What does The Great Disappointment mean?

AFI: The Great Disappointment Meaning

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Album cover for The Great Disappointment album cover

The Great Disappointment Lyrics

I can remember a place I used to go
Chrysanthemums of white, they seemed so beautiful
I can remember, I searched for the amaranth
I'd shut my eyes... to see

Oh, how I smiled then, so near the cherished ones
I knew they would appear... saw...

  1. anonymous
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    Oct 26th 2017 !⃝

    This song always reminded me of someone who lost people they deeply loved and admired maybe parents or good friends. How he is only happy when he is with them and only has the dreams and memories to see them again. This person sees them in a field of Chrysanthemums happy and smiling and he feels as if they are still alive with them but when this person wakes up realizes they are gone and is dissapointed that he cant actually be there with them . Idk if this is right or not but it was my interpretation

  2. anonymous
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    Apr 12th 2010 !⃝

    For me this is about somebody who has these wonderful dreams and thinks that their real life will be like the dreams but when they realise that it's not, they have wasted away.

  3. anonymous
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    Feb 18th 2010 !⃝

    This song is about one losing their faith. When you grow up you start to think things through a bit more, and it gets harder to take things on faith alone. The defining lines in the song are "Never never wanted this, always wanted to believe...", the song is about struggling with the reality of your faith being shaken, you want to believe, you dont want to give up your faith.

    I always get choked up when Davey says "But you promised", this could be interpreted in one of 2 ways, it could be the person starting to question their faith yelling at the one who taught them about the religion or idea they had, or it could be them yelling at God, "You promised!".

    Its a strange contrast to Sacrilege, in this one they play off religion as a joke, and talks about how stupid it is, as opposed to this song where the speaker is crying out because they don't want to lose their faith.

  4. anonymous
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    Jun 12th 2008 !⃝

    The song seems to be about constantly searching for something but never being able to attain it.Then losing hope and faith that you will ever see or even find what you are looking for. Read the lyrics.

  5. anonymous
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    Mar 18th 2008 !⃝

    This song may not be about Jesus, or whatever; it may be about dreams, how he fell into a predicament about life, love and how he woke up and wanted to return.

    "I can remember a place I used to go
    Chrysanthemums of white, they seemed so beautiful
    I can remember, I searched for the amaranth
    I'd shut my eyes... To see."

    He went to a place (the dream), and it was beautiful. He'd SHUT HIS EYES to see.

    "Oh, how I smiled then, so near the cherished ones
    I knew they would appear... Saw not a single one
    Oh, how I smiled then, waiting so patiently
    I'd make a wish... and bleed."

    He was happy with what he was dreaming, be it people or an event. He was near the ones he wanted or wanted to be around. He made a wish, it never came true, and so forth "Bled".

    "While I waited I was wasting away."

    While he waited for it to either come true or he waited to go back there, to his place, he was wasting away.

    "I can remember... dreamt them so vividly
    Soft creatures draped in white, light kisses gracing me
    I can remember when I first realized
    Dreams were the only place to see them."

    He can remember them, they were so vivid and true... They were gentle [or what you want to say about them] and it ended up a dream- a hoax, where he wanted to be left. He realized that they were only there in his dreams.

    "While I waited I was wasting away
    Hope was wasting away
    Faith was wasting away
    I was wasting away."

    while he waited to go back there, he was wasting away; hope of going back there was wasting away; faith of going back there was wasting away.

    I never, never wanted this
    I always wanted to believe
    I never, never wanted this
    How could I have become?
    I never, never wanted this
    But from the start I'd been deceived
    I never, never wanted this
    How could I have become?

    He never wanted this and wanted to believe it was real, how could he have become this, possibly not wanting to be in reality anymore, but in his sleep. He believed it was real all along, again he didn't want it.

    "Inside a crumbling effigy
    But you promised
    So dies all innocence
    But you promised me."

    He was inside his "Crumbling dream", his prediciment but they possibly promised that it was real. He trusted them, now he can't because they promised.

    The reason he wanted to be away from reality could be anything. This could be from his childhood-being bullied or just not fitting in anywhere and he wanted to be with people he trusted where he wouldnt be teased and bullied. They promised him reality inside the dream and he was decieved, only to realize the great disappointment- he can't be with the people he wants all the time or his love. either way, only Davey can know what it's about.

    All in all, this is one of my favourite AFI songs and Davey is really an amazing songwriter. An inspiration to many. This is my interpretation of The Great Disappointment! =]

  6. anonymous
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    Mar 14th 2008 !⃝

    Well, the Great Disappointment was a real event, 1844, and David Marchand, aka Davey Havok was indeed raised a Christian who then turned Atheist, so there ya go, pretty much self explanatory.
    Amaranth is a real plant, it's used in holistic medicine to relieve menstrual cramps (haha).

    K. Harrison,
    X, OH

  7. anonymous
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    Oct 5th 2007 !⃝

    Well, I the one really long one was good... I definitely think he's waiting for someone and the first time I tried to translate it years ago I had a feeling it had something to do with God.. and I ask those of you who think davey would never write lyrics about God or anything related to kindly remember the songs silver and cold, girls not grey, and the nephilim.

  8. mfteapot
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    Aug 13th 2007 !⃝

    Hahahaha....well sorry when if I seem like a higher level then some people. when in all actuality I really don't. but seriously, if you look up some of the words...and know the meaning of them...ya might have a better understanding of some things? like I don't know maybe "pretentious"...you pretentious asshole. which means stuck up..that is if you didn't know...so sorry if I want to speak my mind? alright just checking.

  9. machs
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    Jul 31st 2007 !⃝

    I agree with everyone else except for the "mfteapot" guy that guy's just a retard hahahaha man some people think they're so much better than they really are considering they spend they're time posting on some insignificant website. Not to be a hypocrite or anything, but I see myself as the good-for-nothing I am, and I'm pretty sure the rest of you do too, except for little mr or mrs. Teapot who thinks they're on the level of some Harvard graduate who actually has a life away from the computer screen.

  10. mfteapot
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    Jul 26th 2007 !⃝

    Well I wouldn't say it's about Jesus...but if you know what "armaranth" is it's a seed more or less that the Aztecs used for portien...this was waay back when. I think it's about how people use to live in such a beautiful place...hence the "I can remember a place I used to go
    Chrysanthemums of white, they seemed so beautiful
    I can remember, I searched for the amaranth
    I'd shut my eyes... To see" I think it means that they lived in a beautiful place...but then someone took control and destroyed the beauty and they're looking for some kind of beauty or "food".

    but if you don't know what some of the words are...look them up..you learn a lot when you do a little research.

  11. anonymous
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    Dec 8th 2006 !⃝

    This is a simple explanation... He was raised as a christian and therefore used to believe in God (because he was told to). Now that he is old enough to make his own decisions he became an atheist (person who has no religion). The song is about him wanting to believe in a god, but he can't, he doesn't see how this could be possible and regrets not believing in anything. The title came from the event that the others have explained and represents his feelings.

  12. anonymous
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    Nov 18th 2006 !⃝

    This song's meaning nearly explains itself with its lyrics. I now shall begin with the examples. "I can remember a place I used to go, crysanthemums of White, they seemed so beautiful." Even though crysanthemums are flowers, this song really has nothing to do with flowers unless they might symbolize a setting for Heaven. In this, flowers represent God and Angels. In this case, Angels. He's recalling his hope of what he will see at death, Angels surrounding him, bright beautiful White light. Now Davey says "I can remember, searched for the Amaranth, i'd shut my eyes, to see." The Amaranth in real life, is a fairy tale flower, that doesn't exist. In this song, it represents God. He shuts his eyes to see God. In my belief in this begining part of the song, Davey is praying to God. Next he says "Oh how I smiled then, so near the cherrished ones, I knew the would appear, saw not a single one." This is where the song gets its title. Davey smiles, thinking that since he's praying, that God will answer his prayers, but he hasn't yet seen God or a single Angel. Now Davey gets desperate with "Oh how I smiled then, waiting so patiently. I'd make a wish, and bleed." Davey has now turned to suicide to meet God, because his prayers went un-answered. He makes a wish, to go to Heaven and be near the Angels and God of his dreams, and slits his wrists. Now the chorus, "While I waited, I was wasting away." While he waited to die, he was losing patience in God and in his Angels. Now the next verse comes in. "I can remember, dremt them so vividly, soft creatures draped in white, light kisses gracing me. I can remember, when I first realized, dreams were the only place to see them." This once again, proves I'm somewhat right about the song and its meaning. He is saying he can remember seeing Heaven and Angels in his dreams, greeting him upon death. Then goes to recall current events how he first realizes that dreams are the only places to see them, because he is slowly dying and has yet to see God or Angels. Now the chorus again, yet with a difference. "While I wated, I was wasting away, hope was wasting away, faith was wasting away, I was wasting away." He's dying, his hope that he will go to Heaven and be greeted by Angels and God is deminishing, and he now is starting to doubt God and the Angels all together. Now Davey says "Never never wanted this, always wanted to believe. Never never wanted this all. Never never wanted this, from the start i'd been decieved. Never never wanted this all." Davey is clearly stating that he now knows that Heaven, Angels, and God are all a lies. He never wanted to give up hope in God, but now has, and from the start, he had been decieved, and or lied to. And, he had never wanted that at all. Now Davey says "Inside a crumbling effigy, but you promised. So dies all innocence, but you promised me." This part is slightly unclear to me, but I think it's Davey talking to God saying that God (the crumbling effigy) is a liar and non existant, and now that he is known to be non existant, that all of Gods innocence has died, and never really was. As per but you promised, and but you promised me. He is clearly stating that Heaven was promised too all, and him, but is non existant now. Then the final chorus takes place, which once again, much like The Leaving Song Pt. II, symbolizes his death. As he waits to die, he wastes away, as does his hope, and faith alone. Then, Davey dies.

  13. anonymous
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    Nov 15th 2006 !⃝

    I researched the meaning behind this song for an english project and this is what I got out of it:

    the great disappointment was a historical even that took place on october 22, 1844. Some christians believed that jesus was supposedly going to return to earth on this day, however he did not and this is where the main idea of my interpretation comes from.
    In the lyrics, davey havok uses past tense to show that he had once done something, or to be more specific, he had onced believed in something. Throughout the entire song there are hidden messages that one would need to dig for for about a week to even see clearly.
    "oh, how I smiled then, waiting so patiently/i'd make a wish... And bleed." in this part of the song davey admits that he was naive to think how he did. He was waiting for god or jesus or whoever to grant his wishes or prayers, yet he was left to "bleed" when they were not granted.
    "I can remember when I first realized/dreams were the only place to see them." in this part davey says that he remembers the time when he realized when god/jesus/anything religious was not real to him, being that dreams were the only place he would ever see them.
    "I never, never wanted this/i always wanted to believe." this shows that davey did want to have faith in something, and that he did want to believe in god or religion, but he simply can not because of something that might have happened to him.
    It is also a none fact that davey havok is indeed an atheist. He supports no god or religion, yet I believe that I read somewhere he was raised as a christian.

    Hope you all can understand this. It's quite hard to explain in so little words.

  14. anonymous
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    Aug 16th 2006 !⃝

    "The great dissapointment" wasn't a story from the bible, but like that person said an event. The event happened long after biblical times. Just to clear that up.

  15. bigpoogenerator
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    Jun 21st 2006 !⃝

    I dunno about that one really. Davey doesn't sing about jesus and things of that nature, he sings about his emotions. He uses situations from the bible as symbolism and for his metaphors, but he's not writing a song about a story from the bible, that's for sure. Not Davey Havok.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
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