Speaking in Tongues (song)

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"Speaking in Tongues"
Single by Arcade Fire featuring David Byrne
from the album The Suburbs
Released June 27, 2011
Format Digital download
Genre Indie rock
Label Mercury
Writer(s) Arcade Fire (William Butler, Win Butler, Régine Chassagne, Jeremy Gara, Tim Kingsbury, Richard Reed Parry)
Producer(s) Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire singles chronology
"City With No Children"
"Speaking in Tongues"
"Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)"
David Byrne singles chronology
"Please Don't"
"Speaking in Tongues"

"Speaking in Tongues" is the fifth single from indie rock band Arcade Fire's third album, The Suburbs. It did not appear on the original track listing, but showed up on the deluxe edition as a bonus track.[1]

There is a direct reference to T.S Eliot's The Waste Land:[2] "Hypocrite reader, my double, my brother", himself quoting Baudelaire's To the Reader:[3] "— Hypocrite lecteur, — mon semblable, — mon frère!"

The title itself is a reference to the Bible (Acts 2:4 ; 1 Corinthians 14:18) to a phenomenon called glossolalia, which is believed to be a divine language unknown to the speaker. It is also a reference to the 1983 album of the same name by Talking Heads, the former band of guest singer David Byrne.

Credits and personnel[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2012–13) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[4] 11
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[5] 39


  1. ^ Arcade Fire Release 'Speaking In Tongues' and 'Culture War'. Huffington Post Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  2. ^ http://www.bartleby.com/201/1.html
  3. ^ http://fleursdumal.org/poem/099
  4. ^ "Ultratop.be – Arcade Fire – Speaking In Tongues" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  5. ^ "Ultratop.be – Arcade Fire – Speaking In Tongues" (in French). Ultratip.

External links[edit]