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Meanings BEHIND the Songs


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“Hold My Breath as I wish for death,
oh please god, wake me.”



Sound familiar? Yes, this is the classic “One” by the band Metallica. Not ringin any bells? This song came out in 1989, on the album "...And Justice for All." Well if you dont know, this is an example of a song some people might consider meaningless music, with nothing but screaming lyrics and loud guitar sound, BUT, in reality there's a lot of songs out there that some “small minded” folks don't really know the meanings BEHIND the crazy lyrics. So don't knock it before you know what's up!


This example Metallica song is an amazing 7 minute “jingle” about war and heartache. Some people out there interpret Metallica as just being a metal band with no concept, but their song “One” is actually a very meaningful song with intensity and hidden passion in their lyrics.


“One” is about a soldier who fought in world war one and was blown up by a land mine and left with no hearing, eye sight, smell, taste, voice or even arms and legs. In the song, you here lyrics like:


“ Fed through the tube that sticks in me,




just like a wartime novelty.”
This pretty much describes life after all he's been through. At the beginning of the song the lyrics are:
“I cant remember anything,
can't tell if this is true or dream,”
which basically explains him being unaware of when he's conscious or even alive until people move his body around.



This is truly a sad war story leaving one man in emotional agony and sorrow over what's happened and the life that was basically taken from him. His name was Johnny, and it's all a true story about him in a book called “Johnny Got His Gun,” By BLNK. It was nearly impossible for him to end his life in the condition he was in, so in the end he did morse code and spelled out “kill me.”



Other examples of truly amazing rock songs with really unique lyrics are songs such as; “Sweet Child O' Mine” by Guns N' Roses, a song the lead singer wrote about his girlfriend. Lyrics such as:
“She's got a smile that it seems to me,

reminds me of child hood memories.”
Those lyrics alone are enough to know, that the song is truly about love and only love. The classic “Dream On" from the band "Aerosmith" is about dreaming until your dreams comes true. Steven Tyler himself said “It's about the hunger to be somebody.”


If you want to get into song categories about abuse or neglect, the band Nirvana wrote a song called “Polly.” This is a devestating song about a 14 year old girl named Polly who was abducted and abused. Aerosmith also wrote a song called “Janies Got a Gun,” and thats about a girl who killed her father after years of abuse from him. Are these songs full of violence and hatred? No they're not, they are nothing but about love, pain, and inspiration. These songs have some of the most powerful lyrics I've ever heard. Classics like these just dont get old for me. You never here a whole lot of songs like these anymore, these days it's more about anger and unecessary hostilty, but im learning to love it.


Now there's a lil dip in the history of rock lyrics for all who were interested, or who just despised rock n roll but didnt really know the whole story. Now you can go home and tell a “hater” about what's really behind those screaming lyrics and loud guitar sounds.



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

FrySnickerdoodle said...
Dec. 19, 2009 at 7:37 pm:
This is just about the best thing I've ever read.
I can't agree more.
I am a huge Metallica fan and I get so fed up when people tell me that their songs have no meaning and it's "just noise". I cannot stand people with such narrow minds.
You did a great job getting your point across, and hopefully this article will inspire people to give Metallica, Guns n Roses or even Nirvana a second listen.
Great article !
 
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KaplunkyMonkey said...
Nov. 22, 2009 at 5:27 pm:
One of the more interesting articles I've come across on Teen Ink. Keep it up!
 
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