What does St. Anger mean?

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Metallica: St. Anger Meaning


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Song Released: 2003

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St. Anger Lyrics

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St. Anger 'round my neck
St. Anger 'round my neck
He never gets respect
St. Anger 'round my neck

It's pushing out, it's pushing out
St. Anger 'round my neck
He never gets respect
It's pushing out, it's pushing out
St. Anger 'round my...


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    Feb 22nd, 2006 2:41am report

    I personally feel that the lyrics to this song are awe-inspiring. The problem with them is that they're presented in such a way that they seem to be pretty dumb. This song is about James' alcohol problem. The "anger" written about in this song is mostly anger against society, conformity etc, except a tiny little part at the end.

    Here's a complete meaning-

    "Saint Anger 'round my neck"
    - A saint is someone who comes to heal the world. So Saint Anger is probably someone/something that heals anger. Considering James' rehab ordeal, I guess Saint Anger is alcohol. Ironically, this very healer is now killing him (round my neck).

    "He never gets respect"
    - Nobody ever sees why James resorts to alcohol. They just dismiss it as bad.

    "(You flush it out, You flush it out)"
    - James is trying to leave alcohol.

    "Fuck it all and no regrets
    I hit the lights on these dark sets"
    - I'm not too sure about these two lines (yes, they are direct references to Damage Inc and Hit the Lights). This stanza probably means that Hetfield intends on leaving his past of binge-drinking behind, and move into a new bright phase of his

    "I need a voice to let myself
    To let myself go free"
    - He resorted to alcohol to set his anger to rest. The first line would've made more sense had it been "needed" instead of "need".

    "Medallion noose, I hang myself"
    - Superb phrase (medallion noose). It means that he gifts himself alcohol to get over his anger.

    "I feel my world shake
    Like an earth quake
    It's hard to see clear
    Is it me? Is it fear?"
    - He has started to understand the consequences of his addiction. His life turns violent and it becomes hard for him to tackle its challenges. He is afraid of alcohol now.

    "I'm madly in anger with you"
    - James HATES alcohol. But, here, this line is sculpted to look like "I'm madly in love with you" because even though he hates this adddiction of his, he can't seem to leave it.

    "I want my anger to be healthy
    I want my anger just for me
    I need my anger not to control
    I want my anger to be me"
    - Hetfield realises what he must do. If he can tackle his anger in a better way, then alcohol will lose its charm. That is, the outlet of anger should be healthy. And it should not involve anyone else than himself, especially NOT alcohol. His anger should not control him as it has done for so long (by forcing him into drinking). If he can become anger himself, then there would be no need for alcohol.

    "I need to set my anger free"
    - I'm not sure what this means, but I think that the rage, which he feels in this line, is not against society, conformity etc, but at the substance (alcohol) which provided him relief from his past rage. It would be ultimate irony if he would resort to alcohol to soothe his anger against, well, alcohol. So he says that he shall release all remnants of this anger from his body, so that alcohol can never infect him again.

    Maybe I'm reading too much into this song, but I refuse to believe that someone who wrote "One" would write, or let others write a dumb song. St. Anger (the song) has some really thoughtful lyrics, if you try and look deep into it. Now, if only ProTools was never invented...


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    Mar 31st, 2014 3:54am report

    You are all clueless. This song is about how James used anger as a "base" for strength to cope with his problems.
    He held it close to his heart and would never let it go because it was familiar and anger is a VERY strong emotion. Anger can take hold and because it is so difficult to overcome, it can stay in you for your entire life.

    I know. I am going through this now... all over again.


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    Dec 30th, 2011 12:22am report

    I think this song is about how your anger can really get out of control, that, as it says in the lyrics, it is squeezing your kneck, it has a great hold on you in other words. In this case, it is James Hetfields' anger that he could not get a hold on, because of his alcohol problem. I think St. Anger is the emotion anger (obviously) that takes hold of us to much sometimes. It is okay to get angry, but your anger can be dangerous both emotionally and physically. So don't let your anger control you so much.


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    Jun 7th, 2011 6:17pm report

    I thinks it's about releasing your anger in a positive way, and using it well, while still letting it go.


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    Feb 8th, 2009 2:03pm report

    Okay, the highest rated interpretation, is definitely WAY TOO INTERPRETED, if that makes any sense. It's simply about releasing your anger, in a healthy way, but releasing it nonetheless. You don't have to go into that much detail and fucking analyze every word of the song.


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    Aug 18th, 2008 8:37am report

    I don't think that's right.

    "Saint Anger 'round my neck
    He never gets respect"

    It's his anger he's talking about. He's talking about his anger figuratively like a noose, as he goes on to talk about later on.

    "You flush it out, you flush it out"

    THIS might have connections to alcohol. But at any rate, he's pushing his anger out, trying to push it out of the way.

    "F--- it all and no regrets
    I hit the lights on these dark sets
    I need a voice to let myself
    To let myself go free"

    He releases his anger through his music.


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    Jul 26th, 2007 7:59pm report

    "I need to set my anger free"
    might just be a way of saying:
    i need to empty the bottle and tell someone to get stuffed.
    empty by pouring it in the sink I suppose ^^
    anyway it would help a lot if james actually would come here and tell us ^^

    as for references to old songs( it actually makes the album kinda special ^^) btw I hate hit the lights :D
    its like a poor verson of whiplash(both lyricaly and musically)


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    Oct 8th, 2006 10:48am report

    I think that the previous interpretation is correct, but the "fuck it all and no regrets, I hit the lights on these dark sets" part means he's going to put it all behind him and focus on metallica.

    Just what I think, anyway.

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