“The Funeral” by Band of Horses

Due to the exquisite metaphors used throughout “The Funeral”, trying to understand this song based on its actual lyrics may prove to be a fool’s errand. So we’ll simply go with what Ben Bridwell, the leader of Band of Horses, has said about the tune, as he has claimed responsibility for being its primary writer.

Narrator dislikes Social Events

And what it is actually representative of was his disdain for attending social events, including some holiday gatherings, at the time. Thus perhaps the best way of describing this song is as it being centered on a metaphor where the singer is likening normal social get-togethers to funerals. And again, the reason he would be making such an analogy is due to his own disdain towards socializing. This is an action which at times (i.e. during the holidays) he is under considerable pressure to do.

But that being said, Mr. Bridwell has also stated that the concepts of mortality and perhaps romance also play a lesser role in “The Funeral”. He also said he ‘thinks he added some more [of his own] personal story in the song’. And at the end of the day, that may be the best way of concluding the analysis of this song’s lyrics, as it in fact being one which only its creators truly understand.  But that being said, its encrypted lyricism has not prevented “The Funeral” from becoming a pop-media sensation.

Lyrics of "The Funeral"

Facts about “The Funeral”

This is the lead single from Band of Horses’ debut album, “Everything All the Time”. The track was released by Sub Pop Records on 21 May 2006.

The director of the music video to this song is Matt Lenski.

Whereas “The Funeral” did not chart, it has maintained a regular presence in pop media. Over the years, it has appeared in numerous movies, television shows, videogames and advertisements. For example, it was used in an episode of Season 2 of the hit crime TV series “Criminal Minds” titled “Revelations”. It also appeared in the 2012 action film titled “Battleship”, starring the likes of Taylor Kitsch and Rihanna.

Band of Horses wrote this song, with additional credit being given to Ben Bridwell. And its producer is Phil Ek.

8 Responses

  1. me says:

    Nice song the way the melody breaks down is odd. Skips in the tune and lyrics. Creative.

  2. Wilting says:

    I always thought this song was about a druggie that was bound to die, not about not wanting to go to a Christmas celebration. I am wilting over this.

  3. Don't Wilt says:

    you shouldn’t be let down as you can take away from the song what it means to you, especially since this one is so highly metaphorical. however, we are built differently, and for some, attending these social events, especially the family holiday ones, takes incredible will when the outcome is feelings of social isolation, outcast, obligatory contribution and depression. highly emotionally connected people live in the world differently, and why songs with such attraction have appeal. enjoy the music how you see fit, but know those feelings aren’t any less important compared to other things cause others experience them differently.

  4. Non says:

    I feel this song is about how when your out socializing you are in your own head and people don’t really know what going on with you.

  5. Martin says:

    It could be about a person who is bipolar or suffets from asperger-syndrom and therefore does not like being in large groups.

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