Month of May by Arcade Fire Lyrics Meaning – Decoding the Anthem of Restlessness and Revolution


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Arcade Fire's Month of May at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning

Lyrics

One, two, three, four

Gonna make a record in the month of May
In the month of May, in the month of May
Gonna make a record in the month of May
When the violent wind blows the wires away

Month of May, it’s a violent thing
In the city, their hearts start to sing
Well, some people sing, it sounds like they’re screaming
Used to doubt it but now I believe it

Month of May, everybody’s in love
And the city was sent from above
And just when I knew what I wanted to say
The violent wind blew the wires away

We were shocked in the suburbs
Now the kids are all standing with their arms folded tight
Kids are all standing with their arms folded tight
Well, some things are pure and some things are right
But the kids are still standing with their arms folded tight

I said some things are pure, and some things are right
But the kids are still standing with their arms folded tight

So young, so young
So much pain for someone so young
Well, I know it’s heavy, I know it ain’t light
But how you gonna lift it with your arms folded tight?

First they built the road
Then they built the town
That’s why we’re still driving around
And around and around and around and around
And around and around and around and around
And around and around and around and around

2009, 2010 wanna make a record how I felt then
When we stood outside in the month of May
And watched the violent wind blow the wires away

If I die in the month of May
Let the wind take my body away, yeah
Wish I may or wish I might
But meet me down there with my arms folded tight

Start again in the month of May
Start again in the month of May
Come on and blow the wires away
Come on and blow the wires away

Start again in the month of May
Start again in the month of May
Come on and blow the wires away
Come on and blow the wires away

Start again in the month of May
Start again in the month of May
Come on and blow the wires away
Come on and blow the wires
The wires away

Full Lyrics

Arcade Fire’s ‘Month of May’ is not just a song; it’s a rousing battle cry, a testament to the volatility that defines the human condition. Released on their 2010 album ‘The Suburbs’, this high-octane track embodies the collective angst of a generation that’s poised on the cusp of change, yet isn’t quite sure how to enact it.

With its urgent guitar riffs and driving beat, ‘Month of May’ captures the essence of a specific time that was equally fraught with uncertainty and potential. It’s a careful dissection of the dichotomies we face — stillness and upheaval, past and future, innocence and knowing — and a call to embrace the chaos that leads to action.

A Journey Through the Whirlwind: The Intensity of May

Arcade Fire doesn’t just use the month of May as a timestamp; it’s symbolic of rebirth and turbulent transition. May, with its connotations of spring, is generally a symbol of new life and hope, yet Arcade Fire paints it as ‘a violent thing’. The juxtaposition serves as a powerful reminder that moments of growth are often born from chaos.

The song’s insistence on the cyclical nature, with repeated references to the ‘month of May’ and the notion of starting again, subtly suggests that history is doomed to repeat itself unless a transformative shift occurs. The wind — a force both unpredictable and uncontainable — serves as a metaphor for change that cannot be ignored.

Charting the Suburban Malaise – Arms Folded Tight

The lyrics pivot to reflect the inertia of suburbia — ‘shocked in the suburbs’ where resistance is passive. The ‘kids with their arms folded tight’ symbolize a generation’s apprehension and skepticism. Despite being aware and potentially powerful, there is a hesitation, a reticence to unfold their arms and reach out towards change.

In these lines, Arcade Fire is perhaps critiquing the complacency that afflicts many, paralyzed by the comfort of the known. They challenge the listener to consider their own resistance to action, urging a breakthrough of paralysis to embrace the unknown and shape the future.

Unraveling the Enigma: The Hidden Meaning Behind the Melody

Beyond the literal, ‘Month of May’ operates on a deeper, more symbolically resonant level. It’s almost a paradox — amidst the tradition of preserving the status quo, the song urges disruption. The ‘violent wind’ is as much an agent of destruction as it is a precursor to change.

It’s this hidden undertone of rebellion and resilience that breathes life into the track. The song is a homage to the quiet revolutions that occur without fanfare, not in grand gestures but in subtle shifts of the collective consciousness.

A Rally to Remember: The Song’s Most Memorable Lines

‘We were shocked in the suburbs’ epitomizes the song’s most captivating line, encapsulating the pervading shock and numbness that freeze society into inaction. This memorable line isn’t a lament but a challenge — to overcome the shock and evolve.

Subsequently, ‘if I die in the month of May’ forces listeners to contemplate the impermanence of life and urgency of now. It reiterates that the wait for an ideal set of circumstances is futile. Instead, what matters is the willingness to leap into the fray, arms unfurled.

The Soundtrack of Turbulent Times: Crafting Rebellion with Chords

Musically, ‘Month of May’ is relentless, mirroring the pressure and impatience for movement reflected in the lyrics. Every strum, every beat is meticulously crafted to create a sense of urgency, an auditory manifestation of being on the edge, muscles coiled, ready to sprint.

With an undercurrent that borders on the anarchic, the soundtrack contributes significantly to shaping the narrative of the song. It’s not merely a backdrop but a character in itself, portraying the internal strife and tumult the words communicate.

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