because I can't take an eye for an eye,
In the afterlife I'll haunt you 'till you die!

And the angels sing "let it shine, let it shine"
Dry the teardrops from my eyes.
And the bells will ring when the blind lead the blind,
'Cause the dead can't testify.
And because I can't take an eye for an eye,
In the afterlife I'll haunt you 'till you die!


Lyrics submitted by KLSmash

"The Dead Can't Testify" as written by Ben Kowalewicz Aaron Solowoniuk

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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The Dead Can't Testify song meanings
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10 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentIf we look at this song from a purely literal point of view, then it pretty much tells us about life in the 1600’s. In the past, many people were killed because of their beliefs, whether these opinions were religious or other; if they contradicted the rest of society, they were executed. 1692 was the year of the Salem Witch trials, which I believe this song is referencing to in part. In those days, if you had anything slightly off about you, any small difference, or different beliefs, you were accused of being a witch, and hunted down by the town.

    “Hung from the gallows pole”, is a reference to the old folk song about a woman begging the executioner to spare her life. It was popularized in the 1970s when Led Zeppelin recorded their own version, entitled “Gallows Pole”, which is most likely what BT is referring to with this song. The gallows are the big wooden things they hung the condemned from in the past.
    “When the blind lead the blind” is a term that actually originally came from the bible.

    Let they go, they are ye blynde leaders of ye blynde. Wha one blinde leadeth another, they fall both i ye diche.
    Bible, Matthew 15:14

    In actual English, this is basically saying that when the blind lead the blind (therefore, when the disabled or incompetent take care of each other), they’ll all just fall into a ditch (ie., they’re screwed). Then, the song goes on to say that this is because the dead can’t testify. Therefore, those who are already screwed (dead), can’t help those who are about to be screwed (hung).

    However, “The Dead Can’t Testify” could also be looked at as a metaphor reflecting today’s society. Obviously we don’t have people hunting us down with pitchforks because we refuse to sing in church, but it is sort of saying that by being different, we’ll be made into outcasts by society. Even though we say “oh, just be yourself,” often people are afraid to do that because of the possibility that they won’t be accepted by the rest of the world.
    LineSinkeron April 21, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"In the afterlife I'll haunt you 'til you die"
    Deepermeaningson July 20, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationCorrect lyrics:

    Let the rain fall down, let it fall to the ground
    Let the rain fall down to the ground
    And the birds don't sing, no they don't make a sound
    When you're six feet underground

    Well they cast me out when the word spread around
    That I never sang in the church
    And it took one night for the town to decide
    I'm afflicted by the curse

    And the rain falls down, let it fall to the ground
    And the birds don't sing, no they don't make a sound
    So I looked to the sky,
    Tell me why, tell me why,
    Do they all get to live and I have to die

    So they marched me down, to the center of town
    With their pitchforks high in the air
    I was chained and bound, with a blindfold around
    So the judge wouldn't catch my stare

    And they hung my soul from the gallows fold
    but the witch they never found
    So to those who don't fit society's mold
    Better swim or you will drown

    And the rain falls down, let it fall to the ground
    And the birds don't sing, no they don't make a sound
    So I looked to the sky,
    Tell me why, tell me why,
    Do they all get to live and I have to die

    And the angels sing: let it shine, let it shine
    Dry the teardrops from my eyes
    And the bells will ring when the blind lead the blind
    Cause the dead can't testify
    And because I can't take an eye for an eye
    In the afterlife I'll hold you 'til you die

    And the rain falls down, let it fall to the ground (let teardrops hit the ground)
    And the birds don't sing, no they don't make a sound (when your six feet underground)
    So I looked to the sky,
    Tell me why, tell me why,
    Do they all get to live and I have to die

    And the angels sing: let it shine, let it shine
    Dry the teardrops from my eyes
    And the bells will ring when the blind lead the blind
    Cause the dead can't testify
    And because I can't take an eye for an eye
    In the afterlife I'll hold you 'til you die

    And the angels sing: let it shine, let it shine
    Dry the teardrops from my eyes
    And the bells will ring when the blind lead the blind
    Cause the dead can't testify
    And because I can't take an eye for an eye
    In the afterlife I'll hold you 'til you die
    rustyDon May 31, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is about someone being executed for witchcraft as a scapegoat by their town.

    And it is haunt not hold.
    Phuntingon August 03, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI think the wich being executed is a metaphor for people rejected by the society.

    "So to those who don't fit society's mold
    Better swim or you will drown"
    GaltJohnon August 04, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThe idea behind this song is to help relate their lives to thier audiance, but gives a message of hope. To remind the listner that everyone will get whats coming to them in the end. "So if you dont fit societies mold, learn to swim or you will drown" Warns the listner that if they're going to stand up and stan out, that they need to be able to back themselves up!
    Nalvashon August 05, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe lyrics make me think of the Salem Witch Trials in 1692, like "The Crucible".
    bfg1024on September 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is pretty much speaks for itself.
    it's the witch hunt, you were different, you stood out so you must be the witch and the cause of the towns problems.

    the song also talks about not only the idea of the witch hunt but the "haunt you till you die" aspect which is like the karma side of things.

    wether you decide to look at it from a complete witch hunt view or maybe a modern message that people today are still going to be persecuted for being different either way it's the same type of meaning.

    if you stand out, you're going to get some flack, but it doesn't mean you cant fight back!
    alexandra2702on October 09, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Lyric Correctionpretty much my all time fave lyric
    "So to those who don't fit society's mold
    Better swim or you will drown"
    is actually
    "So to those who don't fit society's mold
    LEARN TO swim or you will drown"

    i've checked a couple places, and listened to the song again and its defiantly learn to.
    it also makes more sence in the context, that the song is a metaphor for discrimination in society.
    learn to fit in or you'll be ostracized.
    Samzeeon July 13, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is truely my favourite song from Billy Talent!!!
    SlimAngel77on May 02, 2015   Link

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