Sifting through the ashes
With unsteady hands
Searching for the remnants
Of a broken man

A history of hollow lives
And low ideals
A backlog of wrongdoing
We never conceal

I rise to my feet
And walk away from the dross
Towards the doorway
Of our mutual and harrowing loss

The only way I know
To shake myself of this curse
Is to bring myself to something
That is measurably worse

I sought refuge in a house on fire
I took shelter in a wall of flame
I built a prison in my own subconscious
There's nothing else left
Nothing else left to blame.

Emerging from the wreckage
Of a life that once was
Confounded by the damage
My own psyche does

I bear the scars
Of an insufferable will
And the tyrannical reign
it threatens to instill

Some seek control
By grabbing hold of their lives
In a futile attempt
To help themselves survive

I dig myself
Into a much deeper hole
Running from a fate
That I can never control


I woke up
In a column of ash
While the world came down
In a horrible crash

I was naive
For ever wanting this much
Using self-deception
As my only crutch

Footsteps diverge
From the path they once walked
Words are eclipsed
By the language they talked

Actions betrayed
By promises broken
Flames consume intentions
Best left unspoken


Lyrics submitted by gasmask

House On Fire song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentThis song really only makes sense in the context of the album, which also includes Disappoint, which is about his father's suicide. I think this song is a related discussion on what happened to Tom internally.

    The subject of this song has "built a prison in [his] own subconscious." He has turned in on himself, torturing himself in self-doubt and existentialism. The fast beat only serves to show the madness that comes with this kind of suffering.
    Damocleson February 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Some seek control
    By grabbing hold of their lives
    In a futile attempt
    To help themselves survive"

    Existentialism and a "carpe diem" sort of thinking may not be able to help everything, but I think they do a great deal to make you happier and allow you to live a fuller, healthier life. That has certainly been my experience, at least. So I'm not sure what is meant by that all being "a futile attempt". Existentialism can't stop fate from hurting you, but it usually help you recover from the hit.

    "I dig myself
    Into a much deeper hole
    Running from a fate
    That I can never control"

    So I'm not sure what Damocles means, in saying the subject of the song is "torturing himself in self-doubt and existentialism", because it appears to me that the subject of the song does not live or think in existentialist terms. I may just have a poor understanding of existentialist philosophy, though. I've always related the way I think to existentialism, and my system provides for the world sometimes being an uncaring destroyer of people.
    The Toweron December 10, 2008   Link

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