The Marble Shrine

The Widow (5:51)

Album: Frances the Mute (76:57 - CD | 77:18 - Vinyl)

Release Date: March 1, 2005

Produced By: Omar Rodriguez-Lopez

Recorded: July - October 2004 at Avatar Studios, New York

Label: Gold Standard Labs, Universal, Strummer

View all shows featuring this song

The Widow - Official Video

Version Information

  • Released as a single, edited in length for radio, on March 14th, 2005.
  • An acoustic version from the May 13, 2004 show was released as a b-side on The Widow vinyl and also as the second track of the Frances the Mute title track bonus disc released with some versions of the LP.

Live Notes

  • Debuted during the band's 3-day residency at the Wiltern in May 2004. While first performed with an electric guitar, the two subsequent performances were done acoustically. The last performance of this residency was released on the single's vinyl version, as well as on the Frances the Mute title track bonus disc. The song was dedicated to the memory of Jeremy Ward.
  • Played on every album's supporting tour.
  • Adrian Terrazas-Gonzalez played saxophone in place of Flea's studio trumpet part. Upon his departure, this part was played by Ikey Owens on synthesizer.
  • In September 2006 solo shows, the song was followed by a lengthy outro which would later form the basis for the title track from Omar's solo album "Old Money."
  • After a year-long retirement, the song was brought back for a one-off acoustic performance at the 2007 New Year's Eve show in San Francisco, and was again retired until the final summer dates of the 2008 tour.
  • The song has been structurally the same during every performance and doesn't deviate from the studio version apart from ambient outro.

Other Notes

  • The Widow is the only single the band has ever charted, peaking at #95 on the Billboard Hot 100, and at #7 on the Billboard Modern Rock Charts. It remains the band's most well-known song.
  • Trumpet on the track is played by Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea.
  • Omar Rodriguez-Lopez directed the song's video, which features dark, abstract vignettes of villagers reacting to the camera and concludes with a scene of people watching the band perform the song on screen "at the drive-in."

Lyrics for The Widow

he's got fasting black lungs
made of clove splintered shardes
they're the kind that will talk
through a weezing of coughs

and i hear him every night
in every pore
and every time he just makes me warm

freeze without an answer
free from all the shame
must i hide
cause i'll never sleep alone

look at how they flock to him
from an isle of open sores
he knows that the taste is such
such to die for

and i hear him every night
on every street
the scales that do slither
deliver me from...

freeze without an answer
free from all the shame
then i'll hide
cause i'll never
never sleep alone

oh lord
said i'm bloodshot for sure
pale runs the ghost
swollen on the shore

every night
in every pore
the scales that do slither
deliver me from...
freeze without an answer
free from all the shame
then i'll hide
cause i'll never
never sleep alone