What Sarah Said

Album: Plans (2005)
Play Video
  • And it came to me then
    That every plan
    Is a tiny prayer to father time

    As I stared at my shoes
    In the ICU
    That reeked of piss and 409

    And I rationed my breaths
    As I said to myself
    That I'd already taken too much today

    As each descending peak
    On the LCD
    Took you a little farther away from me
    Away from me

    Amongst the vending machines
    And year old magazines
    In a place where we only say goodbye

    It sung like a violent wind
    That our memories depend
    On a faulty camera in our minds

    And I knew that you were truth
    I would rather lose
    Than to have never lain beside at all

    And I looked around
    At all the eyes on the ground
    As the TV entertained itself

    'Cause there's no comfort in the waiting room
    Just nervous paces bracing for bad news
    And then the nurse comes round
    And everyone lifts their heads
    But I'm thinking of what Sarah said

    That love is watching someone die

    So who's gonna watch you die
    So who's gonna watch you die
    So who's gonna watch you die Writer/s: Benjamin D. Gibbard, Christopher Ryan Walla, Jason Patrick McGerr, Nicholas Scott Harmer
    Publisher: BMG Rights Management, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 27

  • Blinski from Germany@Blamblamsan 409 is a very famous cleaning product, that everyone in the U.S. knows but is virtually unknown outside of the United States.
  • Blamblamsan from GermanySo touching, makes me endlessly sad.. (especially the last line "who's gonna watch you die?" brought me personally up sharp, as I am an older single woman.. :'( ) But what is "409"?? (..does it mean the error message Conflict?)
  • Idee from Abuja, Nigeria I feel like the lady is dying and the man is the one in the waiting room with her family and he's her lover or her husband or something and the lady knows she dying that's why she told him "love is watching someone die." and she really died. I just think its the tragic love story of a couple that the man loses the love of his life which is experienced by millions around the world. The narrator is explaining how it feels.
  • Alder from ArizonaFor me it's being paralyzed by anxiety. Someone is dying. You don't want them to be alone. But you don't know if you're strong enough to be there when they pass. But if you don't, did you truly love them? If love is watching someone die, how do you live with the choice not to be there?
  • Happihippi92 from MichiganLook It’s Simple She’s dying from cancer I beleive and he’s explaining how he feels and at the end she explains love is watching someone die so who’s gunna watch you die? She’s telling him to find love again
    Jeez people
    Also it’s a fictional character
  • Keith from Waukesha, United Arab EmiratesTo me the video is about a ghost. Sarah, the girl, is dead her husband watched her die and she is trying to communicate with him, but his heart is broken and all he can do is sit there and listen to that sad song...
  • Matthew from Los Angeles, CaThis is my interpretation of the lyrics...
    The song opens with the line, "that every plan" is just a "prayer to Father Time." Father Time, the way I see it, is God, or whatever deity you prefer...the way he sees it, all our plans are just hopes for something that we want to happen.
    After that, Ben describes the setting: the ICU that "reeks of 409" and is filled with the families/friends of those who are being cared for.
    "Each descending peak on the LCD took you farther from me" her heart rate is dropping, thus, the descending peak on the LCD screen of her EKG machine; (s)he is dying.
    He then describes the lobby of the ICU..."I looked around at all the eyes on the ground" all the people's eyes are towards the ground; they are sad: the people they love are dying. "as the TV entertained itself" no one is watching it. "And then the nurse comes round and everyone will lift their heads" they are hopeful, waiting for news. Then, the most important line: "But I'm thinking of what Sarah said that 'Love is watching someone die'" he's thinking back at what Sarah, who is dying, said to him before, that "Love is watching someone die," that you stay with them and love them until the time finally comes when one of them is forced to see the other one die.
    "So who's going to watch you die?" that's the question for us. Who's going to love us until the end?
    A bit lengthy, but I you understand what I'm trying to say.
  • Holden from Salt Lake City, UtGibbard says the first lyric in an interview and has nothing to do with his dad. Father Time refers to a higher being that literally controls time. You guys are overthinking things.
  • Chels from Omaha, Neoh and p.s. music videos almost always have NOTHING to do with song meanings.
  • Chels from Omaha, Neokay the song is obviously his dad dying in the hospital hence the lyrics Is a tiny prayer to father time FATHER TIME. and his mom is sarah who says, love is watching someone die, she watched her husband die, and so ben is asking himself, who is going to watch him die, who is going to be his true love that will be everlasting and go until death. thats just what i think, but it's logical.
  • Becky from Sacramento, CaThis is truly a beautiful song. The last line strikes my heart every time: "Who's going to watch you die?"

    I am a bit confused about the music video, though. I love both the video and the song, but what relation is there between the two? Is she a ghost, watching over him as he (unsuccessfully) copes with her death? But then what about the French she writes: the last line being "He loves me... not at all"? Does she not realize she's dead?

    Opinions/explanations would be appreciated ;)
  • Shazza from Wellington, New ZealandAs someone who has watched someone die... I believe this song is about waiting in intesive care for a loved one to die... simple really. Its not about drugs, and the person narrating is not the person dying. Whether it is a reflection of sometthing that actually happend... or its fictional... its on the mark... this song expresses exactly what it feels like to wait for someone dying to die.
  • Mitch from Athens, AlWow, the newer the song, the more rediculous the posts. Very sad song. One almost needs a 2 or 3 minute period of silence after listening to it (as opposed to hearing it).............just to take it in.
  • Amanda from New York, NyOnce my ears gave way to this song, the notes in the begginning gave me a hint of what this song would be. About love, death and the affect of mourning once your loved one died. I felt as if a mere memory came back. This song has so much depth of what the end of life can be that it made me cry.
  • Ryan from Richmond, VaThis song is about his dad dying. His mom's name is Sarah.
  • Tim from Chicopee, MaI don't understand why some brilliantly charming individual always has to find a magically obscure drug reference, in every song ever written. This song has absolutely nothing to do with LSD, ecstasy, or the mixture of the two. I can speak from experience, both as a former ecstasy and LSD user, and as an ICU nurse. This song is by far an amazing account of the end of life concepts embraced by many individuals, during their lifespan. Many people have the unfortunate experience of revisiting this scenario multiple times throughout their lives. Some of them wait for days in waiting rooms, clinging to the hopes that their loved ones will pull through.

    LCD definitely refers to the hemodynamic and respiratory monitoring which occurs in all ICU rooms. 9/10th's of all ICU rooms use LCD monitors which portray heart rhythms, respirations and oxygen saturation in the form of peak waveforms followed by descents. I've never heard of any drug by the name of LCD. We used to call the mixture of LSD and ecstasy "candy flipping" back in the day. You kids conjure up all sorts of crazy acronyms for stuff these days. We are living in this hyped up technology era.

    What if musicians didn't rely on drugs to inspire their music? What if life experience was simply enough? What if the feelings they've felt, literature they've read, movies they've seen, thoughts they've had and people they've met were enough to inspire them, sans psychotropic substance? Not every musician requires the Jim Morrison experience, to create amazing music.
  • Evelyn from Kansas City, MoWhen the narrator says "and I rationed my breaths as I said to myself that I'd already taken too much today," he is referring to breath itself, not any kind of drug. That's why he is rationing them. I think it's a kind of "survivor's guilt" he is feeling. And "each descending peak on the LCD takes you a little farther away from me" refers to the screen where the vital signs are shown for a hospital patient; it's not a drug reference at all. Also, "Who's gonna watch you die?" is directed to the listener, I think.
  • Sarah from San Bruno, CaOh god. LCD i refering to an LCD SCREEN. Not the drug. Open your minds a bit more people. Don't take thingss so obviously... it doesnt have to be about someone overdosing. It could for instance be pain medication that he has taken too much of, and he's giving up. Not everything in this world is about illegal DRUGS.
  • Greg from Portland, MeWOW, thank Lisa and Adam for straightening out some of the dimmer wits that commented.
    This song gives me goosebumps everytime and reminds me of the day when about 30 people from my extended family crammed into my 92 y.o. grandmother's hospital room and sat with her while she died of complications from a stroke. My uncle flew up from Florida and she held on until he got there. She couldn't communicate at that point but it was obviously what she was waiting for. "Love is watching someone die" - there was alot of love in that room, it was a powerful moment and I felt honored to be there.
  • Lisa from Austin, Tx...PLEASE tell me you people are joking. "And I rationed my breaths as I said to myself / That I've already taken too much today"...the FIRST thing that comes to your mind is that they overdosed? did you listen to the rest of the song? have you never had a bad day w/ some sort of explosion at the end? i have. i've basically lived this song, and there were no drugs, alcohol, sex, violence, etc. involved in the situation...and i'm not even going to bother trying to explain to some poor soul what a freakin' lcd is.
  • Lany from Somwhere Near Boston..., MaIt seems to me that the lines "And I rationed my breaths as I said to myself / That I've already taken too much today" suggest that the narrator, and subject(girlfriend/wife) abused some sort of potentially lethal drug together, perhap landing one in the ICU due to overdose
  • Adam from Layton, UtActually Eric an LCD is a computer screen. in hospitals they are used to show things such as heart rate. blood pressure. oxygen levels, and temperature. The heart rate peaks each time the heart beats... as the heart begins to weaken its peak will not be as high. when it doesn't peak at all its called flat lining, or cardiac arrest. So by saying "as each descending peak on the LCD took you a little farther away from me" it means someone is getting closer to death because their heart is beginning to fail.
  • Eric from Medina, OhI just thought that I would add this. The lyrics "As each descending peak of the LCD took you a little farther away from me, away from me" refers to a drug called, well LCD. It's a mixture of LSD(acid) and MDMA(Extacy). Anyone who has done this drug as I have, knows it is famous for its peaks and descents. Being as it is made with LSD, it is a hallucinagen that really does detatch you from the world. I cannot, however, even begin to speculate on what significance it brings to the song.
  • Barbara from Lake Wales, FlI do believe that it is the husband that is the narrator. And when he speaks about the waiting room, he's talking about his wife's wait for him. How she is standing by. And by saying "love is watching someone die" is being with someone forever that you are truely in love with that you will eventually watch them die.

    Til death do us part. As we would say.
  • Bryan from Bismarck, NdI'm pretty sure the narrator isn't the one dieing here. Why would he/she be in the waiting room? That makes no sense. I think that Sarah is the one dieing, and that the narrator is her husband. Sarah is the one who says, "Who's going to watch you die?"
  • Mavy from Sf Bay, CaPer Yahoo Music:
    It turns out that what Sarah actually said--"love is watching someone die"--is the thesis of the entire album. "The song was inspired by a friend," says Gibbard. "She was walking with her husband one day and just burst into hysterical tears because she realized that one day one of the two of them would have to watch the other die." Only a songwriter as dexterous as Gibbard could make a tear-jerking refrain about the end of love ("so who's going to watch you die?") sound as effortless and bright as falling in love in the first place.
  • Johnny from Damascus, MdHe just reworded the old saying "it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all" into this..."you were a truth I would rather lose
    Than to have never lain beside at all." And the end question "who is gonna watch you die" i believe is to the listener...not "her"(im not sure if the "her" in the fact is referring to Sarah or not). And in doing some research, I found out that the band knows a girl named Sarah(go figure) who was walking with her husband when she was overwhelmed with sorrow that she would one day have to watch the one she loves die.
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