We keep on burying our dead
We keep on planting their bones in the ground
But they won't grow
The sun doesn't help
The rain doesn't help

If my garden would have a fence
Then the rabbits couldn't just come in
And sit on the grass
And eat all the flowers
And shit

Hi, I'm Icarus, I'm falling
Down, man for judgment must prepare me
Spare, oh god, in mercy spare me

Man, I have a terrible feeling
That something's gone awful, very wrong with the world
Is it something we made?
Is it something we ate?
Is it something we drank?

Hi, I'm Icarus, I'm falling
From the dust of earth returning
Man for judgment must prepare me
Spare, oh god, in mercy spare me


We keep on burying our dead
We keep on planting their bones in the ground
But they won't grow
The sun doesn't help
And all we've got
Is a giant crop
Of names and dates

Hi, I'm Icarus, I'm falling
Down on this day of tears and mourning
From the dust of earth returning
Man for judgment must prepare me
Spare, oh god, in mercy spare me


Lyrics submitted by badtzwang, edited by SunnyPee, tman2nd

Lacrimosa Lyrics as written by Regina Spektor

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Lacrimosa song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentThis song makes my brain hurt. I've got a fuzzy image of what it's about, though. I'm having trouble finding a central theme for all of the verses. Religion is definitely involved. It talks about man being imperfect because of original sin (I think?). In the second verse, the "rabbits" are mankind; basically, if we're not prevented from doing wrong, we're going to go ahead and do it because it's in our nature to make mistakes... Which is also a lesson learned from the story of Icarus and his wax sings. Then there's the dust of earth returning line, which is a reference to the bible: when a person dies, the dust they are made from goes back into the ground, and their spirits return to God, where they are judged. So the narrator (Icarus) is asking God to have mercy on him because he is only a mortal man and is therefore imperfect (?).

    The only thing I'm having trouble with is connecting the above concept with the idea of burying our dead so they can come back to life... Maybe it's because only God has the power to do that, and man, hard as he seems to try, cannot live forever? Like I said, it's fuzzy.

    Oh, and I'm not religious. We've just had long discussions about this stuff in my English class after we read excerpts from the Bible. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. ^^;
    liberatepotatoeson February 16, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti think the lines "we keep on burying our dead. we keep on planting their bones in the ground, but they won't grow..." is a reference to t.s. eliot's poem "The Wasteland." this would be very fitting since 1) regina is a very literary songwriter (you've heard her song about Ezra Pound i am sure and if she has read Pound, i am 100% certain she has read Eliot) and 2) The Wasteland has similar themes to this song--futility, fall of humanity and the question of whether culture can redeem it, etc.

    eliot (in section 1: The Burial of the Dead) writes:

    "That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
    Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
    Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?
    O keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men,
    Or with his nails he'll dig it up again!"

    great poem, great song. check it out here: bartleby.com/201/…
    arielmelissaon October 16, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is one of those annoying songs that i'd love to be able to understand more fully.
    it's just so good.
    harlequinxgirlon December 12, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIcarus was in Roman mythology, and his father had made wings out of wax to escape the island of Crete where the king Minos held them captive. His father told Icarus not to fly too close to the sun or the wings will melt, or too close to the ocean or it will make his wings damp and heavy. Icarus flew too close to the sun and his wings melted and he fell into the ocean and drowned. Aaaaand, I'm taking Latin right now, and Lacrimosa doesn't necessarily mean to cry easily, but it just means like "tearful".

    Um, I really like idea of people being buried after they die, in attempt to make them grow into people again.
    kc155803on February 02, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is about human kind "playing" (with controversial subjects coming into mind, i.e., cloning) God/Nature. With all this advancement in science and technology, the only thing we cannot overcome is death, our own mortality. In a way, Regina is mocking us with "planting bones in the ground" bit and how they won't grow. Some of us are so arrogant or too self-confident in our own reason....thinking that our science will eventually answer EVERYTHING and overcome all our problems.

    This is all enhanced bringing in Icarus....

    Extremely clever, I love this song.

    I too, would like to point out that I am not religious - just for the curious.
    tikilalion August 18, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI interpreted it as a kind of combintation of what some of you already said, especially tikilali.
    I think that a lot of it is about trying to play god. Icarus and his father wanted to fly and be like birds, something that humans were not granted with. As a result he grew too cocky, flew too close, etc. And now we're burying dead, almost expecting them to come back. We think we're invincible.

    And since I didn't see that anyone posted it, here's
    the translation of what she says in Latin. It'll probably help with interpretations:
    Tearful that day,
    on which will rise from ashes
    guilty man for judgment.
    So have mercy, O God, on this person.
    Compassionate Lord Jesus,
    grant them rest. Amen
    ShadowontheWindon January 16, 2008   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningTranslation :D

    Lacrimosa dies illa,
    qua resurget ex favilla
    judicandus homo reus.
    Huic ergo parce, Deus:

    Ah! that day of tears and mourning!
    From the dust of earth returning
    man for judgment must prepare him;
    Spare, O God, in mercy spare him!
    xoxarsenicxoxon April 25, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Memoryballoon boy ftw >:)
    toastnuanceson October 18, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNo one's commented on this song yet??
    Okay, I'll start off...
    I have a funny feeling that this one (loosly) about Motzart's Requium, but not just that. To eloborate, it's a song about futility.
    Seth17on March 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBy the way, does anyone know what se says at the very end of the song before the music ends? It almost sounds russian...
    Seth17on March 17, 2006   Link

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