What does I Am the Highway mean?

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Audioslave: I Am the Highway Meaning

Song Released: 2004

I Am the Highway Lyrics

Pearls and swine bereft of me
Long and weary my road has been
I was lost in the cities
Alone in the hills
No sorrow or pity
For leaving i feel

I am not your rolling wheels
I am a highway
I am not your carpet ride
I am the...


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    Jun 25th, 2014 6:48am report

    This song is a perspective of a dead man at his funeral. He is looking at the people gathered at his funeral and addresses them as "Pearls and Swine" and "Friends and liars" " bereft of me".
    He looks back at his life as lonely and lost. He says that he feels no sorrow or pity at leaving, suggesting that he may have committed suicide. But this is not conclusive.
    Now, in death, he is not an actor but an observer. He is not something dynamic like rolling wheels or flying carpet but something static and something too great in magnitude like the highway and the sky itself.
    Perhaps because he was very unhappy in life or because he committed suicide, he is roaming the earth in damnation and is looking for salvation. In this process, he has walked millions of miles. This might be similar to the Marley's Ghost in Christmas Carol.
    Now that he is dead and ethereal, he has got nothing but walk, observe the surrounding and reflect upon his deeds in life. In death he is something far greater than he was ever in his life. He is the lighting. He is the part of darkness that spans the entire horizons. He is the night.


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    Jul 16th, 2007 7:09pm report

    This song is about a guy telling a girl that he is more than she thinks he is. He says "I am not you're carpet ride, I am the sky" or " I am not you're rolling wheels, I am the highway." He is in love with her and is trying to prove to her that he can be and do more if she gives him the chance.


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    Sep 19th, 9:01am report

    Somehow I was unable to break through as to who I was... Well "WE" are J❤️W!!!... Not anonymous at all. Chris Cornell is the f-ing man. So many lame asses say silly crap as it pertains to lyrics meanings. I did find this forum very amusing though. Loved the Jesus interp.'s and the "too good" girl interp's ... Very thoughtful and its enlightening to hear all. It's funny though when trying to encrypt lyrics. The only person who knows the true meaning is the man..., of woman who wrote the poem. ...And of course anyone whom they chose to express those feelings or meanings with. I like to interpret lyrics how they make me feel at the moment. Whose right or wrong is in and of itself only interpretation... Great song Cornell!!! Your performance of the song is phenomenal!!! ...always. Who cares what these, or ourselves for that matter, think what you were thinking when you wrote the song. It's a great song when it inspires emotion.. And judging from this forum I stumbled upon, apparently that's happening. Keep on keeping on. Peace to all... Lol


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    Sep 5th, 9:34pm report

    Possibly about being sick and tired of being owned by your record label and also tired of the downside of success in the music business.


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    Jul 5th, 7:17pm report

    You all realize arguing over this is not so smart....right?
    The song has no reference to individual meaning, by fighting you're all doing the opposite of what the lyrics suggest.
    You're all right. The song was left wide open for interpretation, it's bigger than your own personal meaning,it's everyone's meaning.
    The lyrics in this song invoke emotion, they pull out the things that are holding you down, it's not meant to have 1 meaning it's meant to have many.
    It's what you feel, it's how you perceive.
    The song labels that the simple things you see are actually much bigger.
    Don't argue someone else's point of view because songs like these are meant to make you feel, to bring out your pain and to release it.
    Stop being the rolling wheels, the carpet ride, the blowing wind, the autumn moon.
    Start being the highway, the sky, the lighting, the night.

    Stop arguing and leave the sorrow and pity behind, leave the pearls, the swine, leave the confusing cities, leave the lonely hills,leave the friends and the liars.

    Be your own you. You've traveled far too long, you've fought too many fights to hold on so close.

    Escape it all and be you. Make your own meaning.

    You're all right. Listen. He's telling you in emotion. To be yourself no matter what holds you back, no matter what anyone says. If jesus let's you be you, that's your meaning, if letting go of toxic relationship let's you be you, that's your meaning, if being more let's you be you, that's your meaning.

    MANY artists do this. Just listen. Let it mean what feels right to you. No one is wrong.


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    May 8th, 5:40pm report

    The person that said this was the point of view of Jesus is correct. Chris Cornell has talked about it many times. Everyone else is wrong I am sorry to say.

    To the person that apparently likes to insult others beliefs, well....open your mind a bit. Religious beliefs are a millenia of family history, heritage and culture's from all over the world. Try to see past your nose.


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    Oct 8th, 2015 10:05pm report

    I am not sure if the song is about one specific subject. Perhaps, it is written about a concept of unifying. I'm not your rolling wheel, carpet ride, autumn moon ECT. He is always the separated item sky, highway, night, lighting. Idk perhaps, he is not a possession.


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    Sep 3rd, 2014 9:49pm report

    i think its about how people may walk all over you, and in response, your just like, "no. you cant do that. i am way more than you think"


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    Mar 30th, 2014 3:37pm report

    It's about recovery of drug addiction and staying strong. Millions of miles and still too close to you means its always been around (temptation) and I guess u can figure out the rest. It's empowering and heard at many rehabilitation centers.


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    Jul 16th, 2013 7:45pm report

    HE is not attached to wealth or material things although his journey has been a long and difficult one. He has been lost and alone but he is not sorry for leaving that state of mind...because he is more than just a middle man, an entertainer for others, he is the world and the world is in him.
    He does not need friends or pretend friends, he can manage by himself..but no matter how far he is, himself and those who matter are always by his side


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    Jun 5th, 2013 6:52am report

    I would like to think that there aren't any douche bag religious references in this song. It's a little sick that people obsess over some dude who may or may not have existed and thinks good shit is about their long dead hero. "Oh wow man. Cool song. It must be about Jesus bro! That's so cool."

    Suicide is Painless


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    May 21st, 2013 5:47pm report

    wow, all of these are so impressive, and intresting to read. Firstly I am not a very eloquent speaker or writer for that matter, and secondly, this is just my interpretation seems to be of this song. and It holds a very special place in my heart might I add. Due to some paralells in my own life.
    I am thinking, that what he might be saying is that he is haunteda haunted man
    by something/someone? from a past exp.
    and that money and material things aside, he has learned from that past thing, and yet still looks back to it,, perhaps to show where he has come from and how he is able to overcome more, due to being strengthened by past hardships. wether it is relationships, lover, family, freinds, etc. I think in life when we overcome harships it strengthens us, in time. wether we realize it or not.
    I just feel as if he is a haunted man. that's just what i make of it. I truly enjoyed reading all of this and they have given more perspective on it. thanks for posting them.


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    Dec 8th, 2012 12:37pm report

    A song about being so much more than what she thinks. But a man she needs. Without a "highway" there's no "rolling wheels". Without a "sky" there's no "carpet ride". If there's not a "night" there's consequently no "autumn moon". So not just seeing the obvious but taking the much bigger picture into appreciation.


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    Apr 23rd, 2012 4:49pm report

    its about tired of being used, you are done, your friends and liars are the same.i think it is one person, a lover. you were there for them and you gave them everything and they just screwed you over so you said f'it, i am gone and you cant find me because i keep moving, i am trying hard to get away but i still feel too close to you,its not a good thing. i want to shake you off, like dust and forget you. i am bigger, better and stronger than you and i just realized it....


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    Jan 26th, 2012 1:50pm report

    I think this song is about time and is written from times point of view.
    For me it means that no matter what you do or build in this life when your time is up your time is up.
    It seems to have the message throughout the song that the important thing in life is the journey not the goal.


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    Dec 20th, 2011 12:58am report

    One of my favorite songs on their best album (IMHO).

    I believe that the song is about the expectations that people have on you and who they think you are. When in actaul fact they are so far off the mark - even at the oposite side of the spectrum (as suggested by the lyrics in the chorus).

    Chris seems to respond to each "Matarial value" and image that he has been labelled with a "Spiritual" one - go through the chorus, he has rebuffed the images of: Rolling wheels; Carpet ride; Blowing wind & Autumn moon with deeper and more spiritual images: Highway; Sky; Lighning & Night.

    It's sole destroying to always have to live up to someones expectations and in this song, Chris makes a stand.


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    Nov 20th, 2011 11:01pm report

    It's about being much more than someone in your life tries to make you, and how you are not there FOR THEM. You are just there, before them and after. It's a call back to your own spaciousness.

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