"Lanterns" as written by Zach Blair, Joseph Principe, Timothy Mcilrath and Brandon Barnes....
This night will fall like any other
Daylight subsides and shadows crawl out from under
That corner's hiding something stirs
Oh so restless, cracked windows opened wide
Deadbolt turns, doors creak open
Whispers and moonlight there to guide

Come raise your lantern to the sky
Can we illuminate this night
We'll dance like heathens round our flame
While the world sleeps we are awake

The black bird calls, it sings a chorus
While the gathering swells
The flames built tall right before us
As drums keep pounding
And the masses now are fusing
Bodies pressed and tangled
As we revel in confusion our inhibitions thrown into the fire

Come raise your lantern to the sky
Can we illuminate this night
We'll dance like heathens round our flame
While the world sleeps we are awake

Here in the dark we are safe from the judgment
And now arm in arm, locked tight so no one gets in
The Heaven-sent say, \"Child you are Hellbent\"
But Hell is not where we're going
Hell's where we've been

Come raise your lantern to the sky
And let's illuminate this night
We'll dance like heathens around the flame
And while the world sleeps we are awake

Raise your lantern to the sky
And let's illuminate this night
We'll dance like heathens around the flames
While the world sleeps we are awake

(Raise your lantern to the sky)
Yeah we are alone
We are awake
(Raise your lantern to the sky)
Yeah we are the light
We are the way


Lyrics submitted by Kixur413, edited by Dart96

"Lanterns" as written by Joseph Principe Brandon Barnes

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Lanterns song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentI like it. I think the lines "Come raise your lantern to the sky/Can we illuminate this night" and "now arm in arm, locked tight so no one gets in" are empowering in a way...like 'come be a part of something big and strong and powerful'
    sknauffon March 22, 2011   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationI spent some more time listening to this song and thinking about it, and I think I figured most of it out.

    "This night will fall like any other
    Daylight subsides and shadows crawl out from under
    That corner's hiding something stirs
    oh so restless, cracked windows opened wide
    deadbolt turns, doors creak open
    Whispers and moonlight there to guide"

    The night is representing the ignorance of the people and evils of society. When it says "this night will fall like any other" it means that the evils will come upon us as it always does. (evils like corruption, deceit, etc.) The people that can actually see this face great opposition from all of the ignorant, and is seems that all sense of reason subsides. However, there are a few people who still think freely, but are so criticized that they must meet quietly. They all know that there is still good in society, but it is very faint. (as the moonlight is dim compared to the sun) Even so, they cling to what little light they can find to keep moving forward.

    "Come raise your lantern to the sky
    Can we illuminate this night?
    We'll dance like heathens round our flame
    While the world sleeps we are awake"

    This is the call to come and fight. We must 'raise our lantern to the sky' in an attempt to 'illuminate this night'. We know what is wrong with society. We see through the lies of politics. We must bring to light the corruption and evils of society to those that are still living in ignorance. We're still finding massive opposition to our cause, and we are declared 'heathens' for our dissent. Rather than allowing that to be seen as an insult, we embrace it as we 'dance round our flame' (flame being our enlightenment). 'While the world sleeps (in ignorance) we are awake (with wisdom).'

    "The black bird calls, it sings a chorus
    While the gathering swells
    The flames grow tall right before us
    As drums keep pounding
    And the masses now are fusing
    Bodies pressed and tangled
    As we revel in confusion our inhibitions thrown into the fire"

    I honestly do not know what the black bird is symbolic of, so I will skip it. (Not that it doesn't have importance. I just don't know what it means.)
    As we have been trying to illuminate the night, we have gained strength and numbers. We have enlightened more people, and our flames are growing, banishing more of the night. The drums keep pounding, as we keep moving forward. We are not slowing down. We are not going to take a break. We are going to march onward. The masses are the still-ignorant people, and they have still grown stronger. Many who were passive in this fight have sided with the ignorant, and they are marching together to fight back. But our strength is a massive shock to them, and they are confused. 'We revel in (their) confusion'. Now we throw our weaknesses and restraints into the fire.

    "Here in the dark we are safe from the judgment
    And now arm in arm, locked tight so no one gets in
    The Heaven-sent say, "Child you are Hellbent"
    But Hell is not where we're going
    Hell's where we've been"

    Now we are safe in the dark, when we used to be criticized in darkness. Now we stand together, where no one can hurt us, because we are now strong. Those who see us as traitors and Anarchists, those who think they are the "Righteous" look at us and say that we are 'Hellbent'. But we are not going to Hell. We are not condemned. We are the true and good. We are not going to Hell, because we have already gone through Hell and have now come out on top.

    Well, I sure hope that I'm correct to some degree. This is just how I saw it. Please feel free to contradict me however you please!
    Dart96on March 07, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAm I the only one who loves this song? I think it's cool how it starts out so peaceful and then turns into almost an occult themed song.

    The line "The heaven sent say 'child you are hellbent' but hell is not where we're going, hell is where we've been" really says a lot. The "high and mighty damning everyone don't realize the real corruption around them.

    great powerful song, too bad it's album-only.

    also first!
    reldude4445on March 20, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think that the line "While the world sleeps we are awake" might be saying that the rest of the world is unaware of something important while we are completely aware of what is going on.

    Love the song! Wish it wasn't iTunes bonus track only so I could get it off amazon.

    Dart96on August 02, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningDefinitely one of the more lifting and empowering songs from Rise Against, this is what everyone else said but I wish this weren't an iTunes bonus track. It sounds like some sort of cult literally, but in reality it's basically about realizing the society's norms don't have to be yours and that there are others who think the same.
    Drusdaon November 29, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning"This song sums up the feeling we get attending shows, playing shows and interacting with our audience. We all got into the punk scene because we didn't quite fit in with the outside world. This song describes a place we can go to fit in. "Lanterns" is a song about Unity".

    -Joe Principe, Long Forgotten Songs booklet

    I think the bassist of the band is a credible source enough ;) However, like many RA songs, I think anyone can come up with their equally good interpretation. Sidenote: This song would fit great with Satellite's music video.
    Jakedesnakeon November 27, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree, this song, Satellite, and A Gentleman's Coup are my top favorites from this album.
    Kixur413on March 21, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think it's about showing people what is really going on. while most of the world is sleeping they know what is happenig so they are awake to the issue. they are trying to illuminate it or show the others what it really is because they don't understand and are saying they are hell bent heathens.
    infinitypoolon September 08, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI feel like this, along with a lot of other Rise Against songs, is more about the oppression and injustice brought upon some in society through, for example, bullying.

    "This night will fall like any other
    Daylight subsides and shadows crawl out from under
    That corner's hiding something stirs
    oh so restless, cracked windows opened wide
    deadbolt turns, doors creak open
    Whispers and moonlight there to guide"

    This verse feels like him singing that the darkness is coming again, like it always does, the "evil" or "menacing" parts of it come out (perhaps in the form of those who like to harass others or the harassment itself) and the only thing to get through it is by the weak sound and light of whispers and moonlight, something you really have to cling to in order to notice it. The last part seems to me to be related to hope.

    "Come raise your lantern to the sky
    Can we illuminate this night?
    We'll dance like heathens round our flame
    While the world sleeps we are awake"

    Here it's basically like he's saying if we can make the "night" brighter, if we can illuminate society through compassion and empathy. I'm not as sure about the dancing around the flame like heathens, but that might be a euphemism for them clinging to the "light", the compassion, despite the fact that the majority sees them as heathens, strange or weird, for doing it. And while the world sleeps, ignores these problems, they are awake, knowing that they're going on.

    "The black bird calls, it sings a chorus
    While the gathering swells
    The flames grow tall right before us
    As drums keep pounding
    And the masses now are fusing
    Bodies pressed and tangled
    As we revel in confusion our inhibitions thrown into the fire"

    I think that this entire verse is just about people coming together and helping, thus making the fire bigger and the night brighter, and the restrictions that are placed on them, for example someone who is bullied might be afraid to socialize due to being cast out or harassed, are let go so that they are free in a sense.

    "Here in the dark we are safe from the judgment
    And now arm in arm, locked tight so no one gets in
    The Heaven-sent say, "Child you are Hellbent"
    But Hell is not where we're going
    Hell's where we've been"

    The beginning of this part is a bit confusing, but I suppose that they take some sort of solace in not being the center of attention because they can avoid the judgement and prejudice of others, and they are locked arm in arm tightly, holding on to each other, so that no one can get in and hurt them. Then comes the part that really made me interpret the song in this way: "Hell is not where we're going, Hell's where we've been". This to me seems like that the "better" people in society, the ones who are supposed to represent the norm, call them hellbent because they don't understand or refuse to understand, but he says that they come from pain and suffering, not going towards it. That feels especially true when it comes to children who are bullied because of homosexuality, because despite their suffering there are still adults, those who are supposed to represent reason and compassion, who say that they are wrong, unholy, twisted and that they're going to hell for being the way they are.

    Just my two cents, really.
    Noohon September 19, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBefore I start I should say that with rise against their songs are open to many interpretations but this is what I see when I listen to it
    Well for starters this song is basically all metaphors to symbolize the ignorance (or the dark as it's referenced) of the people in society who do not have enlightenment on a situation. This situation I believe is the government taking away rights while people don't realize it and watch it happen. As you know (or if you already don't) rise against loves to make songs about politically meanings and major problems with society so this is why I believe this but let me just jump into the lyrics to explain more.
    The song talks of a metaphorical future event where the issue they talk about (rights being taken) will be at it's end and worst point
    Lyrics : This night will fall like any other ( It's talking of a future event when all of our rights will be gone because we have let them be slowly taken away and it will "be like any other" because we've been watching it happen.)
    Daylight subsides and shadows crawl up from under black corners hiding something stirs, oh so restless ("Daylight", representing peace and our freedom , is now gone and dark times "shadows" are now upon us. They repeat how it came about by saying it was stirring while they hid it behind their lies for reasons of slowly taking rights away.)
    Cracked windows open wide
    Deadbolt turns, doors creak open
    ( This is just saying how when this metaphorical day comes when all of our rights will be gone in the future it will happen out of no where and those who lived in the dark won't see it coming)
    Whispers and moonlight there to guide ( This is almost mocking those who live in ignorance because it's saying when everything is taken from them they will still be listening to the "whispers" from the government and those who are leading them astray from the truth "moonlight" , moonlight being lies because comparatively it is dim and doesn't represent the truth)
    The chorus of the song is calling those out who see what's happening to tell others about it and make them see
    Come raise your lantern to the sky
    Can we illuminate this night? ( The lanterns are representing the knowledge of the situation and by this knowledge also being light we can illuminate them of this information and warn them about what will happen if this is allowed to continue )
    We'll dance like heathens around our flame ( Heathens are basically those who disagree with the government , there actually term meaning someone who went against a religion where in this case it's symbolic to those who don't fall for governments lies, "dancing around our flame" meaning we will stick to our knowledge and belief no matter what they say about us. In the song he calls himself a heathen to say they are talking about us but we embrace it because we know the truth)
    While the world sleeps we are awake ( "the world" representing America , which is also ironic because of how America has a very myopic point if view and views themselves as "the world", is ignorant of the truth therefore being asleep and those who do know are awake )
    The song then goes on to describe more on how this will occur
    The blackbird calls, it sings the chorus ( The "Blackbird" , meant in a negative orientation , is talking and once again feeding people lies in a "chorus" because it is repetitive like how it would repeat in a song but yet the people still fall for it )
    While the gathering swells
    The flames grow tall right before us
    ( while the followers of the government "gathers" grow larger the issue "flames" get worse because the more the government takes the more the people feed into it because they are fed on lies that it is good for them )
    As drums keep pounding ( as time goes on )
    And the masses now effusing
    Bodies pressed and tangled ( the people who don't see what the government is doing are now going off because once all of our rights are taken they finally see what has happened but it is too late and they "the bodies" and now " pressed and tangled "they don't know what to do )
    As we revel in confusion ( the people who knew what was happen are " reveling" or enjoying ourselves in their confusion because we saw what was occurring while they willing went along with it )
    Our inhibitions thrown into the fire ( our inability to act sooner "inhibitions" has now lead us to our new problem of having no rights and we are thrown into the fire )
    The chorus repeats to tell people that they must enlighten others so that this event won't happen and we can prevent it
    The song then tells us about what's happening now and why we need to tell others
    Here in the dark we are safe from the judgment ( "here in the dark" being now in a time of ignorance we are safe from "judgement" as if the government is saying this to masses to lead them away from the truth as if saying you don't have to listen to them and our opinions are like us judging them )
    Now arm in arm locked tight so no one gets in ( we won't let the government get in our heads and feed us lies )
    The heaven-sent say child, you are hell-bent
    But hell is not where we're going
    Hell's where we've been ( the "heaven sent" being the government are saying that those who have their opinions are false being the don't won't the masses to see their plans but because they are blinded we are living in "hell because of what the government is doing)
    The song the goes to say the chorus again as If to plead for the people who know to enlighten others so that this tragedy doesn't occur.
    I hope this helped and if you disagree it's understandable because like I said it's really open to interpretation but that's what I get from the song. This is why I love rise against because their songs are so deep and meaningful and really make you thing about the world and it's problems. Whether my interpretation is true or false I hope it enlightens you or helps you find meaning to it because for me that's really what rise against tries to do whether it's easily understood or not.
    Ejk11eon June 16, 2014   Link

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