Hang down your head
There's nothing that remains
After you're dead
you don't even keep your name
You've convinced yourself
the book is never wrong
But what you'll find out
will shake you the bone

I saw no fire in your street
Only the stones you've thrown at me
Does it make you feel better?
Well, you know we're all just sinners

Why waste your time trying to save?
You've got your foot half in the grave
You're just a soapbox preacher
Six feet and heading deeper

Well, can't you see it's better to die on your feet
than live down on your knees?

With a crowded heart and clouded mind
you won't get what you seek
But if you stop you will find
We're just drops lost in the sea

I saw no fire in your street
Only the stones you've thrown at me
Does it make you feel better?
Well, you know we're all just sinners

Why waste your time swearing to save?
You've got your foot half in the grave
You're just a soapbox preacher
Six feet and heading deeper

Well, can't you see it's better to die on your feet than live down on your...
Well, can't you see it's better to die on your feet than live down on your knees?
Why can't you see it's better to die on your feet than live down on your knees?

All hell is booked up
And heaven's got no vacancy
I guess that this cruel world
ain't got no place for me

We're all stuck in the middle
We're throwing our cash at books of cliches
They say the cost is little
It might work
but not for me
Cause my soul
is not for sale
Just be here now!

I saw no fire
I saw no fire

Well, can't you see it's better to die on your feet than live down on your...
Well, can't you see it's better to die?

I saw no fire
I saw no fire
I saw no fire
I saw no fire

I saw no fire


Lyrics submitted by smileforthecamera, edited by thelukeeffect

In Case of Rapture song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentOne of, if not the, best songs off the new album in my opinion.

    The meaning is fairly obvious. I think it's just about people who take religion way to seriously and live their lives according to it. They should be out having fun (die on your feet) rather than staying and praying (on your knees). I'm guessing it's one person in particular that chastises him for either turning his back on his religion or for not being religious in the first place. They also seem to be smug because of their strict adherence to their respective religious dogma.
    ProfessorDazzleon August 19, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI can see where you draw the independence vs interdependence view point. The singer is basically saying it's better to have faith in yourself than have to live up to religions beliefs and expectations. In this song the interdependence is on SOMETHING not someone. That something being religion. The bridge basically reaffirms their belief that there is no god and that the only ones truly watching over each other are ourselves.

    The band said in their studio blog the song is a "pop song about not believing in god." Simply put that is what the song is about and they do it powerfully.
    thew_maticon August 28, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is what sean (main lyric writer/guitarist for atal) wrote in the atal forum regarding the inspiration for this song, enjoy!

    it's hard to pinpoint where songs come from, especially so long after the fact. From what I remember, we wanted the song to have a heavy topic since the music was so upbeat and in a major key. We thought that if the lyrics had weight, it could justify the song being light. Dan came up with the idea of the religion thing from what I think was a televised Evangelical service. I could be wrong, but I think that's what it was. He came up with the bit of "I saw no fire in your streets..." and I filled in the rest. I got the "it's better to die on your feet than live down on your knees" from a journalist on NPR who was using the Zapata quote to describe a current event. As far as the title, I got it when I was driving to New England on 95. The car in front of me had a bumper sticker that read, "In case of Rapture, this car will be abandoned." I know it's light hearted enough to not be taken so seriously, but the phrase summed up what the song is about; people who take themselves too seriously and cause negative effects on others via close mindedness.


    what i think this song boils down to, lyric wise, is that religion is made up and people are wasting their lives expecting to get to heaven but in the end just die
    mschulzon August 30, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentif you really want to get the true meaningof the song read Ishmael by Daniel Quinn the album is inspired by this book and book is absolutely good. and from reading the book and listening to the album id say ProfessorDazzle was the closest to the meaning. Why live by what prophets said?..
    TheStoryWeLiveon January 30, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFrom the singers perspective, it seems that they have been hurt, which can be expected if they have been accused of many different sins and had a finger pointed at them.

    I’m not going to break down the whole song but I would like to throw it out there…how can the singer know what after death is like if they are still alive? It seems that the singer is caught in nothingness (“stuck in the middle”).

    An atheists voice?

    “I saw no fire in YOUR street
    Only the stones YOU’VE thrown at me
    Does it make YOU feel better?
    Well, YOU know we're all just sinners”

    It is all about the soapbox preacher I suppose. While the singers voice tries to place themselves in the same box as the preacher by proclaiming “we’re all just sinners”.

    “Well, can't you see it's better to die on your feet than live down on your...
    Well, can't you see it's better to die?
    I saw no fire”

    Dieing while standing on ones own feet is seen as positive here. Living with no floor isn’t possible. So if one lives on a lie they have no floor to be living on. The lie of independence is proposed here, where a person can do what they want, when they want, all for themselves. Very egocentric.

    Living on ones knees is seen as a negative thing here. Being on ones knees is a serving position. It is one that requires interdependence and relying on others. It can also point to a higher purpose, a greater good. Not so much egocentric.

    Maybe the musing should be…
    “I saw no fire”
    (Maybe I am blind?)
    Yesuaon August 19, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYesua, you're making things up that aren't said. Perhaps because you are religious and therefore offended, which would be understandable.

    The lyrics discuss nothing about independence vs. interdependence. Instead, it is more about actually living rather than trying to follow and impress something that may not even exist. Clearly the singer has a problem with religion and/or it's followers, but that's not to say that atheism or skepticism has any base on whether or not a person "requires interdependence and relying on others", and again, the lyrics mention nothing of that anyway.
    smileforthecameraon August 21, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI am guessing that the voice in the song is the one standing on their feet, they are asking why the recipient of lyrics can't see that it is better to die on their feet.

    So is the author the standing? Or are other people making them stand?

    I see the lyrics as an independent declaration that standing on ones own feet, even when they will die, is better than living on ones own knees. Being on knees usually signifies serving something other than yourself. That is where the independence vs. interdependence comes into play. When one is in a submissive stance (on their knees) they are dependent on those they submit to.

    Whether or not they want to admit it, everyone relies one someone else, whatever belief they hold. Still, someone can believe that they rely on themselves exclusively.

    Since you don't agree with me what do you think that the song means?
    Yesuaon August 24, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretationhang down your head
    there's nothing that remains
    after your dead
    you don't even keep your name
    you've convinced yourself the book is never wrong
    but what you'll find out will shake you to the bone

    i saw no fire in your street
    only the stones you've thrown at me
    does it make you feel better?
    well, you know we're all just sinners
    why waste your time trying to save?
    you've got your foot half in the grave
    you're just a soap box preacher
    six feet and heading deeper

    well can't you see
    it's better to die on your feet
    than live down on your knees

    with a crowded heart and clouded mind
    you won't get what you seek
    but if you stop you'll find
    we're just drops lost in the sea

    i saw no fire in your street
    only the stones you've thrown at me
    does it make you feel better?
    well, you know we're all just sinners
    why waste your time trying to save?
    you've got your foot half in the grave
    you're just a soap box preacher
    six feet and heading deeper

    well can't you see
    it's better to die on your feet
    than live down on your knees

    all hell is booked up
    and heaven's got no vacancy
    i guess that this cruel world
    ain't got no place for me
    we're all stuck in the middle
    we're throwing our cash at books of cliches
    they say the cost is little

    it might work but not for me
    'cause my soul
    is not for sale
    just be here now
    goodnightnoiseson August 28, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentcorrection mschulz is closer. but please read Ishmael By Daniel Qiunn. the albunm is inspired by the book.
    TheStoryWeLiveon January 30, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSong is self-explanatory.

    Religious systems have no real bearing on real life.
    Their origins maybe honest, but their uses are very human.
    True adherents/believers are rare.

    The control structures we form is where God meets man.
    Institutionalized and centralized governance has a history of failure.
    It's crazy to do the same thing over and over again expecting different results.
    urwellkeenon November 24, 2013   Link

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