What does Rotten Apple mean?

Alice In Chains: Rotten Apple Meaning

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Album cover for Rotten Apple album cover

Rotten Apple Lyrics

Hey Ah Na Na
Innocence is over

Ignorance is spoken

Confidence is broken

Sustenance is stolen

Arrogance is potent
What I see is unreal
I've written my own part
Eat of the apple, so young
I'm crawling...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    May 12th 2018 !⃝

    To me, it is all about heroin addiction and how he knows that he is doomed.
    The first 5 lines talk about how now that now that he has used heroin, there is no going back to pre-use innocence. He knows it will take his life (sustenance is stolen) and he is paying the price of thinking it wouldn't grab him (arrogance is potent.)
    Then he says I repent tomorrow, I suspend my sorrow - I'm going to get clean, but not today - I'll do it when the time is right.
    This is my interpretation; of course it could mean many different things.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Jan 25th 2019 !⃝

    Being traumatized as a child, growing up and realizing how it still controls your actions and life in adult hood, and having to crawl back to start to learn what u didn't learn as a result of your childhood trauma to recover yourself and learn how to live as you should have in the beginning

  3. anonymous
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    Jul 21st !⃝

    I think it’s plain and simple. Yes you could say it’s about the biblical story of Adam and Eve, or about being sexually assaulted, but it is definitely almost entirely about laynes drug use. He’s just talking about how it’s really screwed him over and how at least in his eyes it’s his fault that he had gotten in that bad of shape from the heroin. If you really listen close to a lot of Layne’s songs, he was very pessimistic about his drug use and the toll it took on him. Always seeming to think that there was no way to recover and I think any attempts to quit were cut short by his pessimistic thoughts driving him away from seeking treatment and help. I think when it really got bad, past the point of the sunglasses helping him (just like Kurt), he hid away from everyone because he didn’t want anyone to see how beat up he was. I watched something a few months ago about Alice In Chains and Layne that said Laynes final days were spent of him being locked away in his apartment and not letting anyone in or letting anyone see him, occasionally letting some close friends/family members in to maybe spend some time or bring him food/items/etc. He had said that he “knew” that it was “over” for him and I really think just that pessimism and lack of hope is really what killed Layne, because he might’ve not gone so secluded and actually really really tried to seek help, rather than just continuing to use because he couldn’t see anything else helping him. Which really sucks, because who knows what would’ve happened, maybe he still would’ve died, but maybe he could’ve lived a bit longer. And not to sound selfish, but maybe there would’ve been another AIC album with Layne on it, or more Mad Season, etc. and that would’ve been awesome. Rest In Peace Layne Staley, Mike Starr, Mark Lanegan, Kurt Cobain, Scott Weiland, Chris Cornell, and the rest of the great Grunge Gods who’ve passed on.

  4. anonymous
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    Jul 16th !⃝

    An apple is a slang term for a bag of heroin. I think it gives the song a dual meaning - a rotten apple as in an individual who ruins a group and also the heroin that tainted Staley’s life.

    I think the other commenters pointing out that he’s talking about his own ignorance and arrogance are correct, that he wants to start over again without the drugs, that he knows the drugs are ruining his life. Raw and utterly morose and beautiful song.

  5. anonymous
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    Apr 4th 2021 !⃝

    I think the lyrics were inspired by very specific events in the life of the author, but they are described in somewhat abstract terms, and so other people with other struggles can describe their situation using the authors words: the legislature of a state passes unconstitutional laws, affected citizens feel betrayed and attacked by the government that was supposed to guarantee their rights. The government threatens to confiscate property of those who have had their rights stripped away. The politicians believe they will be reelected no matter what they do, so they act with impunity. I look at the world around me and it has become an unrecognizable horror. Yet it is partly my fault. When I was younger I was told that if I voted a certain way it would lead to prosperity. The people who now strip me of my rights gained access to power in part because I voted for them. Now they are so powerful they crush their opposition. My only recourse is to get a bank loan to buy a new house in a different state.

  6. anonymous
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    Jan 10th 2020 !⃝

    It about adam eating the apple and dealing with the results...I think?

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  7. anonymous
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    Jan 2nd 2019 !⃝

    Inanna was an ancient Mesopotamian goddess, also known as Ishtar and Aphrodite. She was a seductress and often used her feminine beauty to control and destroy men. This is a hidden esoteric meaning of the opening most which people are not even aware. The rest of the song is also deeply religious with references to Genesis and occultist ideology.

  8. anonymous
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    Sep 2nd 2018 !⃝

    This song is Satan speaking thru Layne about Eve eating the forbidden fruit and the consequences of that act.DEATH.
    Layne overdose,died and rotted for a week before he was discovered. His songs foretold his doom. He was a pawn of Satan. Death was his reward. That's what he wanted. DEATH.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  9. anonymous
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    Nov 23rd 2017 !⃝

    Throwing away your innocence before being fully grown enough to know the consequences, in whatever form you may do that, then struggling to regain some of your lost innocence. Basically the story of most of our lives...

  10. anonymous
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    Jul 20th 2017 !⃝

    It's describing an addict.

  11. anonymous
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    Apr 17th 2017 !⃝

    This song could be whatever you want it to be that's the great thing about music a song can take on a completely different meaning to someone than that of the person who wrote it. But if you take its meaning from the person whos singing it ( layne ) then my guess is its about doing heroin/crack for the first time realising you've lost your innocence being judged by the people around you now you've become a drug addict your fans reaction what I see is unreal the roads you go down being a junkie written my own part laynes legacy when hes come to terms hes going to die theres also hope in this and many of chains songs eat of the apple so young crawling back to start doing this shit so young in life i'm getting cleaned up and starting my life again. Rip layne thank you for your gift to us you are truly missed.

  12. anonymous
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    Mar 26th 2017 !⃝

    The real meaning is losing your goals in life and starting over.

  13. anonymous
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    Feb 14th 2017 !⃝

    It is what you want it to be.

  14. anonymous
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    Oct 20th 2016 !⃝

    I think it means taking a life at a young age..but who knows only layne could write something and have a thousan different meanings

  15. anonymous
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    Oct 20th 2016 !⃝

    I think it means to hell with everything do drugs and die.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  16. anonymous
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    May 24th 2016 !⃝

    Love this song. I have a tattoo of a rotten apple with the lyrics ear of the Apple so young....such a strong song with so much meaning.

  17. anonymous
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    Mar 10th 2016 !⃝

    This song is about a young girl dealing with being raped. "Innocence is over". "Ignorance is spoken" - people around her judging her. "Confidence is broken." - self explanatory "Sustenance is stolen" - the child in her womb is growing. "What I see is unreal" - she's in shock. "I've written my own part" - she feels like it's her fault. "Eat of the apple, so young" - eating the apple was about learning of carnal desire in catholic dogma. "I'm crawling back to start" - she's trying to get her life back. or she's living through her baby, who crawls. "A romance is fallen" - she had a innocent crush this guy, who took advantage of that. I could be totally wrong, but it always seemed to me like this song was from the point of view of a girl

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