What does One mean?

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Metallica: One Meaning

Song Released: 1989

One Lyrics

I can't remember anything
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 there's not much left of me
Nothing is...

  1. anonymous
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    May 21st 2011 report

    it is about this desease that really happend where u cannot see, hear move, or do anything. its like a soul traped in a body, you jut existed. i cant think of how scary it would be to be shouting to yourself KILL ME ALREADY DEATH IS BETTER THAN THIS and all the people see is a body that looks asleep and thats the real pain.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  2. anonymous
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    May 7th 2011 report

    The meaning of this song is about how a person who nearly died in a war. The army is keeping him alive through the use of machinery. He is locked in his own sub conscience, unaware of what has befell him. Eventually he sees that he is nothing but stump, he tries to kill himself by purposely holding his breath. In relating to the movie, "Johnny" who was hit by an artillery shell, has the same dilemma. Only it is more characterized in the movie.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  3. anonymous
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    Apr 28th 2011 report

    I believe that this song not only interprets the video that it is made from but, it tells us that war is far more destructive and catastrophic than the government and the people know.

  4. anonymous
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    Apr 17th 2011 report

    The song is based on the film "Billy Get Your Gun" the character loses his arms, legs etc.

  5. anonymous
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    Jan 20th 2011 report

    Based on Johnny Got His Gun, its a book/movie. Read it, good book.

  6. anonymous
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    Nov 29th 2010 report

    One of the best songs ever. This is about a war.

  7. anonymous
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    Nov 26th 2010 report

    This song is about his penis as well

  8. Awesomedude
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    Aug 3rd 2010 report

    War!!!! That is what it's about.

  9. anonymous
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    Jul 7th 2010 report

    This is a song about the book Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo, which had clips from the movie in the music video. The book was based on a trip the Prince of Wales had taken to a canadian hospital during World War 1, where he had seen a man who had his limbs blown off from a landmine, but was still technically alive, even though they believed that he could not feel any pain. He then wrote the book in the midst of WW2, 1939, and named it "Johnny Got his Gun" because of the propaganda song "Johnny Get your Gun", encouraging men to join the military. This is definetly an anti-war book, suggesting that this is what the proverbial "Johnny" got for joining the war. All of the lyrics in the song relate to the things in the book, him losing his limbs to a landmine, and wanting to eventually kill himself, but being unable to. He was eventually able to communicate with morse code, but when he asked for death, or to be able to use his body as an anti-war symbol, they denied him, ending the book with his desperate, unstopping attemps at reaching the outside world. Another interesting thing is that Trumbo and his author had decided to suspend the book a year after publication untill the end of the war, because of its anti-war message.

  10. anonymous
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    Jun 10th 2010 report

    One is about a soldier that, during a battle, steps on a landmine. The result is that he loses his limbs and senses. He cannot tell if he is alive or dead, awake or sleep. The line " hold my breath as i wish for death" can possibly mean he is trying to suffocate himself

  11. anonymous
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    Mar 8th 2010 report

    The song is about isolation. One. Maybe the movie Johnny got his gun was what inspired the song. I don't know, even though it is part of the video. But, can you imagine what it would be like to lose your ability to touch ,see, speak and hear. Man that would be a pretty lonely place. Isolated from the rest of the world. It might be how James felt at that time in his life. To be surrounded by people everywhere you went and still feel so alone.

  12. anonymous
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    Oct 29th 2009 report

    It's about the movie "Johnnie's Got a Gun". It's in the music video.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  13. MuffinMan
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    Sep 25th 2009 report

    MY interpretation, MY OPINION, and how I read this song is that I think it deals with a drug addiction. More specifically, Ecstacy. Partly because of the title. "One" referring to one's self AND the fact they are the only "one" left in their own life because they've lost everyone. If you reverse the capitalization on the title, it reads "onE". When read correctly, it says "on E". Slang for "on Ecstacy". Furthermore, if you place the "E" at the beginning, it reads "Eon", the English term for "Aeon". Which, refers to "age" or "forever". "Age" meaning the aging of the addiction and "forever" meaning the longevity of the addiction and how long it has the "one". Also, The lyrics and my interpretation of them follows. And, remember, THIS IS MY OWN OPINION:

    First Verse: "I can't remember anything
    Cant tell if this is true or dream
    Deep down inside I feel to scream
    This terrible silence stops me"...

    My Interp.:The first line meaning the memory is altered after the effect of the drug wears off. The second line; The hallucinations caused by the drug or being caught in a "dream" like state of mind and vision. Third line; The body or "Deep down" calling for something better. Fourth; the altering of senses, such as, vision (lights tend to be hypnotizing), touch (hot and cold sensation), and hearing (more intense sounds, fading in and out, echoing).

    Second verse: "Now that the war is through with me
    Im waking up I can not see
    That there is not much left of me
    Nothing is real but pain now"...

    My Interp.: First line; The effects of the drug wearing off. The addiction, also, can be categorized as a "war" within one's self. Second line; Vision altered after the "roll". Third line; Towards the addiction. Drug addictions have been noted to take things away from the abuser. Fourth line; The pain of losing things close to the abuser.

    Chorus: "Hold my breath as I wish for death
    Oh please god,wake me"...

    Interpretation: First line; Breathing is sped up due to increased heart rate but if too fast, the breathing stops and the mind "wishes" for death. Second line; Calling out or praying to God for help to overcome the addiction,

    Third Verse: "Back in the womb its much too real
    In pumps life that I must feel
    But can't look forward to reveal
    Look to the time when I'll live"...

    Interp: First line; Back in reality, or realness of life after being in the "dream" state of mind. Second line; Increased heart rate and blood flow "pumping" through the body. Third line; Can't look in the future because of losing things or doing the drug again due to the addiction. Fourth line; Back into reality again after doing the drug again.

    Fifth Verse: "Fed through the tube that sticks in me
    Just like a wartime novelty
    Tied to machines that make me be
    Cut this life off from me"...

    Interp: First line; Hospitalized from overdose. Second line; Something he can remember from the "war" with the addiction. Third line; Hospital machines keeping the person alive. Fourth verse; Wanting to go back to the drug or "dream" because it makes the person feel better for a short term, but, hurts them in the long run.

    Chorus: "Hold my breath as I wish for death
    Oh please god,wake me
    Now the world is gone Im just one
    Oh god,help me hold my breath as I wish for death
    Oh please God help me"...

    Interp: Same as the above chorus, just repeated again. However, the third verse means the addictee has lost everything and is alone.

    Sixth Verse: "Darkness imprisoning me
    All that I see
    Absolute horror
    I cannot live
    I cannot die
    Trapped in myself
    Body my holding cell"...

    Interpretation: First line; "Darkness", or reality, doesn't seem as colorful anymore due to the appearance of lights while on the drug. 2nd & 3rd line; After the drug's effects and after the addiction has taken everything, all the person see's is horror. 4th and 5th line; The person can't live without the drug, and, when taking the drug, can't die in the "dream" or die in reality because God won't take their life. 6th and 7th line; "Trapped" in one's mind or "dream" state of being because they can't escape the addiction, life, or "dream".

    Seventh Verse: "Landmine has taken my sight
    Taken my speech
    Taken my hearing
    Taken my arms
    Taken my legs
    Taken my soul
    Left me with life in hell"...

    Interpretation: First line; "Landmine" can be referring to the addiction being worse than a landmine. However, "landmine", was also an uncommon slang term for ecstacy, which is taking their sight because of the blurry vision and dullness of lights after the trip. 2nd and 3rd; Slurred words caused by effects of the drug and one's un-willingness to speak about the "landmine". And, the drug amplifies and intensifies (it that's a word) sounds while on the drug, then, returning to the dullness of reality. 4th and 5th; The drug has "taken" the person's arms and legs, or, the numb feeling of the limbs while on the drug. Sixth line; The addiction or "war" has taken the person's soul away from them, as well as everything close to them. Seventh; "Life in Hell" meaning the permanent or everlasting (referring to "forever" or "Eon") state of "hell" addiction has left them in a personal hell due to the loss of things the ONE had.

    Hope you guys like MY interpretation. Maybe, you'll agree with me.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  14. anonymous
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    Aug 28th 2009 report

    This song is about the American Government sending people out to war to fight for nothing, whilst the Government bath in their money. That's what the whole album's based upon.

    This song however, is about a boy who gets sent out to fight
    at war, and gets blown up by a land mine. Although I've never heard about this happening when somebody steps on a land mine, somehow, he loses all of the things he takes for granted. Everything. Arms, legs, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, and his face is a pile of rotting mucus, which is why his face is covered up in the video, so the nurses don't freak out at his 'face'. The only thing still working in his body is his heart.

    The boy is sent to the hospital (obviously) and is quickly put under a life support machine. He soon realizes that he cannot live on like this, and wishes to die. Through morse code, he tells the nurse to cut off his life support machine, and is left to die, alone.

    This very dark and saddening song, is based upon the movie and book 'Johnny Got His Gun'. The music video shows a lot of the main happenings in the movie.

  15. jchristopher
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    Jul 7th 2009 report

    Rhetoric is the art of speaking and writing to emphasize persuasion effectively. The rhetorical analysis focuses on diction, audience, writer’s stance, purpose of the text, and topic. Metallica’s song writers James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich wrote the lyrics to One for their album …And Justice for All inspired by the movie Johnny Got His Gun. The words used in the lyrics describe absolute horror as Hetfield sings them with a strong deep hardcore diction. The song develops an audience that continues to buy tickets that sell shows out at every event since Metallica wrote the song in 1988. The purpose of the song which going to war means fighting and dying for democracy, but suffering for medical science is not the life the soldier wanted to live. The song based on an analysis of audience interpretations, research, and personal thought describes a soldier that was fighting a war and is wounded in battle, then is forced to “live” in pursuit of medical science against normal humane practice focusing Metallica’s anti-war efforts.

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