"Be Still" as written by and Mark August Stoermer Ronnie Jr. Vannucci....
Be still
And go on to bed
Nobody knows what lies ahead
And life is short
To say the least
We're in the belly of the beast

Be still
Wild and young
Long may your innocence reign
Like shells on the shore
And may your limits be unknown
And may your efforts be your own
If you ever feel you can't take it anymore

Don't break character
You've got a lot of heart
Is this real or just a dream?
Rise up like the sun
Labor till the work is done

Be still
One day you'll leave
Fearlessness on your sleeve
When you've come back, tell me what did you see
What did you see (what did you see)
Was there something out there for me?

Be still
Close your eyes
Soon enough you'll be on your own
Steady and straight
And if they drag you through the mud
It doesn't change what's in your blood
(Over chains, over chains, over ?, over ?)
When they knock you down

Don't break character
You've got a lot of heart
Is this real or just a dream?
Be still
Be still
Be still
Be still

Over rock and chain
Over sunset plain
Over trap and snare
When you're in too deep
In your wildest dream
In your made up scheme
When they knock you down
When they knock you down

Don't break character
You've got so much heart
Is this real or just a dream?
Oh Rise up like the sun
And labor till the work is
Rise up like the sun
Labor till the work is done


Lyrics submitted by phoebe9261, edited by BobTheRhino

"Be Still" as written by Daniel Roland Lanois Brandon Flowers

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Be Still song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +9
    My InterpretationI think that this song is meant to be one of Brandon's mother's words to him when he was young.

    Flowers was born in Vegas, then they moved to Utah, and after some begging, Flowers was allowed to leave his family and move back to Vegas when he was in high school.

    I think that song is about her telling him to keep his innocence ("Long may your innocence reign") and keep his faith when he is conflicted with the temptations of Vegas. ("If you ever feel you can't take it anymore, don't break character, you've got a lot of heart")

    I think that the "be still" is her advising him to pray to God when things get tough. (Brandon has said that it was his mother who taught him how to pray- which is why I think that this song is from his mother's perspective, not his father's)

    Overall though, she is telling him to be strong and succeed at life
    "And may your limits be unknown, and may your efforts be your own"
    "Soon enough you'll be on your own"
    phoebe9261on September 14, 2012   Link
  • +6
    General CommentI haven't gotten through the entire album yet, but it seems to me that a lot of this album seems to be directed at his children or at least about having a family and growing older.

    I personally think this song, as well as Deadlines and Commitments are Brandon speaking to his children.

    He's simply encouraging them, saying all the things a father would want to say to his children: "Don't break character, you've got a lot of heart."

    Also, I think he is wishing them the best possible life, and trying to give them advice on how to obtain that ("Rise up like the sun, labor 'till the work is done", "If they drag you through the mud, it doesn't change what's in your blood", etc.) At the same time though he's wondering how his life would have gone differently if he would have taken all of his own advice. (Tell me, what did you see? Was there something out there for me?")
    thelambthatroarson September 14, 2012   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI agree that this song, as many of their others from the latest album, has many meanings. However, I mostly believe that it bears a strong message about the uniqueness, passion for life and working hard - essentially, about staying true to yourself whatever happens on the road ("Be still, Wild and young, Long may your innocence reign, Like shells on the shore, And may your limits be unknown, And may your efforts be your own...") - thus, "be still" may as well be interpreted as "be you".
    In spite of all challenges, ugliness and battles, even your own mistakes ("Over rock and chain, Over sunset plain, Over trap and snare, When you're in too deep, In your wildest dream, In your made up scheme, When they knock you down...) - in the end you should never settle or give up ("Soon enough you'll be on your own, Steady and straight, And if they drag you through the mud, It doesn't change what's in your blood..."). One must persevere in pursuing their dreams of full and happy life ("Don't break character..."), being brave ("One day you'll leave, Fearlessness on your sleeve...") and going after it in spite of everything ("Rise up like the sun, Labor till the work is done...").
    So, that's the way I felt it - and I may be completely wrong - but this song became my favourite from the album so far.
    DustlandBirdon August 31, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Comment'Be still" is a recurring command in the bible:

    Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

    Psalm 37:7 "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!"

    Mark 4:39 "And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm."

    Jeremiah 47:6 "Ah, sword of the Lord! How long till you are quiet? Put yourself into your scabbard; rest and be still!"
    passivewindon June 19, 2017   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningLike most of the killers songs, Be Still has a lot of meanings. You can take almost any experience in your life and relate it in one way or another to the lyrics in a Killers song. Its one of the main reason I love this band.

    This whole album is...well...awe inspiring. It took a while to get into for me, as I initially was very disappointed. I didn't like the sound, and didn't quite get the lyrics. <-This is big!. A definite requirement is learning the words of each song and seeing the connection they have with each other. The meaning you get from each song will grow exponentially each time you listen to the album.

    Be Still is a GREAT lead up to Battle Born, which inherently discusses the change America has gone through in the past years, referencing how the 'boys have turned soft and the girls have gone wild.' The album seems to be describing a history of a relationship and the hardships that come from its inevitable end, tying it together with an analogy that describes American culture. "When they knock you Down" shows up in this song. Its the main chorus in Battle Born. Of course the lyrics themselves sound as if Flowers is giving advice, which he most likely is. But he is also mirroring the symbolic imagery of the American dream.

    Another recurring theme pops up, which is the constantly referred to idea of maintaining ones innocence (Listen to Great Big Sled). This song does a really good idea of summing up a lot of the themes from other songs into one list of advice

    Keep in mind that this is a song, and the lyrics themselves aren't the only thing to express a message. The tone of the song is somber, almost like a farewell. It brings you into a serious attitude and one that really makes you focus on the words.

    In short...this song is awesome.
    fr0st2kon October 11, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think this song is about suicide, trying to talk someone out of it or give them the encouragement that there is still light at the end of the tunnel: "If you ever feel you can't take it anymore // Don't break character // You've got a lot of heart". I feel like it's Brandon trying to tell this 'person', if you will, that no matter what you may go through, no matter what you may endure, you have to hold to your strength: "If they drag you through the mud // It doesn't change what's in your blood". You have to get through each day as it comes: "Rise up like the sun // And labor til the work is done".
    s4wduston December 26, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationPlain and simple: this song is from the perspective of a parent offering their child or children guidance based on their wisdom. It may have some basis from Brandon's mother, but as a father he is likely speaking in song to them.

    And I agree with the prior comment. Battle Born at first seemed like a disappointment. The more I listen to the songs found there, the more cohesive in theme they have, and lyrically they are very strong. It takes time to truly appreciate this body of work. May they carry on with another offering soon....
    VoiceOfReason67on September 14, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's a song from a parent to their child. If you listen to it in this perspective it makes complete sense without trying to "make" it fit a song meaning....
    kpraetschon October 14, 2013   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningBrandon Flowers wrote this song for his sons
    Michelle123on January 19, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy boyfriend showed me this song before I left for college. It made me cry because we were breaking up but I knew he still wanted the very best for me. The part "long may your innocence reign" gets me everytime. So beautiful.
    Blueskies29on July 18, 2015   Link

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