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It Burns Within


Source of Lyrics:, edited by Ted Poets

Song Bio

Of the songs Rick created with his early music project St. John's Revival, It Burns Within is one of the two that can be heard by fans today (the other being Arise). Two musically distinct versions of this song have been performed by Goose in the live setting.

Sing Along

Graphic by: Laura Mertz
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Song Interpretation

Interpreted By: Jen Manganello

On first listen it seems like a song about a broken heart, looking for love and feeling alone. But I felt more from it and dug in a bit. The more I listen, everything I hear in it actually seems to be about loving yourself. This song is really speaking to me lately. So without over sharing about me... here's the lyrics and my personal interpretation of them. Obviously we interpret songs through the lens of our own lives and experiences. Maybe we hear what we need to hear at the time.

I planned to keep this brief...but we'll see what the typing brings out. I'll interject my comments in italics within the lyrics below. I'd love to hear how your interpretation differs or anything else you'd like to share. (I'm using the He pronoun throughout for simplicity's sake and because I hear the lyrics in Ricks voice, but the theme is relevant to everyone)

Unconfirmed Lyrics taken from Ted Honks with a few changes that I think I hear after listening to multiple versions:

I have lost all good reason to believe
That there is someone here for me
Every night I go out searchin’
Still my reflection in the window’s all I see
In that shadow staring back
A little demon child
Burns me with a reason
To stick around for a while

(It starts off with the author feeling lonely, searching for someone. Someone special just for him. He keeps ending up alone with himself - his reflection. There is the mention of the demon child which I feel is the inner child that we all have. The child is asking the author to stick around, be present with the child.)

Oh my heart, well it beats so loudly
In the absence of one to lay beside
I always thought I needed someone
Just to let me know that everything's alright
Oh to think that someone is out there
Who wears a key around their neck
That’ll free me from my chains
Well there’s no sign yet
I can’t quiet the voice calling out
From inside of these walls

(The author is longing for someone. Someone else / external to make him feel ok. To reassure him. Now there is talk of needing. Need is intense. It evokes a feeling of "I won't be ok if I don't get this". This need and desire for someone is the chains he is trapped in and the barrier to his love. Ironically he thinks that finding this someone will be the key and release him from feeling the need to have them. He's feeling trapped in the chains and inside walls that he's created with this need.
From inside the walls a voice calls out - I think the voice is the child and he's calling out this first chorus to the author)

I just wanna love with you everynite
The moon above is the only light we’ll need
Cradle of her arms we’ll sleep
Wander through each world
Alive within ourselves
All the walls will crumble down my dear
My Love is here

(The child is wanting to be loved by the author. The specific use of the word cradle leads me to imagine a child here in the moon's arms. The child is offering his love to the author / himself and this love will help the walls crumble down)

From the start I’ve had no reason
Every move she’s made has sent me toward the floor
But still these walls they have consumed me
Now she’s caught me here with one foot out the door
As long as I feel the need
There will always be this gap
Between the Love I seek and the person I’m looking at
So quick to forget
That beneath the chain’s a flame that burns in me
And it’s all I need

(This first line felt like something was missing. I've had no reason to what??? Then I looked at it more as no purpose. Maybe the author has felt no purpose independent of this other person that he sought. Or he was just reacting to all her moves, sending him to the floor. Maybe he keeps failing at relationships because he isn't being and loving his own self. Maybe he keeps running, with one foot out the door. The walls and chains are roadblocks preventing him from loving. Need reappears and he's realizing that this need is keeping him from loving himself. Self love is the love he is seeking (the person he is looking at is himself in the reflection). The gap is between love and himself, not another person. He realizes he can't fill the gap with someone else to complete him. He feels the flame of love for himself is in him and it's all he needs. He is complete as he is. I think the second chorus is the author singing it back to the child / himself)

I just wanna love with you everynite
The moon above is the only light we’ll need
Cradle of her arms we’ll sleep
Wander through each world
Alive within ourselves
All the walls will crumble down my dear
My Love is here.
(And I just wanna love you again is repeated. The author seems to be singing this to the child, to himself. We are all born loving ourselves, which is why he sings "love you again")