Breaking Benjamin: So Cold Meaning
Song Released: 2004
So Cold Lyrics
Crowded streets are cleared away
One by One
Hollow heroes separate
As they run
You're so cold
Keep your hand in mine
Wise men wonder while
Strong men die
Show me how it ends it's alright
Show me how defenseless you...
1TOP RATED#1 top rated interpretation:anonymous Oct 11th 2009 report
I think this song is about warfare.
Crowded streets cleared away...soldiers taking over villages, cities, etc
Hollow heroes...in order to make it through emotionally, one must make oneself devoid of all feelings.
Wise men wonder while strong men die...the government sits behind the scenes, "wise men" making decisions to let "strong" men in the military fight and die for the country.
Show me how defenseless you really are...although they have a tough,cold exterior, really the soldiers fighting the war are defenseless to the emotional damage.
2TOP RATED#2 top rated interpretation:
I checked out this site and read others interpretations of the song. It's a great song, and the open-endedness leads to all kinds of answers. However, here's my take:
The song is about someone who has had someone close to them (father?) die, and there was no closure.
"Crowded streets all clear away, one by one" says that people die every day
"Hollow heroes separate as they run", shows that the person "Ben" looks up to this person as a hero, because others are hollow.
The entire song seems to be a cry for another chance to make things right, because it wasn't worked out before the person died.
"Show me how it ends, it's all right"
"Show me how defenseless you really are."
He's saying to this person to let them know that everything's going to be okay, despite a rocky relationship during which this person didn't really show a vulnerable (nurturing?) side.
"If you find your family, don't you cry"
This is a reference to the afterlife, and not to be upset at seeing those in their family who have passed before him.
I'm not going to dissect all the lyrics, but to me this is clearly a cry for resolution after a rocky relationship with someone close was ended in premature death. This is made clear when Ben cries out at the end.
"It's alright!" over and over again. He knows that there can never be a real resolution.
It's the hard rock version of "The Living Years" by Mike & the Mechanics....but waaaaaaaaaaayyyy better.
3TOP RATED#3 top rated interpretation:anonymous Mar 14th 2016 report
personally i think its much more graphic and disturbing than its being given credit for. it sounds to me like a man's wife has just died and he goes into a psychotic rage and begins to mutilate her body to cope.
crowded streets are cleared away one by one:
people are surrounding someone on the sidewalk and need to be moved away
hollow heroes separate as they run:
paramedics are pushing through the crowd as fast as they can
youre so cold keep your hand in mine:
hes holding onto his dead wifes hand
wise men wonder while strong men die:
just a metaphor about how life's not fair
show me how it ends it's alright:
he wants her to show him how life ends and is simultaneously trying to comfort himself
show me how defenseless you really are:
this is where he snaps and starts harming the body. he wants her to fight back against him and wake up
satisfied and empty inside:
her life has been satisfied aka has ended and now there's nothing left inside her
well that's alright lets give this another try:
he's still unconvinced shes really dead and is going to continue to try and wake her up
if you find your family dont you cry:
if she returns as a spirit and see's those who mourn her loss he doesn't want her to give up as he still wants to save her
in this land of make believe dead and dry:
well thats pretty straight forward. hes not only saying that shes dead but that her afterlife is make believe and hes going to bring her back
youre so cold but you feel alive:
more denial that shes really dead. he still thinks shes alive somehow
lay your hand on me one last time:
hes still begging her to fight back as he beats her corpse
repeat of the chorus which would suggest that hes still harming the body in a desperate attempt to wake her up and then he just keeps repeating the phrase "its alright" at first to comfort her and then his tone softens as he realizes she really is dead and just keeps repeating that phrase to himself in order to comfort himself and justify what hes just done to his dead wife.
anonymous May 21st report
It's about his perception of this world we live in and his relationship with his higher powe or trynna see if it's there because all he's seen was him being failed by his belief .
A lot of folks are saying it's likely war, but it has to at least be about conflict in general.
"Crowded streets all cleared away
One by one
Hollow heroes separate
As they run"
New take, but this could be about genocide. Eliminating dissidents and undesirables, either through shooting them in the open (hence the leaders: "hollow heroes separate as they run"), or rounding them up and emptying the streets, bringing them to camps and whatnot. In the latter, "hollow heroes" could be a reference to people being divided and conquered, split and purged.
"You're so cold
Keep your hand in mine"
Like the singer/POV is trying to comfort someone else that is also being made a victim of this genocide.
"Wise men wonder while
Strong men die"
'Intellectuals' far removed from the situation scratch their heads at the source of the conflict, (likely having missed/ignored all of the cues leading up to it, though this is purely personal speculation), while soldiers fight out the combat that results from the genocide/warmaking.
"Show me how it ends
This sounds like it's being said to the oppressor/genocidal executioner, expressing a desire to end this suffering, this nightmare, accepting the situation.
"Show me how defenseless
You really are
Satisfied and empty inside"
I first heard this as "Satisfy an empty inside," however I think both work within the context I've put forth. It challenges the sickness and depravity of this oppressor. You must be defenseless, and empty inside if you're going to kill vulnerable people.
Let's give this another try"
Either this overall conflict is going to play out again and again, or the oppressor in this instance hesitates about executing the POV, and the POV doubles down on counter-interrogating their motives/convictions.
"If you find your family
Don't you cry
In this land of make believe
Dead and dry"
The POV is once again talking to their fellow victim, informing/instructing them quite literally that they may find their family among the dead in this fantastical land of unimaginable horrors, and that they must try to keep going, try to survive. Alternatively, they could also be close to death, and this may be intended to be meant to posthumously.
"You're so cold
But you feel alive
Lay your hands on me
One last time"
Still talking to the POV, the end is drawing near, they are about to die or be killed.
"It's alright" x9
anonymous Sep 7th 2020 report
My personal interpretation of the song has to do with the idea that the song revolves around the ugliness of war, and the nature of the fat cats who start the wars, but don't particularly fight them. The song talks about "crowded streets all cleared away", which sets the tone for the idea that the song is about the war, while throughout the song, common phrases are "it's alright", or "satisfied, and empty inside". These phrases touch on the thought process, and mental state of the higher ups who started the war which they wouldn't fight. The song itself, when i researched more, actually simply deals with desolation. The song is meant to be open-ended, however centering around the theme of desolation.
So Cold Interpretation
So this is going to be a fairly long-winded explanation that I’m putting here just to have it out there.
I recently ran into this song and while I’ve heard it many times, it has struck me particularly hard as of late.
For context, it’s May 21st, 2020 and we’re in the midst of potentially coming out of a pandemic that isn’t quite finished but we’re seeking to return to some semblance of our normal economic lifestyle.
I normally listen to music when I exercise and it’s often either Christian rap (Andy Mineo) or Hard Rock that I listen to to keep me motivated. That’s how I ran back into this song.
So to start, the parts that stick out most to me is both the mood and the chorus: Show me how it ends, it’s alright. The mood is dark as it’s probably the darkest minor key being C minor which is in direct contrast to C Major; the most commonly used key.
Anyway, I’m a fairly religious person. I believe in a loving Heavenly Father as do all of us as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We believe that his ways are not our ways.
I think something that I like to often ponder is that we believe in the plan of salvation and to put it simply; it’s a plan for us all to experience whatever level of heaven is right for us. Our spirits will generally remain the same in the transition from death. We believe the body and spirit are separate and death is the ultimate but impermanent separation of such a connection.
What this leads me to believe too (a friend shared this idea so it’s borrowed from him) Heavenly Father isn’t nearly as concerned about death as we are. We can’t see the other side of it all but he can and he knows how much better it will all be. Death is inevitable but it’s also such a harsh experience for us that it’s hard to understand how it can be a good thing in any way. All it feels like is loss and suffering.
Back to the song; show me how it ends it’s all right. I feel like Ben is battling with this idea that heaven is somehow worth the suffering. Well rather I’m likely projecting that idea into this song but that’s what I feel like this phrasing is asking. How can all of this suffering be worth it. Show me how it ends so I can see it, so I can endure it. It’s repeated often and all of the descriptions outside of the chorus imply some form of suffering and that’s ultimately what I see Ben asking for.
Anyway, just thought I’d share this mostly because it’s been helping me endure this trial because I want to see it too. I want to see the end to know that it’s all worth it but that won’t likely happen but I’m sure it’ll get better. Thanks for reading this if you’ve come this far.
anonymous May 15th 2020 report
everyone’s wrong... this is about the Salem Witch Trials, he’s explaining how people lived and what they felt through it
anonymous Mar 9th 2020 report
Every single interpretation is wrong except for the person who commented on Jan 8th, 2009 (though this person is also half wrong). Yes Ben used the movie 28 days later as inspiration BUT Ben was in New York when he wrote the song. It was wintertime, really cold, and the singer was lonely. Stuck in a Manhattan hotel, he felt cut off from the world as he tried to write the We Are Not Alone record. It was a difficult time for him.
"So Cold" took off, becoming Breaking Benjamin's first platinum record. Looking back at the song in 2020, Burnley told Apple Music: "I'm glad I was in that dark space, because I owe my whole career to it."
anonymous Feb 20th 2019 report
So if this song is about war or as Some say that is about is dying wife what does “let’s give this another try and it’s all right “mean then in his song? ???? :)
anonymous Dec 14th 2017 report
I think this song is about war. "Crowded streets all cleared away one by one." This is a war and troops are swarming in. "Hollow heroes separate as they run". The good guys are breaking formation. Chaos is reigning. It turns out that the help is scattering and the situation is looking hopeless. "you're so cold, keep you hand in mine". His partner (Perhaps a friend or lover) is getting very scared and withdrawn. She's emotionally cold and he's telling her to stay with him through this. "Wise men wonder while strong men die". He's lamenting that the government is letting the soldiers die while they hide and wonder in safety. "Show me how it ends It's alright" He's telling her to stick it out with him to the end. He knows the end is near, but he wants it to be with her and that makes it alright because they are together at least and maybe they can find a new way to live in the aftermath of the war.
"Show me how defenseless you really are". He's telling her it's ok for her to break down. It's ok to cry and she doesn't have to go cold and numb to it all because he's going to be with her through it. "Satisfied and empty inside". I think he's referring to her accepting death. I think he's saying that she is happy or satisfied that the end is finally near and it's about to all be over but at the same time, the horrors of war have left her empty as well.
"Well that's alright. Let's give this another try". I think he's saying that it's possible that they can make another life together either in the afterlife, or on Earth in a post apocalyptic world. Either way, I didn't see this song as completely hopeless. I saw this more as a man comforting a woman during the apocalypse and staying with her until the end. (It could be a woman comforting a man too the genders aren't really relevant).
anonymous Jun 24th 2017 report
After quite a few times of not really listening to the lyrics I nearly started crying, my heart pounding when it all came to me as I saw scenes of the end of hope from a war that would never stop. I couldn't listen to it again for a long time. All of these interpretations are so despairing, but the song is actually pretty cool.
anonymous May 18th 2016 report
My interpretation of this song is its ddeffinatly about someone dying. Whether it's a wife, friend or someone totally random. Could be from warfare, could be from depression. That's what I get from the lyrics "you're so cold keep your hand in mine" "show me how it ends it's alright" "if you find your family, don't you cry"
anonymous May 11th 2015 report
This song talks about people who are going through depression and someone trying to help them. It starts off by talking about losing interest in things we used to find joy in and how we’re losing friends because or we’re pushing or scaring them away. We start becoming hollow and cold and so someone is trying to help by saying keep your hand with me. Let me help you. The wise men wonder are the men who contemplate suicide and the strong men dying are the ones who have already killed themselves. Show me how it ends, it’s alright is saying are you going to kill yourself or continue living either way is alright. Show me how defenseless you really are means outside you may act okay but how are you really inside. If we chose to live its okay, leave your depression behind and start life anew. Give it another shot.
anonymous May 4th 2015 report
i love this song but i just can't listen to it at all because it puts a fear in me from the melody like the song is saying your so cold and no is here for you
anonymous Apr 21st 2015 report
I assumed the song was a joke about fantasy novels and video games.
Typically most fantasy novels/games start with the loss of your family, or later you discover that your family was killed when you were a child and that's why you're an orphan. So the beginning of the song is about that. Then you're told to "show how defenseless you really are." Which typically the hero isn't defenseless, he's really the one true whatever destined to destroy whatever. So it's a joke about the hero being defenseless.
And then "let's give this another try" is meant to be a joke about how the hero/video game character can fail pretty often without it ever really keeping him down.
anonymous Sep 1st 2014 report
I feel like this song is about addiction (heroin in particular) and a person struggling to over come but they keep trying... "wise man wonder , while strong men die" The wise men wonder what it is like and do not ever mess around with it while even the strongest of men get addicted for life and cannot get out of it's grasp. Show me how defenseless you really are... When somebody is involved in an addiction such as that, they really are physically and mentally defenseless... "satisfied and empty inside." The person relapsed on whatever the substance is... This makes them satisfied technically because they are high again, however they are even more empty inside and have sunk just as low if not lower than their original state.... watched too many loved ones affected by this and that is what the song says to me.... thanks guys
anonymous Sep 6th 2013 report
Um, well I'm pretty sure it's just a guy being executed. He commited adultery. He is living in a Puritan colony where sins as such are taken seriously. That's why there's a priest reading out of the bible as he's carrying a huge block to lake where he is to perish.. The woman in the black shade hat is his wife and the blonde is the one he cheated with.
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