What does Powerless mean?

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Linkin Park: Powerless Meaning

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Song Released: 2012


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Powerless Lyrics

You hid your skeletons when I had shown you mine
You woke the devil that I thought you'd left behind
I saw the evidence, the crimson soaking through
Ten thousand promises, ten thousand ways to lose

[Chorus]
And you held it all but you were...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    #1 top rated interpretation:
    anonymous
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    Oct 23rd 2012 report

    It reminds me of my mother and father. It's like a song written by a son/daughter explaining how it feels to grow up with divorced parents who constantly hurt each other throughout their lives.

    "You hid your skeletons when I had shown you mine."

    I revealed all of my feelings and secrets to my parents, yet they always hide the truth away from me.

    "You woke the devil that I thought you'd left behind."

    It seems like my parents created a demon of hatred and conflict. They woke a devil that would ultimately destroy their relationship with each other and the family. I thought they left behind all of that fighting and moved on.

    "I saw the evidence, the crimson soaking through."

    As a kid, I was exposed to all of that hate. I watched my parents hurt and sabotage each other. I saw the hidden evidence my parents were trying so desperately to keep a secret from me. I saw how they were using me as a pawn to win their battles. I watched my parents try to ruin each others lives in acts of revenge.

    "Ten thousand promises, ten thousand ways to lose."

    All of those empty promises my parents gave to me while growing up only ended up becoming ten thousand ways to lose in life. They only showed me how to fail rather than to succeed in life.

    "And you held it all but you were careless to let it fall. You held it all and I was by your side, powerless."

    My parents held mine and their own future, but they were careless and ended up destroying our lives in the process. They ruined each others lives, and all I could do was watch because I was powerless to prevent it from happening.

    "I watched you fall apart and chased you to the end."

    I watched my mother and father die in the inside due to depression, frustration, and hopelessness. I was always there to witness all the pain and suffering they have caused each other. I was there while my mother and father were failing at life and became horrible parents.

    "I'm left with emptiness that words cannot defend."

    All of that pain and abuse you brought unto me left me with an empty and shallow heart. I have become so saddened that I have come to a point where I am emotionless to everything.

    "You'll never know what I became because of you."

    My parents will never understand the way I feel as an adult now. They will never understand why I became a cynical, negative, self-defeating, young adult that hates his/her life because of them. They will always pick sides and blame the other for my self-destruction. No matter how much I try to explain to them, they will never understand why I feel the way I feel today.

  2. anonymous
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    Sep 27th report

    The song is composed for the author's own self when they are feeling guilty about the outcome and reflecting on how they knew they would fail, but their ego got in the way and caused them to be irresponsible.

    When all is over, the careful side would tell himself that he knew everything was coming for him. But that time, his careful side was powerless.

  3. anonymous
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    May 13th 2019 report

    It's a eulogy for someone who has committed suicide. Looking back, this could be Chester's eulogy for himself. I will write using the term "you" as if I am speaking to the person who committed suicide.
    "You hid your skeletons, when I had shown you mine": could be a support group: everyone bared their souls, but you held back.
    "You woke the Devil that I thought you left behind": you kept your struggle hidden, and led everyone to believe you were fine.
    "I saw the evidence, the Crimson soaking through": I saw the what you had done to yourself. (This could be a direct reference to a "cutter" with the "crimson soaking through" being blood from the wound soaking through clothing or bandages.)
    "Ten thousand promises, ten thousand ways to lose": you told me over and over that you were ok, and each time I believed you was a missed chance to save you.
    "And you had it all, but you were careless to let it fall": you had so many opportunities, so many things in your favor, so many people who cared about you... But you threw it all away when you gave up on your life.
    "And I was by your side, Powerless": I was your friend; I was there for you, willing to help you, but you didn't let me.
    "I watched you fall apart and chased you to the end": I saw you sinking into depression and despair, and I tried to guide you through and help you every step of the way.
    "I'm left with emptiness that words can not defend": your death has left a hole in my life and an empty place in my heart, and it was avoidable if you had just let me help.
    "You'll never know what I became because of you": you will never know how much you meant to me, how you touched my heart, changed my life, and helped me become a better person. And you will never know how much you will be missed.
    (Chorus- see above)
    "And I was by your side, Powerless": I feel so lost and hurt. I feel like I failed you, and I'm sorry I couldn't save you.
    Rest in Peace, Chester Bennington: you will never know how much are loved and missed. May you find the Happiness, Love, and Inner Peace that eluded you in your life on Earth.

  4. anonymous
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    Jul 26th 2018 report

    It's all about drugs. Listen the song and try to thinking about drugs. How about now?

  5. anonymous
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    Jul 21st 2017 report

    now looking back I wonder a bit if any of these lyrics were inspired by his personal situation with abuse. he trusted and revealed himself to the "friend" and they hid their true sick self....you woke the devil I thought you left behind...10,000 promises 10,000 ways to lose....thoughts on continuing abuse by someone close - powerless.

  6. anonymous
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    Apr 13th 2016 report

    This song is double meaning I mean literally hits think about it once ;))

  7. anonymous
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    Apr 1st 2016 report

    I think the song means that a boy/girl had a friend and they on trusted all they had to them and their friend helped them with everything, but the boy/girl's friend was hurt on the inside, yes they trusted their friend but did not want to share their feelings so they would promise to the boy/girl that they were OK but that was a lie
    The boy/girl saw this and started to worry but their friend just kept promising they did not need help, then they committed suicide and the girl/boy was so upset that they were now sad and felt guilty all the time because they were powerless to help the one person who always was there for them and helped them but they could not help them because they were powerless and their friend had all the boy/girl's help if they would have grabbed it but instead they held their feelings on their own and let it fall carelessly and the boy/girl is forever scared

  8. anonymous
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    Apr 1st 2016 report

    I think the song means that a boy/girl had a friend and they on trusted all they had to them and their friend helped them with everything, but the boy/girl's friend was hurt on the inside, yes they trusted their friend but did not want to share their feelings so they would promise to the boy/girl that they were OK but that was a lie
    The boy/girl saw this and started to worry but their friend just kept promising they did not need help, then they committed suicide and the girl/boy was so upset that they were now sad and felt guilty all the time because they were powerless to help the one person who always was there for them and helped them but they could not help them because they were powerless

  9. anonymous
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    Jan 6th 2015 report

    I love this song and I think it's a lovesong. These guy and girl became very close, shared all their secrets and all... Now, to me this song is very sexy. Don't know why! I am positively fantasizing to it (nothing dirty!) It's so languid and his voice is so hot, as usual... The crimson soaking through is, excuse me, the girl's blood on the bed (it's my first thought) - I say, they're young and innocent and they have intimacy for the first time.

    But hey, she hid her skeletons, so she wasn't really sincere with him. She gave promises promises and then they began to fall apart, till they became strangers once again.

    He was by her side powerless - he was madly in love and in her power, and would do anything for her. But she was careless to let it fall - she lost his love and trust.

  10. anonymous
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    Jul 9th 2014 report

    All of you guys commented very nice!! I always relate this song to my first loved one in my life. That love didn't even started. She used to like me.... but because of certain circumstances we were unable to go forward and she is too far away from me now. Not a single source of contact. I will always pray that she will hav a great life and ofc i hope that she will remember me in her life. Have a Sweet life Dear

  11. anonymous
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    Oct 6th 2013 report

    I think it's.... it's about this guy, he loves this girl, but the girl is destroying herself.
    "I watched you fall apart and chased you to the end."
    Well, that could mean he watched her destroy herself, but he tried to stop her, but in the end it was too late, and she was too far gone.

  12. anonymous
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    Aug 13th 2013 report

    Obviously song is about loss of beloved one. Everyone understands it different, but in my opinion it's about addiction of drugs or alcohol.

    You hid your skeletons when I had shown you mine
    (Person who has problems tries to hide them, he hides his thoughts, feelings)
    You woke the devil that I thought you'd left behind
    (Maybe he had been stopped to use drugs, but he started again and cannot stop anymore)
    I saw the evidence, the crimson soaking through
    (Friends see that he has problems)
    Ten thousand promises, ten thousand ways to lose
    (He promised to rise, to fight his addiction, but never kept his promises)

    [Chorus]
    And you held it all but you were careless to let it fall
    You held it all and I was by your side, powerless
    (he has his life, his future, but traded it to drugs, and no one could help him)

    I watched you fall apart and chased you to the end.
    (he was killing himself, friends and family tried to help, but they couldn't do anything)
    I'm left with emptiness that words cannot defend
    (their beloved one is gone, there left only emptiness instead of him)
    You'll never know what I became because of you
    (they sacrifice everything to help him fight his addict, they gave him their time, their love, their money, their care, but all was in vain)
    Ten thousand promises, ten thousand ways to lose
    (promises are worth nothing when they're not kept)

  13. anonymous
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    Aug 7th 2013 report

    I love to see how people take this song, people tend to relate it to themselves in how they see it cause of a situation in their life cause of what they've seen in their life so they connect to the song that way and it makes that person feel what they want to feel and can relate it to whatever's going on in their life and makes you love it more, LEAVES IT OPEN TO SPECULATION, FOR YHE LISTERERS TO TAKE IT AS WHAT THEY WANT!!!'... I see it as a few of the above said and liked them all, GREAT SONG!!!

  14. anonymous
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    Jun 18th 2013 report

    To me the song is about a guy who loves this girl so much that he opens up to a girlfriend intrusting her with his life only to find that the girlfriend hasn't been real to him, she's been hiding things from you, and on top of that she's gone back to her bad old ways. The guy tries to help the girlfriend but it's too late for her to change and he cannot do anything rather than just to watch her destroy herself.in the end after she's gone, the guy has been left emptiness and no hope to love again but rather to be something else.

  15. D3MON_K33P3R
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    Jan 6th 2013 report

    i think that the singer and someone eles someone close"I watched you fall apart and chased you to the end" lead them along a road of distruction and all though he saw what was happening the leader didnt and when the leader finally came to his distruction the singer had nothing he could to help "im left with emptyness that words can not defend" and when his friend or however fell he was hurt emotionally and like it riped a hole in his life

  16. anonymous
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    Dec 3rd 2012 report

    In the chorus it says
    "you held it all
    but you were careless to let it fall
    you held it all
    and i was by your side
    powerless"

    I dunno about anyone else but this makes me feel like he is talking about a friend or someone he knows that basically had a good life (or so it seemed)and didn't take any care of it or just didn't give enough of an effort to it and lost what he had.
    It also makes me think of someone who has always had people there for them and then they commited suicide and they tried to stop them but were to late.

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