Someone You’d Admire by Fleet Foxes Lyrics Meaning – Unraveling the Poignant Self-Reflection

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Fleet Foxes's Someone You'd Admire at
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning


After all is said and done
I feel the same
All that I hoped
Would change within me stayed
Like a huddled moon-lit exile
On the shore
Warming his hands
A thousand years ago

I walk with others in me yearning to get out
Claw at my skin and gnash their teeth and shout
One of them wants only to be someone you’d admire
One would as soon just throw you on the fire

After all is said and after
All is done
God only knows
Which of them I’ll become

Full Lyrics

In a discography replete with poetic finesse and profound musings, Fleet Foxes’ ‘Someone You’d Admire’ stands out as a haunting contemplation of self. The track, tucked away on their 2011 album ‘Helplessness Blues,’ is a soul-stirring acoustic sojourn that evokes images of introspective solitude and the infinite struggle against one’s inner demons.

Frontman Robin Pecknold serves as the architect of this introspective experience, setting to music the dichotomy between aspiration and reality, between who we are and who we wish to be. The song’s lyrics are an elegant homage to this universal human predicament, wrapped in a folk ballad that is as poignant as it is serene.

The Struggle Within: A Tale of Two Selves

The song opens with lines of calm resignation, a weary acceptance that personal evolution is not just challenging but often elusive. ‘After all is said and done / I feel the same,’ Pecknold confesses, giving voice to the frustration of unchanged self despite earnest yearnings. This is a theme that echoes the Sisyphean efforts inherent in personal growth—a task both timeless and enduring.

In the metaphor of a ‘huddled moon-lit exile on the shore,’ there is the sense of being trapped externally while internally, a fierce yearning burns to move beyond current limitations. It’s the classic image of mankind: always reaching outwards, hungry for growth, yet so often finding ourselves staring at the same reflection in the mirror, unchanged.

An Anthology of Inner Voices: Desire Vs. Destruction

Pecknold uses vivid imagery to depict the internal cacophony that defines our experience. ‘I walk with others in me yearning to get out’ serves not just as a powerful metaphor for the internal conflict we all harbor, but also demonstrates Fleet Foxes’ signature lyrical beauty. The ‘others’ within claw and gnash, each demanding to dominate the persona, showcasing the battle between the self that seeks admiration and the primal self that acts on baser impulses.

This juxtaposition can be seen as a reflection on the duality of man—the duality between enlightenment and animality. One voice craves recognition and the esteem of peers; the other is more impulsive, desiring to cast away restraint and embrace instinct.

A Piercing Glimpse: The Hidden Meaning Behind the Verse

‘One of them wants only to be someone you’d admire,’ reveals a vulnerable truth about humanity’s intrinsic need for validation. This line cuts to the core, stripping down the facades we build to reveal that beneath the complex layers of our psyche, lies the simple desire to be valued and respected.

The ‘hidden’ part of this message isn’t the text itself, but the broader connotation that our inner conflicts are often unnecessary battles; after all, at our core, we all seek a common form of acceptance. This message resonates universally, revealing the depth of our quests for personal legends.

Heartstrings Tugged: The Song’s Most Memorable Lines

The lyric that might linger longest with listeners is ‘After all is said and after all is done / God only knows which of them I’ll become.’ It’s a haunting surrender to the unpredictable nature of self. Pecknold neither clings to hope nor succumbs to despair but rather floats in a space of uncertainty, which mirrors the collective human experience.

It is a line that encapsulates the essence of the song—a testament to the understanding that change is as inevitable as it is unforeseeable. Ultimately, the beauty in this acceptance is that it allows us to perceive our journey not as a road to a fixed destination but as an open landscape of myriad possibilities.

The Melancholic Muse: Pecknold’s Lyricism as Poetic Catharsis

In dissecting the somber beauty of ‘Someone You’d Admire,’ we see how Pecknold masterfully converts his meditations into song. His lyricism serves not just as a form of self-expression, but as cathartic revelation, both for himself and his audience. Each strum of the guitar, each inflection in his voice, carries the weight of the words he sings, rendering raw sentiment into musical form.

The genius of Fleet Foxes, and particularly this song, is their ability to articulate a shared human condition so precisely that it feels both intimate and expansive. ‘Someone You’d Admire’ is a glowing example of music’s power to comfort—not by providing answers but by articulating the questions that resonate deep within us all.

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