"People Live Here" as written by and Tim Mcilrath....
My God is better than yours
And the walls of my house are so thick
I hear nothing at all

I followed you out in the storm
But it carried you off
And I burned every picture of yours
Was that not enough?

My gun is bigger than yours
So let's arm the masses
And see what the bastards do then
Walking tall once set us apart
Now we're down on all fours
Do you cry my name in the dark
Like I do yours?

These storms are getting stronger now
Trusses all bend and sway
Lightning hits, the power goes out in the fray
As the waves crash high
And the shoreline disappears
I will scream to the sky
"Hey, people live here."

My dreams are not unlike yours
They long for the safety
And break like a glass chandelier
But there's laughter and oh there is love
Just past the edge of our fears
And there's chaos when push comes to shove
But it's music to my ears

May you be in Heaven before the Devil knows you're dead
May these winds be always at your back

'Cause when we're all just ghosts
And the madness overtakes us
We will look at the ashes
And say, People lived here

From the penthouse to the holy martyr
Sea to shining sea
From the coffins full of kindergartners
Is this what you call free?
From the hate that drips from all your crosses
Are your hands so clean?

And the wildfire and it's spreading far
From sea to shining sea

When we're all just ghosts
And the madness overtakes us
I will scream to the sky, yeah I'll scream to the sky
Yeah I'll scream to the sky
Hey, people live here


Lyrics submitted by internettoughguy56, edited by carlalsford

"People Live Here" as written by Timothy Mcilrath

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

People Live Here song meanings
Add your thoughts

6 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +6
    My InterpretationThe song seems to be about religious conflict between two nations.

    These lines are from the aggressor:

    "My god is better than yours
    And the walls of my house are so thick
    I hear nothing at all"

    "My gun is bigger than yours
    So let's arm the masses
    And see what the bastards do then"

    The whole rest of the song is from the victim. In particular, the "Hey, people live here" line seems to be a person's cry to the bombs being dropped, as if the aggressor does not care at all.

    Finally, the following lines reinforce my thoughts as it points out the unnecessary violence towards the innocent, combined with a direct sarcastic remark towards America as we claim that we are a free nation. I feel like it's Tim's way of saying that if America was truly free, we would not need to attack other nations which takes away their own sense of freedom.

    "From the coffins full of kindergartners
    Is this what you call free?"
    Bryzon July 29, 2014   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI'm not really sure what the song is about. It seems to be about people who are hiding behind a fake image.

    "My god is better than yours,
    And the walls of my house are so thick I hear nothing at all"

    This to me is saying that people are stuck in their own thoughts and won't listen to anything anyone else has to say that goes against their thoughts.

    The second verse sounds like it's about how we used to take pride in ourselves and now we are like slaves, or scared. Along the lines of we used to hold ourselves high and had something great and now we have fallen because of the very things that made us that way.

    The storms and lightning part seems to mean that something with great power or force is bending us, making great people bad. When that power strikes down and makes a decision, everyone runs, or shuts down, instead of fighting back.
    Seems like he's alone in a fight against something that he alone cannot fight.

    The third verse is saying that we are all alike. We need to come together and we can make everything better and happier if we over come the stronger power, he loves to hear about people fighting the stronger power.

    I think the fourth verse is saying
    Something along the lines of, he hopes that all goes well, because if we let it go, we will regret it when were dead. We will see everything and realize that something could have been done.

    In the last part he's making it clear that it is an American problem, it is everyone's fault, from the rich, to the people who are supposed to be leaders. We are allowing events like the death of children to go unchanged. No one is seeing the problem we need to stop. Its everywhere. "From sea to shining sea". Those we are supposed to look up to are not exactly what they should be. "Are your hands so clean"?

    Just my opinion.
    Mu$icon July 20, 2014   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningWhen it's all over, was it worth the pain?
    aasdf11647on August 02, 2014   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationOkay, here I go with my thoughts on this one.

    I'm quite surprised that those interpretations already posted didn't say any word about all those "Gods" in here.

    It's starting with the plain statement
    "My God is better than yours"

    leading up to the question
    "From the hate that drips from all your crosses
    Are your hands so clean?"

    Also, those storms appear to me as the image of a god-made epic catastrophy that's building up over time - first, some loved person seems to be dragged away, later "the shoreline disappears" and "trusses bend and sway", but the narrator will stay there and scream to the sky - to God?

    Maybe those storms could also be religious conflicts? That would connect to the "hate that drips from all your crosses"...

    I really "feel" a storyline about a conflict against God or between multiple Gods and their followers in this one but I can't quite grasp it... so those are just some ideas. Maybe someone else will find a way to connect all of that.
    Plus I have no idea who the person could be that is adressed in the lines

    And I burned every picture of yours
    Was that not enough?
    ...
    Do you cry my name in the dark
    Like I do yours?
    ...
    May you be in Heaven before the Devil knows you're dead
    May these winds be always at your back

    Clearly it has to be someone else than those other "you"s in other parts of the song.

    Looking forward to other ideas!
    Silkeningon July 24, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThis song sounds a lot like how the U.S. is falling apart and how America is so broken, yet we consider our hands so clean. But even though we are so broken, when a figurative hell is upon us, he'll scream up to god in anger "hey people live here". He still has hope for us.
    Pr1muson January 03, 2015   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think it talks about a conflict between religious fundamentalists and a dictator the opening lines my god is better than yours coming from the religious fundamentalists basically saying that their God is better than the dictator who sees themselves as God. The next line is metaphorical and about how they are so entrenched in their beliefs that it overrides all else. The next line is from the dictators point of view with the statement my gun is bigger than yours taking about the size of his military in comparison to the rebels. He then goes on to talk about
    arming the masses perhaps instead of literally he is talking about giving the people power and he is talking about the people when he says se what the bastards do then implying that they would end up giving their power to the religious fundamentalists

    Then when it goes on to talk about may you be in heaven before the devil realises you're dead is someone talking about how the dictator is going to hell. It then talks about the effects of the war with coffins full of kindergarteners is this what you call free is the one one of the dictators supporters talking about the religious fundamentalists perhaps shelling or bombing children.

    It then ends with both sides looking forward to the end of the civil war and the best outcome either of them could see is ashes and dust where only their gohsts will remember that people lived here
    JMorton September 04, 2016   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain