"What Happens Now?" as written by Colin Edwin Balch, Richard Barbieri, Gavin Richard Harrison and Steven John Wilson....
So I got all these things
and so...in the end
I can't take them with you

You think you can save my soul...
well okay
tell me with all your conviction,
what happens now?
what happens now?

Well I could be boarding an aircraft
With a bomb, concealed in somebody's briefcase.
And my body will spread through the heavens,
across the sky.
and my ashes will fall through the cloudburst

what happens now?
what happens now?
what happens now?
what happens now?

Lyrics submitted by Metanoia01

What Happens Now? song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI love this song... The music reminds of me early-day PT, and the lyrics are masterful - the second verse in particular conjurs up some amazing imagery.

    I think it's fairly obviously fitting in with the Fear of a Blank Planet theme - the kid is bored of everything he has and asks what is left to do now he has all these material posessions. Storyline wise, it should probably come before Way Out of Here - the question 'What Happens Now?' sounds to me like the first inklings of a potential suicide...
    Static Veinson October 31, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHmm. I don't know about that theory. All of the songs in Nil Recurring weren't included in FOABP because Wilson didn't think they'd fit with the concept. Seeing the first verse kinda makes sense that decision. The whole song brings the image of a suicide bomber with religious intentions, specially that first verse.

    But yeah, my favorite from the ep...
    SekundesCon November 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this is about someone who has lost all hope in life and simply does not value it anymore.
    They are describing what they COULD do. They could blow themselves up in an airplane, because they simply don't care anymore. He asks himself, "What happens now?" because he doesn't empathize with the people who would be hurt if he did something major like that. It's a passive "So what?" kind of attitude.

    He simply sees it as blowing himself up across the heavens, and toys with the idea...
    DementedPuppyon July 03, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn my personal opinion and take for this song is, that the character (or him), is talking to GOD, about what he says if you follow him, your soul will be "saved" and go with him into the heavens, so the title represent that, until that time comes, what will happen now?? with this world rippin out in little pieces, wars, etc!?. The second verse takes a more metaphorical approach to me...
    iroson August 19, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwell in my opnion ...the song talks about a suiciding poeple and even if they will go to heavens it wont change the world and the solo discripes that explosion ...but i think there is hiding massege behind that ...i think it talks no. 11 ...coz in part 4:43..when steven wilson play the (Anesthetize rythem)...we can hear a sound of someone saying (daash) wich it means 11 in iraqi langauge...so maybe it talkes about world trade...i like this band anyway...and i listen to this song like 11 times a day.
    mesopotamian82on September 20, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNot such a fan of the lyrics any more, but the music...

    The fact that Steven left you with the image of his 'ashes falling through the cloudburst' gives the counterpoint a nice transition.
    OldSkoolon February 24, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Song Meaningsomeone that has trouble believing in a God. They are the "see it, to believe it" type person. They want to "know", not not just "think", what happens when you. A stab at religion and how a lot of religious people are so sure of God, but have no proof. He might want to believe but doesn't understand exactly how to anyone can do that.
    kolossos666on December 27, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt fits a scenario in my life.
    I just hooked up with a girl a week a go, just before she broke up with her boyfriend.
    She came on me and I didnt say no.
    I used to be in love with her but I put it all behind me cause I used to hang with her and her boyfriend as friends.
    This happened for about 8 months, and I really thought we had a good friendship with the guy.

    The first verse says ::: That I got the girl, but I cant be a fool to believe I could keep on having a
    ::: relationship with her on these terms

    The second verse ::: I am having second thoughts on what is happening and want to break it up.

    Well I could be :::
    boarding an aircraft ::: Thats the relationship I could be having with the girl

    With a bomb... ::: That somebody is the ex, and the bomb would be him seeing us together, or if he
    ... briefcase ::: just learned it somehow.

    And my body... ::: Thats my psychology if the "bomb" would explode.
    ... cloudburst :::

    I cant not let him know what happened.
    I think it is better for him to know the truth and get over it, than let the years go by thinking what went wrong. I was in a same situation and I never learned the truth. I wish I had.
    I dont care if I dont do anything with the girl again, I just want to be honest even now, I betrayed a friend and I wish he could someday forgive me but probably I'm getting my ass kicked and he will never speak to me again.
    iamthedudeon May 20, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationAll these things about how GOD idea is idiot or some like that are very... poor. What Happens Now is a part of Fear of a Blank Planet wich have a centerpiece, that's the adolescent life and the troubles in our times, the Nil Recurring EP is somewhat a sequel from FOABP, Normal is Sentimental part 2 that relates with the adolescence and the end of it, Cheating The Polygraph is the struggle to accept the truths from the life that the "hero" have try to bending in adolescence, and in the end, the olny thing he can think about is his death.

    Obviusly there are meanings hidden in every song (Normal is a lecture of how the things from our generation "Y generation" is ephemerous and full of vanity. Cheating The Polygraph is how things can manipulate you to bend over the pressures of society, or some kind of shit like that), and with 'What Happens Now?' is a resemblance with the 9/11, the territory where the song is exposed.

    Sorry for my bad english.
    andyallexon August 06, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThis is about suicide bomber.
    CharMarRuleson February 03, 2015   Link

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