The tree don't care what the little bird sings
We go down with the dew in the morning light
The tree don't know what the little bird brings
We go down with the dew in the morning

And we breathe it in
There is no need to forgive
Breathe it in
There is no need to forgive

The trees will stand like pleading hands
We go down with the dew in the morning light
The trees all stand like pleading hands
We go down with the dew in the morning

And we breathe it in
There is no need to forgive
Breathe it in
There is no need to forgive

The trees will burn with blackened hands
We returned with the light of the evening
The trees will burn with blackened hands
Nowhere to rest, no where to land

We know who you are
We know where you live
And we know there's no need to forgive

We know who you are
We know where you live
And we know there's no need to forgive

We know who you are
We know where you live
And we know there's no need to forgive

We know who you are
We know where you live
And we know there's no need to forgive... again


Lyrics submitted by monroeet, edited by Mellow_Harsher

We No Who U R song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • +8
    General CommentAt the end of the video, which right now is just a camera slowly scrolling down the lyrics to the song (although in the video a huge chunk of the chorus that probably explains what actually happened has been redacted and isn't sung), at the end of the song there are two additional lines that are redacted out, but faintly enough that you can still see the letterforms through the black bar:

    "And we want you to burn"
    "And we want you to burn"

    I read an early review of this, I think on NME, that thought this song might be about a mob with pitchforks (the trees hands, I guess?). I don't know if I buy that, but I think there's some kind of mob mentality to this song. Maybe it's just the choir singing. It seems like there's a hunt going on. For the little bird? If your quarry goes to ground, leave no ground to go to. So they burn down the forest.

    And the ending, the creepy "We know who you are, we know where you live, we know there's no need to forgive" makes me think Nick is making a statement about the modern world. We have left ourselves nowhere to hide. Everyone knows where we live. Everyone knows who everyone is now. And no one in power is ever going to apologize for that. If that knowledge is abused, well, oops, bud don't worry. There's no need for the powerful to feel bad about it. They'll never get it wrong. Again.

    And if I think there's a connection to the modern world, and because this is Nick Cave, I wonder if we look at the modern social-media connected world, if this is somehow a song about Twitter? "The little bird." Because Nick Cave is odd like that. Maybe I'm reaching by this point...
    ThatMatton December 04, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIntriguing lyrics. I saw someone explain this as being literally about trees, but I go down with the explanation that it's about the internet and also the mob mentality Thatmatt is talking about.

    I believe that the tree could be anyone, but most likely a public figure (politician, celebrity), and causes controversy. The tree ignores and can also not control the little bird, meaning public opinion (indeed a reference to twitter perhaps).

    'We' are anonymous. And because all information is so easily available, we 'breathe' all that's been said about this person, the tree, in like it's nothing. We don't have to really think about it. And because we are anonymous, and don't personally know the person involved, there's also no need for us to forgive this person.

    Next, the trees are standing like pleading hands, maybe trying to apologise for what is done. We don't respond to that. When we return, the trees will burn.

    I think that what Nick Cave is trying to make clear is that on internet it's very easy to ridicule or be rude towards a person that might have made a mistake. We're not thinking anymore and are very easy to judge those persons. And once those persons take the heat, we know who they are, what they do and where they live. At the same time the anonymity on the web is even greater than standing in the classical 'mob with torches'. There are no consequences for being rude anymore so there is also no need to forgive the person.
    LionMon September 30, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThatMatt got a point, it might concern the "internet" world, even the title of the song is written "We No Who U R" which is internet language...
    Anyway there's a silent underground threat throughout the song that Nick Cave can easily summon!
    TheyAllOneon December 04, 2012   Link

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