"Naked as We Came" as written by and Samuel Ervin Beam....
She says, "Wake up, it's no use pretending"
I'll keep stealing, breathing her
Birds are leaving over autumn's ending
One of us will die inside these arms
Eyes wide open, naked as we came
One will spread our ashes around the yard

She says, "If I leave before you, darling
Don't you waste me in the ground"
I lay smiling like our sleeping children
One of us will die inside these arms
Eyes wide open, naked as we came
One will spread our ashes around the yard

Lyrics submitted by eucil

"Naked as We Came" as written by Samuel Ervin Beam

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Naked as We Came song meanings
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  • +7
    General CommentSad and pretty little tale of an old couple with simple habits and a wise knowledge of what is to come of their lives. It's a pretty image, of the man staying in bed just to absorb the senses of his wife, and the small talk they make there.
    The image of the couple being awake and talking about their iminant death while their children sleep gives the impression that the elders in the world, those who have gained a respect for the motion of life, still attempt to ignore the painful truth that the knowledge brings and just lay smiling (even though the children might be very young or old, children gives that "naive person" impression... as to say, ignorant of death's inevitability) and happy.
    And of course, the overall picture, dieing inside the arms of the other is quite a nice touch to the message that you can find solace in love and dedication.
    I love this song (=
    eucilon December 23, 2004   Link
  • +6
    General Commentactually i was thinking that "naked as we came" refers more to how we entered this world, which is exactly how we will, thus, leave it, naked. we can't after all take anything with us when we die
    betterthanbeforeon May 04, 2004   Link
  • +5
    General CommentShe says "if I leave before you, darling
    Don't you waste me in the ground"

    And then the part about spreading the ashes, this is all about growing old with someone and dying. All the stuff about not being buried and spread around the yard is about wanting to be one with the things you care about.
    nuke_troopon October 08, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI've always thought of this song as about knowing you're going to be with one person until you die, and knowing that whichever of you dies first, the other will take care of you and "spread our ashes round the yard",.
    deliriumtriggeron June 05, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think it's a melancholy comment on the nature of relationships. It's about the cyclical nature of relationships that parallels the cycle of life. You can take many of the lyrics literally and they work, but I think there's a deeper subtext that makes more sense. For me the key to interpretation is in the beginning...

    "She says wake up, it's no use pretending
    I'll keep stealing, breathing her"

    She's saying there is no use in pretending they will last forever.

    All relationships come to an end whether through a physical or emotional death. He's "stealing", as in denying the inevitable end of their relationship and acting like they will be together forever. Breathe = life. He'll keep breathing her, trying to maintain the life(love/relationship) even though it will end. No more breathing = death.

    but alas..

    "Birds are leaving over autumn's ending
    One of us will die inside these arms"

    birds migrate seasonally which perpetuates the cycle idea where there's always a beginning and an end. Autumn symbolizing the end of life or in this case the life of the relationship.

    One of us will not always be there to love the other, whether through falling out of love or actual death. One of us dying in these arms equals, one of us will fall out of love, exit the relationship and thus the relationship is dead.

    "Eyes wide open
    Naked as we came"

    With every end is a new beginning. perhaps a new relationship and the cycle continues. Naked as we came. We came into the relationship with nothing and created and invested and yet at the end, we are as naked as we came into it. It's dead, it's over. Starting from zero.

    "One will spread our
    Ashes round the yard"

    In this case, it'll probably be him "spreading the ashes" or memorializing their relationship and not wanting to let go.
    One of us will move on and one of us will lament what's been lost. People don't fall out of love at the same time whatever the reason.

    "She says if I leave before you darling
    Don't you waste me in the ground"

    In other words she knows one day it'll end between them, so she's telling him move on and don't grieve over her when it happens. He doesn't want to accept this, hence he keeps stealing, breathing her. No one wants to lose what they love.

    What a terribly sad thought that the one you so passionately love will not always be there. They may leave, fall out of love, or even die. No matter how great the love or relationship is, it's all only temporary and will end as it began and all that's been acquired will be lost. Sad, but true to life.

    And though it ends, it still doesn't diminish what was, hence...

    "I lay smiling like our sleeping children"

    I do not take children in the literal sense here. I think of children as a metaphor for their relationship, especially that which was good. All that came from being together that couldn't have happened independently, just like children can not be created independently. She lies smiling meaning she accepts the inevitable end of the relationship and smiles (a happy reflection) of what was between them, which now "sleeps". Sleeps being another metaphor for death or the end.

    Also, note the album this song is off of...Our Endless Numbered Days.

    the ironic title suggests...there's no end to the cycle of our days which will always end.

    cycles in life seem to be recurring them on the album (see sunset soon forgotten).
    quixoticxsoulon June 10, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt's just about life, and how it works.
    "Birds are leaving, over autmn's ending" - Everything changes, and eventually it will end.
    We are born with nothing, and will die with nothing.
    kakaron May 09, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentamazing.
    acoustic1on April 26, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is why this website exists. Just about perfect.
    cmckinleyon February 03, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentO.K. My take on this song. It's about a couple. "She says wake up......." she is afraid of dying wondering why he's not or pretends he not. "I keep stealing........." He's saying he is just focusing on his love for her while he can. "Birds are leaving........" Everything ends. "One of us..........."
    He knows they will at least be together till the end. To sum up the chorus. We are born with nothing and we die with nothing and both agree not to be buried but cremated. 2nd verse. "She says if..........." same as second part of chorus." I lay smiling......" again he would rather live in the moment and not think of death like there children who are sleeping peacefully.
    lelandjkon January 23, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commentii love this. the video is so lovely. i dont know so much imagery when i listen to this song. i picture 2 lovers holding each other naked in a plush garden. so nice.
    bolshevikson April 24, 2004   Link

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