I took your counsel and came to ruin
Leave me to myself, leave me to myself

I took your counsel and came to ruin
Leave me to myself, leave me to myself

Oh I was made to live without you
But I'm never going to understand, never understand

Oh I was born to live without you
But I'm never going to understand, never understand

Hold me in your everlasting arms
Looked up full of fear
Trapped beneath a chandelier that's going down

I thought it over and drew the curtain
Leave me to my cell, leave me to my cell

I hummed the Dies Irae, you played the Hallelujah
Leave me to my cell, don't leave me in my cell

If you'd been made to serve a master,
You'd be frightened by the open hand,
Frightened by the hand

Could I've been made to serve a master?
Well I'm never going to understand, never understand

Hold me in your everlasting arms
Looked up full of fears
Trapped beneath a chandelier that's going down


Lyrics submitted by SongMeanings, edited by billjohn, DJJapus, perksadam, ksquared, rockaction

Everlasting Arms song meanings
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  • +4
    General Comment"Hold me in your everlasting arms
    Looked up full of fear
    Trapped beneath a chandelier that’s going down"

    Reference to the first album cover?
    billjohnon May 11, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song seems to be about death and how you really shouldn't be afraid of it if you believe in something greater than yourself even if you can't understand it.

    Just my two cents, and this is my favorite song the album by far.
    smc319on May 07, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis defiantly has a strong religious theme, seems he is struggling to try and understand if God actually exits while at the same time trying to deal with a world that so strongly believes.
    Cyberghoston May 16, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Trapped beneath a chandelier that's going down"
    Seems like a really dense line to me, assuming it has meaning (which I will, since MVOTC is such a well put-together album I can't believe this one line is there just 'cause) considering the reference to previous accomplishments (Self-titled debut album's cover), opulence and high-class ideas (the chandelier on the S/T was from St. Anthony House, a old wealthy fraternity/literary society), and simple materialism, along with the fear of death (you try being beneath a chandelier when it falls down). In addition, there's the wordplay on "self" "cell" (phone) and "cell" (prison? catholicism?) and the unpackable opinions of Koenig on agnosticism and free will.
    abrown512on June 19, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationInteresting that the first stanza is doubled. He really isn't happy that he took someone else's advice. If you approach this from a religious perspective, was he tempted by the devil? Or is this an existential/rhetorical question? Either way, it's brought him to ruin, which is pretty severe. There is also the possibility of a relationship that didn't work out, and maybe the first two stanzas are in reference to some advice someone gave him about a relationship problem - "Oh I was made to live without you, but I'm never going to understand" - it's not his decision to be without that other person, and it doesn't make any sense to him. The difference between being "made" to live without and "born" to live without is beyond me.

    I agree with others that the chandelier suggests a reference to their first album. It was such a huge success that it might have been hard for them to get out from under. I know for myself I had huge expectations for the second album and was disappointed. Maybe this whole song is in reference to an agent's/executive's suggestions? But further lyrics again suggest a relationship issue, as he feels like he's in prison: "leave me to my cell/leave me in my cell".

    The "serving a master" lines further muddle the lines when it comes to meaning, and to me revisit a potentially religious theme. If someone has been made to blindly serve someone then it would be hard if someone offered an open hand to help - it would be tough to get out of the mentality of servitude and not making decisions for oneself. Actually, the more I think about, the more it seems to me that this song is about a breakup - but not with a girlfriend - with God.
    G-Farbulouson December 16, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBrillant Song, Brillant Album. I have love listening and enjoying the progression of Vampire Weekend. My thoughts on the first few lines..

    I took your counsel and came to ruin
    Leave me to myself, leave me to myself
    x2

    I think the significance of repeating the opening lines should not be over looked. I interpret this line to be a reference to taking counsel from religion, most likely Christianity, and the destruction it provided as an adolescence.

    Oh I was made to live without you
    But I'm never going to understand, never understand
    x2

    The realization or acknowledgement that his path in life was not meant to be a god worshipping one. I get a sense from Erza throughout this song and entire album that he has made such a effort to believe and seek truth through religion but has continually let down and betrayed. It isnt an overtly anti-religious album but it has a deep feeling of disappointment towards all religions naive views on life.

    Hold me in your everlasting arms
    Looked up full of fear
    Trapped beneath a chandelier that's going down

    I believe these lines speak from a perspective of the "believer", yearning for the give of eternal life. "Looked up full of fear Trapped beneath a chandelier that's going down" is an analogy to the god fearing people who based their faith in god through the fear of eternal damnation. Trapped beneath a chandelier thats going down is the death that faces everyone.

    I thought it over and drew the curtain
    Leave me to my cell, leave me to my cell

    This is where my sense of research and effort towards discovering oneself through religion and spiritual mediums from Erza is deepened. The epiphany of realizes that amongst all the options of receiving salvation I am prefer my own thoughts and peace. This part reminds me of John Steinbeck and his quote that no two men ever created one thing. That nothing is more powerful than the mind of an individual man. Erza has found peace in believing in himself and his own spiritual path. Or so I think.
    Alyosha19on January 05, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionI'm gonna go line by line for this one.

    I took your counsel and came to ruin
    Leave me to myself, leave me to myself

    I took your counsel and came to ruin
    Leave me to myself, leave me to myself

    (He tried to accept religion and look to it for guidance, but it only made things worse)

    Oh I was made to live without you
    But I'm never going to understand, never understand

    Oh I was born to live without you
    But I'm never going to understand, never understand

    (he isn't the type to be religious, he doesn't understand the complexities of the world, even as explained by religion.)

    Hold me in your everlasting arms
    Looked up full of fear
    Trapped beneath a chandelier that's going down

    (even though he doesn't believe, he shows that people sometimes just want there to be something protecting them)

    I thought it over and drew the curtain
    Leave me to my cell, leave me to my cell

    (using logic and reason, he couldn't believe)

    I hummed the Dies Irae, you played the Hallelujah
    Leave me to my cell, don't leave me in my cell

    (he feels that everyone else is calling god wonderful but him. He is wondering why any god would have the world so miserable, and how anyone could worship that god. (by the way, that means 'anger of the gods' in latin, for those who isn't know). but at the end, he doesn't want to be left all alone (without the community that religion provides, maybe?))

    If you'd been made to serve a master,
    You'd be frightened by the open hand,
    Frightened by the hand

    Could I've been made to serve a master?
    Well I'm never going to understand, never understand

    (it's what a lot of religious people say, that people are frightened by the open hand. well, he's saying that it may be true, but he just can't get behind religion, and he knows he will probably never understand life or the meaning of it, anyways, and accepts it)

    Hold me in your everlasting arms
    Looked up full of fears
    Trapped beneath a chandelier that's going down

    (he still sometimes feels a yearning for protection. Maybe life would be easier if he believed he was going to be saved someday)
    LipbalmMonsteron February 14, 2014   Link
  • -1
    My InterpretationThis album seems to have religious tones for those out there that are religious. Although I think all VW songs have dual meanings for audiences. I believe this one is straight forward, someone struggling with religion and seemingly a loss. Uses the word Hokum, which is the worst thing you can call religion essentially. Something that is supposed to be impressive but is actually nonsense.

    This is one of my favorites on the new album so I thought it needed a comment!
    Indiefolker43on May 07, 2013   Link

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