"Witness" as written by Gavin Richard Harrison, Mick Karn and Gary Sanctuary....
Make me a witness
Take me out
Out of darkness
Out of doubt

I won't weigh you down
With good intention
Won't make fire out of clay
Or other inventions

Will we burn in heaven
Like we do down here
Will the change come
While we're waiting

Everyone is waiting

And when we're done
Soul searching
As we carried the weight
And died for the cause
Is misery
Made beautiful
Right before our eyes
Will mercy be revealed
Or blind us where we stand

Will we burn in heaven
Like we do down here
Will the change come while we're waiting
Everyone is waiting

Make me a witness
Take me out
Out of darkness
Out of doubt


Lyrics submitted by kevin

"Witness" as written by Sarah Mclachlan, Pierre Marchand

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Witness song meanings
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17 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI always interpreted the song like this:
    The world has so many problems (political, social, moral, take your pick) but instead of trying to fix them, we just wait around, hoping things will be better in heaven. I think Sarah is doubting whether that will really happen, and wondering whether human beings should make the Earth itself a better place, rather than waiting to be delivered to one.

    Sort of an athiest point of view, but that's how I have always thought of this song.
    Bobathinon September 02, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is so powerful. I think I understand it because it says : "Will we burn in heaven like we do down here.." - and I think many people are suffering in their life that the person knows and the person feels like everything is cursed and bad and nothing will ever get better, and the person is wondering if heaven will be the same or if it will set them free from the darkness, because "everyone is waiting.."
    cay15on July 18, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentEveryone needs to hear this on Mirrorball. One of Sarah's best songs. Far better than the original recording...

    And oh yeah. I love this song. It is about religion and being curious about the end of our lives.
    Andrew Evenstaron October 15, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song really reminds me of the trials during the Inquisition. She talks about "as we carried the weight
    and died for the cause". This reminds me of all the martyrs that were innocently killed for thier beliefs whether they be Christian or pagan. Also she sings will we burn in heaven like we do down here", which would seem to be a question that someone who is burning at the steak would question themselves on... Perhaps after loosing faith in theiGod...The good intentions also remind me of the persecutors attitude. They thought they were riding the world of evil, devilish people, but the people who are being killed wont weigh them down with good intentions...And the people who died are defintly Witnesses to the savagery of that mankind can inflict on other members of thier race.... Its a beautiful song and I love it!!!
    tjord00on July 08, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is a plea for knowledge about life and death. she is asking to be made a witness to the truth and to be taken out of darkness (her current ignorant state) and out of doubt. when she says "wont weigh you down with good intention or make fire out of clay or other inventions" she is bargaining with her maker...if you show me I wont misinterpret, or create false truths. Then she asks the question: "will we burn in heaven", in the afterlife, "like we do down here", in life where we are filled with desires and urges that burn but we are taught to repress so that we can go to heaven. "will the change come while we're waiting" on our deathbead will we see the truth? will I be changed then? "everyone is waiting", we all die and we are all waiting to know the answers. when she says "And when we;re done soul searching" she is refering to old age.
    "when we've carried the weight" carried burden and responsibility "and died for a cause" the cause of living a good life "is missery made beautiful right before our eyes" is our suffering made beautiful as we die? "will mercy be revealed and blind us where we stand" will we be allowed into heaven and be blinded by the light of god?

    I'm not a religious person but this is how i interpret the song.
    Silver_bson October 26, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with Silver_bs I adore this song and have always thought it was about life and death and wanting to understand how they work, trying to put thoughts into context. My favourite line, and one of my favourite Sarah lines is from this song; ''will we burn in heaven like we do down here, will the change come while we're waiting, everyone is waiting' We stand around waiting to understand and know things, we should be actively searching out answers, like Sarah is in this song. The live version of this song is absolutely amazing, it is one of my most loved tracks because of the live version. Hearing it two times at her concert gave me goosebumps and I had the hugest smile on my face because of those amazing full band harmonies....anyone else know what I'm talking about?
    Frangelisairon May 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think about someone who is passionate about their lover and they stuggle with life everyday, so she wonders if it'll always be like this or will there be a time of solace when they die.
    servitude_servedon February 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love the guitar parts in this song, but the lyrics are some of her best, IMO. You know what everyone is waiting for? The rapture. Revelation. I'm kinda losing faith that it will happen. It's been about 2000 years too long.
    floyd336on January 20, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's waiting for some sort of religious sign, since there seems to frustration that a lot has happened with very little visible proof of any good from it.
    AthenAltenaon March 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have never been able to hear this song without crying, honestly.
    Tatsumakion July 26, 2007   Link

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