Just give me a second darling
To clear my head
Just put down those scissors baby, on this single bed
The sand in the hourglass is running low
I came through thunder, the cold wind
The rain and the snow
To find you awake by your windowsill
A sight for sore eyes and a view to kill

I broke down in horror at you standing there
The glow from the moon
Shone through cracks in your hair.
I shouted with passion,
"I love you so much"
But feeling my skin, it was cold to the touch.
You whispered "where are you?"
I questioned your doubt
But soon realised, you were talking to God now

You've got blood on your hands
And I know it's mine
I just need more time
So get off your low and let's dance like we used to
But there's a light in the distance
Waiting for me, I will wait for you
So get off your low and let's kiss like we used to

I looked in the mirror
But something was wrong.
I saw you behind but my reflection was gone.
There was smoke in the fireplace
As white as the snow.
A voice beckoned gently
'Now it's time to go'
A requiem played as you begged for forgiveness
"Don't touch me!" I screamed
"I've got unfinished business"

You've got blood on your hands
And I know it's mine
I just need more time
So get off your low and let's dance like we used to
But there's a light in the distance
Waiting for me, I will wait for you
So get off your low, and let's kiss like we used to


Lyrics submitted by CeliaSays, edited by Mellow_Harsher

Unfinished Business (White Lies) song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentFor me this song is being told by the spirit of a person who has just died, killed by their partner. It is the moment in which he is realizing he's dead, and he sees the blood on his lover's hands, and doesn't know how to react. Even though, he's being called to go to heaven, and so he has to leave, but before he has "unfinished business" because he still feels love, so he wants a last dance, a last kiss, to remember forever.
    elimaon May 05, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI love this song!! It’s so haunting and the more you listen to it, there are different stories that come out of it. There are more theories of the meaning on the White Lies version of it too. I think that this song is being told by the spirit of a ghost who was killed suddenly and tragically. The lover of the person that died is so lost and devastated by the news, they want to kill themselves just to be reunited. The ghost is trying to communicate with their lover, and tell them to be happy again. The ghost doesn’t realize at first what has happened, and that they are not alive anymore.



    Just give me a second darling
    To clear my head
    - The ghost has come back to visit their lover, but doesn’t know that they are dead or what is happening

    Just put down those scissors baby, on this single bed
    - The ghost is talking to the lover who is trying to kill themselves

    The sand in the hourglass is running low
    I came through thunder, the cold wind
    The rain and the snow
    - The ghost has traveled a long way to visit their lover, and the ghost doesn’t have much time to explain

    To find you awake by your windowsill
    A sight for sore eyes and a view to kill
    - The ghost realizes that they haven’t seen their lover in a while, the ghost doesn’t realize they are dead and have been gone until then


    I broke down in horror at you standing there
    The glow from the moon
    Shone through cracks in your hair.
    I shouted with passion,
    "I love you so much"
    But feeling my skin, it was cold to the touch.
    - The ghost now realizes why he/she was sent back, to try to stop the lover from killing themselves

    You whispered "where are you?"
    I questioned your doubt
    But soon realised, you were talking to God now
    - The ghost is confused by the question asked, thinking that the lover is responding to the ghost, but realizes that the lover can’t hear them. The lover is talking to themselves and asking God why his/her lover was taken away from them


    You've got blood on your hands
    And I know it's mine
    I just need more time
    - The ghost feels responsible for leaving the lover so quickly, (it’s not actual blood), maybe it was a fight they had right before the ghost was killed (a car accident maybe), and somehow the lover feels like it was their fault that the ghost was killed (or the reason they got in the car)

    So get off your low and let's dance like we used to
    But there's a light in the distance
    Waiting for me, I will wait for you
    So get off your low and let's kiss like we used to
    - The ghost is trying to tell the lover to grieve and return to being happy, like they once were. The ghost has to return to the “bright light” or heaven and will be there waiting, when it the lover’s time to die


    I looked in the mirror
    But something was wrong.
    I saw you behind but my reflection was gone.
    - The ghost is trying so hard to communicate, but once he/she realizes they don’t even have a reflection, the ghost realizes they have to try harder or try something else to prevent the lover from dying bc they love them so much

    There was smoke in the fireplace
    As white as the snow.
    A voice beckoned gently
    'Now it's time to go'
    - The lover has been in a standstill since the ghost has died, and the time is shown by the fire being burned all the way to ashes. The ghost is being called back to heaven.

    A requiem played as you begged for forgiveness
    "Don't touch me!" I screamed
    "I've got unfinished business"
    - Once again the lover is feeling responsible for the ghost’s death while listening to the funeral hymn, and the ghost is trying to be pulled away back to heaven, but gives heaven up by saying the ghost has unfinished business. A ghost cannot truly enter heaven if they have unfinished business, so instead the ghost sacrifices him/herself and chooses to stay with the lover to try to prevent them from killing themselves. They are both trying to give up their lives or wellbeing all for the love of one another.

    moicraw510on June 17, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My Opinionthis song reminds me of a huge fight getting out of hand a toxic relationship niether of them want to see slip but everything feels out of reach, the relationship is taking a bad turn he doesnt recognize himself in the mirror anymore,and he just want to make things better by acting and doing things that resible what the love used to be befor becomming such a mess, the ghost thing sounds valid, but the car accident? "As you begged for forgivness" mayb she killed him "you got blood on your hands, and i know its mine"
    h00tjron July 17, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation1st of all I absolutely love this song. I enjoyed reading the possible meanings. I think that the death, the stabbing etc. are all allegories for a broken relationship that he wasn't ready for. He needs a moment to catch up. She has ended or severed the relationship and he was blind-sided and still in love.
    LJB123on November 06, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think it's talking about a man who has just came home to find his lover about to commit suicide. He wants her to "Give him a second to clear his head" because he can't believe what she's about to do. He wants her to "Put down those scissors baby on this single bed" and is trying to coax her out of debating suicide. "The sand in the hour glass is running low" just means he knows there's not much time before she uses the "scissors". He came through the "Thunder, cold wind, rain and the snow to find her awake by her windowsill a sight for sore eyes and a view to kill" meaning he probably just got home after working or something and found her like this, ready to end her life. He "broke down in horror" at her standing there because he can't believe she's trying to kill herself and is shocked. Then "the light from the moon shown through cracks in your hair" means he's describing her ragged appearance. "i shouted with passion 'I love you so much!' but feeling my skin it was cold to the touch." Means he's still trying to talk her out of it shouting things like he loves her, he expects his skin to be burning with rage but instead all he feels is the cold of it where he is so scared. "You whispered 'where are you?' I questioned your doubt, but soon realized you were talking to God now." Means he heard her talking and asking where he was and he thought she was talking to him so he was confused. Then he realizes she's talking to God because she thinks she's already killed herself. When it switches to the next part I like to think he rushed at her because she found she wasn't dead and picked up the scissors to kill herself for real and he tried to stop her. Well, she panicked and accidentally stabbed and killed him. "You've got blood on your hands, and I know it's mine I just need more time." he has fallen down and she throws herself down beside him trying to save him, but when she lifts up her hands his blood is on them. He just says he wants more time to spend with her and doesn't want to leave like this. "So get off your low lets dance like we used to." means he just wants her to not be depressed anymore and think of all the good times they had together. He wonders why she had wanted to kill herself when he thought she loved him as she used to love dancing with him. "But there's a light in the distance waiting for me, and I will wait for you." He knows he doesn't have much longer left and is slowly slipping away until he can see a bright light signalling that he is dying, but he will wait for her there whenever he dies. "So get off your low lets kiss like we used to." He still wants her to be happy when he dies and for her to remember all of the good times they had together. "I looked in the mirror But something was wrong. I saw you behind but my reflection was gone." there is a big mirror in her room that shows the both of them but as he looks at it he can only see her in the mirror, his reflection is gone because he's now just a ghost, he's already died. "Their was smoke in the fireplace white as the snow" he's looking around and everything is turning white as he's being ascended into heaven. "A voice beckoned gently 'Now it's time to go.'" God is telling him it's time for him to leave his lover. "A requiem played as you begged for forgiveness." His lover is begging God to bring him back she wants him to forgive her mistake. A Requiem is a solemn chant (as a dirge) for the repose of the dead, so that means a song is being played as he's being cast up. "'Don't touch me!' I screamed 'I've got unfinished business!'" he's screaming at God to stop bringing him to Heaven as he's got so much unfinished business he has to do before he dies. Then as the last lines play it's just repeating over and over that she should still stay happy even though he died because someday he wants to see her in Heaven with him. And that was my interpretation~
    TwisterBon January 27, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is referring to the poem "Prophyria's Lover" by Robert Browning.
    abbyabigail13on August 17, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionEverytime I hear this song it reminds me of the film "The Sixth Sense".
    lizsyon November 11, 2013   Link

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