Take a Bow (song)

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Muse song
Name Take a Bow
Length 4:35
Alternative titles
  • Hex »
  • Piano Interlude [1]
First live performance 11th October 2003 (instrumental)
28th June 2006 (full)
Latest live performance 24th May 2011
Recorded 2005/2006
Writer/composer Matthew Bellamy
Producer Rich Costey


Take a Bow calls on world leaders to take responsibility for their actions. Muse move through three musical stages: starting off as a classical piece before moving into a techno mid-section and a heavy "apocalyptic rock" ending. Initially described "a looping epic which morphs into a gothic fairytale".[2]

Matt said in a German Interview that: "The first song "Take A Bow", is about the feeling of the little man who lost control of anything and now wants to take revenge on authority". Interview

Additional information

Initially called "Hex", "Take a Bow" was originally going to be at the end of the album.[3] Two months later, Chris indicated it could become the opening track.[4] Put first on the album because it ends in the key of B which is the key of the second track. .

Wolstenholme: We wrote it at the end of the Absolution sessions, and it sounds similar [to Absolution tracks]. It has evolved a lot since then, but it’s principle remains the same: a change of periodic agreements which are at the brink of exploding. Its structure is mathematical, the main idea being a formula with neither chorus nor verse. Dom’s never played like that, with very jazzy rhythms, slow ones, followed by more chaotic bits integrated into the whole.[4]

Take a Bow was often played as a piano interlude between Citizen Erased and Space Dementia on the Absolution tour, as well as an intro to Feeling Good on The Resistance Tour.


Take a Bow is written in 3/4 time and moves at a tempo of 130 bpm. Bellamy's vocal range in the song spans from C3 to G4 in the modal register, and up to F♯5 in falsetto; one of the wider vocal ranges in a Muse song.

The chord structure moves in fourths upwards, by using the augmented fifth in between to move.[5]

The key of the song changes a total of 13 times, each time moving to the nearest key in the circle of fifths. It begins in D major before following the circle counter-clockwise to E♭. After the lyric "Our freedom's consuming itself," the song goes clockwise back to F. After the techno mid-section, the song again begins moving counter-clockwise around the circle, changing key 6 times before finishing in B.


You corrupt
And bring corruption to all that you touch

You'll behold
And beholden for all that you've done

Cast a spell
Cast a spell on the country you run

And risk
You will risk
You will risk all their lives and their souls

And burn
You will burn
You will burn in hell
Yeah, you'll burn in hell
You'll burn in hell
You'll burn in hell for your sins

Oh, our freedom's consuming itself
What we've become
Is contrary to what we want
Take a bow

You bring death
And destruction to all that you touch

You must pay
You must pay for your crimes against the earth

Feed the hex
Feed the hex on the country you love

And beg
You will beg
You will beg for their lives and their souls

Yeah, and burn
You will burn
You will burn in hell
Yeah, you'll burn in hell
You'll burn in hell
Yeah, you'll burn in hell
You'll burn in hell
Yeah you'll burn in hell for your sins


  1. Setlist - Berlin Columbiahalle 2003
  2. New songs review (2006-03-15). NME magazine. [verify]
    • Matt Bellamy via) Tom Kirk. (2006-02-23). Message from the band on album progress!. Retrieved from board.muse.com.
  3. a b Discussion in London (2006-05). Rock Mag. Retrieved 2007-05-09. [verify]
  4. Take a Bow tablature. Faber Music Ltd. [verify]

See also

Go back to Black Holes and Revelations