It's not the pain I'm used to it
I'ts feeling like I'm already dead
I see from the ceiling a misty spirit
Rising from a place in my head

And I never even get to go down
Down in flames

I said friend you have a life to see
Why do you scare me so?
All the suffering's a mystery to me
I can't even pretend to know

So you'll never even get to go down
Down in flames

We had plans to explore the stars
Be rejected by stage door guards
Mining for gold as the time unreels
Not stifling behind suburban wheels
Not stifling behind suburban wheels

The plan was too burn up when the air was clear
We'd all wear our visors down
An arcwelder spark in the atmosphere
Not this man-sized hole in the ground

Now your father's face is frozen between anger and tears
Your mother's hair's amazingly gray
And I'm seeing these friends for the first time in years
It's icicle reunion day

And you never even got to go down
Down in flames
You never even got to go down
Down in flames.


Lyrics submitted by immortalbeloved

Down in Flames Lyrics as written by Dan Wilson

Lyrics © WORDS & MUSIC A DIV OF BIG DEAL MUSIC LLC

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Down In Flames song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI believe this song is about dieing and not acomplishing what you wanted
    Zogrimon February 24, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEasily on of there best songs. I cannot believe noone has commented on it yet.
    citizendildo2045on November 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTheir I mean, not there.
    citizendildo2045on November 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about a friend committing suicide. He talks about the suffering being a mystery. It's often hard to understand the pain that would drive someone to suicide. The stanza about the funeral implies a premature death, since both parents are still alive.
    Irontruthon February 18, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningIt is definitely a reflection on a close friend's death, could be suicide or risky behavior or an accident, and the emptiness that follows, thinking: This isn't how it was supposed to be. I feel lucky to have been exposed to this band by sheer accident, I worked at the indy label that put out their first EP which was AMAZING, and meeting them was struck by what great guys they are, and so I took interest in their later releases. This is how I came to know and love this tune.

    But let me tell you about my personal connection to this song-- A few years before this came out, I lost a very close friend in the kind of dumb accident that happens when really drunk messed up people stop using their brains. It was so pointless how he died; we all felt he was a young (22) vibrant, talented person intended for so much more.

    When this album came out I was almost paralyzed with how closely this song mapped to the things I still struggled with around my friend's death. HOw could this happen? This wasnt how it was supposed to be. We were supposed to do all these things in life, you were supposed to be great somehow, and if death came it would be glorious- burning out in a ball of flame that left its mark on the world-- not dumb and stupid like it happened.

    And the bit about the funeral gives me chills, it was so dead-on-- seeing a bunch of friends you hadnt seen since high school, feeling like you wanted to be happy at a kind of reunion but then thinking, oh yeah, we're hear because our friend fell out of a 6th story window because he was tripping on acid. At the funeral I remember being struck by his dad, pale and stunned-- "frozen between anger and fear"-- and his mom's gray hair... I always felt that the songwriter may have channeled that experience for me and every time I hear it I am brought back to that experience from my early 20s.
    andrikos1988on October 29, 2018   Link

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