Alice In Chains: Down in a Hole Meaning
Song Released: 1993
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Down in a Hole Lyrics
I give this part of me for you
Sand rains down and here I sit
Holding rare flowers
In a tomb...in bloom
Down in a hole and I don't know if I can be saved
See my heart I decorate it like a grave
1TOP RATED#1 top rated interpretation:
This song was written by Jerry Cantrell.
It was released on the album Dirt in 1992 and released as a single in 1993.
In 1999, Jerry Cantrell said "["Down in a Hole"]'s in my top three, personally. It's to my long-time love. It's the reality of my life, the path I've chosen and in a weird way it kind of foretold where we are right now. It's hard for us to both understand...that this life is not conducive to much success with long-term relationships.
Demri Parrott, the love of Layne Staley, passed away in 1996.
2TOP RATED#2 top rated interpretation:anonymous Jan 23rd 2015 report
Every single theory I saw on this page is not a even remotely close since every one I saw is coming from an alternate universe/ reality as though these lyrics were written by layne staley. This song was written entirely by Cantrell, and wasn't even presented to staley or AIC until it was finished. There was no input from staley on record, unless he was some inspiration, which I doubt. I'm pretty sure I know what Cantrell was talking about, and it wasn't staley. It was about his mother, and his depression surrounding her death.
3TOP RATED#3 top rated interpretation:anonymous Oct 4th 2012 report
The song is about the Rock n' Roll life, and the deceit of its appeal. I base this interpretation not only on the lyrics, but on the video, and what i know about Layne as a person; i have done much research. He is "down in a hole" representing that point in time in his short life, "feeling so small" "losing control". This latter quote is of course due to his major heroin habit, deliverance from which was out of his sight, and which was a result of his lifestyle, deadly and sick at best.
Now let us consider that once a habit of that sort is formed, it is nearly impossible to get out of it. Of course at a certain point one will stop trying because the effort becomes too unbearable. This was certainly true for Layne. So not only was he referring to his drug habit, but the state of his life.
At this point we can consider the lyrics "I'd like to fly, but my wings have been so denied". It is a natural inclination of man to be free and not to be mentally tormented. His use of heroin, having originated from the perverseness of the lifestyle involved with the music, was dragging him down. When one expresses a desire to fly, this means he wants to be free from that which is "denying his wings" i.e. holding him back from the change. Now let's face the fact that it is necessary to change the source of the problem in order to change the subjective issue (lifestyle being the objective issue, drugs being the subjective issue). So in order for Layne to have rid himself of heroin, he would inevitably have to have changed his lifestyle, which means... NO ROCK N" ROLL, which is exactly what this song is about. He recognized the problem, but his will was too far gone by that time, and without an act of will it is impossible to change anything. Will is a function of the soul, and when one's soul is in a state of severe decay, as Staley clearly recognizes and states,the will, being naturally influenced by the intellect (key point: naturally) cannot be made to make correct decisions. A state of sin and neglect of one's spiritual nature deduces the intellect which, naturally being the major influence of an ordered will, to rubble, therefore diminishing the power of the will. Layne knew all this. He was intelligent intuitive. R.I.P.
anonymous Jul 13th 2022 report
It seems to be about how the rockstars life isn't meant for long term relationships. Since Cantrell said in that interview that the path (choosing the life on the road) is very tough to maintain a relationship on. That, or the path could also be a metaphor for an addicts abuse issues and not being able to function, and down in a hole just means he's in a rut he can't get out of no matter how hard he tries. Very beautiful song. As with all their legendary songs.
anonymous Jan 9th 2020 report
I agree with all the interpretations on here . Has anyone noticed that in this video that the one Street Sign in the video reads LANE CLOSED ? Yeah I took that as to it relating to Layne and his struggles . As as if he feels shut off from the world due to his circumstances and basically closed down and shut off from having the ability to live a sober life and depression basically put him in hi prison , essentially he feels closed ! The sign stays LANE CLOSED in the video . I realize it says too that it was written for all kinds of situations but I found that interesting and also the other sign says NO CROSSING or something like that .. recognize the end part having the word SING in it
. To me it’s means no more singing in Laynes life and that lifestyle might be what he wants to do but cannot get there die to his addiction / depression etc .
anonymous Dec 16th 2019 report
It means whatever you want it to mean, that is the beautiful thing about music! It meant one thing to the actual songwriter (Cantrell) but it could mean something completely different to you! If anyone ever asks me what heroin addiction is like, I tell them to listen to or read the lyrics to this song. But that’s just me!
anonymous Sep 4th 2019 report
The song is about how being a musician runs havoc on your personal life. How relationships fail because you can't be there to cultivate them. You feel trapped that the life you have chosen completely kills the parts of life you seek, and how at some point you shut down your feelings which further disables normalcy, because you know it will fail. You become emotionally 'dead', less open to love, because all you see is the repeated eminent failure the lifestyle guarantees. It's emotional deja vu.
anonymous Jul 8th 2019 report
Jerry Cantrell wrote the song for his then-girlfriend, Courtney Clarke. In the liner notes of 1999's Music Bank box set collection, Cantrell said of the song:
["Down in a Hole"]'s in my top three, personally. It's to my long-time love. It's the reality of my life, the path I've chosen and in a weird way it kind of foretold where we are right now. It's hard for us to both understand...that this life is not conducive to much success with long-term relationships.
- from wikipedia
anonymous Mar 27th 2017 report
It's about being depressed. End if story.
anonymous Nov 29th 2011 report
it is definitely about drug abuse... he's saying he's dug himself so deep into his addiction that he doesn't know if he can be saved anymore because the drug has taken control of him.
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