What does Sick Cycle Carousel mean?

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Lifehouse: Sick Cycle Carousel Meaning


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Song Released: 2001

Sick Cycle Carousel Lyrics

If shame had a face I think it would kind of look like mine
If it had a home would it be my eyes
Would you believe me if I said I am tired of this
Well here we go one more time

I tried to climb your steps
I tried to chase you down
I tried...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Nov 17th 2006 report

    “Sick Cycle Carousel” is a tough nut to crack. I think this song might be a love song, but if it is, then it wouldn’t be much different from my main opinion on it, which follows. “I tried to climb your steps” and “I try to earn my way” imply that he is trying to live up to someone’s expectations… his lover, his boss, his family, his friends, whatever. “I tried to chase you down” could be him chasing after a girl or after his goals, but really, the majority of the song really points in the direction of not having the skill that someone wants him to have. The idea that this feeling of his is a “carousel” could very well come from the fact that whenever he tries to prove his worthiness to the aforementioned person, he messes up again (“If shame had a face I think it would kind of look like mine”) and goes right back around to where he started from.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Nov 2nd 2008 report

    As a born again Christian I see this as an interpretation of something John wrote in the Bible about despite being close to God he finds himself still doing things morally wrong and he prays that he can stop it. Any Christian knows that grace is the only gift we recieve from God that we did not earn!! We cannot earn it, Christ died for our sins and to think you have to earn it by "climbing steps or earning your way" is futile and prideful.

    He realizes his sinfulness (which means he fully understands Christianity) in evidence by the shame he speaks of in line one. He then talks about trying to beat it, chasing you down, changing his mind, hwo lowhe can get down to the ground, that it goes on and on....its a sick cycle that no Christian can beat or live up to the standards of Christ. That is why us Christians believe in Grace...it is the ONLY way we can beat the sick cycle carousel and guarentee us a place in heaven.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Oct 2nd 2008 report

    Yes, it is about his relationship with God. He's caught in a sin trap that he can't break. Many Christians face this today. The sin can range from lust and pornography to drinking and drug abuse. He talks about trying to get by on his own, but he realizes that it's a sick cycle carousel.

  4. anonymous
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    May 3rd 2019 report

    I have always felt that the song is is clearly about addiction and the shame that he feels because he can’t stop using even though he has tried.

  5. anonymous
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    May 28th 2018 report

    I believe it is a love song. And he’s had even trying to please someone. No matter what it’s never good enough.

  6. anonymous
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    Dec 30th 2016 report

    I think the song is a love song. It means he is in love and trys to please them to the point that it was like being on a carousel. They were back and forth getting along then fussing all the time till he couldnt fix it till he got off the carousel for good and quit please someone who would never be happy with them.

  7. anonymous
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    May 25th 2012 report

    The song is about an addiction.

    "Climb your steps... I tried to tame this mind, you'd better believe I'm trying to beat this..."

  8. Eveleth
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    Oct 19th 2011 report

    I can't help but feel drawn to the idea of him being mentally sick - depression or another battle. It's him wanting to end it, wanting to be better for those he loves and pushes away.

    The lines "I tried to tame this mind, you'd better believe I'm trying to beat this," really hit home with this thought. Like those around him are starting to give up and it's making him desperate, trying to be good enough and pretend his way through the mental struggle for them but it just keeps coming back.

    "So when will this end?
    It goes on and on
    And over and over and over again
    Keep spinning around I know that it wont stop
    Till I step down from this for good"

  9. anonymous
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    May 19th 2011 report

    I agree with Kathleen... just describes how low one can get for someone else in order to be "accepted"... forgetting about shame and dignity until one gets to the point of realizing how abusive the other one can be and the decision is only... one... STEP DOWN FROM THE ABUSIVE CYCLE...

  10. Kathleen_W
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    Nov 20th 2010 report

    It's about someone that would do anything for the person they were with, to the point of shame and degredation...and the enlightenment that one gets when they realize no amount of serving, begging, chasing, changing, humiliating acts to please that person is going to do any good. It is an ephiphany. They have to break the abusive cycle in order to be free from it.

  11. anonymous
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    Mar 28th 2009 report

    when i sarted to listen to this song i thought that the singer hd a child at a young age like a teenager and when he says i tried to climb your steps then he means h means he is tying to tend to a baby as a young parent and the main part he is saying like when can he leave this life and that if h stayes here then it wount do him any better and the part where they just say sick cycle carousel they mean that this life is just torcher andtha it was a bad choise.

    which i my mind its seting the point that don't have a child at a uoung age or it wil be a well sick cycle carousel

  12. anonymous
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    Jun 30th 2008 report

    I think this song is about being in hell and wanting to go to heaven. He has tried t change but he cant. "I tried to climb your steps I tried to chase you down I tried to see how low I could get down to the ground I tried to earn my way I tried to change this mind You better believe that I tried to beat this." now he's trying to say he has to get out of the bad stuff he's into. "Keep spinning around I know that it won't stop Till I step down from this for good" well that's my opinion. =]

  13. chlosullivan
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    Jan 30th 2008 report

    This song is about being in a relationship and being at the turning point of staying together or breaking up. The back and forth and up and downs of being in love and trying to make it work. It's about trying to make things work, and the frustrations when it doesn't.

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