This is the 3rd verse in Ben E. King's song Stand by me:

If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
Or the mountains should crumble to the sea
I won't cry, I won't cry
No, I won't shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

In the 2nd, and 3rd line, what does the usage of should mean?

Does it mean "If the sky that we look upon, are supposed to tumble and fall" "Or the mountains are supposed to crumble to the sea"?

1 Answer 1


The use of your "should" is shorthand for

if it should come to pass that
if it were to happen that

it is not saying that the sky tumbling and falling is supposed to happen, but if it did happen the signer would not cry as long as he had his friend beside him.

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