Death Cab For Cutie has had so many great songs throughout the years, with one of the biggest and most impactful being "I Will Follow You Into The Dark." The very beautiful, and dark, love song was a career-defining moment for the band from their 2005 album "Plans." A simple song with a whole lot of meaning.
Now frontman Ben Gibbard has revealed to NME the full meaning behind the song's lyrics which came to him quickly and was written in about 15-20 minutes.
“I think what it is about ‘I Will Follow You Into The Dark that connects to people is the fact that we are all going to lose everyone in our lives. Everyone in our lives is going to die. We too will die someday, and people will mourn us."
“In the same breath that one gains wisdom and experience with age, there is a period of your life in which it feels like you’re going to weddings every weekend and there’s a period in your life when it feels like you’re going to funerals every weekend. I think it’s very important in our relative age group that we recognize that we’re living in a very special time in our lives where we’re going to far more weddings than funerals.”
“Death is an ever-present fear. If not a fear, then an impending reality in our lives. We like to think that when people leave this life, we will see them again some day. Writing a love song that deals specifically with the inevitable death of one’s partner and that you will follow that person into whatever the afterlife is or is not, that’s something that people can relate to.”
“For me when I was visioning the song, the movie of it was forming in my mind. The afterlife is literally just a dark room. I can only interpret the afterlife, if is there such a thing, as the absence of light.
“I don’t personally believe in heaven or hell and have no way of knowing if there is something after this life, I’d like to hope that there is, but until I do then it’s a dark room because I don’t know what’s in it.”
I love hearing the stories behind the songs like this, especially when it's such a great storyteller at the helm! Check out more great stories from the band when they release new album "Thank You For Today" on August 19th!
Check out video of Ben's explanation of the song as well as a little Throwback Thursday performance of the band doing it on the Tonight Show in 2006!