Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Arcade Fire - City With No Children

'City With No Children' - LYRICS & SONG MEANING

So while we were at the Arcade Fire concert on Monday my best friend, asks a question. It happened during the song 'City With No Children' and the question was "Do They Hate Kids"

So checking over the lyrics again and again and reading online about the meaning of this song I made a few conclusions that I wanted to make with this Best Friend of mine. First off 'City With No Children' is an incredible song, and one that the lyrics do stick out when you are listening to the song. Below I have bolded the lyrics from where this question came up.

I feel like I've been living in
A city with no children in it
A garden left for ruin by and by
As I hide inside
Of my private prison

I went over to songmeanings.net and explored some of the various fans comments on this matter. Some of the explanations for this line in the lyrics were:
  • It is a possible reference to The Secret Garden, the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
  • Illusion to the current state of America. America is being ruined by millionaires.
  • People are living their lives as if they are the last generation.
  • A city with no children in it is a city with no future...literally the last generation.
  • I've been living in a city with no future because its being ruined by the rich...No kids = no future.
  • A city with no children is a city with no future. However, the reference to this feeling is less about the external environment (i.e., the city) and more about the singer's internal world as he struggles with his weighty past and disillusionment. As an emerging adult, he is trying to reconcile feelings of adolescent idealism with the stark reality of living in a world that is less than perfect, confusingly ambiguous, and mired in shades of grey.
  • It seems to reference Oscar Wilde's famous children's story "The Selfish Giant".
  • I believe, in my most personal interpretation that the song is talking about people like me and you who spend most of our lives pursuing a career in order to one day hopefully establish and have enough money and live a decent life (almost impossible now a days) and in the way we forget about the nature of humanity in which we meet someone we get married and we have children.
  • The more I listen to this track, and bearing in mind similar references on other tracks (e.g. The Suburbs), the more I think Win Butler is asking (begging?) Regine to give him a child, before, as kidsonbuses intimates, it's too late.

So there you have it from the fans, Personally I believe this song is more about America or The World (Not The Band) and how we are more concerned about our own personal possessions and worldly desires (Greed). And how the rich will ruin the world, and that "A city with no children in it" is just portraying "No Future".

greed = no children = no future


City With No Children Lyrics
The summer that I broke my arm
I waited for your letter
I have no feeling for you now
Now that I know you better

I wish that I could have loved you then
Before our age was through
And before a world war does with us
Whatever it will do

Dreamt I drove home to Houston
On a highway that was underground
There was no light that we could see
As we listened to the sound of the engine failing

I feel like I've been living in
A city with no children in it
A garden left for ruin by a millionaire inside
Of a private prison

You never trust a millionaire
Quoting the sermon on the mount
I used to think I was not like them
But I'm beginning to have my doubts
My doubts about it

When you're hiding underground
The rain can't get you wet
Do you think your righteousness
Can pay the interest on your debt?
I have my doubts about it

I feel like I've been living in
A city with no children in it
A garden left for ruin by a millionaire inside
Of a private prison

I feel like I've been living in
A city with no children in it
A garden left for ruin by and by
As I hide inside
Of my private prison


3 comments:

  1. Ah, well done You Tube - promote filth on your site, but go after people enjoying music!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Major infringement!? Get a life and see the real world with all the poverty and misery!

    ReplyDelete