Metallica: One Meaning
Song Released: 1989
Can't tell if this is true or dream
Deep down inside i feel to scream
This terrible silence stops me
Now that the war is through with me
I'm waking up, i cannot see
That theres not much left of me
Nobody has hinted at the fact that its side meaning may just be about the pursuit of science against humane pratices. The guy stepped on a landmine, an to the person who says it wasn't, read the lyrics! He lost all his limbs and senses. As a result he doesn't even know when he's awake or when he's asleep. All he knows is pain yet he is being kept alive by life support and feeding tubes, an by the goverment he was fighting for! Probably as a show for what medical science is capable of. As most medical advances in the past happened during war time, such as blood transfusions etc etc. So it's slightly ironic also that he was fighting for democracy,yet is forced to "live" in pain. And for the guy who says that he is on his deathbed fighting for his life, nope, he wants to die! But he finds a way to communicate via morse code. For the guy that asks how he does this with no limbs... He taps out with his head on the bed. Thats whats portrayed on the video anyway.
anonymous Jan 3rd, 2006 1:16pm report
Alright, this song is based off of the book, "Johnnie got a gun" or something like that. The song is in fact about a guy who stepped on a landmine and thus has lost his sight, speach, hearing, arms, and legs. He has absolutely no way of communicating. Who wants to live this way? This is what the song is about. He wants to die because he doesn't want to go on anymore this way but he cannot communicate that to anyone. You guys should check out the video. It will help you understand. I contains actual video from the movie "Johnnie Got His Gun". Craziness!
anonymous Apr 21st, 2007 4:56pm report
I must confess I haven't seen the movie, or read the book. But straight from the video, I see it's about the sadism of society; they sent a boy to war who the hell knows for what, and returned after stepping over a landmine without hearing, seeing, speaking... He constantly suffers pain, he wants to die... To rest. But society (represented by doctors) don't even notice (or don't want to notice) that he wants to quit the pain... In that situation, his life. But no, is more important to investigate with that poor suffering body, that let him rest in peace.. as if there wasn't a soul inside! I think, it's a call for attention... please, hear the souls, take care of other human beings, forget of your pride for a while...and return to basics, what makes a human being into people is feelings.. The capacity to hear, feel, understand other human beings, and in that video, this is left away just for the pride of the doctors. Don't know if this is what Met got in mind while writing that awesome peace of music, but made me feel that.
Call me mad, comment, write more, contact me if you want, but please let me read what you think. Cheers to everyone.
anonymous May 13th, 2014 5:49pm report
its about this person who is in a coma. they cannot make any sounds nor can move or see. they have flashbacks from wartime and is being held on life support and they wants to just die to stop the pain but he cant tell anyone or have anyone do it for them
anonymous Sep 1st, 2013 9:08pm report
It's based upon the book/movie Johnny Got His Gun, about a man who is in war and steps into a land mine, losing his arms, legs, hearing, as the lines say. He's trapped in his own body, unable to speak, hear, see, communicate with the world in anyway, shape or form. My favorite Metallica song besides "Wherever I May Roam" and "Hero of the Day."
anonymous Jul 30th, 2013 7:40pm report
People always think that this is about 'Johnny Got His Gun', because it was in the video, and are taking the lyrics to literally. I don't think that. Some of the things described in this song, (not the video) seems like symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, such as reoccurring nightmares of the event, or flashbacks. He believes that he truly is in a nightmare, in which his body is ruined, as well as his mind, and therefore is not able to free himself from his own mind and the memories. I know most say this is wrong, but maybe this is the troubles he faces inside his head, as he has hardly any body left, if you'd like to combine it with other songs.
anonymous Oct 4th, 2012 10:24pm report
I think the individuals in Metallica were Project MKUltra Mind Control victims in their youths.I am sure that its no coinsidence the large 'M' and 'K' depicted in the band's icon and that Metallica and MKUltra sound very similar as well when pronounced out lound. Perhaps the band members are dipicting their own victimization like Cathy O'Brian describes in her book 'Tranceformation of America' or the documentary video 'Most Dangerous Game.' This was the same situation as Valerie Wolf, Chris deNicola, and Claudia Mullen testified about their 1995 testimonies of childhood experimental victimizations.
anonymous Sep 11th, 2012 9:43pm report
I always thought it was about partial birth abortion and the "war" represented pro-choice vs pro-life arguments. Awsome guitar riffs though!
anonymous Sep 11th, 2012 9:03pm report
Quote from Spen:
''Nobody has hinted at the fact that its side meaning may just be about the pursuit of science against humane pratices. The guy stepped on a landmine, an to the person who says it wasn't, read the lyrics! He lost all his limbs and senses. As a result he doesn't even know when he's awake or when he's asleep. All he knows is pain yet he is being kept alive by life support and feeding tubes, an by the goverment he was fighting for! Probably as a show for what medical science is capable of. As most medical advances in the past happened during war time, such as blood transfusions etc etc. So it's slightly ironic also that he was fighting for democracy,yet is forced to "live" in pain. And for the guy who says that he is on his deathbed fighting for his life, nope, he wants to die! But he finds a way to communicate via morse code. For the guy that asks how he does this with no limbs... He taps out with his head on the bed. Thats whats portrayed on the video anyway.''
That's the story indeed. However I'm pretty convinced that he communicated through morse by giving spasms (but it does look like head-tapping in the clip indeed)
anonymous Jun 25th, 2012 6:56pm report
The man has lost everything, wants to die, not even wants to get back to a real life. He wants someone to pull the plug on the life support machine, because he has no arms or legs...AS HE CLEARLY SAYS,
"hold my breath as I WISH FOR DEATH"
He doesn't want to be alive no more....
thehiltonater Apr 2nd, 2012 4:38am report
So a lot of the people on here are reading into this too much. You have to stand back and listen to all.
The song (Much like Sugar by System of a Down) is about a soldier and his slow descent into madness. He risked his life to fight a war for his country, and is now in a hospital. He has lost hi arms, legs, sight, hearing, and speech. He is basically as close to death as he can be. Because of all this, the only thing he can feel is the intense pain of nothingness. He can't tell if he is awake or asleep, or even if he is really alive. he has been excommunicated. The song is about him wanting to die, but being kept alive despite his deathwish. This song is about the horrors of war, and as the top interpretation stated, the immorality of keeping people alive at all costs.
Disagree? Start up a fight, Let's see where this will lead.
anonymous Dec 18th, 2011 12:10pm report
the song one by Metallica
to me it is about a man who is in a sense sut up from the very beginning. even his own father tells him, if i have this right, that any man would give his only son to fight for democracy. his own wants and desires, and needs are not listened to, left and right he is being molded to be apart of something he may not believe in but because he was conviced of it he fights. then, a tragic accident insues, and he is left a broken man. Losing his sight, his arms, his legs. he is only head and a torso. at first he is discovered as being alive, and instead of being taken to the hospital he is put in to a traveling side show then when his "exoticness" wheres off then he is pawned off to the very same government that he fought for only they put him on life support. he contemplates killing himself. but as he himself points out in his narrative, he has no way of doing so,so he tries morse code. again his own wants are dismissed as science wants to prove they can somehow make him better. yet not caring that it is a human being they are forcing there own will upon.
anonymous Dec 10th, 2011 12:20pm report
This song came out after one of their band mates was killed in an accident. It may not be what the song itself is about, but the darkness represents the time of mourning they were in.
anonymous Nov 10th, 2011 11:36am report
The lyrics are based on the novel Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo, which is about World War I. A specific passage that inspired the song is: "How could a man lose as much of himself as I have and still live? When a man buys a lottery ticket you never expect him to win because it's a million to one shot. But if he does win, you'll believe it because one in a million still leaves one. If I'd read about a guy like me in the paper I wouldn't believe it, cos it's a million to one. But a million to ONE always leaves one. I'd never expect it to happen to me because the odds of it happening are a million to one. But a million to one always leaves one. ONE.
This song is about a soldier fighting in a war and a mortar blows off in his face. He can't hear, see, smell, taste and he doesn't have arms or legs. He comes out of a coma in a hospital. During the time he is in the hospital he reflects on his life and things his father told him. Eventually the doctors get worried because he's having spasms all the time, but he doesn't seem to be dying. They call in the general and he can't figure it out either but the soldier with the general recognizes it. "Its Morse code," he says. The general asks what he is saying and the soldier looks for a minute and then says, "He is saying K-I-L-L- M-E over and over again.
anonymous Nov 9th, 2011 11:51pm report
"How could a man lose as much of himself as I have and still live? When a man buys a lottery ticket you never expect him to win because it's a million to one shot. But if he does win, you'll believe it because one in a million still leaves one. If I'd read about a guy like me in the paper I wouldn't believe it, cos it's a million to one. But a million to ONE always leaves one. I'd never expect it to happen to me because the odds of it happening are a million to one. But a million to one always leaves one. One."
anonymous Aug 9th, 2011 8:15pm report
I think it's about a child losing its Teddy Bear. Listen to the lyrics, you'll hear it
anonymous Jul 14th, 2011 7:20pm report
This song draws its inspiration from the 1939 novel 'Johnny Got His Gun,' by Dalton Trumbo, in which a World War I soldier is injured by German artillery and is left deaf, blind, mute and limbless; the man becomes a prisoner of his own body.
Centurious Jun 14th, 2011 6:48pm report
It is based on the book Johnny Got His Gun, the original idea came up during the puppets recording but got held back till the justice recordings when ( Im not sure if it was their manager or who ) mentioned there was a book and movie about their idea.
My personal relation to the song was with the inability to communicate properly and feeling trapped within my own psyche.
More Metallica song meanings »
Submit Your Interpretation
Related Blog Posts
|It's Probably Me||anonymous|
|Kids Aren't Alright||anonymous|
|At My Most Beautiful||anonymous|
|Son's Gonna Rise||anonymous|
|This Plane Don't Go There||anonymous|
|Mrs Potato Head||anonymous|