What does Long Way Down mean?

Goo Goo Dolls: Long Way Down Meaning

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Album cover for Long Way Down album cover

Song Released: 1996

Long Way Down Lyrics

Oh here you are, there's nothing left to say
You're not supposed to be that way
Did they push you out? did they throw you away?

Touch me now and I don't care
When you take me I'm not there
Almost human, but I'll never be the same


  1. anonymous
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    Aug 30th 2017 !⃝

    Hes talking to his father about his raping him throughout his childhood dumbasses. Its so obvious Im absolutely amazed you're able to come up with all this other crap. REALLY???????

  2. anonymous
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    Feb 6th 2016 !⃝

    I think it's about his wife's bout with heroine. Same as black balloon

  3. anonymous
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    Apr 18th 2012 !⃝

    Ok..well I'm pretty sure this is incorrect, but did anyone else think this was about a child being sexually abused? When I first heard it, I didn't know who it was by, and so I thought it was someone who was molested when they were a child and contemplating suicide...

    "touch me now and I don't care...when you take me Im not there...almost human but I'll never be the same..."

    I don't actually think this is what it's about. But did anyone else hear this the first time they listened to it??

  4. anonymous
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    Jan 18th 2011 !⃝

    (Sorry for the usage of he/she. I do so because first it is my impression, and it helps me explain. . . )

    My interpretation of Long Way Down is having a confrontation with someone else. The person is deeply angered, by general tone of the song, and saddened by the actions (could be taking drugs or alcohol, to marriage problems, or anything in between) of this other person, whom, the first person feels is, idealistically, “supposed” to be better and act differently. This person goes on to wonder why it is she acts the way she does, and then decides that he is fed up with her misconceptions. The first verse ends with the person saying that her acting this way, affects him, and that he will never be the same after what she has done, almost like the happily ever after “fades to grey”. The second verse starts with this person ‘deferring’ the blame about her action onto him, saying that this isn’t his fault. The rest of the second verse has this person trying to understand, and possibly come up with an explanation of these actions, to work toward a possible resolution, because if she continues to go down, he is going down with her. The chorus and the last verse together are this person almost pleading to make the other person stop whatever she is doing, because he is too attached to her, and the moves she makes play mind games on him giving him “diseases”, and that he “can’t make it on his own” without her, and that he needs her to help him get by.

  5. anonymous
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    Dec 24th 2010 !⃝

    Rzeznik never had a heroin problem. He did have a serious drinking problem that nearly ended the band (as discussed on Behind the Music), but he's never been into hard drugs.

  6. anonymous
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    Nov 26th 2009 !⃝

    It's about Rzeznik's bout with heroin.

  7. anonymous
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    Nov 20th 2009 !⃝

    I think the song is about a co-dependent relationship that's breaking up. He's given everything he could and done everything to avoid holding her down, but she's still living him and hurting him, and he's begging for her to come back.

    He's begging, pleading, and guilt tripping. It's not exactly healthy.

  8. anonymous
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    Jan 6th 2007 !⃝

    Okay, I don't know how correct I am or not, but this is my interpretation. It seems like it's related to suicide. One way of looking at it could be about a love partner of John's (or the persona in the song) is suicidal/committed suicide. "....You're not supposed to be that way/ Did they push you out, Did they throw you away". And the singer has not delt with the grieving and the partner's behaviour has pushed him over the edge "Touch me now and I don't care, when you take me I'm not there, almost human but I'll never be the same" and "Long way down, I don't think I'll make it on my own" without his partner being alive or in a rational frame of mind.
    "I never put you down/ I never pushed you away....And anything you want/There's nothing I could say" (?) could indicate that the singer feels unable to help the partner and his love could not save the partner.
    "Is there anything to feel, is it pain that makes you real, cut me off before it kills me" is the singers attempt to undertand the partner's predicament, while wishing not to get dragged down in his and the partner's sadness, which could prehaps lead to suicide for him too.
    (Just a question, could the singer's feelings be confused too? Where the chorus expresses a need for company, while that verse expresses a need to be tied off from the partner and the pain? Just an random thought).
    "Take another piece of me, give my mind a new disease" could perhaps mean that the partner's issues are further dragging him down too and tearing him apart?

    My second interpretation centres on the singer (The song was written by John, but perhaps his position again is as a different persona) being riddled with personal (suicidal? mental?) issues himself.
    The lines such at "You're not supposed to be that way" could be him talking to himself, while lines like "Touch me now and I don't care....take me I'm not there", "Is there anything to feel, is it pain that makes you real" and "Take another piece of me, give my mind a new disease".
    Personally, I prefer the 2nd interpretation, because I used to be able to relate to it more, but I think the first one makes more sense, given the song lyrics.

    I love this song, it's one of my favourite songs ever by the Goo Goo Dolls, who are the best band to change my life ever. However, I am well aware that my interpretations are highlyy unlikely to be correct and I don't claim to even believe them myself, but it's just food for thought. I would love to hear other people's thoughts on this song though.

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