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03. When We Come Alive

Fading West
by Switchfoot



 

The sun goes down like a photograph
You try to stop time in the aftermath
But it’s gone, gone

Yesterday reads like a tragedy
I try not to lose what’s left of me
But it’s gone
Yeah, but we carry on

We are fire
Burning brightly
You and I

We light the sky
When we ignite
When we come alive
When we come alive

It feels like I could get lost today
The winds in my mind get swept away
And I’m gone, gone

And it’s one last time to the wishing well
I throw down the change and I wish them well
But they’re gone
Yeah, but we’ll carry on

We are our souls on fire
We are reaching higher
We are our souls on fire
When we come alive
When we come alive

We are fire
You and I

Strength, heart, soul, mind




Behind the Song:
"You have to carry the fire."
"I don't know how to."
"Yes, you do."
"Is the fire real? The fire?"
"Yes it is."
"Where is it? I don't know where it is."
"Yes you do. It's inside you. It always was there. I can see it."
-Cormac McCarthy

For me, the verses enunciate the darkness where the fire shines the brightest. And the chorus reminds me that we have this spark, this ability, this beauty- when and only when we come alive. Truly alive. Not just breathing, but burning brightly, setting the world on fire with a light that is not our own.

Tim and I wrote the chorus with our friend Drew up at his place. We listened back a few days later and knew that we had a good concept, but the verse wasn't quite right. We wrote several more verse ideas, but none of them were quite right. Then Tim had the idea of stealing a verse that we had written a few months ago from a song that wasn't on our list for the record. It was a perfect fit.

The few times that we've had the privilege of playing this song live have been amazing. Appropriately, this song comes alive when we're singing it with a crowd of folks singing it back. It begins to feel like some sort of modern day hymn- I'm excited to play this one for years to come.
-- Jon Foreman

 

 

 

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