If I ever leave this world alive
I'll thank for all the things you did in my life
If I ever leave this world alive
I'll come back down and sit beside your
Feet tonight
Wherever I am you'll always be
More than just a memory
If I ever leave this world a-alive

If I ever leave this world alive
I'll take on all the sadness
That I left behind me
If I ever leave this world alive
The madness that you feel will soon subside
So in a word don't shed a tear
I'll be here when it all gets weird
If I ever leave this world a-alive

So when in doubt just call my name
Just before you go insane
If I ever leave this world
Hey I may never leave this world
But if I ever leave this world alive

She says I'm okay, I'm alright
Though you have gone from my life
You said that it would
Now everything should be all right

She says I'm okay, I'm alright
Though you have gone from my life
You said that it would
Now everything should be all right
Yeah should be alright


Lyrics submitted by black_cow_of_death, edited by lyearley

If I Ever Leave This World Alive Lyrics as written by David R King Bridget A Regan

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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If I Ever Leave This World Alive song meanings
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  • +3
    General Comment

    I discovered this song and F.M. after I signed my druggie ex-girlfriend into a mental hospital. We broke up later because, clean or smashed, she was still selfish and crazy. So that may have some bearing on my reading of the meaning.

    The way I read it, the song's in a similar vein as the letter by Sullivan Ballou fatured in "The Civil War". A man knowing that he may soon die (in battle) writes to his wife to tell her that if he doesn't return, to know that he will still love her:

    "But, 0 Sarah, if the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they love, I shall always be with you, in the brightest day and in the darkest night... always, always. And when the soft breeze fans your cheek, it shall be my breath, or the cool air your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.

    Sarah do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for me, for we shall meet again... "

    That's how I interpret, "If I ever leave this world alive." He's saying: If I could break the bonds of reality and had the power to visit you as a spirit without the need to answer the everyday demands of reality, I'd find a way to bring you comfort and ease your mind somehow that I couldn't find while I was with you.

    So the song ends on an up-beat because She says she's ok, she's all right. She realizises that he had to leave to make things better for them both and that he was right: Maybe she can handle things without him.

    labradoreon May 07, 2007   Link
  • +3
    My Opinion

    This is one of the most beautiful songs ever.

    What makes him such a wonderful lyricist (not only in this song, but just about every single song of theirs) is that he leaves things open for interpretation. Such depth come from a person's soul. The band is so wonderful because they believe in their music and just let every note pour out from inside of them.

    I always interpret this song as promise. "You may not see me, but I am here. When you can't take any more, just give me all of your anger, stress and sadness. I'll make it better. Even if you can't see me, tell me, and I'll fix it."

    It's the most beautiful love song. It isn't just based on romantic feelings, but on those relationships that you will carry with you forever (friends and family as well as significant other).

    This song makes me want to cry as well as makes me feel so happy inside, which transcends with the feelings that come along with loosing someone. You are so sad they are gone, and yet you know they would want you to be happy. So you think of all the good times, and toss the bad away. Flogging Molly captures that compilations of feelings in this song. At least for me.

    Socalblondieon March 29, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I don’t think this song is necessarily about death. We all go through bereavement regardless to whether we physically lose a person. I believe the world that he is speaking of is the world that they share, but staying in that world is suffocating him — “if I ever leave this world alive”. It was memorable, more then memorable for that matter. He’s never going to forget it, and sure, she’s going to be angry when he walks away, but when she reaches the stage of acceptance like he has, she too will be “okay”.

    Goldilockson June 14, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I would like to thank everyone for their insights into this wonderful song. I agree with the those who have said that they see themes of caring on after loss. However, I have a very specific interpretation of these lyrics based on 1 Corinthians 15:22, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."

    I believe "leaving the world" refers to physical death, passing from this mortal life to another. While the "alive" part refers to spiritual life. Most Christian theologians would agree that to be alive in Christ means to match your thoughts and actions to those modeled by the Savior and thus receiving his life and light into your life guaranteeing your salvation. Thus "if I ever leave this world alive" means "if I should die in a state of spiritual purity having atoned for my sins and performed the Lord's work here on Earth."

    I think the first verse is addressed to Christ himself expressing the singer's gratitude and love for the Savior. After shuffing off this mortal coil the singer will sit beside the Savior's feet "like a little child" and receive further teaching. "Wherever I am" (i.e. this world or the next) "you will always be more than just a memory" means that Jesus will always be close to the singer's heart and countenance.

    The following verses, on the other hand, I feel are directed toward a loved one being left behind. I always think of my wife, but it could just as easily be a girlfriend, child, or other loved one. "I'll take on the sadness that I left behind" to me ties into the first verse indicating repentance for his sins, making amends for the pain he has caused whether intentional or not.

    I believe the next part of that verse is intended to comfort the loved one left behind. To someone who has just lost a spouse or other loved one life may seem chaotic, mad and weird. In this section the singer is saying that he will watch over her, comfort, and protect her. This type of spiritual freedom on the other side can only be expected if the deceased died in a virtuous state which is why the "If I ever..." line needs be repeated.

    During the bridge the singer acknowledges that he may not be able to achieve his goal, "Hey I may never, but if I ever..." He knows that "enduring to the end" is difficult and he may not be worthy. However, he is professing his eternal love and desire to tread a virtuous path so that he will be able to give her the love and comfort she deserves after he is gone.

    Finally, we get to the last part of the song where he quotes the woman left behind. She expresses her trust in the man she loves. In the previous verse and bridge he told her that he would be a good man and watch over her when he is gone. Now, she is saying that she believes him and is comforted by that. She will be able to go on knowing that he is waiting for her on the other side.

    I know not everyone will agree with this interpretation and I'm okay with that. The song is deeply personal and comforting to me. I've enjoyed reading the stories of others who were/are comforted. I want to thank the band for recording this and making it available to the rest of us.

    Zolackon August 12, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This sounds odd, but it reminds me of my boyfriend. He passed away a while ago after a long battle with cancer, and before he went he told me that I shouldn't cry and that things would be okay and that he'd never really leave me alone. This song always reminds me of him.

    LikeRebelDiamonds28on April 15, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    In my opinion, Rhieghland got the meaning right.

    When King says "If I ever leave this world alive," he's not talking about dying. The word "world" doesn't necessarily mean the earth. He's instead talking about his immediate world, his neighborhood, city, what have you. It's the world that contains the person he is singing the song to, be it his mother or lover. It's hard for me to imagine it being a man he's singing to as a woman sings the "I'm okay" part.

    He's saying that no matter where he goes in his travels, no matter where his life takes him, he'll always be protecting the woman. He's reassuring her. He might never leave her side, but he just wants to let her know that she'll always be with him and that he'll always be with her, at least in spirit. "Whever I am you'll always be more than just a memory."

    chinesetoefooon October 16, 2008   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning

    My first go at it was someone who was knowingly losing their mind was telling those they love how much they mean to them before they lost touch with reality. Perhaps past experience watching a family member with Alzheimer's mentally die long before they physically died drove me towards this conclusion.

    Hell of a song any way you look at it!

    blackarmon March 04, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Im pretty annoyed actually. Websites like this are supposed to be debates on song meanings and different interpretations to each and every person of the lyrics in the song. On one of the most lyrically relevant and moving songs in which the artist is clearly going over either a personified or personal scenario in a way that to either miss someone who has left someones life, by moving on or dying and puting a consolation on trying to explain that no matter what, when they're gone they do not want any sort of dwelling or grieving, to just remember the good times and not to feel hurt.

    However, most of this page of comments surrounds some clown who cant appreciate that different kinds of people like different kinds of music. By claiming that posers should keep away? or whatever. When it comes down to it, the only person who shouldnt be listening to a song is the person calling out stupidity like that. If they cant listen to a song without arguing who should or shouldnt listen to it also then they shouldnt listen to music at all, since they clearly dont have a clue.

    Anyway, beautiful song, I've been listening to Flogging Molly for years, and recently my nephew passed away and this song was the first thing i got playing, it's just a song that personally i feel gets me through a hard time.

    drunkenlullaby89on May 05, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This is such an incredible song. I don't know why it was this song, but this song saved me, I was so down, so depressed and so out of it, I was going to end it all, I could barely stand the idea of waking up, but then I listened to this song one time and it made me think about my girlfriend, my mom and my friends, what they would think, that maybe I could see them again, but I know that suicide is an unforgivable sin. But I just thought about what would happen to everything, I didn't want to forget all of my memories, experience the unexperienced, and I knew that I WAS going to leave this world alive. I couldn't imagine what would happen to my friends, my mom, but most of all my girlfriend. She has experienced so much loss in her life and I couldn't do it to her, I love her more than anything in the universe and the one thing that I was afraid of before I was going to do it was the thought of never seeing her again. I thought of what my friends would say at my funeral, what would happen to her, what would happen to my mom, and I know that I am too young and have too much that hasn't happened in my life to die now. I will never look at the world the same way, I'll give everything a smile and just be happy that I am seeing it, experiencing it, knowing now how precious life is, realizing how scary it can be to be on a crumbling cliff, I will always give that person who is down a person to talk to, I wish what I was going through mentally on no one. Thank you Flogging Molly, you saved me.

    Gunsnroses1350on November 05, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    nah its still poseur..

    retarded-slothon August 26, 2002   Link

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