"Take a Bow" is the first song from the 2006 album Black Holes & Revelations.


Lyrical content and meaningEdit

The lyrics in "Take a Bow" are aimed directly at corrupt world leaders who are supposedly putting their country in danger.

  • "Corrupt/You corrupt/And bring corruption to all that you touch" – this basically means exactly what it says, politicians are corrupt and not true to themselves or their policies.
  • "Hold/You'll behold/And beholden for all that you've done" – here Matt is claiming that the politicians will be punished for all the wrong things they have done.
  • "Spell/Cast a spell/Cast a spell on the country you run" – this describes how country leaders brainwash their citizens and trick them into believing their lies.
  • "And risk/You will risk/You will risk all their lives and their souls" – this states the consequences of the brainwashing and all the wrong actions they are taking, they are risking the lives and freedom of their country's people.
  • "And burn/You will burn/You will burn in hell/You'll burn in hell for your sins" – this means what it says, the leaders will "burn in hell" for the political crimes they have committed.
  • "Oh, our freedom's consuming itself/What we've become/Is contrary to what we want" – this explains how the people of the country have become part of a conspiracy/crime that they had no say or choice in, only the political figures did, and this is the opposite of the right thing to do.
  • "Take a bow" – this is a sarcastic remark aimed at the corrupt political leaders: "take a bow" for the horrible things you've done to your country.

Musical styleEdit

Electronica, intense, and key changing.

Musical structure Edit

The piece starts with a synthesizer playing argeggiated chords. After eight bars, a synthetic bass appears. The vocals start at the end of bar 24. The piece is in 3/4 time at 130bpm.

Starting in D major, the piece moves in fourths upward through 11 keys with a repeating chord pattern I I+ iv I/iv (I/iv signifying tonicization of the fourth scale degree). At around 1:40, the piece enters a part where the chords no longer follow this pattern, though we return to it after the synthesizer and drums speed up to a climax at 2:35. Now in Bb major, this time accompanied with a distorted electrical guitar. For the rest of the piece, the vocals are harmonized by background vocals at the end of each phrase. The guitar also plays in higher octaves closer to the end. For the final 24 seconds of the piece, we hear electronic noise and feedback from different instruments.

The melodies of each instrument and the vocals are in mixolydian b6, relative to the current tonic.

If one looks at the Tonnetz grid used in Neo-Riemannian music theory, they can see that the motion of the chords is very smooth and symmetrical, which implies the use of these principles was intended.



The song was used in a trailer for Watchmen.

External linksEdit

Black Holes & Revelations