What does King Nothing mean?

Metallica: King Nothing Meaning

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Album cover for King Nothing album cover

Song Released: 1997

King Nothing Lyrics

Wish I may
Wish I might
Have this I wish tonight
Are you satisfied?
Dig for gold
Dig for fame
You dig to make your name
Are you pacified?

All the wants you waste
All the things you've chased

Then it all crashes down
And you break...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Mar 30th 2016 !⃝

    Personal interpretation is one thing...but people are thinking too deep. "King Nothing" and "Hero of the Day" are about Axl Rose and his temper tantrum in Montreal. James, when talking about the incident on behind the music, even went so far as to say "...he could have been the hero of the day...".

    The members of Metallica talk about the incident in that documentary as it was, tragic. In G&R's own BTM documentary, they seem to brush it off.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Oct 10th 2012 !⃝

    This song is about Axl Rose. "You point your finger but there's no one around". Axl points his finger all of the time when he's on stage. "Just one more day, just to play the king". Chinese Democracy? We waited forever. Then there is the bit in the middle where it sounds like James is singing through a megaphone "I want that star, I want it now, I want it all and I don't care how". Axl again. Like any good set of lyrics it can be applied to other people, situations and greed in general. But when it comes down to it... it's aimed at Axl after the concert incident in Canada where Metallica played with GnR and Axl caused a riot.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Feb 15th 2009 !⃝

    I agree with the more obvious interpretation, everything for rich people will eventually suck and by pushing everyone away to get what you want and to be powerful, you alienate yourself and when 'the castles crumbled and you're left with just the dead' you have nothing. 'where's your crown king nothing' means you think your so important but you're really nothing special.
    But i thought i might just postulate one thing, does anyone else notice the similarities between this song and the Shakespearean play 'MacBeth' (if you've read it), they are very similar, but yea this is probably just a coincidence

  4. anonymous
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    Dec 3rd 2022 !⃝

    King nothing is about Robert the Bruce. He was often referred as King nothing in the beginning of his reign

  5. anonymous
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    Mar 27th 2019 !⃝

    Its about fat fish.

  6. anonymous
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    Apr 8th 2017 !⃝

    It's like the old adage, "pride comes before the fall..."

  7. anonymous
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    Jun 17th 2016 !⃝

    It is a song Metallica wrote because Pantera played the cow palace SF and said that Metallica was no longer the kings of SF metal so the next album they wrote had king nothing

  8. anonymous
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    Jun 5th 2016 !⃝

    Not Materialism. Not Dave Mustaine. You are all very wrong.

    Every member of Metallica is a huge Republican. Bill Clinton was a shitty president, just like the rest of the modern democrats. Democrats don't care about the majority, which are the people who make the country's fucking gears turn. They care about themselves.

    "When it all crashes down" is a reference to democrats usually crash the economy, such as Carter and Obama.

    "Are you Pacified" also refers to Democrats wanted to pull troops out of war before the job is done. Again, Obama and LBJ.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  9. anonymous
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    Dec 31st 2015 !⃝

    Prediction about Obama:

    Lazy bitch who thinks he is a king. This explains why he doesn't care about American citizens, lets ISIS in, lets illegals in, and takes too many vacations using our tax money.
    However, when reality hits him (next presidet), he will become nothing.

  10. anonymous
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    May 8th 2015 !⃝

    You're all wrong! This is a celtic teaching, It goes like this. In witchcraft you can cast spells as well as make wishes. A witch wishes to be king of the world, but forgets to be specific and he becomes king and there is no one around to rule. therefore his crown is worthless.

    Another teaching is a witch wishes that every thing he touches turns to gold So not only his whole family, but every thing else he touches turns to gold too. This reference is also in this song.

    The moral of the song and the celtic teachings is when you go to cast a spell, you have to be specific. (be careful watch you wish for)

  11. anonymous
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    Dec 7th 2014 !⃝

    I think you are missing the point. For me it's a song for oneself. It's a very motivating song. It's a song that reminds me every morning that I haven't achieved anything yet and I am still Nothing. I have to put more efforts in order to get better and deserve the crown.
    And if you watch the clip, when the lyrics that the king nothing still want to make the effort he has success at the end when all people unite with him in the last scene

  12. anonymous
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    Mar 27th 2014 !⃝

    It's the metaphor for Vlad Plasmius's life.

  13. anonymous
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    Apr 3rd 2012 !⃝

    It's about someone who thinks he can own the world and rule it but forgets leadership is not only about power and money but mainly anbout how people see you. If someone wants to just give orders it eventually will crash down and nobody will respect this person. On the other hand if, instead of dreaming and wishing more power, the leader tried to understand whoever he was leading and all that even if he had nothing left people would respect him

  14. anonymous
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    Dec 31st 2011 !⃝

    it's a punch to dave mustaine! because he said in all of his songs that "he is the king"

  15. anonymous
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    Jun 30th 2011 !⃝

    I think its really more then that,most of the album was about his mothers fight with cancer. So the song itself is about him getting everything he wants but still changes nothing because he is still powerless to that and wasn't there for her before so he feels like nothing

  16. anonymous
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    Apr 7th 2011 !⃝

    you're all tards, it's about the eventual fall of any body in power, kings, politicians, rich people, and especially the corrupted seeking power. idiots!

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  17. anonymous
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    Apr 4th 2011 !⃝

    This song is about an aspiring music artist who wants it all and gets it all then questions all he has and when its gone he is worse than before he started and about how you need to be cautious of greed otherwise it will destroy you

    P.S. James Hetfield has stated that the lyrics were intentionally kept vague to allow others their own interpretation

  18. anonymous
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    Mar 10th 2011 !⃝

    This song, along with Hero of the Day, is a reference to the night James was burned by pyrotechnics. "King Nothing" is Axel Rose for refusing to play the GnR set which caused a fan riot. Hero of the Day is about how Axel could have prevented the riot by playing.

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