When I Fall Lyrics - Barenaked Ladies
Review The Song (8)
I look straight in the window, try not to look below
Pretend I'm not up here, try counting sheep
But the sheep seem to shower off this office tower
Nine-point-eight straight down I can't stop my knees
I wish I could fly
From this building
From this wall
And if I should try
Would you catch me if I fall?
My hands clench the squeegee, my secular rosary
Hang on to your wallet, hang on to your rings
Can't look below me, or something might throw me
Curse at the windstorms that October brings
I look in the boardroom; a modern pharaoh's tomb
I'd gladly swap places, if they care to dive
They're lined up at the window, peer down into limbo
They're frightened of jumping, in case they survive
I wish I could step from this scaffold
Onto soft green pastures, shopping malls, or bed
With my family and my pastor and my grandfather who's Dead
Look straight in the mirror, watch it come clearer
I look like a painter, behind all the grease
But paintings creating, and I'm just erasing
A crystal-clear canvas is my masterpiece
Writer: PAGE, STEVEN/ROBERTSON, ED
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
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My Interpretaion of When I Fall | Reviewer: NY | 5/29/11
This, in my opinion, is one of the greatest songs to have ever been written. I believe his song is literally about a window-washer who is afraid of heights. Everyday he finds his workplace to be dangerous and wants to be in the comfort of his home with his family. At the same time, the glass in front of him reveals a juxtaposition between two opposite element on opposing sides. He sees his reflection as a dirty house painter in contrast to the successful businessmen on the other side. The sight of the two elements together spark a desire to become successful. This means there are two things that he values highly: family and success. Every day, this man looks through the glass at what he aspires to become. He sees his goal right before his eyes, yet no matter how close he tries to get, he's blocked off by an unseen wall (the glass). The glass represents the challenges and obstacles in the way of his success. He knows the path to success is risky; he wonders if his family will be there if he fails, thus he'd have at least one item of high value.
This is my interpretation of the song. I'm not sure if this is the meaning as the Barenaked Ladies intended; however, I believe this song is very inspirational, and as such it is one of my favourite songs.
Interesting takes | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/7/10
I like everyones interpretation of this song but listing to the lyics several times it appears to be stating that when He fails will you help me out. Whatever it may be, Love, career or whatever. He wants assurance that when he ventures to achieve his his lifelong goal or dream and fails will you still be there for him
When I Fall | Reviewer: Kevin | 11/5/10
This song is not about love, death, anything like that. Its about being in a place in your life where you're not comfortable or content but you're afraid to move past it. We have to remember who wrote and performed it. They don't typically mean for you to look beyond the superficial meaning to their songs but when they do, you still find the deeper meaning is rather evident.
All in a Day Dream | Reviewer: Frank A. Abercrombie | 6/20/10
This song is absolutely brilliant in both lyrical content and musicality. The more I have looked at the lyrics, the more I'm convinced the guy is day dreaming while doing a mundane, everyday task. I think the fear is real, but also, that he realizes the folks inside the window are essentially dead although claiming to 'glady swap places, if they'd care to DIE!' And perhaps, there really is no safe place except where imagined: soft green pastures, shopping malls, bed and the comfort of loved ones. Ironic, none of these places, nor family members have proven to be reliable safe havens...thus the day dream theory with random, but real thought...
Halmet | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/11/09
And, it's themes are straight from Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy. The guy is depressed, he's afraid of heights, he's suicidal, but afraid of death all the same - "that fear of something after death...thus conscience makes cowards of us all" - what happens if we die - when we die.
Dreams | Reviewer: Nick | 10/15/07
Personally, I agree with Anonymous. The song(which is incredible) is about taking risks, but not specifically love. How I'm grasping it is that every body is afraid to take risks, including window-washers(who have very little left to lose) and business men(who can afford to take a risk). This man wants to become more than what he is, but he needs to know that he has someone to fall back on if he ends up regretting his decision.
risks | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/7/07
i think it's supposed to be a little play on words...
it could be either love or death.
but if you really get into it, love is death. it's a risk...and if you take that jump, and no one 'catches' you, your heart is done.
i also think it has a lot to do with self-awareness...knowing who you are before you take life's risks.
Under-rated song? | Reviewer: Rob L | 4/24/07
Just had to leave a comment on the Internet somewhere saying how great this song is. Im not entirely sure whether its about anticipating death or falling in love, it changes depending on my mood! Well hope someone will one day give their opinion ha
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