Florence and the Machine: My Boy Builds Coffins Meaning
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My Boy Builds Coffins Lyrics
He doesn't build ships, he has no use for sails
He doesn't make tables, dressers or chairs
He can't carve a whistle cause he just doesn't care
My boy builds coffins for the rich and the poor
anonymous May 16th, 2011 5:50pm report
In my opinion, this song is about how death can wipe the slate clean, in a good sense and in a more negative sense.
In the better sense, the song addresses how we're all equal in death. No matter how good or bad you were in life, or how rich or poor you were, we'll all end up in a coffin underground. Kings and queens, beggars and gypsies all have the smae fate waiting for them. All the coffins are made by the same man, and even he will be buried in one of his own creations. So will the listeners.
The more negative sense, I think, IS that we're all equal in death. I think the verse:
'My boy builds coffins and I think it's a shame
That when each ones been made, he can't see it again
He crafts every one with love and with care
Then it's thrown in the ground, it just isn't fair'
represents that no matter how extraordinary you are in your lifetime, how much you achieve or how much you invested in living, you'll still be mortal and that individuality is removed on death.
anonymous Jun 9th, 2019 6:18am report
My interpretation is that her boy breaks hearts and is ruthless and will one day break your heart and bury you too!
anonymous Mar 21st, 2018 3:45pm report
Basicly I thought it was about hades and persephone.
anonymous Nov 21st, 2015 11:29pm report
I think this song is about love. Something so profound that we all someday will have in our path. No matter your background or class, you will eventually want to feel loved. The boy himself could be represented as cupid. But maybe, I'm just reading too much into this lol
anonymous Feb 12th, 2012 2:41pm report
i'd just like to point out that this IS about her boyfriend at the time, who was a band member of the Ludes. Florence also covered one of the Ludes' songs: Girl With One Eye.
anonymous Aug 25th, 2011 8:12pm report
As explained by Flo in an interview;
"My Boy Builds Coffins" really stands out. What's the story behind that track?
That's funny! At the time, my first love was in a band—naturally [Laughs]. He was doing a photo shoot for his LP cover. I was still at school. I remember I'd get upset because he couldn't take me to the cinema or something lame like that since he was building this coffin. He was going to put our friend—this big-bearded, red-headed Irish man—in the coffin with a wedding dress on, and that was going to be the cover. I thought, "Oh my God, my boyfriend's building a coffin." That led me on this tangent of a coffin builder. Then I started thinking about the fact that everyone needs a coffin. It's obviously someone's craft, but it's a bit sad because you put all this work and effort into something that's eventually just food for the dirt. All of this work and craftsmanship just gets buried underground. It set me off thinking about death as a whole. My boyfriend was actually building a coffin though [Laughs].
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