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Would We Be Alive? is a song by The Residents, recorded in 1982 as intermission music for their Mole Show, first performed in April of 1982.

Background

Within the fiction of The Mole Trilogy, 'Would We Be Alive' represents the moles' philosophy. They believe that struggling and work should make up all of one's life and that without that inherent struggle, there would be no living at all. The song is played during the moles' treacherous journey across the sea.

It first was performed live in 1997, with Molly Harvey on guest vocals. This version transforms the song's opening into a monologue, with the rest of the song sung in a slow voice. It was performed live again in 2005, for The Way We Were tour, in a version structured closer to the original. It's next performance was in 2013, when it was performed in a mashup with other Mole songs as the encore to The Wonder of Weird.

In 2018 a cover version by Gretnoid, recorded in 2017, appeared on the expanded version of I Am A Resident!

Lyrics

If we could see clearly
What we were beside
If there was no desperation
Would we be alive?
If there were no windows
That we sit inside
If there were no ugly feelings
Would we be alive?
Would we be alive?
Would we be alive?
Would we be alive?
Would we be alive?
Would we be alive?
Would we be alive?
Would we be alive?
Would we be alive?
Help us... Help us... Help us... Ahhhh...
Help us... Help us... Help us... Ahhhh...
Help us... Help us... Help us... Ahhhh...
Help us... Help us... Help us... Ahhhh...
Would you make me helpless
Something I can be
Longing for the sight of something
That I cannot see?
I'd be helpless on the ocean
Looking from the sea
Looking in the drifting wind
I wish that I could be
Floating near a liquid
Nice and thick and warm
Floating where there is no pleasure
And there is no harm
Life would be so pleasant
If we all could be
Helpless hopeless creatures
Just marching to the sea.
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...

1997 Live Version

If we could see clearly
What we are beside
If there was no desperation
Would we be alive?
If there was no window
That we sit inside
If there were no ugly feelings
Would we be alive?
Help me... Help me... Help me... Please
Help me... Please, Please, Please
Won't you make me helpless (Help me)
So that I can be (Help me)
Longing for the sight of something (Help me)
That I cannot see?
Help me... Help me... Help me... Please
Help me... Help me... Help me... Please

2005 Live Version

Would we be alive?
If we could see clearly
What we are beside
If there was no desperation?
Would we be alive?
If there were no windows
That we sit inside
If there were no ugly feelings?
Would we be alive?
Would we be alive?
Would we be alive?
Would we be alive?
Would we be alive?
Would we be alive?
Would we be alive?
Would we be alive?
Would we be alive?
Would we be alive?
Would we be alive?
Would we be alive?
Would we be alive?
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...
Won't you make me helpless
So that I can be
Longing for the sight of something
That I cannot see?
I'll be a boat that's on the ocean
Floating on the sea
Floating in the drifting wind
I wish that I could be
Floating in a liquid
Nice and thick and warm
Floating where there is no pleasure
And there is no harm
Life would be so pleasant
If we all could be
Just, helpless hopeless creatures
Floating to the sea.
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...

2013 Live Version

If we could see clearly
What we were beside
If there was no expectation
Would we be alive?
If there were fearful
Somewhere deep inside
If there was no desperation
Would we be alive?
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please, yeah...
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...
Won't you make me helpless
So that I can be
Longing for the sight of something
That I cannot see?
I'll be a boat that's on the ocean
Floating on the sea
Floating in the drifting wind
I wish that I could be
Floating in a liquid
Nice and thick and warm
Floating where there is no pleasure
And there is no harm
Life would be so perfect
If we all could be
Helpless, hopeless, creatures
Just marching to the sea.
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please, yeah!
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...

2017 Gretnoid / I Am A Resident Version

If we could see clearly
What we were besides
If there was no desperation
Would we be alive?
If there were no windows
That we sit beside
If there were no ugly feelings
Would we be alive?
Would we be alive?
Would we be alive?
Would we be alive?
Would we be alive?
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...
Uh, Would you make me helpless
Something I can be
Longing for the sight of something
That I cannot see?
I'd be helpless on the ocean
Looking from the sea
Looking in the drifting wind
I wish that I could be
Floating near a liquid
Nice and thick and warm
Floating where there is no pleasure
And there is no harm
Life would be so pleasant
If we all could be
Helpless hopeless creatures
Just marching to the sea.
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...
Help us... Help us... Help us... Please...
If there was no desperation
Would we be alive?
If there were no ugly feelings
Would we be alive?
If there was no desperation
Would we be alive?
If there were no ugly feelings
Would we be alive?

Releases

Versions

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1982 Studio Version (5:13)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2005 Live Version (4:10)
  3. 3.0 3.1 1997 Live Version (2:23) Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name ":2" defined multiple times with different content
  4. 2013 Live Version (4:39)
  5. 2017 Gretnoid Version (3:58)
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