What does Them Bones mean?

Alice In Chains: Them Bones Meaning

Tagged: Death [suggest]
Album cover for Them Bones album cover

Song Released: 1992

Them Bones Lyrics

I Believe Them Bones Are Me
Some Say We're Born Into The Grave
I Feel So Alone
Gonna End Up A Big Ole Pile A Them Bones

Dust Rise Right On Over My Time
Empty Fossil Of The New Scene
I Feel So Alone
Gonna End Up A Big Ole Pile A Them...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    May 24th 2008 !⃝

    A couple of corrections.
    1)Layne Staley died as a recluse by an overdose of speedballing, by no means suicide.

    2)Jerry Cantrell wrote this, and the majority of songs on AIC's earlier albums, but this had changed by the stage "Alice In Chains" was released

    3)This song was inspired by Jerry's fear of death, quoting him;

    "I was just thinking about mortality, that one of these days we'll end up a pile of bones. It's a thought for every human being, whether you believe in an after-life or that when we die, that's it. The thought that all the beautiful things and knowledge and experiences you've been through just end when you end scares me, the thought that when you close your eyes for good, it's gone forever."

    4)Alice In Chains is yet to write a song about anorexia

    5)The album that this song is from Dirt is one of the best albums of that era, and it is a very diverse and thoughtful album with songs like 'Them Bones' about death,
    'Dirt' about murder/suicide all the way to 'Rooster' about the Vietnam War

    6)There is a very well done copy paste interpretation on this page

    7)'Man In The Box' is about media sensorship.

    8)This song is not dedication to one of their friends who died of an overdose, but a song on this album, 'Would?' is.

    9)I don't think being skinny inspired this song.

    For anyone interested here are some facts on AIC

    1# Metallica intended to tour with Alice In Chains, but after Layne's death their new sound on St. Anger was inspired by AIC

    2# Alice In Chains reunited in '05 with new lead singer William DuVall and intend to release an album later this year.

    3# Jerry Cantrell was himself a drug addict.

    Thats all for now
    LPUer WROKKR Dan

  2. anonymous
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    Jun 21st !⃝

    In the city where I live in there's a vault filled with skulls and bones, protected by a grill, topped by a Stone carved sign Who says:"What you'll be soon, we're now. Who forget US, forget himself". Every time I pass by I sing the verse: " ... Gonna end up a big ole pile of them Bones..."

  3. anonymous
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    May 6th 2016 !⃝

    drugs is bonez but nothing to do with the song unless u just wanna go there so like its the ole you are what u eat an what not so a big ole ile of bones from heavy consumption but a good junkie always keeps some bones around... dem bones are mine dem bones are me, or pr

  4. anonymous
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    Sep 15th 2014 !⃝

    I think its about drugs and death.

  5. anonymous
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    Dec 11th 2011 !⃝

    "I'ts impossible not to die. I believe, when we are born, we are destined to the grave, to become a pile of bones, one or another way. The dust is rising on me, "on my time", eating it away. I could be dead right after this."

    Here you are.

  6. anonymous
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    Apr 28th 2009 !⃝

    I always thought that it talked about someone who fears that they will be alone forever until they die.

  7. ozzian2000
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    Oct 26th 2008 !⃝

    I teach English and use this song when we get to Act V Scene I of Hamlet. If you love this song as much as I do, I highly recommend that you do a comparison of your own.

    "Did these bones cost no more the breeding than to play at loggats with 'em? Mine ache to think on't."

    "Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let
    her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must
    come; make her laugh at that."

    "To what base uses we may return, Horatio."

    We know that Hamlet is on borrowed time because Shakespeare kills all of his tragic heroes; therefore, we are able to see him holding a skull and foreshadow his own death.

    In Layne's situation, the words of Them Bones and others such as those of Down in a Hole, Nutshell, Rotten Apple map out a frighteningly specific path that would lead to his own tragic end. For example, Down in a Hole describes the narrator sitting and observing the sand raining down - either on top of him, thus burying him alive or through the hole of an hourglass indicating he knows that his time is short enough to be measured by a device that pinpoints a specific end. Also, he is holding rare flowers in a tomb in the song and, in reality, he was found with heroin (made from poppies (rare flowers)) in the apartment where he spent almost all of his time watching himself deteriorate.

    I use this as an analyze poetry/ don't freaking do drugs lesson. The kids find it quite moving in a spooky sort of way.

    Love you LAYNE! Wish we had you back.

  8. anonymous
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    Jun 26th 2008 !⃝

    I believe it was written for the singer of mother love bone, who was friends with Layne and the guys, who also left the planet way too early by the junk.

  9. anonymous
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    Apr 11th 2008 !⃝

    I'm pretty sure when he talks about his bones and how hell end up a big pile of bones is because he booted dope and looking at his skinny bony self,

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  10. anonymous
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    Mar 16th 2008 !⃝

    This is a song dedication to one of their friends who died of an overdose, I believe the lead singer of mother love bone.

  11. anonymous
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    Nov 26th 2007 !⃝

    Like several other musicians in the Seattle grunge scene, Staley was a heavy user of heroin. Staley had started with marijuana and LSD in 1980. He was introduced to cocaine in 1982 at age 15 and stole heroin and ecstacy numerous times. He became addicted to heroin and cocaine in 1986. By the 1990s, Staley was battling a severe addiction. The darker side of addiction had its influence on Staley's lyrics. The Alice in Chains album Dirt showed this preoccupation in songs like "Angry Chair", "God Smack", "Sickman" and "Junkhead", while guitarist Jerry Cantrell's lyrics focused mainly on morbid thoughts, as evidenced in "Them Bones" and "Would?". "Would?" in particular addresses the death of Andrew Wood, singer of Mother Love Bone, who died of a heroin overdose in 1990.

  12. OldNo7
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    Jun 14th 2007 !⃝

    No, it's not. Dirt is about depression, loss of loved ones, jaded views upon common society, and yes drug addiction. But it goes deeper than drug addiction really, as made evident by this song for example. "Them Bones" is really a very existential view on life (Jerry Cantrell's view that is) revealing the pointlessness of it all and the irony of life being engulfed in death.

  13. anonymous
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    Feb 23rd 2007 !⃝

    This song, as well as the whole CD it's from, is totally and completely about using heroine.

  14. anonymous
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    Dec 20th 2006 !⃝

    Actually Layne died of a speedball, which is a mix of heroin and crack cocaine. Dave Mustaine once said he tried it and he and his friend thought, wow, this is like the best thing ever, why hasn't anyone tried this before, and then later they realized that people had tried it, but since the risk of overdoseing is so high(becouse the crack takes out the smack and vice versa people use bigger doses) most of them were dead before they could tell anyone about it.
    And as Drake said, the song was written by Cantrell, so it's most likely about him and not Layne.

  15. anonymous
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    Nov 25th 2006 !⃝

    sounds like is about anorexia to me...

    but I have to admit, to an anorexic, every song is about anorexia

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  16. anonymous
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    Sep 14th 2006 !⃝

    The song is about death obviously. From what I interprit,its that he's scared of dying and rotting in the ground, with no afterlife. Just a pile of bones. He reffers to his fear of death a lot in their songs. Like man in the box.

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