"How to Be Dead" as written by Gary Lightbody, Mark Pete Mcclelland, Jonathan Graham Quinn and Nathan Connolly....
Please don't go crazy, if I tell you the truth,
No you don't know what happened, and you never, will,
If you don't listen to me while I talk to the wall,
This blanket is freezing, its been out in the hall,
Where you fight me for hours, 'til I'm sure what I want
But darling I want the same thing, that I wanted before,
So sweetheart tell me what's up, I won't stop, no way.

Please keep your hands down, and stop raising your voice,
Its hardly what I'd be doing, if you gave me a choice,
Its a simple suggestion, can you give me some time,
So just say yes or no, why can't you shoulder the blame?
'cause both my shoulders are heavy, from the weight of us both,
You're a big boy now, so lets not talk about growth,
You've not heard a single word I have said, Oh My God,

Please take it easy, It can't all be my fault,
I haven't made half the mistakes, that you've listed so far,
Baby let me explain something, its all down to drugs,
At least I remember taking them, and not a lot else,
It seems I've stepped over lines, you've drawn again and again,
but if the ecstasy's in, the wit is definitely out,
Dr Jekyll is wrestling Hyde, for my pride.


Lyrics submitted by huebert

"How to Be Dead" as written by Gary Lightbody Nathan Connolly

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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How to Be Dead song meanings
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104 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentBoy: "Please don't go crazy, if I tell you the truth
    No you don't know what happened
    And you never will if
    You don't listen to me while I talk to the wall."
    Girl: "This blanket is freezing."
    Boy: "It's been out in the hall,
    Where you've had me for hours
    Till I'm sure what I want,
    But darling I want the same thing that I wanted before."
    Girl: "So sweetheart tell me what's up I won't stop, no way."

    Girl: "Please keep your hands down
    And stop raising your voice"
    Boy: "It's hardly what I'd be doing if you gave me a choice!"
    Girl "It's a simple suggestion. Can you give me some time?"
    Boy: "Just say yes or no!"
    Girl: "Why can't you shoulder the blame?"
    Boy: " 'Cause both my shoulders are heavy,
    From the weight of us both."
    Girl: "You're a big boy now so let's not talk about growth."
    Boy: "You've not heard a single word I have said...
    Oh, my God."

    Boy: "Please take it easy it can't all be my fault
    I haven't made half the mistakes
    That you've listed so far.
    Oh baby let me explain something
    It's all down to drugs
    At least I remember taking the and not a lot else.
    It seems I've stepped over lines
    You've drawn again and again.
    But if the ecstacy's in the wit is definitely out,
    Dr. Jekyll is wrestling Hyde for my pride."
    xxMusicLIFExxon July 31, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think it's a parent and a child arguing. The child feeling smothered (It seems I've stepped over lines
    You've drawn again and again) and the parent thinking they'e doing what's best by telling the child what to do because they've been through it before.
    Eg. "Oh baby let me explain something
    It's all down to drugs
    At least I remember taking the and not a lot else"

    I think if you read through it with the perspective that the parent and child are alternately the singer in the song then it makes sense
    cliche_don October 28, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe song is quite obviously about a failed relationship. the speaker is attempting to mend things, as he is being attacked and played as the instagator.

    it's unclear as to whether or not the romatic other is male or female("you're a big boy now, so let's not talk about growth.")

    their relationship is on the breaks, and the speaker is attempting to save it, while simultaneoudly realizing that his romantic other is not as perfect as he had hoped("You've not heard a single word I have said... Oh, my God.")

    he mentions a few resons as to why the relationship has been bad so fat(drugs, sensationalism, and failure for the other party to accept responsibility.)

    he starts the song desperately wanting to fix things, but perhaps by the end he's not sure.

    great song.
    shoezon January 25, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think "You're a big boy now so let's not talk about growth" is the only line that the girl says in reply to "Coz both my shoulders are heavy. From the weight of us both" and then the guy is frustrated that she hasn't listened to anything else, and didn't understand what he was saying at all
    sabion February 17, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI definitely agree with the possible interpretation about an argument between a parent and son/daughter. I remember going to work one day after a massive argument with my mum and this song coming on my MP3 player and it seeming to make perfect sense to me.
    cole131on June 02, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI like the Atlas reference. I like how he feels like he's been left out in the cold to make a decision and it just shouldn't be like that. It's much better to make a decision somewhere warm. I like the beat of the song. I just think fights are so dumb. Like they have safety words when you are into kinky sex but they don't have them for fights. I don't get that. I just think people need to learn to laugh and keep an open mind... Every minute spent alone in the hallway is one minute spent foolishly. There really is no reason to be sad. I think the Dr. Jekyll/Hide reference is nice. Some people turn into monsters when they get fucked up... but hey... if you find someone you can really relate to you never have to worry about being depressed and different when your fucked up. You'll be happy even with a drink or two in ya.
    perhapspsychologyon January 09, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPlease don't go crazy, if I tell you the truth
    No you don't know what happened
    And you never will if
    You don't listen to me while I talk to the wall
    This blanket is freezing, it's been out in the hall
    Where you've had me for hours
    Till I'm sure what I want
    But darling I want the same thing that I wanted before
    So sweetheart tell me what's up I won't stop no way

    The first part gives me the sense that they are in a hospital and the speaker just had like an overdose on something.. and he says the blanket is cold but its because he is experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Also he is talking to walls cuse he is allucinating from the drugs. Since to whoever he is singing this song to seems not to know about his drugs abuse he is trying to explain the overdose
    CabforCutieon May 11, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis is not a phone conversation. It seems more a argument between a man and woman in a relationship, speaking face to face. As stated, he's been out in the hall for hours. The song appears to begin with the male speaking in the first stanza, the female is the second stanza, and he speaks again in the last stanza. It appears they are arguing about his drug use and she is attempting to get him to admit fault and see what it is doing to the relationship.
    pixelwireon June 01, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is my favorite song of Snow Patrol's, it's beautifully written. I love everyone's feed back it's given me such an insight on this particular song and everyone feels so strongly about what they believe. though i have to say that forming your own opinions and beliefs is as important as taking the advice of someone elses to heart. i believe that you should find your own insights to this song. It can be interpreted many different ways and each way is individual and unique due to the emotional attachment that so many people have for this song. Everyone who enjoys this song has a reason as to why, same to those who don't like it. Go enjoy Snow Patrols beautifully written and performed music. Love that you have the option to post your own opinion and remember that the person's opinion that truly matters is your own, and taking anyone elses opinion to heart is the reason you change your own. Take a moment to bask in the glory that you are able to listen to this beautiful song and form your own opinion that may or may not influence someone elses
    whoknowswhoon February 08, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is my favorite song of theirs.
    mink0on June 07, 2004   Link

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