Swans - The Glowing Man Lyrics

He's a real go-getter
He's a real heartbreaker
He's a real head-splitter


He's a real mean keeper
He's a real deep teacher


Joseph is standing behind my back
Joseph is digging his hands in my chest
Joseph is drinking the light in my lung
Joseph is moving his tounge in my neck
Joseph is riding a vein in my head
Joseph is cutting my arm on his bed
Joseph is making my body fly

Joseph is me and you are a liar!
Joseph is me and you are a liar!

I am a Glowing Man I am!
I am a growing, Glowing Man!
I am a Glowing Man I am!
I am a growing, Glowing Man!
I am a nothing, No-Thing man!
I am a nothing, No-Thing Man
I am a growing, Glowing Man!
I am a growing, Glowing Man!
I am a no no no no no No-Thing Man!
I am a no no no no no No-Thing Man!

"What is, is what?"

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Swans The Glowing Man Comments
  1. Bryan Chu


  2. Lukas Rey

    27:17 what a epic and heroic way to finish such a msterpiece, gives me chills those voices...

  3. Wika Alai

    It's just me....or Gira is going deaf? Jajaja

  4. Randolph Lautsch


  5. The Culture Corner

    The way the description is worded in an oddly personal way. I like it.

    Why did it take me so long to see something like that?

  6. Mr. Froglegs

    Goddamn this is a journey not a song

  7. Brad Taste


  8. Nathan Burnett

    What a perfect song

  9. Diego Rojas Sebastian

    "To Be Kind" is very in your face about its tone and attitude, and you either love it or hate it but you know very quickly which one it is. "The Glowing Man" as an album is a stranger thing, much more introspective at the lowest points and yet managing to expand endlessly at the highest points. Some of the most brutal passages of Swans' entire 30+ year run distilled. Just this track alone is completely life-affirming, reality-shaking, mind-bending totally.

  10. Somberlateralus

    Damn I discovered Swans a few MONTHS ago and it's easily in my top 5 bands now. I really hate the fact that amazing music like this doesn't get very popular just because it's different and unique. I recommend this stuff to people and they don't like it cause it's too "weird". I recently became a mild insomniac and this band really helps me out with anxiety and helps me fall asleep. I hope these guys get recognized and appreciated more, cause they certainly deserve it.

  11. MassimoVTV

    The scream at 26:45 is crushing

  12. Neckhorse

    A friend recommended me this and I seriously thought someone was at the door at 1:04

  13. Adventures on the internet

    Most songs would be over by the time the vocals come in on this

  14. Adventures on the internet


  15. René Ardell Fehr

    Yeah, you bring that sun.

  16. sporkbaggy

    This track is really weak compared to the live version of Black Hole Man. The canned Casio backup vocals that kick in around the midpoint just kill the whole vibe.

  17. meeks

    7:45 Bring the sun???

  18. Dardargo

    brain aneurysm: the musical

  19. Merlina Cane

    I think I sort of died after this track... I had to rewind n listen again in the middle of it. oh god I love you Michael.

  20. drainfrog

    free tay k

  21. Luigi Says

    You know those comments on music videos that say “I showed this to _ and it turned into _?” I feel like this is the only song capable of actually doing such a thing.

  22. Connor Olson

    Sometimes I like to just put swans on low volume and use it as white noise to fall asleep to

  23. Jake Fettes

    Witnessing this song live (it was "Black Hole Man" when I saw it) is probably ly the greatest thing I will ever experience.

  24. Ten Thousand Crows In a Trench Coat

    I am a n-n-n-n-nothing mannn , I am a glowing growing man

  25. Marshall

    What is is what

  26. Auntie Jane

    no no no no no no yes no no no

  27. Jacob Reveles

    imagine listening to this track, thinking it's the entire album

  28. no one

    I love the second half so much that bassline rivals screen shot

  29. liam shope

    This song is just too much when stoned lol

  30. kenneth Rooney

    I love you Michael. thanks for all the music, thru all the changes.

  31. Yann Wohlrab

    The Best Part Starts at 15:06

    jubjub 86

    Best part starts at 0:00

  32. Earf

    I love you too, Gira-senpai :3

  33. Solisev99


  34. Richard Whitehead

    Glowing Man! I could tell you a story about that. The real dirt. Hooey Bar. Not your Burning Man stuff, the real deal. Scotland 1992. No light tricks, this was real. I was there. So go mount your stallions, eat yer shit and get on it motherfuckers O:-)

  35. PG PG


  36. Highyfly man

    joseph is making me comment on this video

    DAD fandango

    My name is joseph, and you are a liar.

  37. Nice Meme

    anyone think this sounds very similar to TBK Bring the Sun?.

    DAD fandango

    first half absolutely. i wrote a similar comment


    They actually refer to the first half of this piece as "Bring The Sun" I'm pretty sure

    Public Execution

    Many of the longer songs in the 'trilogy' are developed from the other songs. Bring the Sun originally was a jam that stemmed from Apostate I believe, which then became Glowing Man, which eventually morphed into The Knot. I think it's cool that these 'epics' are really all the same song in a way. It makes the past three albums fit together really well.

  38. DAD fandango

    first half sounds a lot like bring the sun

    Zero Jine

    It is reworked version of Bring the Sun

  39. CanadaWasHere

    15:07 *Epikrika*

  40. Dawid Heyman

    Does anybody know what the artwork means?

    2 flowers

    It looks like some type of bird with an arm/hand for its tail, or maybe its head...depending on which way you think its facing. Idk flying around picking up lost souls or something

    turn off

    kind looks like an arm with a knife jabbed through it.

    The Skoolmustard

    They're various limbs with spears piercing through them

    Vacant Lights

    I don't really think there's anything significant to it, it's just a sorta mystical symbol that's congruous with the largely atmospheric and meditative sound of this album, I dunno


    its obviously a homage to aphex twin

  41. Juan Meza

    Fuckin bad ass song!!!!!

  42. Francisco Medeiros

    What a sound

  43. Erline Andrews

    This is what I'm talking about. This is rawk. 🤘🙂

  44. C. Starosta

    Highly 'idontknowthefuckIjustlistened' I love it.

  45. Roman Riesen

    Thanks Besthony Swanthano for leading me here.

  46. Meditations on a Peak

    The Jolly Lad

  47. Johann Paolo

    Normies would think this is an 28 minute album

    Erline Andrews

    LOL. People getting triggered at being called normies.


    @Erline Andrews LOL. People getting triggered about listening to separate songs out of the order of an album.


    Stop gate keeping


    Ikr i.fuocking h8 normies😠😠😬😈


    @Shiron Me to😵

  48. Cristian Ha

    7:30 i get goosebumps everytime.

    Mist Eerie

    same dude, my favorite part of the whole album

  49. timeparadox888

    My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky was the messenger angel
    The Seer was the Holy Spirit
    To Be Kind was the Son
    The Glowing Man was the Father

    Paul Little

    Hey, maybe this sort of comment is why not everybody is into Swans! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Slight Difference

    It's literally a joke?


    This ain't just conjecture--
    You're onto something!!


    ​@Paul Little oops i wasn't trying to be pretentious. i just meant that i'm pretty sure the holy trinity was the actual theme of these albums

  50. Jose Albarran

    Not really familiar with this type of music, I just happen to find it, can someone explain anything...

    I found this because of YT comments, and I kind of want some context, not the typical response "Just shut up and enjoy"
    I want to enjoy, but like who are they or he or she, what is their music like, I really don't u derstand what type of music is this and I want to know!!
    Thanks in advance.


    Jose Albarran
    Swans are/were innovators...post rock? Nope. Thats why you don't try to define them, you just witness what they become. They have run the gamut in their earliest formations, as Industrial music, as well as goth. I think categorizing them or pigeonholing them in the constraints of a genre is unecessary. Experimental is the closest thing you can find to label the If you must.

    von junzt

    In New York City in the late 70s and especially early 80s there was alot of experimenting in the punk rock community (the Ramones are form NYC). This experimenting became the "No Wave" scene and included such people as avant garde composer Glenn Branca and future band leaders Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) and Michael Gira (Swans). Both Moore and Gira played in Branca's ensembles. Other people such as Arto Lindsay were also involved in this "No Wave" movement. I suggest Sonic Youth's Bad Moon Rising LP and Swans first EP or Greed or any Swans with the dollar sign on the cover. But you should investigate "No Wave" for a better context about where Swans come from. Other reference points include Joy Division and Killing Joke, both late seventies bands from England on the line between punk, new wave and progressive. Michael Gira has been the only original guy in Swans, Norman Westerberg has been in the band the longest, the most recent drummer was recruited for another NYC no wave band called Cop Shoot Cop.

    2 flowers

    @DroneEvil1 well genres always come after the music, its not too serious, describing any genre to someone who hasnt heard it wouldnt make sense (it wouldnt be the same as hearing at least)

    William King

    @von junzt will check the ones I haven't heard out, thanks!

    kenneth Rooney

    @DroneEvil1 i call this genre Post-Music, and that goes from 20th Century Classical to this, and beyond.

  51. Alex Swedock

    lazy lazy lazy lazy boy

  52. Youngy 93


  53. TheCandyHole

    7:31 if there was ever a sound of simultaneously being uplifted to heaven while being beaten down


    Reece Rice Probably isn’t, but there are definitely themes of it elsewhere in the album, namely the song “When Will I Return”. On my first listen of the album I myself saw this song (the glowing man, not when will I return) as having themes of rape and domestic abuse. Of course the “no no no no yes” part can be taken as such, but other lines evoked that meaning as well. I heard the first lines not as “He's a real go-getter, getter”, for example, but as “He's a real go-getter, get *her*”. If you interpret the lines like that it changes the meaning of the song to fit more in line with the rape and abuse themes.

    He's a real go-getter, *get her*
    He's a real heart-breaker, *break her*
    He's a real head-splitter, *split her*
    (no no no no no no no no part)
    He's a real mean keeper, *keep her*
    He's a real deep teacher, *teach her*

    Makes the song way more sinister.

    Diego Rojas Sebastian

    @ColombianThunder awesome idea, a cosmic fragmentation. I highly recommend Swans on LSD.

    Reece Rice

    @ShiverBurn dang u said probably isnt about rape and know I think it is even more... it explains the Joseph is putting his hands in my neck and stuff like that later on in the song could be from the perspective of the victim... just a thought tho


    @ShiverBurn I think you're onto something. After that part then the sound I mention where it's hyper repetitive could be interpreted as being beaten/abused over and over, but loving it hinted at by the angelic droning.
    After that idk


    @Reece Rice
    "Joseph is standing behind my back
    Joseph is digging his hands in my chest
    Joseph is drinking the light in my lung
    Joseph is moving his tongue in my neck
    Joseph is riding a vein in my head
    Joseph is cutting my arm on his bed
    Joseph is making my body fly!"

    Totally agree. You can interpret this in so many ways and rape/abuse is one of them.

  54. qiyamat93

    I wonder why most music cannot even touch this . . . . Largely, I think, it's because this goes completely beyond music

    Diego Rojas Sebastian

    Because this latest incarnation of Swans is less about the logic and reason behind music, and more about the sheer feeling of it. The physicality of it. It's not about 'getting' the band, you can't 'get' Swans, just experience it. Swans live (saw them during the Deliquescence release period, after The Glowing Man) is an otherworldly experience, 3 hours of volume and power hitting you constantly, exhausted from standing, nearly hallucinating from the sensory overload. Yes, god damn yes, this goes beyond music. This is a portal to your inner self. Ecstasy!

    2 flowers

    Ok ill like your comment just for 7 up but still, it does not go completely beyond music, what am i supposed to do pause it? Put it on mute? Get outta heere


    the live shows are pretty crazy but actually shut up about this. this is real music, it does not "transcend" and you don't need to be a genius to like it. it's just a good instrumental and good singing, like every other song

  55. Carl Arroyo

    Force of Nature

  56. Marcos Martin

    goosebumps goosebumps goosebumps goosebumps goosebumps goosebumps overdose.

  57. TheCandyHole

    Is Swans going to be the next velvet underground? No wide recognition until the band is dead & then young hipsters start wearing shirts of them everywhere?

    hornswoggle lover39

    @Paul Little You dont like the VU?


    The main difference here is that the velvet underground sucked and split up after less than a decade. Swans has been ongoing since 82 and probably won't stop until gira gets bored and/or dies


    @Kim Cringson Add Radiohead to that list...


    swans exist because of vu.

    Jake Fettes

    @squeaka67 The Velvet Underground is the reason the entire underground and experimental rock scene is what is is.

  58. Sidhant Sood

    The 15 minute build up is second only to Sleep's (GYBE) build up


    Sleep's build up is untouchable. Such a beautiful pay off too

    James Guillory

    Fuck Godspeed You! Black Emperor. They've been ripping off Swans' sound since day one and deforming it into pseudo-political, pretentious, boring dogshit. Everything from apocalyptic themes, field recordings, dark ambient soundscapes, post-rock suites and general eeriness were plagiarized directly from Swans, specifically from Soundtracks for the Blind. They just copied and pasted the ideas and themes from that album to basically all of their albums, especially the eternally overrated Lift Your Skinny Fists like Antennas to Heaven. They have basically no real identity of their own. But for shit-eating, toe-jam-sucking, helmet-bedecked, pants-shitting, chest-smacking, cancerous Godspeed fans, they're so much more unique and beautiful, even though they're about as original as Carlos Mencia.

    Also, the build-up to Swans' The Sound is Infinitely superior to both songs. And Helpless Child is probably much better.

    i just got really stoned

    @James Guillory nice copypasta

    Adventures on the internet

    Ayyy, my favourite song of all time!

  59. Tom R.

    Thank you. Great stuff..... I’ve just bought The Seer, To Be Kind & The Glowing Man......Epic works in every way.

    Vinyl Diary666

    One of the best periods in the history of music!

  60. D Alexander Berry

    thank you for all you have done

  61. Sighbot2966

    What a beautiful idea.

  62. I love you too, Gira.

  63. Desuburger34

    What the drummer is doing at around the 7:30 mark is hard as fuck to do for 4 straight minutes plus the fill at the end. Lord

    It really is, I can only do one perfect flam in a row lol.


    He does it live tho.




    Flams are e z

    Ryan Bergen

    I can do flam taps at 180bpm; 193 if I have my mt dew soda in me.

  64. Septhim

    So intense! I love this song.

  65. noahthomas

    Strong 9?? Off by just a hair

    Jacob Sarvathayaparan

    noahthomas Yes, this album is perfect in every way. This is actually better than TBK imo, just barely tho

    Francisco Almeida

    Jacob Sarvathayaparan Not better than tbk, but this track in specific (the glowing man) is their best work yet.


    @Jacob Sarvathayaparan I actually agree with this.

  66. Bards of Antiquity

    Absolutely amazing!

  67. RedEmpire Studio

    To the one person who dislike this, i hope face slice off with serve of pot roast dinner spice.

    Artifacts and Fungus

    I love this album, I just ordered it on vinyl yesterday, but this kinda music isn't for everyone dude. Chill out.

  68. Nicolas Pellowski

    after 15:01 ... oh boy


    Aah yes!!!
    I saw them back in May in Bristol (UKI), they did this one and they were as brilliant (but also very different) as the first time I ever saw them back in 1986 (Hamburg, Germany), 2 days after Chernobyl.

    Neptune Atlas

    u know what's up


    @rafanellys damn I'm jealous

  69. George Ericksen

    Donald Trump is the glowing man


    Just his hair.


    When he is finally burning at the stake

    turn off

    @westgot libtard detect. You are gonna burn at the stake by the third world hordes taking over the civilized world.

    Isaiah Terry

    @turn off shit we got ourselves a genuine racist here now don't we🤣

    Deborah Meltrozo

    @Isaiah Terry He's right though, import the third world => become the third world.

  70. Difficultfuckhead

    Micheal Gira, don't stop until you drop!

  71. Sonder Music Club

    thanks for making life more bearable

  72. MrMeepbeep

    One of the greatest songs I've ever heard, from one of the greatest albums I've ever heard

    William Woche

    MrMeepbeep I really thought To Be Kind was the pinnacle of not only Swans music, but rock/avant-garde in general. As I’ve listened to The Glowing Man, I’ve come to realize this is the only album that surpasses it.


    Thanks Frankie

    Hartley Taylor


    Diego Rojas Sebastian

    @William Woche I agree with you wholeheartedly, I love To Be Kind, it ascended to incredible heights. The Glowing Man used those heights as a springboard to completely rearrange fucking everything. It's taken me years to realise just how fucking incredible this album is, I obviously think it's better than To Be Kind.

    Vinyl Diary666

    Over the years, I started believing this is their best album since Soundtracks For The Blind.

  73. yanquiuxo

    feed us michael


    Feed us NOW!

  74. Prizon69

    amazing sound.....