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In League With Dragons


April 26, 2019



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"Done Bleeding"

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"Passaic, 1975"

Younger is the second song on In League with Dragons. It was released as a single on January 28, 2019. It also appears as the sixth song on the 2020 live album The Jordan Lake Sessions: Volumes 1 and 2.


Crank that siren high
Drain the wellspring dry
Map out your coordinates

Send out scouts by day
Dole out mercenary pay
For restless young subordinates

It never hurts to give thanks to the local gods
You never know who might be hungry
It never hurts to scan the windows on the upper floor
I saw a face there once before when I was younger

Set the torch aflame
Call the night by name
Stake out your dark position

Lie in wait
By the gleaming city gate
Try not to lose sight of the mission

It never hurts to give thanks to the broken bones 
You had to use to build your ladder

Moment close at hand
Half of you will never understand
And it doesn’t really matter 

Big smile on my face
Capsule just in case
Underneath my tongue there

Voices on the breeze
I heard voices once like these when I was younger

Blood rushing to my face
I know that sweet warm taste
And the bitter trace

Storm right down that hill
If I don’t no one will
Follow me right through the chaos

This whole house is doomed
Even the bit-parts get consumed
Prepare a grave for Menelaus

It never hurts to give thanks to the navigator 
Even when he’s spitting out random numbers
I knew what those figures meant 
And what they hoped to represent
When I was younger

Comments by John Darnielle About this Song[]

  • "The reason this song is called 'Younger' [applause] the thing that made heft to its lyrical... is that its riff is based on a super old song. [plays first verse of No, I Can't ] So it was called 'No, I Can't.' So I'm backstage in Chicago, uh, you know, getting, like, all deep in my feelings backstage as I am ever wont to do 'cause I must be very emotional... And, uh, and I'm testing the guitar and I have an idea for a lyric that I'd... I think, wow, I remember when I wrote that wishing I could actually play guitar. The versions on the tape, it doesn't sound like what I was playing. It sounds like this: [plays more slowly] And I'm excited, and the excitement comes through, but it's bad playing. And, uh, and now that I can play the 7s and stuff and I'm working up towards 9s and 13s. So I started basing the song using my present-day skill set on this old riff. And then the lyrics were informed by the fact that I was dredging something up from when I lived in a studio apartment in employee housing at a state psychiatric hospital." -- 2019-11-15 - O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire - London, England

Things Referenced in this Song[]

  • Menelaus was the husband of Helen of Troy and younger brother to Agamemnon. He is a character in The Iliad and The Odyssey, and in several Ancient Greek tragedies, but he is not successfully killed by anyone. In the Oresteia trilogy by Greek playwright Aeschylus, the house of Atreus (another name for Menelaus and Agamemnon's family) is considered to be a cursed house. His most notable enemy is Paris.
  • "It never hurts to scan the windows on the upper floor / I saw a face there once before when I was younger" recalls the second chorus of Get Lonely (John confirmed this.)
  • "Stake out your dark position" recalls the line "Stake out your position / Let your armor fall" from Outer Scorpion Squadron.
  • "Capsule just in case / Underneath my tongue there" recalls the chorus of Blood Capsules.
  • Opening groove and bass riff is reference to No I Can't. Confirmed by John on Twitter

Live Shows this Song Was Played at[]

Videos of this Song[]