Will you say when I'm gone away
"My lover came to me and we'd lay
In rooms unfamiliar but until now"

Will you say to them when I'm gone
"I loved your son for his sturdy arms
We both learned to cradle then live without"

Will you say when I'm gone away
'Your father's body was judgment day
We both dove and rose to the riverside"

Will you say to me when I'm gone
"Your face has faded but lingers on
Because light strikes a deal with each coming night"


Lyrics submitted by sethbrown, edited by riverajosie2

Each Coming Night Lyrics as written by Samuel Ervin Beam

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Each Coming Night song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentThis song is about a lifetime of love that can be regarded as a great story. What becomes of our moments spent together and who will know of them in their entirety but us - our youth, the first born, summer days? I think Sam Beam tries to express that idea here.

    The last stanza shows that their love is eternal.
    myjeetoon June 12, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think it's the representation of love, the way the memories flood back in perfect ideals ("Your father's body was Judgement Day" -- mixing personal love for someone with the Image of Christ, relaying love in the ultimate spiritual terms), for someone who's lost the one they love.

    The woman I love quoted this song to me, when she left.
    PhiloMathon August 17, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Commentthis song is a lover's thoughts on how he will be perceived after death. he is wondering what the one he loves the most will do and say when she is forced with the reality of living in a world without him. truly savvy. sam beam is true genius. simply.
    camchickon July 11, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI really relate to the second verse of this song.

    When he sings:

    Will you say to them when I'm gone away:
    "I loved your son for his sturdy arms
    We both learned to cradle then live without"


    I really relate to that.
    I had a girlfriend for half a year and we just broke up about a month ago.
    She always told me one of the best feelings she had was when I held her.
    She told me that she loved my arms because they were big, and I guess: sturdy.
    So to me it feels that the second verse personally belongs to me.
    She has learned to live without me now, she has someone else.
    However, I really have learned to live without her.
    And it was just when it kind of felt like our love was at it's peak.


    Taaahmmon November 05, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Commentyes it its amazing. but its not a band. iron and wine is one guy, sam beam. i highly recommend seeing him live. he will play alot of stuff you probably haven't heard.
    drowningnoahon December 09, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI would just add that I don't think it's all necessarily about ways he wants or expects to be remembered. Moments of it feel to me more like fear, either of failing to actually live up to the hopes he's expressing in the song, or just of not being enough. Maybe he would like to be remembered for more than just his sturdy arms, but he's not sure if he's been more. "Will you say when I'm gone..." is phrased in a way that leaves it ambiguous. The future is not certain, his understanding of her heart is incomplete. He wonders if she sees the relationship the same way he does, and what will stand out to her in decades to come, and whether it's the same as what he's tried to be and to communicate.
    meudwenon July 09, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMy favorite Iron & Wine song. To me it conveys a sense of profound joy and love that comes out of the knowledge of death and impermanence. Life and love seem more precious when you know that they will eventually be gone and only memories will be left.
    notemilyon March 10, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song means a lot to me. I completely believe that this song is about someone who is the Army. "Will you say to them when I'm gone, 'I loved your son for his sturdy arms. We both learned to cradle then live without" I think this about a man who can't express what he feels and wants very well but wanted to show of little bit of himself before he left. And he knew he would leave.
    somethingmore19on August 13, 2010   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI think this song is about lovers, one of whom (the man) has a terminal illness. It is the one who is dying writing to the other ~ sort of. The first verse is them meeting and falling in love. The second is the woman spending time with the man's parents, recalling things she loved about him (his "sturdy arms"). Then it says, we both learned to cradle then live without. That is the parents cradling him as a child then him moving out. The woman cradled him as he was dying until he passed. The third verse is about the illness, hereditary most likely and the fourth is about the sick one predicting how the other one will live after he is gone. The most beautiful line of the song I think is where it says that "light strikes a deal with each coming night". When a person is confronted with say having a terminal illness, there actually is a psycologically documented grieving process. One of the stages is "bargaining", the second to the last stage, the last stage being acceptance. the light strikes a deal with each coming night line is a metaphor for the process of accepting ones death. Either that or perhaps before he died, she said that she would never forget him, and perhaps light striking a deal with pending darkness is an analogy for the inevitable forgetting that happens between people once they are separated.
    rlebeddaon January 23, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI know everyone says that this is about someone dying, but I'm not sure it has to be. If it is, it adds the complication of his parents apparently outliving him, even though his relationship seems to have been going on a very long time, with children, the newness wearing off ("unfamiliar but until now", "learned to cradle then live without"), etc. It's also fits very well into a sad breakup scenario - the tragedy of giving up after a lifetime of trying.

    As for the specifics, I think there's a lot of over-analyzing here. "Rooms unfamiliar but until now" seems simply to suggest a new love grown old. The exciting places you made love when you first met tend to dwindle down over the years to one or two familiar, unexciting ones.

    To me, "I loved your son for his sturdy arms..." suggests the same thing. Depending on each other when love is new to be supportive and "there"...to have and to hold, as it were. Young lovers cradle each other, but over time, particularly if a distance grows between them, they may "learn to live without".

    I have no idea what the "judgment day" line is about. I'm open to anyone else's idea there, though the diving and rising can again suggest the highs and lows of a relationship.

    The last stanza is easy to me and again, I think totally overthought by some other posters. Maybe I'm totally wrong, but it's just about never seeing the person again by day (i.e. in the actual "light") but when the light stops exposing you to a loved one (whether a death or breakup), you'll surely be haunted a bit by the memory of that face when the busy distractions of the day are over and you are lying in bed at night, asleep or awake. When people are gone and we won't see them again in the light of day, their face "lingers on" each coming night. This is the "deal"

    Whether it's about death or not, it's still a lovely, sad, sweet song.
    rsbarroson September 28, 2011   Link

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