"Goshen" as written by and Zach Condon....
You're on in five
It's time you rise
Or fade

They've gone before
Stood by your door
All day

For what it's worth
Defend your kind
From shame

The lights are down
Go on inside
They've paid

You're the face in stone
Through the land I own

You never found it home
You're not the girl I used to know

What would you hide from such a glow
If I had only told you so

You're on in five
It's time you rise
Or fade

They've gone before
Stood by your door
All day

But you never found it home
A Fair price I'd pay to be alone
What would you hide from such a glory?
If I had only told you so


Lyrics submitted by august23

"Goshen" as written by Zach Condon

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Goshen song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentGoshen is the name of a band from Santa Fe, where Zach Condon grew up. The song is a story about him going to one of their shows with a girl from his high school.
    johnny_tsunamion February 11, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOld reference, but in a September 2011 interview Condon explains the songs meaning a bit:


    Q: "The highlight of the album is “Goshen.” It’s heartbreaking, just you and the piano and an old-school torch song. Is it about a real experience, a real breakup?"

    Condon: "That’s what I like about it. Some close friends asked me about it – is that about you in real life or is it you on the stage? At this point I can’t tell the difference. Not in reality, but it’s fun to think of it that way. Everything is a performance, be it a relationship or on the stage. It was fun writing that song. It’s a heavy song. That three-chord piano progression was ripe for melody. It’s also the most raw song on the record – just piano and vocals. It was the last one I did. Everything I put down I was scared to leave in. I was scared to finish it, to say, “This is the take.” I remember, the producer, Griffin Rodriguez, I had to call him out from New Mexico to keep moving forward. The vocal take on there is the first one I did when he was in town. When I do vocals on record I usually do them alone, out of the studio. I go home and record by myself. He made it feel as private as possible by surrounding me with blinders. I felt like an ostrich with my head in the sand. He gave me a glass of whisky and said, “Do it!” It took one take for the vocals and a couple more for the backing."

    Source: mtvhive.com/2011/09/02/beirut-settles-down-buys-a-dog/
    skyvscloudson August 29, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThis song fascinates me. I really like it, am drawn to it in a major way, but can't quite work it out either.

    In terms It appears to have a biblical connection Goshen is the name of the region in which where the story of Joseph & his brothers/father is centred in Egypt and most of the lines allude to this; "It's time you rise or fade" "Defend your kind from shame", "Go inside they've paid" to name a few lines that have clear reference to Joseph's story. But these are intermingled with other lines that I can't quite work out.

    The best I can come up with is that it appears to centre on the scenes when the brothers visit Joseph once he's risen to high rank in Egypt after they had abandoned him and left him for dead. He ponders going out and 'performing' in front of them ("you're on in five, it's time to rise or fall") and after their waiting "at the door" they come in and he (perhaps with a inner struggle) does the honourable thing and "defends his kind". After the encounter, the "lights are down" the 'show' is over and "they've paid" what was asked of them as the story goes.

    Emotionally it seems to capture the mix of emotion of the ups and downs of going from abandonment, loneliness and then to 'success' while still being apart from one's origins. This all comes to a head when you're forced to encounter the ones you are intimately related to and find identity with yet are also the source of your feeling aloneness in the first place.

    Probably more to it that I'm missing, but that's my take on it. Would love to hear other peoples comments on the meaning of this song
    PapaJon October 21, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI did know that "Goshen" was a place in NY; however I did not know the biblical reference.

    I sort of agree with you, Papa, with the abandonment. The imagery I got was a man and a woman (or a woman and a woman, based on the "You're not the girl I used to know," line) that have had their relationship ended - could be for a while, could be very recent. The singer is looking at it from the outside and he sees that his partner is "putting on a good show/face," and is bitterly commenting "It's time you rise/Or fade," meaning, keep up with the facade and fooling all of the others around her ("They've gone before/Stood by your door/All day"). I am not sure what the facade is exactly; maybe that she's pretending to be fine post-breakup or maybe she is hiding some other dark part of her that only the singer only knows. I am leaning towards there is something darker going on that only the singer knows about, and he is seeing that the dark part of her is hurting and hindering her ("Why would you hide from such a glow/If only I had told you so,") and that he feels some remorse for either not helping her through it or maybe causing it inadvertently. I think he is calling her a coward for her actions (or lack there of) by saying "For what it's worth/Defend your kind/From shame". He continues and does note that she has never found herself, or felt comfortable with herself "You never made it home," and follows by feeling sad/depressed about it because she was "Not the girl I used to know." This could be that he thought she was someone different, or that somehow they separated with time and evolved into very different people. I think the separation relates back to the dark side of her. This may be my own relationship experience talking; but he's basically telling her with this line that he is disappointed in her for not overcoming what is holding her back. He continues with his bitter remarks about her going on to put on a good show for everyone, stating that "Go inside/They've paid." He laments that he does not enjoy being alone but he feels it is better than being with someone who is "faking" it ("A fair price I'd pay to be alone"). He closes again with some remorse about either causing her this pain or not stopping it.

    I could be completely missing mark, though! Would not be the first time. But regardless, it is such a beautiful song.
    donteatmysockson November 28, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think he uses the story of Joseph as a parody for a girl he knew who left (though possibly not too far "through the land I own") and found success in what sounds as though it's a stage or performance career "You're on in five...the lights are down...they've paid").

    It sound as though he wishes he'd expressed what he found special about her and he thinks it's a shame that she's hiding parts of her that make herself and he can't understand why. (What would you hide from such a glory? If I had only told you so).

    The duality of the word glory also is almost cutting in its delivery. The glory she's gained (praise and adoration) is covering her own glory (i.e splendour). Really lovely sentence.

    A slight bitterness as well in the delivery of "You're the face in stone" metaphorically they've built a statue of her, she's been immortalised but symbolically she's betrayed her loved ones and been set in stone (Lot's wife) or maybe she is incapable of being herself anymore because a statue is created through the eyes of the beholder rather than through any part of it's own doing.

    I might be way off if there is indeed an on but that's what I took from it. Such a gorgeous song and so sad "You never found it home" seems to hint at a disappointment in her for not returning (or staying both in person and in character) and him for playing no part in trying to keep her.


    So much you could take this song before and so beautifully composed.
    Prometheaon March 01, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think he uses the story of Joseph as a parody for a girl he knew who left (though possibly not too far "through the land I own") and found success in what sounds as though it's a stage or performance career "You're on in five...the lights are down...they've paid").

    It sound as though he wishes he'd expressed what he found special about her and he thinks it's a shame that she's hiding parts of her that make herself and he can't understand why. (What would you hide from such a glory? If I had only told you so).

    The duality of the word glory also is almost cutting in its delivery. The glory she's gained (praise and adoration) is covering her own glory (i.e splendour). Really lovely sentence.

    A slight bitterness as well in the delivery of "You're the face in stone" metaphorically they've built a statue of her, she's been immortalised but symbolically she's betrayed her loved ones and been set in stone (Lot's wife) or maybe she is incapable of being herself anymore because a statue is created through the eyes of the beholder rather than through any part of it's own doing.

    I might be way off if there is indeed an on but that's what I took from it. Such a gorgeous song and so sad "You never found it home" seems to hint at a disappointment in her for not returning (or staying both in person and in character) and him for playing no part in trying to keep her.


    So much you could take this song before and so beautifully composed.
    Prometheaon March 01, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentShe is on backstage, five minutes to show. She is famous. He could see her advertising throughout the city. She is always doing gigs. He loves her but she has changed. He is not sure she won't disclaim her fame for him.
    nh3lighton November 21, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI grew up in a neighborhood called 'Goshen', and this song makes me unfathomably sad.
    Interpolioon February 27, 2015   Link
  • -1
    General Commenti really can't wait for the new album:) or the concert tour!!!! yes!!
    beirut14on July 04, 2011   Link
  • -2
    General CommentYAY i get to be the first comment! :) SO excited for new album!!!
    cmj45on July 03, 2011   Link

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