Flogging Molly: If I Ever Leave This World Alive Meaning
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If I Ever Leave This World Alive Lyrics
I'll thank for all the things you did in my life
If I ever leave this world alive
I'll come back down and sit beside your
Wherever I am you'll always be
More than just a memory
If I ever leave...
anonymous Feb 11th, 2007 2:13am report
This song tells the story of a man who is dying, or about to die. He tells his wife/girlfriend that "if I ever leave this world alive" by which he actually means when I actually die which is probably soon but he seems to be putting a comical spin on things. Anyway, once he is gone he will still be around to help her out as an angel perhaps but more realistically just as fond memories. He will be with her always in one way or another. He also is convincing her that even though she doesn't believe things will be ok they will be even after he dies. He tells her that there is no need to be sad because everything will be fine and he will always be there to look out for her.
By the end of the song he is gone be she still speaks to him and tells him that he was right and that indeed everything will be alright.
anonymous Aug 31st, 2008 8:54pm report
Dave King says himself this song is about 'friendship' so that rules out any 'man dying/at war speaks to his wife' interpretations.
"leave this world alive" sounds more psychological - THIS world suggests there are more than one, perhaps meaning his is a world apart from others? It's unclear what contrasts his world from others but from what he says he would do if he gets out (which implies he can't do them from where he is) we can sort of figure out what he means:
He'd give thanks, humble himself, own up to past mistakes, relieve 'you' of the anguish he's caused, and serve as a guardian and caregiver. Sounds like two very close friends that have had a falling out or a couple that's broken up, especially when you consider "you'll always be / more than just a memory".
At the end 'she' is introduced which I'm having trouble interpreting but my gut says it's a mutual friend. That's the kind of person that would tell you "I'm alright though you have gone from my life".
I lean towards a breakup because I can see 'you' saying "everything [will] be alright", and 'I' being too proud or heartbroken to take 'you' back as a friend until he puts down the whiskey and stops feeling stuck up and sorry for himself. Or maybe that's just me projecting?
Either way, that's the best I got.
There's a saying: "May you land in heaven one-half hour before the devil knows you're dead."
In this context, and the context of the performing group, the song is about the sort of man a woman wishes she never met. A drunkard that often becomes belligerent and beats his wife or girlfriend until she finally calls the police. While in prison, he vows never to forgive her for putting him there and to forever taunt her, even from beyond the grave, if he ever gets out of prison alive.
anonymous Nov 10th, 11:19pm report
If he maintains consciousness after death, he’ll look after her and do what he can to alleviate her grief. This promise allows her to make it through the initial stages of grief and move forward with her life.
anonymous Apr 5th, 2018 4:03pm report
Hello, i am not an native english speaker but my interpretation of the meaning is about a person that dies before his time (dies young). In our culture there is a greater tragedy for a young person (especially persons not married) to die as he did not live his life fully.(he did not pass through the normal stages of life).If i would go before my time (leave this world alive) i would like to leave all the things in order in this world as my spirit should be pure, unburdened when i cross to the other side so :"i'll thank you for all the things you did in my life", expressing gratitude for the love and all things i received during my journey here. One of the greatest sorrows in life is to see your loved one buried, but from the perspective of the dying man as you love her you would not want to see her hurt so you'd wish you could make her accept your transition easier: "I will take on all the sadness i have left behind", as different people react differently to loss, some will be angry and mad :"The madness that you feel will soon subside", but it will pass,so you would encourage her not to suffer ," So in a word don't shed a tear, i'll be here when it all gets weird", as you passed to afterlife because your presence will still be there close to her when things get rough. After you are gone if you truly loved her you would wish her to be happy and continue on the rest of her journey as her soul needs to be unburdened and pure as well at the crossing. I am a romantic and this is my interpretation. A good movie is "PS I love you" based on a story like this, this song is played at Gery's wake.
anonymous May 13th, 2017 5:45pm report
I think it is about a dogs view of dying. And at the end of the song his/her human knows that they will move on from the sadness.
anonymous Nov 27th, 2016 11:41am report
My brother died a couple months ago and he always said how he would want us to play this song at his funeral...and so we did. personally I think how my brother felt about this song and what he got from it was to give our family and his friends a farewell that would assure us that he's still around which is exactly how I feel everyday I listen to it. Like my favorite part about coming back down to sit beside my feet tonight, and I could swear that I actually feel him at the foot of my bed every time I think of him when I go to bed....whoo alright well idk if I helped at all, but that's what I think and apparently so did my brother, seeing how its what he chose in place of his last thoughts to us.
anonymous Nov 16th, 2016 11:46pm report
Y'all sure this song isnt about the constant Opression of the Irish by the Crown during the 80's and early 90's in ireland. And the IRA.
anonymous Apr 24th, 2016 4:35pm report
Leaving 'this world alive' is pretty clear. As a cancer survivor I see this as leaving/dying while you're still 'living'.. Not just breathing. Leaving the world on your own conditions and living til the end. No suffering, no pain, no burden.. It's a beautiful song.
anonymous Mar 12th, 2016 3:06am report
I think it says that when life is giving tomatoes and you want mangos. By thinking about the world in this way we can all ripen and age with time in a traditional way.
anonymous Jul 22nd, 2015 7:36pm report
I believe this song is uplifting, rather than depressing. The singer is trying to say that even when he's gone, whether it be after death or going somewhere new, things will work out and be okay in the end. For me personally, I see it in a more literal sense about death, and it's truly comforting because he's saying that he will still be there for loved ones, even if it's not in person. The "just before you go insane" could be implying that death can harm people mentally, so he is trying to comfort them and say that everything will be fine and not to worry. The singer has clearly not led a perfect life and he's open to that, so I think he's reached a humble feeling where he just wants everyone else not to worry about him going, because they'll see him again at some point. This is a beautifully raw song with clever and relatable lyrics, always a good listen if you're worried about someone leaving.
anonymous Jun 5th, 2014 6:35am report
Being a caregiver for my wife who has cancer, this song has so much meaning for me. My wife always says that she wants to pass on her own terms. She does not want to be miserable and suffering at the end. Once her treatments become too much to endure she will know when its time to go. She wants to leave this earth doing the things she wants to do. Traveling, enjoying family, living life. Her goal is to leave this world alive and full of life, rather than a poisoned shell of herself. She is the strongest person, and I know that she will always be by my side.
anonymous Jan 16th, 2012 1:18pm report
I think that i understand the meaning of this song for myself. "If i ever leave the world alive" means: If there's a live after the death. This is the only way to thank someone, when you're death and it's also the only way to leave on one hand and to come back on the other hand and sit beside someones feet.
anonymous Dec 30th, 2011 12:55pm report
To me the song means leaving the world happy with what youve done, having completed what you wanted to do, leaving good memories and lasting impressions, that your memory will live on in a good way, that you were overall fullfilled with life and you can leave in peace, but thats just me :)
anonymous Feb 25th, 2011 2:22pm report
I think that it means that people (maybe friends, wives, anyone really) do come and go in life occasionally, and occasionally when life gets out of hand you even aren't really living your own life but even when that happens everything still turns out okay in the end and you're lucky to have your friends/family etc there for you :)
anonymous Jan 10th, 2011 1:36pm report
I maybe read too much into this song. But here is what it meant for me.
The Irish are known for almost being born with a sense they they will have to pay for each and every transgression in this life. The person in the song can only "Leave this world alive" if there is something beyond this world.
To me, it is about death and facing your own mortality. While none of us can know what is on the other side or even if there is another side, this is one person (neither man nor woman) saying that, if there is something else beyond this life, you can bet I will do my best to look out for my loved ones. And to those I have offended, scorned, hurt or maligned, I will stand up and confess all.
In other words, I don't know if there will be a God or heaven, but if there is, I will do the best I can to comfort you. So please don't weep for me, a sinner, I will get what I deserve for sure, but will make something good come of my wretched life in the end.
anonymous Nov 9th, 2010 11:52am report
The meaning behind this song is actually discussed on the DVD from Whiskey On A Sunday. Highly recommend checking it out. Very moving.
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