Better Dead Than Lead
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists Lyrics


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I had a golden ring and I kept it with golden things
In the Bank of Million dreams that was bursting at all the seams
I had a golden ring. It was such an important thing
That I kept it beneath my bed, and I carried it in my head

I had a golden dream, and the way it came down to me
Was through Captains of Alchemy, who came up from a steely sea
And I dreamed through the rainy night, and I managed to sleep alright
And my body became so light, that I managed to give it flight

Because I know gold is just a trick of the light
And lead is light as a feather
So, leave me where the kids are alright
And we will all go down together

I had a golden dream, and they took it away from me
And they pulled it out of my head, and they showed me that it was lead

But I know gold is just a trick of the light
And lead is light as a feather
So, leave me where the kids are alright
And we will all go down together

And that's the way it's going to be

And there's water in wine
And there's nickel in dimes
And they knew all the time

But gold is just a trick of the light
And lead is light as a feather
So, leave me where the kids are alright
And we will all go down together

And gold is just a trick of the light
And lead is light as a feather
So, leave me where the kids are alright
And we will all go down together





And that's the way it's going to be
That's the way, it's going to be

Overall Meaning

The lyrics in Ted Leo and the Pharmacists' song Better Dead Than Lead are focused on the false promises of wealth and success. The singer had a golden dream and a valuable golden ring, which they kept in a Bank of a Million Dreams that was overflowing with riches. However, they ultimately come to understand the fleeting nature of material possessions. The dream was promised by the Captains of Alchemy, who represent those that manipulate and deceive with false promises of wealth and prosperity. Despite the realization that gold is just a trick of light and lead is light as a feather, the singer does not want to be part of this deception - rather they want to be with the kids who are alright, and to go down with them in their authenticity. The gold ring is eventually revealed to be lead, another punch at the false promises of wealth and grandeur.


The song can be seen as a critique of capitalism and consumerism, and how the perceived value of material possessions can often overshadow the things that are truly important. The singer comes to the understanding that true wealth lies in relationships and community, not in the accumulation of wealth and possessions.


Line by Line Meaning

I had a golden ring, and I kept it with golden things
I owned a valuable golden ring and I treasured it with all my other gold possessions


In the Bank of a Million Dreams that was bursting at all the seams
I kept my golden possessions in a bank that had more dreamers than it could handle


I had a gold ring. It was such an important thing
The golden ring was more than just a material possession to me; it held great significance in my life


That I kept it beneath my bed, and I carried it in my head
I protected it by keeping it hidden and always thought of it carefully


I had a golden dream, and the way it down came to me
I had a wonderful dream that came to me in a beautiful way


Was through Captains of Alchemy, who came up from a steely sea
The dream came to me through great alchemists who appeared to me like leaders of a mystical sea


And I dreamed through the rainy night, and I managed to sleep alright
I slept well through the stormy night dreaming of my golden dream


And my body became so light, that I managed to give it flight
My dream made me feel so light that I was able to fly


Because I know gold is just a trick of light
I realized that gold is just an illusion created by light


And lead is light as a feather
Lead, which seems heavy, is actually as light as a feather


So, leave me where the kids are alright
Let me be free to enjoy life like the carefree children around me


And we will all go down together
Let us all be the same and face any challenges together


I had a golden dream, and they took it away from me
Someone took away my dream that I cherished so much


And they pulled it out of my head, and they showed me that it was lead
They shattered my dream and showed me that it was worthless like lead




Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
Written by: THEODORE F LEO

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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