You wear guilt
Like shackles on your feet
Like a halo in reverse
I can feel
The discomfort in your seat
And in your head, it's worse

There's a pain
A famine in your heart
An aching to be free

Can't you see?
All love's luxuries
Are here for you and me

And when our worlds, they fall apart
When the walls come tumbling in
Though we may deserve it
It will be worth it

Bring your chains
Your lips of tragedy
And fall into my arms

And when our worlds, they fall apart
When the walls come tumbling in
Though we may deserve it
It will be worth it

And when our worlds, they fall apart
When the walls come tumbling in
Though we may deserve it
It will be worth it

And when our worlds, they fall apart
When the walls come tumbling in
Though we may deserve it
It will be worth it

And when our worlds, they fall apart
When the walls come tumbling in
Though we may deserve it
It will be worth it


Lyrics submitted by numb

Halo Lyrics as written by Martin Gore

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Halo song meanings
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29 Comments

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  • +8
    General Comment

    The guilt and the reverse halo means something different than how I have seen it explained so far by a lot of people. She uses the guilt as a reason not to allow herself to be happy so while she is a pillar of being "good" (hence the halo) it is not because she is doing it out of her own freewill and rather than she is letting this halo that should be on the top of her head bind her feet instead and not allow her to pursue happiness. In the video you can see that she is there with Dave in the trailer instead of spending time with Martin which is what makes her happy. That guilt has made it to where she cannot move.

    At least that is how I have always taken the song.

    Kaos71on April 29, 2011   Link
  • +5
    General Comment

    I think this song is about an affair he is having with a married women. Who is feeling guilty about the affair and he is saying that even if they get caught in the end it will be worth it.

    Jennacoleon June 17, 2003   Link
  • +5
    General Comment

    This is by far my favorite DM song. My analysis is similar to rexbasior's, only the "guy" is not a creep. -Just a really horny one. Here goes!

    "You wear guilt Like shackles on your feet Like a halo in reverse" -is referring to how someone lets their guilt restrain them, and it stops them from doing what they want.

    "I can feel The discomfort in your seat And in your head it's worse" -could be referring to this persons physical/emotional discomfort caused by aphrodisia.

    "There's a pain A famine in your heart An aching to be free" -referring to this person's desire to have sex, and 'break free' from those 'shackles of guilt'.

    "Can't you see All love's luxuries Are here for you and me" -basically saying that sex, one of "love's luxuries," is available for them.

    "Bring your chains Your lips of tragedy And fall into my arms" -He's requesting her to forget about the guilt/consequences and engage.

    and lastly, the chorus "And when our worlds they fall apart When the walls come tumbling in Though we may deserve it It will be worth it." -Is saying that having sex will have drastic, life-altering, consequences that by engaging will be completely be their fault. -However, the intercourse will make it worth it.

    Wow... ¡Estoy en caliente ahora!

    dufresneon April 30, 2005   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    The first three lines alone make this song an instant classic.

    neobomanon February 23, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    tattauon September 17, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I was sitting listening to this song yesterday on my iPod at work and I suddenly homed in on a greater meaning of the whole song. You see, I had always focused on just a few of the lyrics at the beginning---the real showstopping, knock-em-dead poetry of these lines:

    "You wear guilt Like shackles on your feet Like a halo in reverse I can feel The discomfort in your seat And in your head it's worse

    There's a pain A famine in your heart An aching to be free."

    I was very focused on these lyrics not only because they are so beautifully written but because they speak most directly to me, a person who has an instinctive need to be seen as "Good" and who is trapped by guilt at every step, every turn.

    I have also, for YEARS, heard that second stanza as "There's a PLEA" [not "pain"] of famine in your heart" and it's always been the most memorable of all the lines in the song. In fact, for me, it's been among the most memorable of all lines in all pop or rock music. So, it's pretty surprising to me to find out that the word is actually "pain." I loved it so much as "plea" because it's so incredibly evocative, this image of "a plea of famine in your heart"--a hunger that is plaintive, that yearns. I know that plaintive hunger, that "plea of famine," because I feel it every day.

    Anyway, yesterday I found myself really listening to the song in its entirety, not just those few lines, and after listening a few times in earnest to the chorus (which I've always just glossed over as a catchy little jangle), I realized the significance of these words: "And when our worlds they fall apart/When the walls come tumbling in/Though we may deserve it/It will be worth it."

    That catchy little chorus suddenly pierced me with its truth: I know that my world has to fall apart, that all the structures I've built and tried desperately to keep in place must come crashing down and that, despite the immense pain and trauma of this eruption, despite the fact that I deserve it, it will all, in the end, be worth it. (At least, I have to believe that it will be).

    It will be worth it because although I'll be crushed by the guilt of having destroyed a loved one's life through my choice to leave them, I will have set us both free. I will have set myself free of the guilt of trying to always be Good, a self-sacrificer, a martyr.

    Ultimately, in listening to this song more carefully than I ever have in years of loving it, I came to the same conclusion as Kaos71, below, who wrote:

    "She uses the guilt as a reason not to allow herself to be happy so while she is a pillar of being "good" (hence the halo) it is not because she is doing it out of her own freewill and rather than she is letting this halo that should be on the top of her head bind her feet instead and not allow her to pursue happiness."

    I never cease to be amazed at the power of some popular music lyrics, at what a potentially powerful medium it can be in the hands of wordsmiths like Depeche Mode, Tori Amos, Kate Bush, Freddie Mercury, and many others. Who says poetry in our modern era is dead?

    Delvyon July 12, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I love this song, it's my favorite Depeche Mode song.. I THINK what he's trying to say is that him and a lover's worlds are both doomed anyway.. They might as well let misery enjoy some company..

    maxpower114on February 08, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    classic line-- I can feel the discomfort in your seat and in your head its worse-- he can tell her awkwardness comes from somewhere deeper than her body

    demona333on June 15, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    A friend of mine claimed it's about the love between a priest and a nun because of the religious connotation of the title. Well, it really made me laugh. But then, the lyrics don't really disprove his perception.

    Nevertheless I favour an angle of view a bit wider than this. Generally speaking, it claims that love itself outweighs all consequences that might come from giving in to it. Simple as that.

    licdamicon August 10, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    this is my absolute favorite. i think it's from the point of view of an absolute creep who is trying to convince that sex in itself is worth it regardless of consequences.

    rexbasioron December 30, 2004   Link

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