old man in a rocking chair
you wake up, you've been living alone
after all these years
surrounded by these shards of mirrors
and how'd it get so quiet here,
you wonder, where did everyone go?

you tried so hard to make people remember you for something you were not
and if they so remember you then something else will certainly get forgotten

life is for the living
i've heard tell that it is why we are young
in the morning sun
you take every year as it comes
but when your life is over
all those years fold up like an accordion
they collapse just like a broken lung

now i've only got one organ left and this old bag of bones it is failing me
i try to tell people that i'm dying only they don't believe me
they say we're all dying, that we're all dying
but if you are dying, why aren't you scared?
why aren't you scared
like i'm scared?

i read somewhere that when you face eternity
you face it alone
not matter what you thought
or what you had
or you had not
unless you put yourself in god
but tell me god o where did you go?

every bitter night into an empty room i plead my case
every night i pray that in the morning when i wake
i'll be in a familiar place and find that i'm recovered and i'm sane
and i'll remember everything
i'll remember what i was like before that bug bit me

and when i have my childhood back
i'll tear every page out of my book
and place them in an urn
strike a match and watch them burn
then i'll hold the front cover
against the back cover and look
you'll see
eternity will smile on me

Lyrics submitted by TagerToss

The Sickness Unto Death song meanings
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  • +3
    Song MeaningIn response to somemexican, this song is kind of, in a way, fighting with depression. He, as a child, had lyme disease and nearly died. He lived, thanks to modern medicine, but feels his time is borrowed. So most of the songs on this album are about how we closely toe the line between life and death. In this song in particular, he explores the idea of someone who wastes their entire life doing nothing, and then they realize that their life is wasted (old man in a rocking chair, you wake up, you've been living alone). The shards of mirrors are referring to never knowing who you are. Going through your entire life without looking at yourself and trying to understand what you live for.
    Along with this whole song being about the process of dying in general, it turns more personal at the end when he talks about burning his childhood memories. Kyle felt he never had a childhood because he spent that time in sickness.
    And then the ending refrain, "Eternity will smile on me". This pays homeage to the idea that when you die, you will exist in an eternal happiness, regardless of the pain you suffered through when you lived.
    A moving, beautiful song. I have to give credit to Kyle Morton for being able to write incredibly personal and tender songs that can relate to most anyone who hears them.
    milesawayon November 19, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is so beautiful and sad, makes you contemplate life.
    Amhilon November 18, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me, this whole album is about a fight with depression, and this is him reflecting on what he's learned, but it still sounds like he's wrestling with himself. With the title it has I guess it could also be him realizing that he's about to die and sort of accepting it. At least that's what this song is to me.
    somemexicanon April 11, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree that it's about depression, but there's more to the metaphor. The Sickness Unto Death is also a novel by Soren Kierkegaard, a philosopher who examined existentialism in that novel. He surmised that all humans are "in despair" even if they don't know it, and life itself is the sickness unto death. So in a way, it's about death and accepting one's own mortality, and how much of a struggle that can be. It's about looking back on life and being able to have satisfaction instead of regret and being able to accept the imminence of death.
    TheKoalaon February 04, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe parallels between existential theologian Soren Kierkegaard's famous work Sickness Unto Death and this song are striking. This work is about existential despair, which Kierkegaard cryptically defined as "relation's relating to itself to itself in the relation". In other words, despair can by more simply defined as an improper relationship between our finite and infinite natures.

    Understanding this concept is key to understanding this song.
    Dunnyvegon September 17, 2015   Link

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