Dead Voices
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists Lyrics


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long live our dying friend!
in the birth of his hand was the dirge of his end.
cold now in a warming world
still cold as the moment we're hanging frozen in.
writer of words, channel of fear.
lover of life, hater of living here.
come over the hills now, to your darling.
dead voices are near now, hear them calling.
vibrations reverberate,
in waves from a point in time and a place.
tune in and you feel them sent.
and all time is right now - what do we learn from him, then?
go look to his words, dont look to his past.
the story goes on, the players are recast.
come over the hills now, to your darling.
dead voices are near now, hear them calling.
what part of a million could call him a friend?
but maybe one in a thousand finds something to comiserate in.
and if that one is you, then what do you see?
what would you say to have saved him,
and ooh, won't you say it to save me?




the streets are deserted, the bars are the same.
one voice of the living: the town crier is calling your name.

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of "Dead Voices" by Ted Leo and The Pharmacists deal with the theme of mourning and remembrance. The opening line "long live our dying friend" suggests that the friend in question has passed away, but that his memory and legacy live on. The next line "in the birth of his hand was the dirge of his end" is a powerful image, suggesting that even at the moment of creation (in this case, the creation of works of art), the inevitability of death is present. The following lines highlight the strange disjunction of the world continuing to warm while the singer's friend is still cold and gone, frozen in time.


The second verse speaks to the deceased friend's talent as a writer and his conflicted feelings about life. The lines "lover of life, hater of living here" are particularly poignant, capturing the complicated emotions of someone who values existence but feels alienated from the world around them. The chorus emphasizes the idea that the friend's voice still echoes in the world, both through the vibrations of his words and the memories of those who knew him. The lines "what part of a million could call him a friend? but maybe one in a thousand finds something to commiserate in" suggest that while the dead friend may not have been widely known or popular in life, his words and ideas still resonate with people who feel similarly lost or alone.


Line by Line Meaning

long live our dying friend!
Despite the death of our friend, we will keep him alive in our memory and celebrate his life.


in the birth of his hand was the dirge of his end.
From the moment our friend was born, a foreboding signal of death was present in his fate.


cold now in a warming world
Despite the world changing and progressing forward and becoming warm, our friend remains cold and lifeless as he is gone.


still cold as the moment we're hanging frozen in.
Just like we are frozen in the moment of our friend's death and unable to move forward with life, our friend remains cold and unchanging, as if time has stopped for him too.


writer of words, channel of fear.
Our friend was a talented writer who often channeled his fears and insecurities into his work.


lover of life, hater of living here.
While our friend had a love for life, he was unhappy with his current living situation.


come over the hills now, to your darling.
We should gather together and find comfort in one another in our friend's absence.


dead voices are near now, hear them calling.
The voices of those who have passed on are almost audible, calling out to us from beyond the grave.


vibrations reverberate,
There are still hints of our friend's energy left behind, vibrating and echoing through the world.


in waves from a point in time and a place.
These vibrations are centered around a specific time and place, representing our friend's life and legacy.


tune in and you feel them sent.
By listening and being receptive to these vibrations, one can feel a connection to our friend even after his passing.


and all time is right now - what do we learn from him, then?
Time is a fluid concept, and even though our friend is gone, the lessons and legacy he left behind still resonate with us now.


go look to his words, dont look to his past.
Instead of focusing on our friend's past mistakes or struggles, we should look to the wisdom and insight he shared through his creative work.


the story goes on, the players are recast.
The world doesn't stop turning just because someone dies - life goes on and people must continue playing their roles.


what part of a million could call him a friend?
In a world of millions of people, it is rare to find someone who can truly be called a friend.


but maybe one in a thousand finds something to comiserate in.
However, there may be a select few who can find common ground and can empathize with our friend's struggles and challenges in life.


and if that one is you, then what do you see?
If you are the one who can relate to our friend's struggles, then what insights and perspectives can you offer?


what would you say to have saved him,
Looking back, what could we have said or done differently to help prevent our friend's death?


and ooh, won't you say it to save me?
By sharing these insights, perhaps we can help save someone else who is struggling with similar challenges.


the streets are deserted, the bars are the same.
Despite everything that has happened, the world around us remains unchanged and indifferent to our grief.


one voice of the living: the town crier is calling your name.
Amidst the silence and loneliness, there is still one voice of the living that reaches out to us - the town crier who calls out our name, reminding us that we are still alive and must continue living.




Lyrics © O/B/O APRA AMCOS

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