The Used: The Bird and the Worm Meaning
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The Bird and the Worm Lyrics
His backpack is all that he knows
Shot down by strangers whose glances can cripple
the heart and devour the soul
All alone he turns to stone
While holding his breath half to death
anonymous Sep 2nd 2007, 15:52 report
From the imagery in the music video, there are one of two valid interpretations I can see:
1) The main character is a paranoid schizophrenic, he is literally afraid that everyone is out to get him. With this interpretation we could see the horrific imagery in the video as a projection of the images he sees.
2) The entire song is about a Jekyll/Hyde complex. A scene in the video portrays the main character in his apartment being sucked into a darker version of himself that he sees in the mirror. He then becomes attached to his darker self, and tries desperately to pull away.
The lyrics lend an extra dimension to the entire thesis. The main character is "terrified" of the darker self inside of him, be it schizophrenia or simply his evil half, but doesn't know how to get rid of it. Throughout the song he is said to "crawl like a worm from a bird", this phrase's repetition is key to the interpretation. The main character attempts to remove the darkness under his own power, only to find himself weak, like a worm.
In my mind, the second interpretation is more satisfying, since it portrays man as wanting desperately to find hope in a depraved world. It also portrays the darkness as more prominent than the light, which is true in our culture today.
anonymous Jun 26th 2007, 19:37 report
When he says "he wears his heart safely pinned to his backpack, his backpack is all that he knows" it reminds me of someone guarding their heart and keeping it shut up so no one can break it. And on "shot down by strangers whose glances can cripple the heart, and devour the soul" it's like he's saying that he can't open up his heart because he knows that he can't trust anyone. He's experienced a lot of heartbreak and he knows he can't trust a stranger.
And in the song he also says "Out of his mind the weight pushes him whispering, must have been out of his mind. Midday delusions of pushing this out of his head, maybe out of his mind. All he knows if he can't relieve it it grows and so it goes." I'm not sure, but it sounds like he's trying to push away the thought that he can't trust those close to him, but the fear still remains.
Then, when he says "All alone he turns to stone while holding his breath half to death. Terrified of what's inside, to save his life. He crawls like a worm from a bird." Since his worst fear is being broken he holds himself back and doesn't let himself get close to anyone. He remains to protect his heart.... I don't know if that's right or not... I'd like to know what 'the used' meant when they wrote this song.. but that's my best guess so far.
nameofthegame May 11th 2007, 14:47 report
This song isn't about abuse. It's about running from your problem when you nowe eventually, you'll have to face it. Hence the mataphor of a bird and a worm. A worm may crawl from one bird, but will always have others. Also, when he says 'he wears his heart pinned to his backpack, his backpack is all he nowes' he is talking about closing up the problem that you are denying and not noticing anything else but how to resolve the issue
anonymous Mar 29th, 19:53 report
Not all videos matches the lyrics. But I do agree that this song is about Schizophrenia and Personality Disorders
anonymous Nov 28th 2012, 22:25 report
I personally feel this song could be taken as someone suffering from a social anxiety disorder. Being diagnosed with a horribly severe case myself, I see a lot of relations. "Shot down by strangers whose glances can cripple the heart and devour the soul." That's how it feels. And wearing the "heart safety pin to his backpack" can be related to the old saying "Wearing your heart on your sleeve" which means you're sensitive and easily hurt.
A social anxiety can cause one to be a sort of shut in. Hiding in your safe place from others with only yourself as your company. This causes a sort of festering of the problem if you will. you're left to wallow in your fears and thoughts.
anonymous Oct 16th 2012, 17:39 report
It's about a teenage boy who is depressed. So to solve his problems he cuts himself and he has a drug issue. He realizes his problems so he tries to escape it. He's so lost in his thoughts that's it's hard to forget. But he tries so hard. " he crawls like a worm from a bird " meaning he's trying to escape himself from his depression.
anonymous Oct 8th 2012, 09:55 report
The safety pin is significant in my opinion. Often times self-harmers ("emo") identify themselves with other self-harmers by wearing a safety pin usually on the collar of their shirt. Also its not uncommon for schizo's to cut themselves, further proving my take on the lyrics concerning the heart safety pinned to his backpack. It says his backpack is all that he knows, so its saying that all he knows is pain and a fragile heart.
anonymous Dec 31st 2011, 02:25 report
I actually think it's about self harm. about getting better and trying to get away from being who you were when you did self harm. maybe that's just my take on it.
anonymous Nov 20th 2011, 16:06 report
This song is about the singer, Burt McCracken, not wanting to become a Christian. God was calling to him to "save his life" but Burt wouldn't accept. It's like when a bird is trying to catch a worm but the worm crawling down deeper into the grown, yet the bird still trys to go after it. God was Burt's bird. Burt was the worm. Everytime God would come after him, he would crawl deeper. (Deeper into hell). Him with black is what he thinks he will become if he lets God win.
anonymous Sep 12th 2011, 00:43 report
I think the person is being bullied, because when kids get bullied in movies, they allways have a backpack. "shot down by strangers whoose glances can cripple" might mean that lots of people just stare, and most people hate being watched.
"all alone he turns to stone" might be when he is being cornered by the bullies. "and crawls like a worm from a bird" he might be running away from everyone.
i personally know that when i get bullied, i seem to get kind of schizophrenic and get delusions, so the verse after the first chourus could be about that
anonymous Aug 21st 2011, 01:05 report
I think my interpretation is very different to everyone else as when I listen to the song I'm thinking of my step-dad who did in fact crawl like a worm from a bird. The tone to me is menacing and I see it as the singer calling this character a worm. He's a spineless little creature, worth nothing and crawling like a disgusting slimy little worm. I guess song's mean something different to everyone but I view it as someone viewing this worm with contempt.
anonymous Aug 18th 2011, 15:09 report
If you watch the music video, it looks like Bert (the lead singer) is having a psychotic breakdown. On Wikipedia, i read that Bert started doing crystal meth when he left his house to live on the streets, before he joined the Used. I think this song is about his paranoid delusions he is having after binging a couple days on meth and not sleeping: In the music video, he is looking out the peephole in his room watching for people he thinks are coming to get him. The lyric "shot down by strangers whose glances can cripple" also refers to the powerful paranoia felt after a large amount of a very powerful stimulant like meth is used combined with days without sleeping.
Out of his mind away
pushes him whispering:
"Musta been out of his mind..."
Mid-day dillusions of pushing this
out of his head
make him out of his mind.. (out of his mind hehehehe)
In the above lyric it sounds like he is hearing voices whispering about him, which is very common for meth users to have auditory hallucinations or "mid day delusions" as Bert puts it as an effect of meth but also going long periods without sleep causes you to hallucinate due to sleep withdrawal. Lastly, the overall song he is hearing whispers and in the music video while he hears the whispers he's looking out the peephole of his room. If this song isn't about crystal meth delusions then I can't tell you how shocked i would be. If you don't believe me look up the symptoms of a user and then watch the music video.
anonymous May 17th 2011, 03:56 report
This Kid is a fledgling serial killer...
The soul has been called the great bird by many cultures...
He crawls like a worm away from the pure dark insanity of the soul/bird inside him...
The things he thinks, the things he does and all he feels and dreams...
Mind the creaky opening door in the beginning of the song..
He sneaks in to kill as his soul sneaks in on his daytime dreaming...
He tries to stop, he tries to end it...
He's terrified of himself and what he does but more afraid of death row...
He crawls from the seething of his soul and crawls from the dark deeds he does...
His heart is just a badge on his school shit...
And so it goes, Over and over...
anonymous May 17th 2011, 02:54 report
Sounds to me like he's a very young guy who knows nothing of the world and then finds himself facing a terrible disease, then his mind starts rolling and he cant stop...
When in that position it is like the whole world is whispering,talking,pushing...
He turns to stone...
He cant believe it grows...
Must have been out of his mind...
Sounds like he did something on a whim and now pays for it...
But whatever it is 1 glorious song guys, I love it..
3/4 time rocks yo...
anonymous May 12th 2011, 03:24 report
The bit about the backpack immediately made me think that the main character is homeless. The rest of the song seems to detail all the hardships he faces and how he has to face them alone. The whole "crawls like a worm from a bird" thing evokes a sense of helplessness and humiliation that must come with having people scorn you and being exposed to the elements and much of the crueler side of humanity.
anonymous Apr 11th 2011, 10:32 report
He fears the deeper side of himself, and therefore keeps in isolation and does not live as his whole true self, the bit of him that does exist is weaker and has no pride, like a worm in the dirt. The bird is the side of himself he is avoiding in order to survive – that person is darker and carries more pain.
Yet this is making him feel crazy, because it is a constant battle to avoid oneself.
He is paranoid and anxious from the glimpses that he sees, he must keep away from the truth and pain so that he can try live. Even if it is a meaningless empty life.
The back pack that is all that he knows, suggests how he has simplified his life to nothing more than what he can carry ( literally and figuratively). His heart is still there, but only just with the help of a few safety pins. It is not strong, but it is the only part of the truth that he still has.
He is drowning in this fight, and losing his mind… even though his escape from the “bird” is ultimately in order to save his sanity. This struggle threatens to become the end of him, he hears whispers that tell him to jump… whispers from his other side?
anonymous Mar 31st 2011, 01:01 report
his girlfriend is the bird and he is the worm. girls will destroy men if you let them. this goes back to the biblical adam and eve when eve steered adam wrong and ultimately doomed mankind forever. he is trying to escape from his girlfriend but cannot no matter what he does. he wears his heart on his backpack and she is turning it to stone. his conflict is whether or not he should get out of the relationship that is sucking the life out of him. for us (the onlookers) the decision is obvious, but for the protagonist, it is not as easy to leave "his backpack" because it is "all that he knows". aj and emilie.
anonymous Mar 28th 2011, 13:38 report
The song is probably about an emotional kid with paranoia and depression...
anonymous Jan 8th 2011, 18:56 report
The song is just about being paranoid. He's scared of everything and everyone outside and and at the same time, he's scared of himself and his own mind. He just wants to crawl away and hide. He just wants to escape all these paranoid delusions. "All alone he turns to stone while holding his breath half to death. Terrified of what's inside, to save his life he crawls like a warm from a bird."
anonymous Jan 6th 2011, 23:45 report
Well wasn't he a heroin addict? Maybe its a story about his life. Strangers whose glances can cripple could be his parents, and they were strangers to him. He's fighting his addiction. The lie with the backpack could be about when he was at his lowest. In the video i shows him with black hair, that could be him back when he did stuff like that.
imdifferent Nov 17th 2010, 20:26 report
I believe this song is about being alone and feels that the person can't trust anyone so he turns into a cold person, I believe this because the lyrics say "He wears his heart safety-pinned to his backpack
his backpack is all that he knows..." that's were I got the idea of the person can't trust anyone
"Shot down by strangers whose glances can cripple
the heart and devour the soul...". This means that if he opens himself up to the world he just gets hurt.when the lyrics say he turns to stone and holds his breath half to death, meaning the person feels the world doesn't want her/him so him/her turns to stone. He/her knows that if he/her opens the feelings built up inside people would get hurt physically,mentally,and spiritually. So she/he can only slowly get away from its impending doom, its saying that either by sharing its feelings to the world or get killed by the "bird" no matter what its going to be destroyed.
anonymous Oct 17th 2010, 13:30 report
I don't know about the whole song, but when it comes to the first lines "He wears his heart safety pinned to his backpack,
His backpack is all that he knows," all I can think of is the phrase "to wear your heart on your sleeve." Personally, I'm thinking it might have something to do with that.
anonymous Aug 29th 2010, 04:53 report
No no no...
This song is about someone escaping him self. That Life its self is to scary to grasp.
"He wears his heart...." means that he's hiding him self not his heart. Hes scared of him self cause the world is a fucking scary place. How do I know.. This song describes me.
You crawl like a worm to get away from life. Life is the bird. He's trapped in his own paranoia...
In the video its like a darker version of Alice in Wonderland.
same thing.. She tries to escape life.. There just two different stories... ones a girl and this one is a boy...
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