"The Woods" as written by and Elena Veronica Tonra....
I asked Saint Christopher
To find your sister
And she ran out in the woods
And she ran out in the woods

Oh, it was certain then
And we were trying to stop the winter
Killing all it could
Killing all it could

And I pray a lot for you
And I look out for you

We are what we are
Don't need no excuses
For the scars
From our mothers

And we know what we know
'Cause we're made of all the little bones
Of our fathers

And I pray a lot for you
And I look out for you

And I pray a lot for you
And I look out for you

I asked Saint Christopher
To find your sister
She ran out in the woods
'Cause she ran out in the woods


Lyrics submitted by Winternoise

"The Woods" as written by Elena Veronica Tonra

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Woods song meanings
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  • +4
    My InterpretationI guess I'll be the first to comment on this hauntingly beautiful song!

    On the surface, this song is about the disappearance of a child. I imagine the singer as a young girl addressing a playmate whose sister has gone missing, last seen in the woods with winter coming on. We aren't told what happened to her, whether she got lost or was the victim of foul play, and the singer herself may not know. The early line "it was certain then" remains unclear, and we don't know if it refers to the girl's disappearance or to her death, but the next eerie lines imply that some harm is known or suspected to have come to her somewhere out in the cold: "And we were trying to stop the winter/Killing all it could." In any case, we know the disappearance has greatly affected the singer's friend because the singer says, "And I/Pray a lot for you,/And I/Look out for you."

    Perhaps the most interesting (and ambiguous) lines are found in the third and fourth verses. As though sharing a secret with us, the singer says, "We are what we are,/Don't need no excuses/For the scars/From our mothers./And we know what we know/'Cause we're made of all/The little bones/Of our fathers." This is unusually violent imagery in reference to mothers and fathers. Under what circumstances, we might wonder, would these children get "scars from our mothers"? And what secret are they keeping when the singer says, "We know what we know"? This hints at a very dark possibility for what may have happened to the missing child, specifically that she might have died at the hands of an abusive parent. If this is the case, then it colors the singer's statement that she prays and looks out for her friend with a whole new meaning; perhaps the singer is afraid that her friend will meet the same fate as his/her sister did.

    But like every unsolved mystery, this song contains clues to another, deeper possible meaning, one that has to do with faith versus knowledge. The lyrics are layered with religious references to St. Christopher, prayer, scars and bones (reminiscent of martyrs, relics, and the Crucifixion), a father (the Holy Father?) and a mother (the Virgin Mary?). It also describes the missing sister (and note that "sister" is also a term applied to Catholic nuns and more generally to "sisters in Christ") as one who "ran out in the woods." The wilderness has long been used in the Christian religion as a symbol of the devil's domain, a place of unbridled evil awaiting the Christian who wanders off the straight and narrow path.

    At some point, many children outgrow their innocent faith and go "into the woods" in search of all the knowledge and experiences that the world can offer. Elena Tonra addresses the anxiety surrounding this moment of departure, the fear on the part of the remaining faithful that they too will lose their faith and/or that this loss will be punished harshly. The insinuation is that the child who wanders away meets some awful fate, possibly doled out by God himself, and that the faithful believe this fate is deserved: "Don't need no excuses for the scars/From our (M)mothers." In addition, there seems to be concern that we're never really able to break free from the values instilled in us at a young age: "And we know what we know/'Cause we're made of all the little bones/Of our (F)fathers."

    On the other hand, these same lines may be seen as defiant, a celebration of our humanity in spite of our frailty. Yes, we're imperfect. We come from a long line of flawed people with our scars and our fragile bones. But we can proudly say that "we are what we are."

    The disappearance of the singer's young acquaintance seems to be a turning point in her own faith, a loss of innocence and blind trust. She asks St. Christopher to help find her friend's sister, but she gets no answer. Or, if she does, then the child he helps them find is dead, a cruel answer indeed and one that would understandably make her question what she believes even though she fears the consequences of questioning. As the last line fades away, it echoes the first line. We are back where we began, without any real answers, as we always are in matters of faith.
    LyricallyInclinedon July 23, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI agree with most of what LyricallyInclined said, but i have a few interjections to make.
    "We are what we are,
    Don't need no excuses
    For the scars
    From our mothers"
    This is where I Disagree with LyricallyInclined. I think this part is talking about the belief that our past experiences create who we are today.She's saying we are the way we are because of the experiences and scars from people in our lives.She also says "dont need no, excuses". I think this means that she accepts the person she is singing to. As in "You dont need to explain to me why you are the way you are, I understand".

    "And we know what we know,
    Cause we're made of all, the little bones from our fathers"
    I think this contributes to what i said before. Everything you know was taught to you by somebody in your life, and most of them were your parents. So therefore a piece of our parents is in everyone, unless of course you never met them.

    This is all I had to interject. Agree or Disagree, Doesnt matter.
    RemyCielon July 18, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSt Christopher is the saint of protection during travel. Ran out in the woods means they are in danger (if they are not out of the woods yet, there is still an element of danger).

    This person in danger is doing something or hiding from their childhood. Perhaps into drugs and alcohol and/or abusive relationships or ran away from home.

    The person singing is missing them and wants them to know they accept them.

    Guess it's a shorter version of the other two, haha!

    I love this song. It has helped me during a time when my sister almost died. I just wanted her to get out of the woods so to speak...
    laura16416on June 28, 2014   Link

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