Like any great song, Burn The Witch is mysterious and lends itself to all sorts of interpretations. The video’s director links the song to the European nativist backlash to the refugee crisis over the past year. Some see it as a cautionary tale of Trump’s America (similarly to the way that Hail to the Thief was about George W. Bush’s America). Musically, the song manages to feel simultaneously dread-inspiring and ebullient. It is one of the most thrilling pieces of music I’ve heard in a long time.

In a lot of ways, this song describes what the two months were like while deciding to leave the authoritarian religious organization we were brought up in. We still went to meetings to keep up appearances. We had to stay in the shadows and cheer at the gallows inherent to cult life. We lived in a constant state of fear of having our lives torn apart. Avoid all eye contact. We were careful in what and how we said anything to our friends and family. No loose talk around tables.

We knew the consequences of witch hunts. We know where you live.


Stay in the shadows
Cheer at the gallows
This is a round up

[Pre-Chorus 1]
This is a low flying panic attack
Sing a song on the jukebox that goes

[Chorus]
Burn the witch
Burn the witch
We know where you live

[Verse 2]
Red crosses on wooden doors
And if you float you burn
Loose talk around tables
Abandon all reason
Avoid all eye contact
Do not react
Shoot the messengers

[Pre-Chorus 2]
This is a low flying panic attack
Sing the song of sixpence that goes

[Chorus]
Burn the witch
Burn the witch
We know where you live
We know where you live