Death Cab For Cutie: I Will Follow You Into The Dark Meaning
Song Released: 2006
I Will Follow You Into The Dark Lyrics
But I'll be close behind
I'll follow you into the dark
No blinding light or tunnels to gates of white
Just our hands clasped so tight
Waiting for the hint of a spark
If heaven and hell decide
1TOP RATED#1 top rated interpretation:anonymous Feb 8th 2009 report
This is an interpretation website, so nothing anyone has said is wrong, but I'm actually kind of upset at the interpretations I've read thus far. The words "dark" and "black" in this song are not just referring to the absence of color, but rather of nothingness altogether. Yes, this song is a love song, but I think it is equally a song about religion. "I held my tongue as she told me son, fear is the heart of love, so I never went back." FEAR IS THE HEART OF LOVE. This line is SO important to the meaning of this song. The fear of hell and punishment is what drives so many people to be religious. He never went back because he disagrees with the nun (and so should everyone). He wishes there was no fear of hell nor reward of heaven. He has lived a long life and experienced many things and been to many places. "Soles of your shoes are all worn down the time for sleep is now" - Hes tired and he's ready to sleep. To rest. To die. Hes ready to follow is loved one into nothingness, emptiness, thoughtlessness.....the dark
2TOP RATED#2 top rated interpretation:anonymous Jan 8th 2009 report
To all the Christians who have listened to this song: It is not necessarily stating that there is no heaven or hell, it actually implies that they do exist. This man is simply saying that if whoever he is singing to (you) is for whatever reason rejected from heaven and hell, he'd give up his afterlife to be with her. (If heaven and hell decide that they both are satisfied. Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs. If there's no one beside you, when your soul embarks, then I'll follow you into the dark.)
At least, that's what I got out of this song, no matter the meaning, it is still a very beautiful song.
3TOP RATED#3 top rated interpretation:anonymous May 2nd 2008 report
It seems like no one really understand the "Fear is the Heart of Love" line. Many religions (like Catholics) teach you to fear God's wrath, and therefor obey him. That fear, supposedly, is the basis for loving & obeying God. Do what God tells you, or you'll go to hell. Love God because you fear him. That's why the nun said "fear is the heart of love." Naturally, that doesn't sit right with a lot of people, and causes the song's author to "hold his tongue," & "never go back." Many people don't believe that you should obey (or love) out of fear. He calls Catholic school "as vicious as Roman rule" because the Romans ruled with an iron fist, with fear.
anonymous Nov 13th 2020 report
If an afterlife doesn't exist, or the person the singer is addressing is rejected from having an afterlife, the singer will "follow you into the dark" They will follow the addressed into nothingness, because they would rather be with the addressed in nothingness than be alone in an afterlife. The song is also partially about the fact that they clearly do not believe in a particular religion, and that they believe that "fear is the heart of love" for most religion. The followers fear going to "hell", and therefore will follow the religion to escape the "hell" they fear. This fuels the religion, being the "heart" of the "love" of the religion. The next verse explains how the singer and the addressed have finished their life - They've seen all there is to see, and they are tired, as "the time for sleep is now", implying that the singer and addressed are ready to die. They aren't dying for accident. They have completed their life and their time has come.
I (writer) will not be stating my opinion. I have tried to be as objective as possible. If I got it wrong, obviously rate it low. But I'll check the site regularly to see how my objective approach did! :D
anonymous Oct 11th 2015 report
He's telling her to not worry because he will be right behind no matter what.
anonymous Jul 28th 2012 report
To me, this song embodies a lot of the ideas contained within zen-like philosophies, directed specifically toward a very personal relationships between two people on the inevitable road to oblivion we all travel.
The development of a relationship to the point that the seperation between the individuals becomes indistinct. The "tunnels to gates of white" are not as peacefully blissful as the entwining of the two. If the constructs of Heaven and Hell areat peace within the persons own mind, then being carried into the unknown holds no fear for them.
"That they both are satisfied", I think, refers not only to Heaven and Hell, but also the relationship. The two will follow each other into the dark because a large part of them resides in the other. They have become more than a single entity, in the sense of changes within them, the individuals sense the oneness that binds everyone in the manifestation of their completeness.
Religion is used to illuminate the way most people perceive personal interactions, where control, possession and power rule the interactions between the two. 'Fear is the heart of love', sounds wrong and will lead to anything but satisfaction, so don't try to convince them and never go back.
Satisfaction in the sense of being sated, there is no more desire, or longing, or regrets, guilt, pride, jelousy. "You and me have seen everything to see....And the soles of your shoes are all worn down." They have experienced the world through the eyes of each other, and there is no exceeding this plateau in this world. on to the next.
The end holds no fear or panic, "It's nothing to cry about".
The sense of fulfillment in this world, and the promise of a spark in the next, while carrying the new being the two have created into the next. They "hold each other" within their being into "the darkest of rooms", the ultimate unknown, death.
If you can find that connection with another person, the fear of the unknown subsides, and you can overcome anything with the unselfish peace that connection to humanity can provide.
anonymous May 1st 2012 report
This song goes beyond religion, i dont think its right to label this song as anything, especially by religion. This song goes beyond everything, and basically defies the stereotypes of love. One line of the song is "fear is the heart of love" which defies what people usually associate love with. This song is about a person who has lost their true love. He wants religion and everyone's beliefs to stop limiting love (if heaven and hell decide that they both are satisfied, then i will follow you into the dark) so that he can join his love wherever she went when she died.He talks about how they have been through everything together (weve seen all there is to see) and how he accepts her death because he believes that love has no limits so he will.be able to hold her once again (theres nothing to cry about, we will hold eachother soon). So even though the song refers to Catholic school, he isnt trying to focus on that, its just a memory. He just decides to put faith aside and believe in his heart that since love is real, he will be able to hold his love again after he passes away, too.
anonymous Apr 25th 2012 report
This song for me is about death of the illusion. The illusion of love, the after life, fear, religion, whatever illusions exist.
I think that it is a love song. It is saying that when you are ready to let go of the illusions and except the unknown, then and only then does their love have a chance, hence waiting for the spark.
Illusions are created from fear - fear is the heart of love. Religion is used as an example because so many people love god out of fear but it can be applied to anything, relationships included. Many people fall in love out of the fear of being alone.
If there is no one beside you when your soul embarks is stating when you are ready to let go of the illusions we can face the unknown together. Into the dark is going into the unknown.
If heaven and hell decide they are both satisfied implies that in order for true love to exist, expectations and judgements must be surrendered. Heaven implies happily ever after and hell implies condemnation and judgement.
The time for rest in now - a truce. Its nothing to cry about because no one lost one one won. Its just time to rest. They have both witnessed enough to know the difference between illusion and reality. Love of mine someday you will die - and I will be close behind. The ideas they have about each other and what they think they love about each must die before they can begin their journey together into the unknown.
For me the unknown is the truth.
anonymous Jul 15th 2011 report
Not many people like the interpretation of fear is the heart of love. Thus means we shoudnt fear God but his rath when not followed. If you don't follow the lord like thou should... He's body going to throw lightning bolts at your head and hope he hits. I am not catholic and do t claim to be. This is what they believe. They are saying even if thou is to die now, I will see to it that I follow you there. If thou is still vacant at time of death, this means he has never left her side. Catholic schools rule with an iron fist as did Romans. Our shoe souls are worn down and the time for sleep is now there's nothing to cry about cause we'll hold each other soon. They've lived life and want to die have their lives go away as the years had flown fast. She shan't worry cause thou will have thine to hold when thine time come equally. The blackest of rooms. When thou dies they cover the face of those whom have died. Therefore blackest of rooms as they will cover his face momentarily. This is one way thou could interpret this song. Share the meaning that thine has for this song.
anonymous Jun 7th 2011 report
It's a pretty song about death and love, take it how you wish and enjoy it. XP
"Love of mine, someday you will die, but I'll be close behind" Could indicate that he will die from being heartbroken or commit suicide.
"I'll follow you into the dark" I'll be by your side even in the afterlife.
"No blinding light, or tunnels to gates of white" They don't see the light of Heaven
"Just our hands clasped so tight, waiting for the hint of a spark" They are in the darkness waiting for a sign of Heaven to shine through, together.
"If Heaven and hell decide, that they both are satisfied" Jehovah's Witnesses indicate that there are only a certain number of people going to Heaven, so in some religions, Heaven's and maybe Hell's allowed number of inhabitants have been satisfied(the limit has been met)
"Illuminate the NO's on their vacancy signs" This just reiterates the previous stanza.
"If there's no one beside you, when your soul embarks" Easy enough, there's no one to accompany her(escort her)
"I will follow you into the dark" I will go with you into the emptiness, the void, the nothingness. We will have each-other.
"In Catholic school, as viscous as Roman rule" Catholic school is strict
"I got my knuckles bruised by a lady in black" Nuns whip your knuckles, for many different things
"I held my tongue, as she told me 'Son, fear is the heart of love' so I never went back" He disagreed with her saying to fear God is to love him, or fear of Hell or banishment from Heaven is why you should love God(this is a hard verse to explain, but I somewhat agree with the other person who touched directly on this verse talking about Catholics having an iron fist like Roman rule)
"You and me, have seen everything to see, from Bangkok to Calgary" They have travelled the world together in life.
"And the soles of your shoes are all worn down" HMMMMMMM maybe just another reiteration since he just said they traveled the world together
"The time for sleep is now" They have lived their lives and it's time for them to sleep eternally.
"It's nothing to cry about, 'cause we'll hold each-other soon" Saying to her not too worry because they will at some point be together in death, not necessarily indicating that he will kill himself but that he will see her again and they will still at least have each-other if nothing else.
"In the blackest of room's" He has already discussed the possible void, so this should be clear by now.
Too many people saying he doesn't believe in Heaven or Hell, that's not the case. This might be an interpretation site but, some people are wrong on so many levels just because their brains don't function correctly.
This song is not anti-Christian, he does talk about turning his back on Catholicism but not religion as a whole. He is not saying that love for another person is more important than love for God, it's not brought up in that manner in any way. All-and-all, this is simply a love song saying that even in death I will stay by your side no matter what.
"Love of mine some day you will die
But I'll be close behind
I'll follow you into the dark"
When his love eventually dies... he will not live without her so has decided to go with her... to follow her into the darkness of death.
"No blinding light or tunnels to gates of white
Just our hands clasped so tight
Waiting for the hint of a spark
If heaven and hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs"
That nothing will be there... just nothingness... but they will be together wherever death will lead them. Even if it is not heaven or hell... they will forever be together with their hands "clasped so tight" and nothing will change that.
“If there's no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark”
If no one is with her when she one day dies... if no one is there to take care of her... he will of course go with her to be by her side for ever... sole and sole.
“In Catholic school as vicious as Roman rule
I got my knuckles bruised by a lady in black
And I held my tongue as she told me
"Son fear is the heart of love"
So I never went back”
In a school that he once went to... they told him that fear is the heart of love.... he strongly disagrees with this... if you take it to the religious side... they love their god so they fear him? This doesn’t make much sense. He feels that he should not be afraid of the death to come... and isn’t. Because he will be with her and wherever they are lead there is never anything to fear. In heaven or hell... or in the nothingness... there is nothing to fear.
“You and me have seen everything to see
From Bangkok to Calgary
And the soles of your shoes are all worn down
The time for sleep is now
It's nothing to cry about
Cause we'll hold each other soon
In the blackest of rooms”
He has lived a long happy life at her side... travelling the world with her by his side (or it feels that way... an adventure). He is saying that it is okay for them to rest now... they have lived long and loved long... they can now sleep.. die happily together now that their lives are coming to an end... (shoes worn down) ... but soon enough they will be together in the darkness... happy together.
anonymous May 25th 2011 report
"Fear is the heart of love" is the key line here. He " never went back" because he doesn't believe that we love God in fear. She basically said " If you don't love God, you go to hell."
I don't necessarily think he's saying there's no heaven or hell, but saying it doesn't matter if we are alone. We all need support for what is heaven without chilling with your buddies or suffering witn them in hell? If there are no vacancy signs, it means she was rejected. But it still exists. I think they both gave up Heaven ( God) for each other. I'm not sure how I feel about that, giving up God for a girl seems wrong.
anonymous Apr 2nd 2011 report
I think that maybe when he is following his loved one into the dark it symbolizes pergatory because he made a catholic reference, and catholics believe that when you are not excepted to heaven or hell you go to pergatory.
anonymous Mar 9th 2011 report
To me this song is mine and my exes song. We are both in relationships and even though we know that we have to move on, when we die we will b together. We are meant to be together and we both know it. This song is ares. Its basically saying in the end we will be together and I will follow you. I honestly can not wait till that day comes.
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