What does Amsterdam mean?

Imagine Dragons: Amsterdam Meaning

Album cover for Amsterdam album cover

Song Released: 2012

Amsterdam Lyrics

I'm sorry, mother... I'm sorry, I let you down
Well, these days I'm fine - No these days I tend to lie
I'll take the West train, just by the side of Amsterdam
Just by my left brain, just by the side of the Tin man

I'm sorry, brother... I'm...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    May 15th 2014 !⃝

    I'm pretty sure the song's about a guy who literally let his family "down". How did he do that? I'm not sure. He also let his "lover" down during the process. He tries to reassure them all that "these days he is fine"

    but "these days he tends to lie"

    literally meaning, he trying so hard to get by but lies to his loved ones that he is doing alright.

    But then there's that positive turn to the song. When he sings "your time will come" he is telling us that yeah the world can be miserable as shit but our "time will come" meaning our glory days, that the best is yet to come and we shouldn't put ourselves down too much and that the next day always has more to offer.

    "The rain won't fall for the both of us. The sun won't shine on the both of us" meaning it's not always going to be happy, but it's not always going to be sad either.

    "It's harder, believe me, I've tried"

    Simply, some personal experience.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Jul 29th 2017 !⃝

    I think it's about someone's depression, and, eventual suicide, and that a best friend whom they loved very much was going through the same thing. He's apologising to his family for his actions, and it's kind of the same thing in the second verse. The taking the train [to] Amsterdam (where euthanasia is legal) signals that he wants to commit suicide by euthanasia because he can't live with his depression anymore. The tin man thing signifies a doctor, with no heart, who injects the euthanasia and watches him die. The "I'm sorry, brother I'm sorry, I let you down" could mean a best friend who is like a brother who is also depressed and possibly suicidal, like him. The "But the rain won't fall for the both of us, the sun won't shine on the both of us, believe me when I say, that I wouldn't have it any other way" could mean that he'll kill himself instead of the friend and that only one of them could make it out of the depression alive, and that would be the friend. The "It's hard, believe me, I've tried could be that they tried to kill themselves, but failed. The walls crumbling down and the not having to wait much longer for his time could mean that he couldn't take it anymore, and so he kills himself.
    All in all, a nice happy Disney ending, dontcha think?


    #3 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Mar 13th 2014 !⃝

    I think its about saying sorry to the ones you love that you let down "Im sorry mother,Im sorry I let you down" Im sorry brother Im sorry I let you down" Pretending to be fine but you know your not so youll leave not wanting to let anyone down anymore. Then the ones you love following your path path of hurt and dissappointment leting that person know that their time will come to be worth to that they have to wait that you know now it hurts and waiting is hard but in the end it will all be ok

  4. anonymous
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    Jan 2nd 2020 !⃝

    I feel like they are stimulating that a guy is in a train by Amsterdam in World War ll. He feels an enormous pressure and is a wreck. He feels violence on every level because he says "But I won't wait much longer 'cause these walls they're crashing down
    Oh I won't wait much longer 'cause these walls they're crashing down," and he talks about letting his family down, so I assume the pressure he is feeling comes from feeling guilty about something that happened to his family. Whoever had the idea for this song must've thought he was responsible for something that happened to his brother or mother, perhaps a death, or the death of a close friend to the both of them, like a dog.

  5. kooljohn176
    click a star to vote
    Feb 5th 2019 !⃝

    This great old IMAGINE DRAGONS song seems to me to be about this one brother's regret and shame about lying and letting his old Mother[land] down along with his brother that stayed behind on the right side of Amsterdam. compare to the 'dreaming' brother who's like the wayward son that unfortunately could not hold out and tame his egotistical drive there for the good,but sold out his Country and soul by way west with the Parasites[who now may be known as the Christian right/Zionists fascists, who are just 'fake' Jews and Christians, who disregarded Moses and didn't follow Jesus's true path] utopian westward dream, when looking to join them west to find and set his dream there, by taking 'the west train' out of Amsterdam. where in gradual lament has turned on the left side of the hollowed out tin man. when wanting to join their union and become like those old revolutionary elite left brain radical wig liers and apocalyptic warmonger thiefs of the high seas. who with them years later eventually lost Moses on the freeway again, who was on that land. where he the brother like a wayward son sadly became all 'the more' alone, emty and spiritually broken in the end of his long run, where his illusionary walls were beginning to crash down around him. so may God have sympathy on him, cause life is hard and DIFFICULT and we may be in the same position one day.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  6. annonymous31
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    Nov 5th 2018 !⃝

    This song has a very deep personal meaning for me. I feel Imagine Dragons has been a conduit of connection to our Godson. We recently lost a him under extremely suspicious circumstances (drowning). Some say suicide, most say murder; but, he was given no real investigation. He used to call me "mom two" and my son and he were so close, they had everyone in their lives convinced they were actual brothers. His birth mom was also the most important person in his life. My son nearly died from a major left brain injury 6 months to the day that he died. When my son was diagnosed and saved at the zero hour of his illness, our Godson said he was so happy he was crying, cause he told God to take his life instead of my son's as he felt my son had great things to accomplish on this earth; but he just hadn't figured this out yet. My son has been in an incredibly deep depression without his brother and has been feeling suicidal over his death. He's suffering from some major survival guilt. We didn't hear this song until the year anniversary of his death. There is an actual place in Amsterdam where the train tracks run to the right of a Tin Man sculpture and a theater of performance art also known as TIN or the TINman. My son and Godson always talked about growing up and taking a trip to Amsterdam together. I feel the song is reassuring my son that "his time will come" to be successful enough to take this trip with his brother in spirit. My Godson was a very talented musician and there was a production company that was actually filming a web series on him when he died. Music was our baby's soul source of happiness and he was making it in his dream. He was so close; but "kept coming up short". I can't help but feel my Godson is trying to reassure my son that he's alive for a reason and if he will just hang on, he will figure that out and when he does, my son should take that train to Amsterdam to celebrate surviving the huge injury to his left brain, just by the side of the Tin Man sculpture near that performing arts theater. I feel he's trying to tell my son that even though the sun won't shine on the both of them, his brother wouldn't have it any other way. Was just told by my Godson a couple of months ago in a dream to get my son the Imagine Dragons album, Evolve. It's the most beautiful goodbye love letter I've ever read and gives me all the feels. It also makes me wonder if reincarnation is real and is my Godson coming back to my son in another form (such as my son's own future child); but reincarnation is such a touchy subject, isn't it? Maybe it's stupid. Maybe it's just desperate wishful thinking; but I truly feel my Godson is sending my son very deep and personal messages through this band. This DOES NOT MEAN I think the band is writing personally for my son; just that I feel my Godson is using this band as a conduit to send messages to us, cause he LOVED Imagine Dragons and he really only spoke through music anyway. He was a shy dude; but a very talented drummer, guitarist, and piano player. I'm thankful for the song and the band. They've both been getting our family through the toughest time of our lives.

  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 18th 2017 !⃝

    A person is apologizing for and stating the wrongs that he has done to loved ones and then saying how he will make it up to them(this is just a generalization, not a report).

  8. anonymous
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    Dec 14th 2015 !⃝

    Excellent interpretation. Interpreted the lines of this song. The last line? It is not part of this song? Odd. Weird. May he or she will feel free to contact you as much as they like.

  9. anonymous
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    Dec 13th 2015 !⃝

    Let's start with the first verse. He's obviously apologizing to his loved ones for something. This could be for many reasons, but I'll try not to over think this. He says that he takes the "West Train" which could be a metaphor for moving on. He also says that he's "just by [his] left brain." One's left half of his or her brain deals with logic, while their right side deals with emotions. Therefore, his left brain could be symbolic for apathy. He then makes a reference to the Tin Man, who is a sign of not having a heart, which could also mean apathy. From this we can deduce that he's sorry for being apathetic. In the verse addressing his lover, he says he tends to lie and hints that they have had a falling out, possibly for the same reason, apathy. Now that he's isolated himself, "The rain won't fall on the both of [them]" and "the sun won't shine on the both of [them]". He now seeks forgiveness, which he says will come even though "It's hard, believe [him], [he's] tried... But [he] keeps coming up short." This it's just the best interpretation I could come up with, so feel free to contact me as much as you like.

  10. anonymous
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    Aug 18th 2015 !⃝

    I was born in Haarlem in The Netherlands, 1 train ride away from Amsterdam—in fact, Haarlem - Amsterdam was the nation's first train track. There is a small village in between Haarlem and Amsterdam, named Spaarndam, home of the statue of the boy that saved a village from the water in a dark storm, called Hansje Brinker. I am pretty certain this is what the writer of the song has seen.

  11. anonymous
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    May 12th 2014 !⃝

    I think that the author is talking about homossexuality, and how difficult is when he disappointed his family, his own woman lover.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  12. anonymous
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    Dec 31st 2013 !⃝

    I think something so scarring happened, the people in the song blocked out their emotions. They'd felt enough pain and think that having no emotions is better than getting hurt. The man finally realized that he was at the point of no return and warned those around him to turn back and let the happiness back into their lives.

  13. anonymous
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    Oct 27th 2013 !⃝

    He disappointed his family and is trying to do better.

  14. anonymous
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    Oct 3rd 2013 !⃝

    A young man dying from a serious illness, he goes to be alone he knows it is a bit heartless but what he believes to be logical heart/right thing to do/his own type of love, or a fuller life, because he knows so well what sadness can do someone.. he keeps it from his mother he loves so much. His brother seems to be okay with his sudden changes in decisions, behaviour, but he knows something is wrong, and he will have to use his own logical interpretation no matter how heartless keeping it from him will seem. He has a lover, as he wants nothing less than to live a longer life, but he comes up short of that, it isn't any longer in his hands.. the walls are crashing down, and his lover says the words better than he can, he is all alone now, almost as though she knew his secret. He says wait for death no matter how hard it may be to keep death waiting. Live as much as you can, because he can no longer wait/live, the walls are crashing down. But as long as the rain and and sunshine can no longer be felt together.. he is glad that he was able to say and make you understand his choices.. just by amsterdam, sitting next to heartless men, he expresses/feels love with his choices.. It is a sad thing, I read a message posted on the web about a boy who has found out that his older brother is dying but it was kept from him, he just happened to overhear a conversation, and is angry and sad. He received a reply to not be angry at his brother as he is dying and that it is painful thing to die young, a sorry thing it is..

    could be better written/phrased.. but I prefer it a mess.. there is no right choices in death, especially when knowing and understanding one another completely is nearly impossible?

  15. anonymous
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    Aug 13th 2013 !⃝

    I actually think it means about someone self harming and you shouldn't do it because it says "your time will come if you wait for it" and me thinking that means when you die. Then it says "it's hard believe me I've tried" maybe they tried self harming and they realized that it wasnt the right thing to do & you just have to live life.

  16. anonymous
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    Jun 24th 2013 !⃝

    I believe that this song is about looking back at what you've done and realising that you screwed up. This causes you to apologise, but it's already too late. You've let the other person down, and you can't take it back. You then tell the other person that you know what they're going through, except that they'll get through it and you won't because you "keep coming up short". In total, though, it's a sad song

  17. anonymous
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    Mar 18th 2013 !⃝

    For me...I think it is about how you feel that you are and never will be good enough for those around you. How you feel that you can only bring them down along with you. If you leave It might get better, and you have hopes that you will become better. "Your time will come, If you wait for it" but It's not so easy "believe me, I tried".

  18. anonymous
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    Mar 6th 2013 !⃝

    I think it has to do with love. "Just by my left brain, just by the side of the Tin man" This relates to mind and heart like the wizard of oz. The lion wanted a brain. The tin man wanted a heart. "your time will come" pretty straight forward, looking for love and all the feelings involved in it, losing love at different points in time, not being good enough "coming up short", the first line about letting his mother down, I think they just has to do with all moms dream of their kid amounting to something and falling in love with a girl that the mother likes too. Amsterdam is know for a crazy good time, so he goes back in forth between acting out and taking a load off (doing drugs) from all his stresses about amounting to something

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