Florence Welch wrote the song 'My Boy Builds Coffins' about her first love who was buliding a coffin for an albumcover. He was always busy with it and Florence did not like that. She though:"Oh...
My boy builds coffins with hammers and nails
He doesn't build ships, he has no use for sails
He doesn't make tables, dressers or chairs
He can't carve a whistle cause he just doesn't care

My boy builds coffins for the rich and the poor
Kings and queens have all knocked on his door
Beggars and liars, gypsies and thieves
They all come to him 'cause he's so eager to please

My boy builds coffins he makes them all day
But it's not just for work and it isn't for play
He's made one for himself
One for me too
One of these days he'll make one for you
For you
For you
For you

My boy builds coffins for better or worse
Some say its a blessing, some say its a curse
He fits them together in sunshine or rain
Each one is unique, no two are the same

My boy builds coffins and I think it's a shame
That when each ones been made, he can't see it again
He crafts everyone with love and with care
Then its thrown in the ground and it just isn't fair

My boy builds coffins he makes them all day
But it's not just for work and it isn't for play
He's made one for himself
One for me too
And one of these days he'll make one for you
For you
For you
For you
Oh, oh, oh

Lyrics submitted by iamraw

"My Boy Builds Coffins" as written by Florence Leontine Mary Welch Christopher Lloyd Hayden

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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My Boy Builds Coffins song meanings
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  • +21
    My InterpretationThe song is about death being the great equalizer. Everyones going to die and then we shall all be in a coffin made by the same guy. Kings, queens, thieves, and beggars and even the coffin builder himself shall all end up in the same coffin in the same hole. We spend our whole lives trying to seperate ourselves and trying to put ourselves above others but in the end we all end up the very same. And the coffin builder knows this and thats why he only builds coffins, because he knows thats the only thing that he can give to everyone no matter who they are.
    King of Some Islandon July 15, 2009   Link
  • +7
    My InterpretationI hate to break it to Florence and the Machine fans, but this particular song just isn't all that deep. Florence makes multiple references to the inevitability of death. "My boy builds coffins for the rich and the poor" - Everyone dies one way or another. "But it's not just for work and it isn't for play" - If it isn't for work, and isn't for play, then what is it for? It's because he HAS TO. "He crafts every one with love and with care; Then its thrown in the ground and it just isn't fair" -Men and women can live wonderful lives, leave their imprint on the world, others may live horrible lives, be murderers or thieves, yet in the end, they end up in the ground like everyone else; it isn't fair. "One of these days he'll make one for you" -Yes, you are going to die, as well.
    frankiedueon January 22, 2011   Link
  • +6
    General Commentokay i found out what it means. baisically when she was dating this boy, he was in a band, and he had to make an actual coffin for the cover of their album.
    so it is actually literal! x
    florencefanon June 09, 2009   Link
  • +5
    General CommentIt's not JUST that, though. That's where she got the idea for it, but the song seems much more to be about how someone who makes coffins is someone whose entire lifework has no point but being put in a hole and never seen again. It's about someone whose entire life has no legacy because he has a completely invisible effect, and how sad it is that someone who, y'know, has such a large job (building coffins for kings and queens, gypsies and thieves alike) but who will never be remembered for it (when each one's made you can't see it again).
    Appers66on July 05, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General CommentWhile it may be, in some ways, literal, the way it's written up gives it a deeper meaning. This is a song about mortality. Coffins are a symbol of death, and this boy builds them for everyone. Kings and beggars both come to him because, in the end, no one escapes death. Everyone is mortal; the lines about how the boy has built one for him, the singer, and will build one for the listener supports this. The coffins aren't built for work or play because both work and play are, to some extent, optional. The coffins are a necessity; he HAS to build them because death doesn't stop. Every coffin is unique because every life is unique, but in the end everyone ends up dead and buried, and, just like it's a shame to through these carefully made coffins into the ground, it's a shame to see every unique life end and be buried.
    BaruchSon July 11, 2010   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationI wish people would stop saying all her songs were about sex, I doubt Florence is that shallow.

    I think its very literal, with a few implications if you just look behind it. This boy does a thanless service, and accepts everyone who comes to him because it doesn't matter if they're rich or poor because we're all going to die someday ("kings and queens have all knocked on his door/beggars and liars/gypsies and thieves/they all come to him cause he's so eager to please"). He enjoys knowing what a great service he provides but also, no one truly appreciates him for his work ("some say its a blessing/some say its a curse").
    reillymouseon March 25, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAs well as apparently being literal, i think it could be metaphorical, like 'her boy' 'makes coffins' i.e puts in bad places od kills or ruins everything for everyone. He's 'made coffins' for her, as in he's killed her spirit or ruined something for her. Just my two pennies worth
    rhimansworldon July 05, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Comment'They all come to impact he's so eager to please'
    should be
    'They all come to him cause he's so eager to please'
    'He crafts every one with love and repair'
    should be
    'He crafts everyone with love and with care'
    'Then its thrown in the ground and it just doesn't fit'
    should be
    'Then it's thrown in the ground it just isn't fair'

    you should probably change it dear. ox
    LUPINLOOPSon August 10, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti think this song is literally about a boy who builds coffins. bec what i always do when analysing a piece of poetry or music is i always first ask the question: is this telling me something straight up or is it hidden in between the lines. this man is just a humble coffin maker and he just sits there and does it all day. he doesnt make anything else bec he has a passion for what he does. he gets ppl from all sorts of classes and lives that talk to him about their loved ones' deaths and how they were when they were alive. hes like alison from pretty little liars. its like the boy is this person who builds a coffin and does nothing els, but in the process ppl tell him their secrets, bec theyre vulnerable since they lost a loved one. so i think of him as this spider weaving his web and listening to the different ppl of the world. he doesnt do it for play or work, so he does it for the sake of doing it. meaning he does it and waits for things to come along. it shows a metaphor of how he just gives every1 their funeral coffin and moves on, although very clear i dont like to think of the guy as death... maybe death embodied in a human, as in he is someone neutral andknows that death is coming and that its not a bad thing so hes made coffins for all bec he thinks of death as a long term bon voyage
    mohamed377on September 12, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe lyric is "he crafts every one with love and with care." Not "Crabs." That doesn't make any sense.
    lokken85on January 30, 2009   Link

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