We Will Become Silhouettes

Album: Give Up (2003)
Charted: 82
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • Lead vocalist and songwriter Ben Gibbard has rather liberal politics. He wrote this song in response to the "Paralyzation of fear" after the effects of 9/11. The song tells about "staying indoors" and also, pending translations, the end of the world: "We will become silhouettes when our bodies finally go."
  • The lyrics could be seen as somewhat dark, but the music turns it into a much more upbeat song. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    kellen - Onekama, MI, for above 2
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 10

  • Maxx from Fort Atkinson, Withey come up with such original lyrics.. I've never really heard a band like this one before.. I think that's what makes me love them.. Especially this song :]
  • Lisa from Phoenix, AzThe line "the air outside will make our cells divide at an alarming rate" is a reference to cancer caused by radiation exposure, like the leukemia that developed in survivors of the atomic bomb drops in Japan.
  • Beth from Howard Lake, Mnmy only real thing is that the song itself at the top of the page is the version from the shins, but still giving credit to the postal service. i like both versions, but i think it would be beter publicity for the shins if they were recognized properly for their cover of this song.
  • Nick from Raleigh, Ncyeah this song is about the nuclear holocaust/atomic bomb.
  • Daniel from Philadelphia, PaI agree with Elise, about what the silhouettes are-they are markings left by a bomb after a explosion where a person's body was. Just a quick note about "dividing at an alarming rate:" Gibbard is talking about nuclear fission. The power of a nuclear bomb is a chain reaction of splitting atoms into smaller atoms.
  • Sada from Cleveland, OhI would agree that this song is about nuclear holocaust. Besides the lyrics, the cover of the "We Will Become Silhouettes" single shows a cartoon-like drawing of a man holding a bouquet of wilting flowers in his had, and he is fading from existance. The faint shadows of other people are visable. The scene is a city street covered in snow with snow falling, which to me implies nuclear winter.
  • Amy from Philly, PaThe Shins did a cover of this song. Very different, but pretty good.
  • Elise from Holland, NjIt's true that it is about a nuclear blast, but you have the silhouette part all wrong. The light is so intense from the bomb that it burns the surface of buildings, and if there is a person in front of the building, it will leave behind a permanent shadow of the person.
  • Ashley from Naples , Flwell, it's "our cells divide" not ourselves, but anyway...

    I personally prefer The Shins cover of this song to the origional, but whatever.
  • Bill from Madison, WiThe song is really about a nuclear holocaust. The lyrics "i've got a cubboard with cans of food

    filtered water and pictures of you" descibe him stocking up food for a nuclear winter. the line "we will become silhouettes describes what people look like as the big flash from a bomb goes off.

    "because the air outside will make

    ourselves divide at an alarming rate

    until our shells simply cannot hold

    all our insides in,

    and thats when we'll explode."

    descibes the effects of radiation from the bombs.

see more comments

Jethro TullFact or Fiction

Stage urinals, flute devices, and the real Aqualung in this Fact or Fiction.

Dr. JohnSongwriter Interviews

The good doctor shares some candid insights on recording with Phil Spector and The Black Keys.

Little Big TownSongwriter Interviews

"When seeds that you sow grow by the wicked moon/Be sure your sins will find you out/Your past will hunt you down and turn to tell on you."

Desmond ChildSongwriter Interviews

One of the most successful songwriters in the business, Desmond co-wrote "Livin' La Vida Loca," "Dude (Looks Like A Lady)" and "Livin' On A Prayer."

Verdine White of Earth, Wind & FireSongwriter Interviews

The longtime bassist of Earth, Wind & Fire discusses how his band came to do a holiday album, and offers insight into some of the greatest dance/soul tunes of all-time.

Steve Morse of Deep PurpleSongwriter Interviews

Deep Purple's guitarist since 1994, Steve talks about writing songs with the band and how he puts his own spin on "Smoke On The Water."