No Children






the Mountain Goats



Previous track

"Idylls of the King"

Next Track

"See America Right"

No Children is the seventh song on the album Tallahassee. It was performed by Laura Stevenson in Tallahassee Turns Ten. It is arguably the most popular Mountain Goats song to date, garnering over 3.5 million views on YouTube as well as being featured on an episode of Morel Orel. A demo of it was posted on the Mountain Goats forums by John Darnielle on March 26, 2007.


I hope that our few remaining friends
Give up on trying to save us
I hope we come up with a failsafe plot
To piss off the dumb few that forgave us
I hope the fences we mended
Fall down beneath their own weight
And I hope we hang on past the last exit
I hope it's already too late
And I hope the junkyard a few blocks from here
Someday burns down
And I hope the rising black smoke carries me far away
And I never come back to this town
Again in my life
I hope I lie
And tell everyone you were a good wife
And I hope you die
I hope we both die

I hope I cut myself shaving tomorrow
I hope it bleeds all day long
Our friends say it's darkest before the sun rises
We're pretty sure they're all wrong
I hope it stays dark forever
I hope the worst isn't over
And I hope you blink before I do
Yeah I hope I never get sober
And I hope when you think of me years down the line
You can't find one good thing to say
And I'd hope that if I found the strength to walk out
You'd stay the hell out of my way
I am drowning
There is no sign of land
You are coming down with me
Hand in unlovable hand
And I hope you die
I hope we both die

Comments by John Darnielle About this SongEdit

  • "This here is a song. That I want you to the one you love. When the time comes, you will know when the time comes. You won't like it. You won't feel like singing. I want you to remember, when the time comes that I told you this thing would happen. It will make you look crazy. There's nothing like looking crazy to give you the edge." -- 2004-02-28 - The Empty Bottle - Chicago, IL
  • "Anyway, if you like this song and you know the words, I should like for you to sing it like you mean it, all of the words, because there may come a day, there may come a day when you're gonna need the words to this song. You'll be sitting there, going, 'What has become of my marriage? This blows!' I want you to remember that I gave you a little something that you could sing, because when that time comes, there won't be much to do besides sing." -- 2006-08-10 - 40 Watt Club - Athens, GA
  • "I meant to tell you something about that song. The last time I was here was in 2001...I drove to the airport in Des Moines, and, that's where I lived at the time, was in Ames, Iowa. And I drove to Des Moines, and on the way into Des Moines, I heard a song that was very popular at the time, because Des Moines is very into country radio, and it was that 'I Hope You Dance' song, right? And I was listening and I thought 'God, this is horrifying! This is a terrible, terrible song, teaching people awful lies! And I was sorta singing along at the same time because it had a catchy melody. And the song goes 'I hope you dance, I hope you dance!', right? And I just sorta vamped on it, I went like 'I hope you die, I hope you die!', right? And I thought 'Well, that's an idea, isn't it?' So I scribbled it down on a receipt, and I tucked it into my pocket, and I got on the plane in Des Moines, and flew to Athens. And I had an idea or two. And Team Claremont checked me into the Days Inn, and I had a couple hours to kill, and I wrote the first verse. And I was like 'Oh God, I hope I remember this song, it seems like a good idea.' So, thank you all for that." -- 2006-08-10 - 40 Watt Club - Athens, GA
  • "You're up to a point in the marriage where you say 'look, I have to be honest. Perhaps I have not been honest with you before. And I cannot place blame for that anywhere but on my own head. I am the one who has not been honest. Perhaps I am he with whom the fault lay. But that in no way invalidates the feelings I need to share with you now. So leave us not go to the discussion where we talk about maybe I should've said something earlier, because that's not gonna be a helpful discussion. Perhaps my feelings would be better addressed in song.'" -- 2008-03-05 - Troubadour - Los Angeles, CA
  • "It is a song of hope." "This is a love song"-- 2009-04-06 - Buskirk-Chumley Theater - Bloomington, IN
  • "This is a song about people who like to drink too much. People who like to break windows...All this stuff sounds good right about until year three. This song is about the night on which the romantic part of the alcoholic marriage sees the last vestige of its romance go up like a puff of steam, and yellow against the light in the kitchen, sorta burn itself into the globe over the light there, permanently." -- 2012-01-31 - Visulite Theatre - Charlotte, NC
  • "People ask me to play this song at their weddings. I'm flattered and honored, and I decline to play this song at anybody's wedding. I keep waiting for somebody to say, 'Well, we're having the final hearing. You remember I asked you to play this at our wedding? I was wondering if you'd come to this little office, it's off of Frontage Road, it's very nondescript—they share a space with a massage therapist and an insurance guy, and you could come and play this song at the hearing, and sing it like you mean it.' I keep waiting for that 'cause I think, don't tell anybody, but I think if somebody said 'John, come play No Children at my divorce hearing,' how could I say no?" -- 2012-05-06 - The Metro - Sydney, Australia

Things Referenced in this SongEdit

Live Shows this Song Was Played atEdit

Videos of this SongEdit