Cold Desert

Album: Only By the Night (2008)
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  • Lead vocalist Caleb Followill said on his band's website that this ballad is: "about a man at the end of his rope who picks himself back up."
  • One of this song's lyrics is, "Jesus doesn't love me, and no one ever carried my load." This has provoked much comment as three of the Kings of Leon are sons of a Pentecostal preacher, and the fourth, his nephew. Frontman and lyricist Caleb Followill admitted to the NME that "when it was played back to me and I heard the line... my eyes welled up with tears. It was the worst thing that I could imagine." So why did Caleb write the couplet? He told The Daily Telegraph September 17, 2008 that he was referring to the guilt of person with a Christian upbringing living the rock 'n' roll lifestyle. The son of a preacher explained: "There's still lingering guilt, and once I start to drink you don't want to be around me because there's a level of brutal honesty, if not just pure meanness. In a way, I lash out at everyone else because that's when I start to point fingers at myself. And that's when I write lyrics."

Comments: 11

  • Wheels from OntarioThis song really hits home to me on another level. I use to turn to booze for most of my life when things got heavy, never found the answers I was looking for in any of the empty bottles, just more heartache. I wasn't a nice person back then, well, I was but I liked dancing with the devil more, until I was in a life changing accident that left me paralyzed.

    "Everyone noticed, everyone seen the signs. I've always been known to cross lines"

    "I never ever cried when I was feeling down. I've always been scared of the sound"

    Those two verses make me cry every time I listen to this song, and I listen to this song almost daily as a reminder of where I was, where I was heading and where I am now after detaching myself from the booze (the devil). Thanks for taking the time to read my comments. Cheers from Ontario.
  • Holly from Florida Very easy to relate to this song. Love it, Brilliant!
  • Natalie from Maryborough, AustraliaI love this song. I sometimes wonder about the ppl who say KoL have backslidden, and that they should get back on the track that God had lain out for them. And I think about wat absolute rubbish that is. It is things like this that make us who we are, and inspire others.
  • Nicole from Plymouth, MaI think that everyone has once felt the was he is describing in this song. Caleb's lyrics speak to one's soul...
  • Jenny from Brisbane, AustraliaBeing, what is commonly referred to in the UPC, as a backslider, I completely understand the cofusion and contradictions that are relayed in his songs. From his initial anger, witnessing stuff that is contrary to what you hear and are taught (because you are still dealing with people who make mistakes, but from a child's prospective it is purely black or white - not everyone in the Church acts ways one thing and does another, but it only takes a couple of experiences). What most cannot comprehend is the memory of having God in your life, witnessing his power, feeling his spirit. It never leaves you, no matter how much you try to squash it down. His early stuff appears to reflect his anger and rebeillion to God and the Church. It is true what some say, the overwhelming guilt, but that guilt is there for a reason. I expect you will see more of this and Caleb (in particular) will come to a point where he will make a choice either way. It amazes me that people conclude all sorts of stuff about something they have never experienced. His songs are contradictions - one minute about God, the next about drugs or sex. This is the eternal struggle of man. It takes a strong person to stand against what the rest say is weak and soft. It is a lot easier not following the ways of God, guess that is why it says "narrow is the path". Just saying this to give some prospective of where he is coming from.
  • Kelly from Grand Rapids, MiI feel everything he is saying through that scratchy, almost orgasmic voice of his
  • Kristin from Tulsa, OkThis whole album is so deep, probably the only album that invokes so much emotion in me, i have never listened to an album that makes me feel soo much
  • Keyla965 from Orlando, Afghanistani realy like this song....... somthing about his voice i cant realy explain it but his voice has alot of meaning ???????? idk what im talkin about....
  • Nick from Seattle, Albaniaone of the positive outcomes of being black out drunk.
  • Joe from Utica, MiThis Song makes me think way to hard about things but i still love it.
  • Ashley from Pinckney, MiCaleb has stated that when they recorded Cold Desert he only had the first verse written down the rest of the song came out organically. Caleb also said that he was so drunk when they recorded this song that he didn't remember recording it until they played it back to him days later.
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