Take Me Out

Album: Franz Ferdinand (2004)
Charted: 3 66
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  • "Take Me Out" compares lovers to snipers aiming at each other. The lyrics begin:

    So if you're lonely, you know I'm here waiting for you
    I'm just a crosshair, I'm just a shot away from you

    Alex Kapranos told NME it's about how you'd "rather be shot than continue the tension."
  • This was the second single for Franz Ferdinand, following "Darts of Pleasure," which was little-heard outside of Europe. For their name, the band took inspiration for their name from a racehorse called "The Archduke Ferdinand." After seeing the horse race on TV they began to discuss Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, whose assassination triggered World War I. They decided it would be a good band name because of its sound and the implications of the Archduke's death. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Leona - Edinburgh, Scotland, for above 2
  • Kapranos watched the 2001 war film Enemy At The Gates the night before the idea emerged for "Take Me Out." The Jean-Jacques Annaud-directed movie served as inspiration for the song.

    "It's set during the Second World War around the siege of Stalingrad. One of the themes of the film is this stand-off between two snipers," he explained in a Song Exploder podcast. "Jude Law is the Soviet sniper and Ed Harris is the evil Nazi. They're both kind of tucked away, hidden from each other, waiting for the other to make a move and expose themselves. 'Cause as soon as the other makes a move, the other will know where they are and will take them out."

    The next day, "while mucking about," Kapranos came up with what would eventually become "Take Me Out."

    "This image of the two snipers left quite an impact on me; it felt like a very good metaphor for the kind of romantic situations that we sometimes find ourselves in," he said. "You know, where you both know you're into the other but no one wants to kind of, like, expose their vulnerability and make a move, and let the other know how they feel. And so I could write [the song] so you can't really tell what I'm talking about. Am I talking about snipers or am I talking about some kind of romantic situation?"
  • The song's opening tempo changes were all recorded live. Producer Tore Johansson recalled to NME: "They'd played it live quite a few times, so they could all slow down in the same way."
  • On the B-side of the single is "All For You, Sophia," which makes references to the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, including his assassin Gavrilo Princip and the secret society Black Hands.
  • Blues musician Howling Wolf inspired the guitar line. "I always loved the way that he would sing to the guitar," said Kapranos, "and then the guitar would sing back to him."
  • Other artists who've performed the song include:

    The Scissor Sisters, who covered it for the B-side to their 2004 single "Mary" and "Filthy/Gorgeous."

    Finger Eleven sometimes play it at their shows in a medley along with their "Paralyzer," Led Zeppelin's "Trampled Underfoot," and Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In The Wall (part II)." Several critics commented on the similarity between "Paralyzer" and "Take Me Out."

    Young Summer covered it in 2019 for the soundtrack for the Hulu TV series Looking For Alaska.

    Also, Weird Al Yankovic used a portion of the song for his 2006 polka medley "Polkarama!"
  • Paloma Faith's 2014 Pharrell-produced single "Can't Rely on You" compares with "Take Me Out." When Kapranos heard it, he tweeted: "Hey Pharrell - I love your tunes. If you want to borrow a riff, just ask."

    Kapranos later apologized after social media went overboard over the spat. "Pharrell Sometimes I forget how easily things can get exaggerated on here," he tweeted. "I know you didn't borrow any riffs. Sorry for all the press BS."

Comments: 53

  • Valo from Moscow, Russia FederationThey hardly ripped off the song by LZ. If you call this 'ripping off' then we can say Oasis ripped off Street Fighting Man and Imagine as well as Stone Roses ripped off Brown's 'Funky Drummer '
  • Anthony from Morton, Pawell if he says he is, then he is
  • Matt from Houston, TxDude, you are not the biggest zeppelin fan ever
  • Cody from Lititz, PaSinead from Canada this is not a zeppelin ripoff...it does sound a little like trampled underfoot but not enough that i noticed it until i read this...and im the biggest led zeppelin fan there is...but that might be a reason i like this song considering i only listen to classic rock and this isnt
  • Patrick from Philadelphia, PaI don't get this song. I think it is about Franz Ferdinand's death, but he was not shot by a sniper. I do no it is about a sniper though because he almost has his crosshairs lined up ready to shot the guy. And they say, "I know i won't be leaving here with you," because he is going to kill him. Then they say, "I'm just a shot then we can die," meaning after he shoots him the guy he shoots will die and the guy shooting him has nothing else to live for. And then they say, "If i move this could die," because if he moves he is off target and could miss. Maybe i am wrong, but i dont think so. Just listen to the lyrics. I do not get how it is about anything else.
  • Anthony from Anywhere, MdWow... these are some... well... anyway, i feel the song has 2 meanings... the obvious and metaphorical. The obvious: If you're lonely and sad im the crosshair, basically the gun singing to the person holding it... the person holding it thinking of suicide... You leave me broken shattered alone(it was dropped) Then we can die. Metaphorically: A woman is leaving him but he's saying he cant live without her. idk i coul;d be wrong but i'd like to think it's better then some of these...
  • Victoria from Memphis, TnThis Song doesn't sound anything like Trampled under foot. But I love this song and that song:)
  • Wilford from Los Angeles, CaFranz Ferdinand wasn't killed by a sniper or in a building. An assassin ran up to his car and shot him in the neck with a pistol.
  • Billy from Calgary, CanadaThe song is not only about a hopeless romantic at a club, but also about the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. It seems fitting for their first song that they'd release this one.

    Here are some lyric analysis

    "I say, don't you know, you say, you don't know"
    signifies that the Archduke is talking to the sniper about the events that occur after he is assassinated. World war 1, namely, that kill so many people.

    "I know I won't be leaving here, with you"
    The duke is dead, so he won't be able to leave the building as the assassin would be able to.

    There's a lot of other subtle hints. Basically, the song can be interpreted in any way you want.
  • Trey from Dallas, Txit may be just me but i dont't here trampled underfoot at all.
  • Ahmed from Chorley, United KingdomTo Sinead, Canada;

    there are many songs that are more similar to Trampled Underfoot than this one.

    Although i do admit that riff does sound quite like the one in Trampled Underfoot.
  • Kate from Burnaby, CanadaMy friend showed me this song yesterday, and I just love it!
  • Allie from Pine Knob, MiThe only Franz song i know but its very well written!!
    The guitar is very witty!!!
  • Billy from Calgary, CanadaBoth parties aren't completely wrong about the sniper part. As stated in the facts before, their band name is after the assassinated Archduke, so technically it is still about a sniper.

    But still about a romancer as well.
  • Christine from Salem, CtI agree with Caitlyn. The song is a metaphor. It IS about a desperate romancer, not a sniper. -_-
  • Mike from Willoughby, OhI've always thought of this song as being about desperate romancer who goes around entreating potential lovers (by saying, "come on, just try it once") as if this is his last chance. And also about a catchy guitar hook.
  • Matt from Downers Grove, IlHashem from Canada and John from Scotland- no one ever said that this song has anything to do with Franz Ferdinand's assassination, so where are you getting that from? This song has obvious sniper references, but does not mention his death. You must have confused the name of the band with the meaning of the song.
  • Garrett from Rapid City, SdI do Kinda agree with the Trampled underfoot idea, but listen to the new finger eleven song paralized. Sounds really similar to me
  • Joe from Bellingham, WaI tend to really hate bands like Franz Ferdinand. This song was actually good for me, and i thought they would be a modern rock band i like, but it turns out they're really not...
  • Bavo from Oostrozebeke, BelgiumThe Scissor Sisters made a marvellous cover of this.
  • Jon from Oakridge, OrThis is one of the few (almost no) great songs in modern rock. Amazing that such a good band can exist in todays sea of crapy music.
  • Alex from Madrid, SpainJust a funny band whose music makes you feel nothing: Empty as a baked lat. Keep opening for U2, that´s the further you can go. Miles away from bands that make you feel something: Coldplay, Manic Street Preachers, Starsailor...
  • John from Glasgow, Scotlandi was just about to say the same thing Hashem (from canada. franz ferdinand was killed when someone (Gavrillo Princip) saw his car passing and shot him.
  • Silas from Bountiful, Vaactually take me out reminds me of the epitome of 80's rock (long live). I love franz with every fiber of my being.
  • Hashem from Ottawa, CanadaIf anyone here studied history, they would know that Franz Ferdinand was not killed by a sniper but someone running up to his car and shooting him in the face. Sorry to burst your bubble.
  • Joey from Nowhere Land, Cawell, who doesn't love The Beatles? they are the best band ever!
  • Tracey from Liverpool Uk, Englandi love this song, i love everyone of their songs, ashley from canada you are right sweetheart, darts of pleasure is a top of the range song x
  • Iara from Santiago, ChileAlex Kapranos is a great beatles' fan and this song has a clear influence of the Liverpool band. Why? Kapranos has said that he loved the union of sad lyrics with a fast beat.And that's exactly what the Beatles used to do.Many people thinks that this song is positive,but the message is so negative,but the beat of the song makes you dance.And i think that's why Franz Ferdinand has succeed.
  • Jeevan from Brampton, CanadaThis song is really good. Franz Ferdinand is cool. I like their song Do You Want To?
  • Cory from Boonville, InJust went out and bought the CD today, still haven't stopped listening to it. YOu should really go out and pick your self up a copy. GREAT CD AND GREAT BAND!!!
  • Adrian from San Jose, Ca"And if you leave here You leave me broken shattered alive" Definately sounds like a sniper song. Its a must that snipers leave the scene if they don't kill but wound the target.
  • Vishal from Delhi, India, IndiaWith "Take Me Out", Franz Ferdinand constructed perhaps the most complex metaphor ever attempted in popular song. Here we were offered the image of two romantic hopefuls as snipers with guns trained on one another, each pleading with the other to "take me out", the sting of rejection being preferable to the agony of not knowing what happens next. When you consider the double meaning of the phrase "take me out", it becomes clear that we're in the presence of genius. Kapranos should still be sat on a divan somewhere, smoking a fat cigar. (Fraom Launch.co.uk)
  • Linus from Hamilton, On, CanadaThe song itself could be about war. The beating rhythms, "take me out" as in "kill me", etc.
  • Grace from Fairfax Station, VaI love this song, but I thought it was about an angry boyfriend who got stood up. The fact that it's about a sniper doesn't make me like it any less.
  • Adam from Greenfield, InGood Point Melissa... I am sorry Wladislaw for insulting you and your country... I have disrespected you and the Music Gods... and we don't want to piss off the music Gods!!!!!
  • Melissa from Chicago, IlHey now people! This is the place to talk about the song, not to be bashing each others' countries! At any rate, Take Me Out is my all time favorite song on the Franz Ferdinand album and it does have a cool rhythm to it. I especially like the beginning, because it starts out kind of slow but it gets faster and upbeat.
  • Amy from Melbourne, AustraliaWhen the lyrics say 'I'm just a cross-hair, I'm just a shot away from you,' it conveys how the lovers are so close physically, yet so far. 'I say don't you know, you say you don't know' - neither of them can take the first leap and admit their feelings. However, where it says 'If I move this could die', I also sense almost an enjoyment of the situation, like when you have a crush on someone but rather than find out if they feel the same, which is usually easier, you'd rather not know cos then you can keep dreaming that they do. Whereas once you know (especially if they don't like you), that dreaming state is over. It's almost being in love with the not knowing, with the waiting. Does anyone else see this?
  • Amy from Melbourne, AustraliaStraight from the horse's mouth Alex Kapranos, who wrote the song: "this song is about the tensions between two people, in a sexual sense. That situation where two people are in love with each other but neither will admit it, as if they'd take rejection over acceptance just to end the tension in the situation. But we were also using the phrase 'take me out' to refer to the tensions between two snipers pointing guns at each other and how you'd rather be shot than continue the tension that's there." (from an interview in NME, 7 Feb, 2004) I also think the metaphor is made even more perfect by the additional meaning of 'take me out', as in let's go out together. Amy, Melbourne, Australia
  • P. Nesshead from Exeter, Englandled zep's kashmir ring any bells?
  • Lexie from Sydney, Australiait was #1 on australias triple j hottest 100 2004
  • Bethan from Somerset, Uk.Reached #3 in the UK singles chart in January 2004.
  • Carlos from Astoria, Ny, NyRegardless if it's a ripoff or not, it shouldn't matter. Led Zeppelin ripped off sooooooo many people (Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Leadbelly, to name a few) that it should be ok. Not to mention Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, The Beatles. Who cares? Great song.
  • Ashley from Moncton, CanadaI just noticed that someone said this is a Zeppelin ripoff. That is so not true. Yes, the two songs have similarities, but Take Me Out is a lot different than Trampled Underfoot, which, by the way is one of my favourite Zeppelin songs, and I've listened to both of them enough to know that Take Me Out is not a ripoff.
  • Dingleberry Bob from Detroit, Mihahahahahahaha Ben kinda went in the opposite direction as good ol' David.... thanks for the guidance dave my man
  • Ashley from Moncton, CanadaThis is my favourite Franz Ferdinand song, after Darts Of Pleasure.
  • P. Nesshead from Exeter, Englandtasha: its like "take me out for a drink"
  • P. Nesshead from Exeter, EnglandThis isnt about snipers!!! its about some girl.
  • Ben from Punxsutawney, PaTo begin with, I have to agree with David, just listen to this great song. But, this flaming stupidity forces me to point out a couple of things. The "crosshair" thing IS CLEARLY a metaphor. If one was to go farther in taking the song too literally, the words "take me out" could be looked at as "kill me". Also, a Trampled Underfoot rip? That's a joke. But to be fair, I can see how one could confuse a song with a metaphor of a sniper and love with that of working on a car and sex (the metaphor of Trampled Underfoot. Oh, wait, I can't understand that at all. If you mean the riff that Trampled Underfoot immediately uses and the one that comes in around :55 in Take me Out, then, no... your wrong. Though there is a vague similarity (and vague is being generous), it is far from a rip-off.
  • David from Stockport, Cheshire, Englandwhen you all you lot on the other side of the pond gonna just listen to the music, you all complicate it too much, just enjoy it for what it is, and fcuking good song
  • David from Stockport, Cheshire, Englandwhen you all you lot on the other side of the pond gonna just listen to the music, you all complicate it too much, just enjoy it for what it is, and fcuking food song
  • Sinead from London, CanadaThis song is a Zeppelin rip off. Try listening to Trampled Underfoot first.
  • Caitlin from Vancouver, CanadaYou said "This song is about a sniper" That is taking it literally. It is more of a metaphor.
  • Andrea from Des Moines, IaI've loved this song since it first came out, and I still haven't gotten tired of it!
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