Can we work it out?
We scream and shout 'till we work it out
Can we just work it out?
Scream and shout 'till we work it out?
'Till we work it out, 'till we work it out
'Till we work it out, 'till we work it out

from Arcade Fire – Afterlife Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

Even after the speaker is in the ‘afterlife’, he wants to fix things with his lover. A key theme of the album is the Orpheus myth, but afterlife is a key theme in other ancient mythology.

In the Aeneid, the protagonist Aeneas visits the Underworld and sees his former lover Dido, who he had abandoned. He tries to speak to her and make amends but she turns away from him. This is similar in theme to the chorus in this song, although I wouldn’t be sure that’s exactly what Win had in mind when writing it.

Aeneas and Dido:

The message here is to use all the energy you have in life and forget about the afterlife and then when it’s time to go, then you’ll figure it out.

To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “Afterlife” by Arcade Fire Lyrics and leave a comment on the lyrics box