"Ready to Start" as written by Win Butler, Regine Chassagne, William Butler, Tim Kingsbury, Richard R Parry and Jeremy Gara....
Businessmen drink my blood
Like the kids in art school said they would
And I guess I'll just begin again
You say you, can we still be friends

If I was scared
I would
And if I was bored
You know I would
And if I was yours
Well I'm not

All the kids have always known
That the emperor wears no clothes
But to bow to down to them anyway
Is better than being alone

If I was scared
I would
And if I was bored
You know I would
And if I was yours
But I'm not

Now you're knocking at my door
Saying please come out against tonight
But I would rather be alone
Than pretend I feel alright
If the businessmen drink my blood
Like the kids in art school said they would
Then I guess I'll just begin again
You say you can still be friends

If I was scared
I would
And if I was pure
You know I would
And if I was yours
But I'm not

Now I'm ready to start

If I was scared
I would
And if I was pure
You know I would
And if I was yours
But I'm not

Now I'm ready to start

Now I'm ready to start
I would rather be wrong
Than live in the shadows of your song
My mind is open wide
And now I'm ready to start
Now I'm ready to start
My mind is open wide
And now I'm ready to start
Your mind surely opened the door
To step out into the dark
Now I'm ready


Lyrics submitted by MaxpowerSupreme, edited by mattisyourhero, kiwilyrics, Coach

"Ready to Start" as written by Regine Chassagne Jeremy Gara

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Ready to Start song meanings
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50 Comments

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  • +23
    General Comment"But I would rather be alone
    Than pretend I feel alright"

    Awesome.
    fredth3caton July 30, 2010   Link
  • +13
    My OpinionI think it's about staring a "Normal Life" (9-5 job, 2-3 kids, house in the suburbs) but knowing the pitfalls of living it (soul sucking job - 1st verse, playing catching up to the Joneses - 2nd verse, going out to socials for appearances sake - 3rd verse). And it's about staring life over, after these lessons are learned, but not having the love you started this life with originally (1st verse also,and chorus) Because of the loss of love, it is done differently, on his/her own terms, without fear (I would rather be wrong, then live in the shadows of your song).

    It took a while to get the full meaning, but this song just hit me like a bullet when i heard it on the radio.
    Thingie68on July 31, 2010   Link
  • +12
    Lyric CorrectionOfficial lyrics from the song booklet.

    If the businessmen drink my blood
    Like the kids at art school said they would
    The I guess I'll just begin again.
    You say, can we still be friends?

    If I was scared, I would,
    And if I was bored, you know I would,
    And if I was yours, but I'm not.

    All the kids have always known
    That the emperor wears no clothes
    But they bow down to him anyway
    'cause it's better then being alone.

    If I was scared, I would,
    and if I was bored, you know I would,
    And if I was yours, but I'm not.

    Now you're knocking at my door
    Saying: "Please come out with us tonight"
    But I would rather be alone,
    then pretend I feel alright.

    If the businessmen drink my blood
    Like the kids at art school said they would
    The I guess I'll just begin again.
    You say, can we still be friends?

    If I was scared, I would,
    And if I was pure, you know I would,
    And if I was yours, but I'm not.
    Now I'm ready to start.

    If I was scared, I would,
    And if I was pure, you know I would,
    And if I was yours, but I'm not.
    Now I'm ready to start.

    Now I'm ready to start,
    I would rather be wrong than
    Live in the shadows of your song.
    My mind is open wide and
    Now I'm ready to start.
    My mind is open wide
    And now I'm ready to start.

    You're not sure
    You opened the door
    and step out into the dark.
    Now I'm ready.
    Humanlypersonon August 07, 2010   Link
  • +6
    General CommentI think the 2nd verse is actually

    "All the kids have always known
    that the emperor wears no clothes
    but they bow down to him anyway
    it's better than being alone"

    No clothes rather than new clothes, as I think its a pretty blatant reference to the fable of the emperors new clothes, so i guess it could be new or no, but it really sounds like 'no'
    Jacksoonon June 19, 2010   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI think the song is about being someone you're not vs. being the real you. He talks about the things people do out of fear of being alone or rejected.
    He uses scenarios that relate to being someone you're not and how he would rather be the person he is sometimes.

    "But to bow down to him anyway, is better than to be alone"-- he's referring to people and what they do to fit in.

    "But I would rather be alone, than pretend I feel alright"-- pretty self explanatory, but he's saying he'd rather be alone than pretend he's someone he's not.

    yeahh8675309on October 03, 2010   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI think this song is about an epiphany he's having....about breaking away from the perils and weaknesses of people in your life, whether it be in your career or relationships. You can feel the energy at the end of the song, and difference in beat, its almost as if he's transforming in front of us into a stronger person, who's ready to break away from the bad business or bad relationship and start over. He's willing to do this even if it means being wrong, or alone (without the relationship). You can see he's decided he'd rather face those risks/consequences than live his life in a way he doesn't want. Throughout the song, he implies that he's stronger than most people in society including the business men, the kids, the group knocking at his door.

    He begins the song by describing past experiences, first with the businessmen who took advantage of him and his art, but he's stronger than them. Then, he describes, how (what I think is a post breakup) his ex still wants him in her life still, but he's going to be stronger, he's not scared, and he's stronger, and knows he'll be happier on his own, although he admits in the next line sometimes its easier to follow the evils or ills than face the reality and "be alone"

    I think his courage is authentic, motivating and moving. He's basically saying, TAKE THE CHANCE, don't let anyone drag you down, don't follow blindly, follow your heart, you might be wrong, but at least you're doing it your way. Particularly for relationships ending, he's saying break away and "step out into the dark", at least you won't live by someone else's standards but your own.
    callieforrunningon October 06, 2010   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI think most of the meanings posted have been rather positive, as if the singer is looking at the future - what MIGHT happen based on what people have told him anecdotally. I guess I have to ask... what's wrong with this song being a little darker?

    What if the singer is looking back on their life and realizing they've been scared to start it. If I was scared, I would start another life. If I was bored, you know I would start again. If I was yours, I'd be ready to, you might be a good reason to do it. But I'm not. There's really no impetus, no drive to do anything.

    The Arcade Fire are incredibly intelligent in their understanding and interpretation of subject matter. Take a look at some associated works on the suburbs and the social malaise it creates, including the problem of having no problems and thus, no purpose (and how comfortable we are with that, how fatalism and religion intersects with that, etc.):

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    elbuenobon October 27, 2010   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningI think this song is about getting over a long relationship.

    "And I guess I'll just begin again"
    You always have to move on from a break up.

    "You say can we still be friends"
    Girls(and guys sometimes) always want to stay friends.

    "Now you're knocking at my door
    Saying please come out against the night
    But I would rather be alone
    Than pretend I feel alright"

    If it was a long and loving relationship something like this always happens. One person is feeling like **** and doesn't want to do anything well the other person is trying to get him/her to get out and meet new people.

    "Now I'm ready to start
    I would rather be wrong
    Than live in the shadows of your song
    My mind is open wide
    And now I'm ready to start
    Your mind surely opened the door
    To step out into the dark
    Now I'm ready"
    The Narrator has finally realized that it's time to move on.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Ryder556on August 01, 2010   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationThis song is about an idealistic young adult who doesn't know what life to live in this world. On the one side there is the 'real' world, where the behemoth called free market economics resides; it will shallow you whole. This is the jungle where others prey on you in order to survive. ('Businessmen drink my blood'). On the other side there are his friends and others he knows, the hippie kind of people who are anti-establishment and just want to have fun and be artistic and free. They have seen that the ‘real world’ is hostile and try stay away from it ('Like the kids in art school said they would'). The person cannot choose, because he thinks neither of those 'choices' is really what he wants. There is a sense that there could be some sort of solution to a problem. ('And I guess I'll just begin again'). The people he cares about go in different directions, so he asks himself if he should let them go ('You say, can we still be friends'). He uses the form ‘you’ to reflect his own doubts.
    In the chorus the person reflects on who he is, what drives him and what he stands for. If he was afraid and ignorant he would already have made his choice ('If I was scared I would'). If he wasn't a person who looks for a deeper meaning in his life, he would've chosen what to do already ('And if I was bored You know I would'). And if he was ready to commit himself to the people he loves he would base his life choices on them ('And if I was yours Well I'm not'). The chorus expresses how much pressure the world puts on you if you do not yet have a clear direction for your life. It feels like you are constantly forced to explain yourself.
    The second verse is about society and how it deals with purpose. Almost everyone understands at some point in his young life that objective purpose is an illusion ('All the kids have always known That the emperor wears no clothes'). Most people try to ignore the man behind the curtain and try to fit into society ('But to bow to down to them anyway'). Being conformist seems easier than trying to discover if there could really be a deeper purpose in life. It takes courage to face your inner fears ('Is better than being alone').
    In the chorus the person reflects again on where he stands, who he is and what he wants. If he was afraid he would've fit into society already, but he has the courage to explore and discover everything ('If I was scared I would'). If he already found out that there is nothing out there, no deeper meaning or purpose, he would have given up by now, but he is not done yet ('And if I was bored You know I would'). The people who love him keep interfering with his personal choices, but he begins to understand that he is an individual who must try to find his own place in this world ('And if I was yours But I'm not').
    Note: The difference between the first and second chorus is the replacement of the word 'well' by 'but'. This change marks the difference in confidence the person has. In the second chorus he really understands that he has his own life to live and he is less reluctant to let people go if they drag him down.
    The third verse is about an existential crisis and depression you have to face, because this is an inevitable effect of the path the person has chosen to take. At certain points you think the world might be too hostile, too evil. Is life really worth living you ask yourself? This is the point where your family and friends try to help you by dragging you into 'normal life' again ('Now you're knocking at my door Saying please come out against tonight'). At his moment you are not yet weak enough to let that happen. You have ideals and do not want to give up on them, you don’t want to give upon yourself! The person accepts he has to feel miserable sometimes to get somewhere (‘But I would rather be alone Than pretend I feel alright’). The rest of the verse is the same as the first verse. It means that the person reminds himself of his reasons for taking control of his own life. It reminds him why he is where he is right now. The world has not changed. There is still the underlying structure of corporately promoted materialism. In society there is still the pretense that everything is all right and the person cannot bear that yet.
    In the chorus the person tries to reassure himself and find his strength again to continue his existential path. Yes, he would turn backwards if he was afraid. He would stop if he could, but he feels no remorse for being egoistic (‘And if I was Pure You know I would’). He realizes that he is truly a liberated individual, set free from the societal hive-mind. He understands that he has to give his own value to everything he knows.
    The next chorus is a repetition to strengthen the message. The person has become the master of his own mind. He is reborn and is ready to take on any challenge. He is truly Read to Start!
    In the last part of the song he has to exclaim it to the world. He is sure, he is determined. He does not care about what others think of him anymore ‘(I would rather be wrong’), because he is free from ignorance (‘Than live in the shadows of your song’). His mind is open to accept anything he is willing to dedicate himself to (‘My mind is open wide And now I'm ready to start’). His soul-searching is completed and now he can re-enter the world as a new person (‘Your mind surely opened the door To step out into the dark’). He is Ready.
    Ondergetekendeon August 31, 2015   Link
  • +2
    General Commentmy favourite off their new album thus far. brilliant stuff.
    Devilbirdon July 29, 2010   Link

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